❤ The Heart and the Bottle Book by Oliver Jeffers, and
Exclusive conversation guides that encourage meaningful conversations between parent and child
Suggested values in action activities to concretise learning
Activity templates that are in-line with the storyline
Personalised packaging that makes this package an ideal gift for any child aged 2 to 6.
Conversation guide on how to talk to your children about death and loss
❤ Conversation Starters (Full Version)
The Heart and the Bottle book by Oliver Jeffers + Conversation guides
How does it benefit my child?
This is a great book for opening up a discussion about death and loss of someone or something dear.
This book and its accompanied conversation guides, will encourage conversations:
- Families can talk about empathy. Have you ever seen someone who was going through the death or loss of someone close? What can you do to help the person?
- If your child is going through grief, how do you help him/her cope with grief?
- What does it mean to "bottle up your emotions", and is it healthy?
A short summary of the book
The Heart and the Bottle is about a girl who is incredibly curious and full of big questions of the world. The text only tells of her curiosities, while the illustrations depicts a faithful old man, always somewhere near the girl, listening to the girl’s questioning, answering, or observing admiringly. But then suddenly one day, the girl discovers an empty chair, the chair that once sat the old man. The old man has disappeared entirely from the whole story. There is no explanation of his disappearance, only painful descriptions of her feeling numbingly uninterested in questions and curiosities. The sense of her feeling lost is real and also her longing to protect her heart, so she puts her heart into a bottle on a string and puts it around her neck.
Life continues on this way – she grows, and she keeps her heart safe in that bottle (or so she thinks). Until one day she is confronted by a tough question and seems to realise that the only way to answer it is with her heart. But she cannot remember how to get her heart out of the bottle. In a strange and yet, wholly satisfying conclusion, the answers come all in the form of something small.
Why this book?
Oliver Jeffers’ books are always clever, illustrations strikingly beautiful, and intriguingly unique. Jeffers always seems to be able to speak to the hearts of individuals using only minimal words but very telling pictures that creates the story.
There is so much wonderfulness, and strangeness in this story. Matters of the heart and emotions are always significantly more difficult to explain and understand than we realize, and Jeffers captures that in this book just right. The subtle tone of the message that talks about death from the perspective of how the living carries on living (even after the dead is gone), is an angle that we often don’t talk too much about. It is a picture that isn’t solely for kids; it’s also for adults and all who want to reflect about life and what life brings.
In this deeply moving story, Oliver Jeffers deals with the weighty themes of love and loss with an extraordinary lightness of touch and shows us, ultimately, that there is always hope.
Conversations that you can have with your child
As parents, the greatest lesson we can teach our children is conceptualising loss and pain: from as trivial as losing a toy in school to losing someone dear to your life, because the inevitable cannot be fortified.
Our zest for being parents and thinking what is best for our child makes us weave a cocoon around our children, a cocoon so strong and dense that even the strongest of all pain, rejection and deception will be left ineffectual. But loss is a part of life, very much like eating food or drinking water or just breathing air because death is inevitable and loss is just its shadow.
The illustrations and the pictures address some powerful emotions and the conversation guides help both the parent and the child in understanding that death and loss is as much part of his existence as is life and happiness. They are just two sides of a coin; the side that is flipped around to face you just prepares you for the hind side.
Parent-and-Child Conversation Starters (Full Version)
These Parent-and-child conversation starters are meant for parents to use to initiate a range of meaningful conversations with your child, instead of just the usual "How was your day in school?" As we make it a habit to encourage such conversations and use these teachable moments to validate our children's emotions and acknowledge their responses and thoughts, we are training them to be mindful of their own feelings and thoughts. Over time, they learn how to better respond to situations and build resilience and empathy.
This set of Parent-and-child conversation starters [Full Version] comes in a set of 24 cards containing 9 Conversation starter questions and 15 Reflection questions.
(1) Conversation Starters Questions are meant for meal times, bedtimes, traveling times, etc to ask about your child’s day. They are short questions instead of the usual "how's your day, eg. "What is one thing you did today which you are proud of?"
(2) Reflection Questions are meant for days where you feel like there is more time for deeper conversations and reflection. Eg "What do you like best about our family?"