Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Paper Hearts

Van Doorn, Sandra (Author/Illustrator)
Simply Read Books 2014. 36 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781927018415 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language, multimodal, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This pretty book explores the nature of loving and caring, from the perspective of a little puppet without a heart. As she makes herself a paper heart, her poetic meditations offer analogies between paper hearts and human hearts: “Paper hearts are light and happy, so light they can get swept away.”

Textures, collage and print-stamping effects create delicate, whimsical illustrations that reflect the tender nature of the book’s theme. In one spread, a paper heart floats among a flock of heart-butterflies. It’s attached to a whisper-thin string that loops its way back to the puppet: “Paper hearts love to flutter, just like butterflies in your tummy.” In another, the puppet and a big green paper heart are nestled in an envelope, tied with puppet-strings: “Paper hearts say beautiful things without ever speaking, like sweet notes without words.”

Evocative language and images offer an inspiring model for young readers to make their own paper hearts – “all so different . . . torn, patched up, crinkled, happy and colourful” – to convey a special message of their own.

  •  

    Brainstorm a list of expressions related to falling in love, such as “falling head over heels.” Find these expressions in the text and add new ones to the list.

  •  

    What would your heart look like if it were made of paper? Use mixed materials to create a collage representing your heart in the author’s style. Explain to a partner the significance of your colour and design choices.

  •  

    With a classmate, debate which is more powerful and important: a brain or a heart?

  •  

    As a group, search the text and list any heart-related idioms and expressions. Try to determine their meaning, then confirm your answers using teacher-selected resources. Do equivalent expressions exist in French or in your mother tongue?

  •  

    Choose one of the idioms. Write and illustrate the expression and its meaning in a vignette. Share with the class.

  •  

    Discuss idioms from your own language; do they exist in English? How are they similar or different? For example: Il pleut des cordes = It’s raining cats and dogs.

  •  

    Using teacher-chosen resources, explore other themes that have many related idioms (time, money, food, etc.). Sort out some that you find most interesting. Post them on a class list with a short definition.

  •  Brainstorm words and expressions used to tell someone you appreciate them. What makes you feel happy? Create a class word web.
  •  Read the quote by the Tin Woodman found on the last page. With a partner, debate which is more important: to be kind or to be intelligent.
  •  Create your own paper heart and write a kind message for someone in the class (or someone you love) on it. Display the hearts on the class or school walls for Valentine’s Day. (Core)
  •  List the words written in a special font throughout the book (heart, paper, sweet notes, etc). Use them to write a collective poem. (EESL)
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal Development
  • Visual Arts