Monday, February 04, 2013

Wherever You Look! See a Heart, Share A Heart by Eric Telchin





Hearts are everywhere--in the shadow of a butterfly's closed wings, in a dapple of sunlight on a wall, in the shape of fallen leaves, in the patch of lichen on a tree's trunk, in the curve of a seashell in the sand.

A wise art teacher once said that learning to do art is really just learning to SEE, and that simple but profound truth is the theme of Eric Techin's heart-themed See a Heart, Share a Heart (Dial Books, 2012). Once Techin saw a heart in a puddle of melted chocolate ice cream, he photographed it, and soon his collection of "found" heart shapes in the world around him began to grow. In this photo essay of hearts, we see accidental hearts everywhere, in the pattern of cracks in asphalt and in concrete, in a coil of discarded wire and a tangled green garden hose, a carelessly dropped ribbon or rubber band, an abandoned shoelace, a brown splotch on a leaf, a scrap of red plastic, the wings of a white moth at rest.

Telchin first uploaded his photographs to, where classrooms of kids also posted their found hearts, and then he assembled his collection into a heartfelt photo essay published just in time for the pre-Valentine's season. It's not a novel idea: there are other found-picture photo books featuring, for example, the letters of the alphabet, and many clever books for the holiday that make creative use of the heart shape (see my review of Michael Hall's ingenious and popular My Heart Is Like a Zoo here.) but Telchin's novel use of selectively "seen" hearts is unique, a special one to add to the repertoire of the heart-y season.

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