Review: Add This Heartwarming Story To Your Home Library

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Aesop once wrote a fable that has the message: there is always someone worse off than you. This book, What Is Given from the Heart, made me think about that. With words from Patricia McKissick and wonderful illustrations by April Harrison, this would be a heartwarming addition to your library.

A young boy named James Otis and his mother are going through a hard time. Ever since his father died, times have been tough. But one day at church, the pastor announces that a family has lost everything to a fire, and they are going to give them a box full of things they’ll need in their next house. James Otis thinks he doesn’t have anything to give them. Until he remembers…what is given from the heart reaches the heart … and he comes up with the perfect gift.

I really liked the illustrations in this book. April Harrison made the people really nice, but also the background scenery. Also, I liked how the author portrayed James Otis as a cute, little kid, who is going through a hard time. She really made me love James Otis more because of his kindness and care for others. And I thought the gift he gave was one I would have loved!

I recommend this book to readers who are ages 5-7. This book is more for younger kids, but older kids might enjoy it too. This is a good read-aloud book in classrooms because it is short and has a great message.

This book gets three out of four roses.



  1. Hi Elena

    You’ve kept us in suspense about what gift he gives! I guess I’ll have to read the book to see.

    Have you ever donated items to someone who needed them more than you did? Do you think that’s something important for all kids to do?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, my Jr. Optimist Club just donated a karaoke machine and other items to children who attend programs at Gilda’s Club. Our club does a lot of stuff for people who need things. My family also donates clothing items to Safe Families and provides gifts to families in need at Christmas and school supplies at the start of the school year. I like helping others.


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