Picture Book Reviews: Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug & My Heart

Gently finding my way back into the world of reviewing, and doing so by talking about something dear to my heart: picture books! More specifically, picture book titles full of love and sincerity. In this post I will be featuring two beautiful new picture books: courtesy of my friends at Raincoast Books, Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman, with illustrations by Jay Fleck; and courtesy of partner Penguin Random House Canada, My Heart by Corinna Luyken.

 

With the sweetest of humour and loads of unfeigned charm, author Jonathan Stutzman (of the upcoming Llama Destroys the World with Heather Fox) and illustrator Jay Fleck (Tilly and Tank) join together to bring readers Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug. Tiny T. Rex is facing a major problem. His dear friend Pointy feels sad, and Tiny wants to make his friend feel better by giving him a hug…the only thing is, Tiny has “tiny arms” and it turns out that it is “very difficult to hug with tiny arms”.  So what is Tiny to do? Deciding to ask various family members for advice, Tiny finds that the suggestion from his siblings Trixie and Rawrie- that “to do the impossible you must plan and practice”- is the best. Ever the undaunted Rex: Tiny maps out ways working around his tiny arms to give Pointy a big hug; works out; and practices “hugs on everything” from books to ice cream. While not everything goes smoothly- and a key moment leads to a potentially big moment of ‘uh-oh!’- Tiny’s story makes its way to a well-earned wonderful ending that will make readers grin with happiness.  A warmhearted, hopeful story featuring the unforgettable, compassionate Tiny, and Fleck’s streamlined and eye-catching illustrative style, Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug is a terrific and seriously charming story centering around empathy, friendship, and determination.

 

 

I received a copy of this title courtesy of Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own. This title has been published and is currently available.

 

Author and illustrator Corinna Luyken (The Book of Mistakes, Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse with author Marcy Campbell) returns with the quietly powerful and poetic My Heart. Opening with: “My heart is a window, my heart is a slide”, Luyken’s latest reads as a soft and potent song within the pages of a picture book. Taking readers through a lyrical and visual exploration, My Heart shows readers the many ways in which one’s heart can be and exist- closed or open; messy and “heavy with rain”; or even mended after being broken. While arguably a concept touched upon many times in picture books, Luyken’s selective prose, the strong ending and the gorgeous artwork- saturated and bold, yet still somehow gentle and restrained- make this look at acceptance and love a real standout. With its carefully chosen palette- bursts of colour only come forth in shades of yellow- and sublime details, My Heart is marvelous in its design, how it reads, and its overall feeling of effortlessness. A tender and joyous read that resonates deeply, My Heart is fantastic. I cannot wait to read and see what Corinna Luyken brings about next. Readers who enjoyed Luyken’s The Book of Mistakes, or thoughtful reads by children’s authors such as Joyce Sidman, Julie Fogliano, Sara O’Leary, Philip C. Stead, or Jessixa Bagley might especially love My Heart.

 

 

I received a copy of this title courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own. This title has been published and is currently available.

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