A Change of Heart
|June 2, 2016||Posted by admin under Children's Lit, Picture Book|
Story by Alice Walsh
Art by Erin Bennett Banks
Published by Nimbus Publishing
Reviewed by Christa McGrath
Publication Date: April 2016
A Change of Heart is an adaption of the real life story of Lanier Phillips’ rescue from sea by the people of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland. It is a picture book that shares his experience with prejudice and racism as a young black boy in Georgia and as a young sailor serving on the USS Truxton during WWII. But his faith in humanity was restored when the kind people of Newfoundland helped rescue him from a shipwreck and treated him as an equal.
I was aware of Lanier Phillips and his story before I read the book. But I enjoyed learning about it again through the intended eyes of a child. Walsh keeps the book short and simple so that children can understand the context and remain captivated by the story. The colorful art work beautifully compliment the text but can just as easily tell the story too. The only downside was that it ended too soon.
The author includes a page about Lanier Phillips at the end that lets readers learn a little more about his journey and special connection with Newfoundland. Young readers can also see how resilience and courage can help you accomplish great things in life.
This is a very important book about social justice and one that parents, grandparents, teachers, and guardians should share with children. It is a heartwarming story for bed time and school time and carries a profound message about humanity and the importance of compassion and respect.
For more information about this book or to get your very own copy, visit the publisher’s website here.