Village Of The Heart
So the self-published author has a book that has been spared real critical analysis, and is sometimes “edited” by a firm that is not particularly interested in a superior book. There is also the problem of distribution if the book is only available online, as many school boards and libraries have to buy through accredited bookstores.
All that being said, there are always a few that stand out as worthy of mention.
Barbara Sala’s Village of the Heart is a picture book for older readers, or older listeners. In an era where the text in children’s books is becoming more simple and sparse, the language here is polysyllabic and quite dense. Sala is a graphic artist, and her unusual, colourful and naïf pictures are the main focus of the book.
The plot is classic quest: Tipheret comes home to find her village destroyed by a two-headed fire dragon, and sets off with a talking stick, a kettle, and some toy houses to find her missing parents. She has plenty of adventures along the way, and is required to overcome obstacles, and to persevere. As in every classic children’s story, there is a happy ending. However, the strength of Village of the Heart is Sala’s bright acrylic-on-illustration-board artwork. mRb