Sections

Home New York National Sports Calendar

Gift from the heart makes a great present

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

“What is Given from the Heart” by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison

c.2019, Schwartz & Wade Books

$17.99 / $23.99 Canada

40 pages

Oh, how you love opening presents!

You love the surprise, first of all. What did you get? You won’t find out until you rip off the paper and just the sound of that is exciting. Maybe there’s a box next, or plastic to open, or there’s simply a gift for you to enjoy. Getting presents are awesome but in the new book “What is Given from the Heart” by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison, is doubly special when you have nothing to give in return.

Mama always seemed so sad.

James Otis did what he could, but it was “a rough few months.” Nearly a year ago, Daddy fell asleep one day and didn’t wake up; after that, the farm was repossessed and Mama had to move herself and James Otis to a tumbledown shack and there never seemed to be enough money. The final blow came when James Otis’s dog ran off.

Mama liked to point out that they had each other. They had God, and they had small holidays and such, but James Otis knew it had been a struggle.

Then one day near Valentine’s Day, he and Mama were in church when Reverend Dennis made a special announcement. As always, the church was giving to the needy that spring but Mrs. Temple and her seven-year-old daughter, Sarah, had been victims of a fire and they needed a special “love box.”

The Temples had lost everything, and on the way home that day, Mama said she wanted to help. She wanted to find something nice to give to the Temples but James Otis had no idea what that might be. Mama reminded him of Reverend Dennis’s words: “Remember, what is given from the heart touches the heart.”

And so James Otis began to think. His crayons were broken. Sarah probably wouldn’t appreciate an old toy truck. His whistle had spit all over it. His favorite old puzzle was missing two pieces. What would a little girl like? Better question: how can you give anything when you have nothing yourself?

“What is Given from the Heart” is a book that seriously needs to come with its own choir, one that would softly sing, just when you get about halfway through reading it. Yes, this story is just that wonderful.

It’s okay if you don’t have access to tenors and sopranos, though. Your child will get the message all the same because author Patricia C. McKissack tells a tale that shows loud and clear how giving has its own rewards and riches. Even kids who turn into Gimme Monsters will see it – in part, because of McKissack’s quiet, loving text and in part, because of the collage-like illustrations by April Harrison. Rounding it off, the uplifting ending couldn’t be more heartwarming.

This is a book that’s perfect for soft-hearted kids ages 4-to-8, but materialistic older kids might need to hear it once or twice, too. For them, or any generous child, “What is Given from the Heart” could make a great present.

Updated 12:04 pm, February 14, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reader feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not CaribbeanLifeNews.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to CaribbeanLifeNews.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: