“Heartprint Books” and Our Next #TheEdCollab chat

“Heartprint Books” and Our Next #TheEdCollab chat

By JoEllen McCarthy

Today, more than ever we need to focus on educating hearts, minds and hands.  It is our responsibility to create caring and collaborative communities with cultures of empathy. I believe “heartprint books” are the keys to helping our students use literacy and life lessons to imagine a better world.


I have been using the term ‘heartprint books” for years now.  It describes those books that touch our lives and our hearts, leaving us changed forever.  Derived from an Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

You know the ones. The books you read that tug at your heartstrings.   They leave lasting impressions.  There may even be tears, or at the very least chills.  Often their beloved characters are the ones you cannot get out of your mind.  The books you read again and again.   They leave you feeling better for having read them.  We want to know more, do more, be more, because of how their messages have touched our hearts and minds.

Luckily, we have amazing authors and illustrator friends who do just that.  They gift us with their talents, sharing stories and ideas that build commUNITY and empathy with their “heartprint”  books.

For our next #TheEdCollab chat, we will have three guest authors, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Kathryn Otoshi and Peter Reynolds, who give new meaning to the term “heartprintbooks.”  These kid lit rockstars, share words and ideas that touch our readers in their journeys through life, one book at a time.  These authors are truly, CIOs (chief inspiration officers).  Who knew we would get so lucky to connect their dots?

When we are lucky, our students can connect through books that effect real and meaningful change. Books change lives.  They leave our students better from the ideas (head), the emotions they evoke (heart), and the actions they can impact (hands). Heartprint books impact one’s knowing, which leads to feeling and becomes doing, thus teaching the head, heart and hands.

Need more evidence of the impact of heartprint books?  Their ideas spark movements.

Thanks to Peter Reynold students all over the world celebrate Dot Day to make their mark. Students are encouraged to celebrate creativity, courage and collaboration.

Kathryn Otoshi, through her incredible use of conceptual stories and symbols,has created the Spirit Birds as a call to action reminding readers to use their  hands to do something positive in their community.   


Lynda Mullaly Hunt, a twice featured author for the Global Read Aloud, emphasizes the importance of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and has readers reflecting on powerful messages.


These heartprintbooks and their authors make us know better, do better and be better.  For that I would like to express heartfelt thanks.  As Anna Dewdney said, “Empathy is as important as literacy.”  

Join us for a live-streaming conversations and #TheEdCollab chat 10/18.

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