The Heart and The Bottle

By Alison January 22, 2014 2 Comments 2 Min Read

It is rare that Finley lets me read to him now: preferring like all good readers to bring his own intonation to sentences, his own imagination to scenes. 
But last Friday, on a cold and wintery January afternoon, I brought The Heart and The Bottle home and he snuggled up beside me enchanted by the illustration, while I read it aloud to him as we supped hot chocolate and snuggled under a patchwork quilt fragranced by home. This then was one of the thousand tiny joys that all too often pass un-noticed. The kind of tiny joy I must recommend to you for life is infinitely better for knowing that those of us who stuff our hearts into a bottle will never ever again remember to see life with the wondrous eyes of a child…

I don’t want to give this darling little story away. I want you to go out and purchase a copy for yourself, to tuck into your comfort drawer for devouring on the days when it feels safer not to trust, not to acknowledge wonder and astonishing things. For the sepia days. The dusty days. And the heartbroken days. It is all too easy to experience loss, and loneliness and disappointment and decide thereafter to live from a stone cold place. To do away with spontaneity and hope and giggling and all those other things that keep us young. Our streets are lined with women lugging glass bottled hearts around and it is a sorry situation…

But we don’t have to be them. We can keep on looking for the person who will help us extract our hearts all over again. We can say thank-you to the grown up who showed us how to experience all the lovely in life, resolve to bless our children in the same way and remain dedicated to wearing our hearts on our sleeves for always and evermore.

We can make reading this darling little book a weekly ritual. And send oodles of thanks to it’s clever writer and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers.


  1. Gill says:

    Enjoy these times now. So soon do they pass. Look up Lucy Berry’s poem The Last Time.

  2. Gill says:

    Enjoy these times now. So soon do they pass. Look up Lucy Berry’s poem The Last Time.

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