Heartprints by JoEllen McCarthy

A heartprint book.  When my friend and colleague,Trish  first mentioned that term,  she was speaking about The One and Only Ivan.  It made perfect sense. It seemed like a fitting way to describe those books that touch our lives and our hearts, leaving us changed forever.  Then I got curious.  And being Nerdy, that made me investigate the term.  I now know, that the term heartprint (according to the Urban dictionary) was derived from the following quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”


I can hear the gasps.  How perfect right? Those books that leave footprints in our hearts.  Those books that leave lasting impressions, making us better for having read them.  Then I started thinking about the amazing authors who gift us those books.


Peter Reynolds.  Heartprint author.  Heartprint books.  His books not only touch our hearts, but they teach us life lessons too. They also leave a lasting impression on our learning communities.  We all know these books because they are in our classrooms, on our bookshelves and for many of us, they are the read alouds that start off our year.  They help us set the tone for our community of learners.

Life lessons from Peter Reynolds


Ish: Take risks, trust in the process not product. ——Think outside of the box.

Ish allows us to celebrate the process and not the product.  We want our students to take risks and to live life “Ishfully” ever after.

With Ish, we are reminded to celebrate our students’ uniqueness as well as our own individuality.

Take risks, trust in the process not product. ——Think outside of the box.

The Dot: Make your mark—– see where it takes you. “Celebrate creativity, courage and collaboration.”

How will you be celebrating Dot Day?


So Few of Me: Less is more.

“What if I did less, but tried my best.”

Sky Color:  Imagine the possibilities.  Dream big in many colors and anything is possible.



I’m Here: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” Reminding us that we are never alone.

Heartprint books.  Gifts to us all.


You know when you read THAT book, that one that gives you the chills.  You can feel it in your bones.  You can’t wait to share with your students, friends…and if you are really nerdy, anyone who is within arm’s reach.


Heartprint books. They touch our hearts. So powerful.

I think I love that term.  Heartprint books and authors.  Which  books and authors touch your hearts? Spread Book Love.  I would love to hear from fellow Nerdy readers.  Please share your heartprint books or tweet titles with the hashtag


fingerprint heart

I am thankful for authors like Peter Reynolds for making a mark in our lives and our hearts.


JoEllen McCarthy is a teacher and lifelong learner who spends her days working in K- 8 classrooms as a regional staff developer outside of NYC.  She is obsessed with picture books, and continues to be inspired daily by the learning community she has found in the Nerdy Book Club.  She is always learning and can be found on Twitter @imalwayslearnin.