Author: Anne Renaud
Illustrator: Richard Rudnicki
Genre: Children's Illustrated Book
Rating: 5 out of 5
This is such a small book. One with only a few pages and no one page is filled with words. And yet it is filled with so much emotion; from sadness and despair to hope and freedom.
I read the main story and wondered to myself two things:
- How could I ever read this bittersweet story to a child? And at what age would I be okay reading it to them?
- Is it truly possible that a tiny heart was created in a concentration camp?
While I still perhaps unsure of the answer to the first item, the answer to the second one truly astonished me. This is a TRUE STORY. While I was a bit choked up reading the story itself (as it's very moving) when I moved on to read the last pages that outline that Fania's Heart is a true story. Fania's Heart is a relic of Auschwitz that is in a museum in Montreal and was owned by a Jewish woman of 20 years old imprisoned there during WWII. She eventually came to Canada following the war which is how it came to be at a museum in Montreal.
I'm not a crier most days but this is an unbelievably moving story. The simplicity of it as a children's illustrated book is part of what makes it so moving, in my opinion. You don't need a lot of words or pictures to tell a story like this. You only need some symbolism, context and genuine truth.
Upon writing this and reflecting upon Fania's Heart I have decided that I would read this story to any child, of any age if they asked. Because at it's core this is a story of hope, courage and love. All wonderful things to teach our children of from any age. I encourage everyone to look for this story, even if only to leaf through it at your library and experience the story of Fania's Heart.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.