Alexandra Worth (text) and Amy Calautti (illustrator), Heart of Gold, Little Steps Publishing, February 2020, 32 pp., RRP $14.99, (pbk), ISBN 9781925839470
Based on the author’s own experience as a child, we follow the story of Anna, an active nine year old who loves to swim, ride her bike and take her dog for a walk. Most of all though, Anna loves to dance; her family call her ‘twinkle toes’. One day however Anna learns she has a heart condition and must undergo open heart surgery if she is going to stay healthy.
The story follows Anna’s journey from doctor’s consultation, to MRI, surgery, recovery and getting back to normal life. The author has created a great role model in Anna whose up-beat attitude gives the narrative a hopeful, positive approach to dealing with adversity while Amy Calautti’s fun, lively illustrations capture the mood of the young protagonist well.
A well-pitched first picture book that would have benefited further from ‘more show and less tell’.
Suitable for 3 – 8 years.
Reviewed by Mem Capp