In My Heart By Jo Witek




Sometimes, I come across a book I have never before seen, and I cannot believe I don’t know it; it is so beautiful and so special that I cannot believe it has escaped me until now. This is one of those books.


As the cover states, this is ‘A book of feelings’. Narrated by a small girl, each page talks about the way her heart feels on different days; sometimes her heart feels ‘shiny and bright’ – this is when her heart is happy. Other times, her heart feels ‘as heavy as an elephant’ (sad) or ‘ready to explode’ (mad) or ‘full of giggles and wiggles’ (silly). There is a whole gamete of emotions covered within the pages of In My Heart and each one is written about simply and in a way children will easily relate.

Why I love it:

Children (and many adults) struggle with emotions; they struggle to deal with them and they struggle to express them or even recognise them. This book is a brilliant tool for tapping into this difficult area. I can well imagine the words from the book becoming your child’s language for big emotions, such as “I want to hide my heart away” for when they are feeling shy.

The illustrations (by Christine Roussey) are absolutely divine! Each page, including the cover, has a cut-out heart, which gets smaller as the book goes on. Visually, this looks fantastic and it also creates a really tactile front cover that will appeal to little, and big, hands.

A good friend lent In My Heart to me, as she had purchased it to help discuss emotions with her daughter and found it really helpful. She thought I would love it, and she was right! I really do love it and I think it’s one for every little-person bookshelf!

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Feelings and emotions
  • Expressing yourself
  • Ups and downs
  • Resilience
  • Managing emotions

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • What is special about this front cover? How have they done this?
  • The cover says this is ‘a book of feelings’, list 3 feelings you think the book might talk about.
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • Have you experienced any of the feelings talked about in the book? Which ones?
  • What was your favourite page? Why?
  • The next time your heart feels sad, what could you say to yourself?
  • What sorts of things make your heart feel happy?
  • What sorts of things make your heart feel calm?
  • How is your heart feeling right now?

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