What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 65 pages
24 Reviews
What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings†is†a†collection of poems to provide comfort, courage, and humor at difficult or daunting moments†in life.†It conjures forth laments, spells, invocations, chants, blessings, promises, songs, and charms. Here are pleas on how to repair a friendship, wishes to transform one's life or to slow down time, charms to face the shame of a disapproving crowd, invocations to ask for forgiveness, to understand the mysteries of happiness, and to bravely face a dark and†different world. These words help us remember or grieve; they bolster courage and guard against evil; they help us celebrate and give thanks. This elegant gift†book also includes a red ribbon for readers to mark their favorite poems.

Poet extraordinaire Joyce Sidman won the Newbery Honor Medal for Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night and continues to write poetry for children that has been called "fresh," "inspiring," and "accessible" to her young audience. She is intrigued by the idea of "words of power"--chants and charms that were once believed to have real influence in everyday life. Caldecott Honor-winning Pamela Zagarenski's beautiful art captures†a world of†emotion and the essence of Sidman's words.

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The whimsical illustrations are captivating! - Goodreads
I really like the pictures, though. - Goodreads
Also, the king/clown imagery didn't do anything for me. - Goodreads

Review: What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

User Review  - Mary Lamping - Goodreads

"What the Heart Knows, Chants, Charms and Blessings" is a beautiful book by the Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman. It is a book of chants to repair friendship, celebrate happiness and bravery, spells ... Read full review

Review: What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

I think I like this one more for the introduction, section titles, topics, and themes than for the actual poetry, though that wasn't necessarily lacking. The poems are eminently accessible, relatable ... Read full review

Selected pages


Chants Charms to bolster courage and guard against evil
Spells Invocationsto cause something to happen
Laments Remembrances to remember regret or grieve
Praise Songs Blessingsto celebrate thank or express love
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About the author (2013)

Poet and author Joyce Sidman was born in Hartford, Connecticut on June 4, 1956. She received a B.A. in German from Wesleyan University and earned her teacher's certificate in 1983. Sidman teaches poetry and is a columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. She has published several children's books, including Red Sings from Treetops, and she won the New Women's Voices award for Like the Air.

Caldecott Honor Medalist Pamela Zagarenski is a brilliant painter of many worlds. As well as illustrating picture books, she creates sculptures and large paintings, which can be viewed at an art gallery in Mystic, Connecticut. She divides her time between Stonington, Connecticut, and her house on Prince Edward Island.

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