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Twenty Heartbeats

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A SIMPLE STORY LAYERED WITH MEANING; stunning layered artwork by an acknowledged master.A wealthy Chinese man dreamt of a painting of his favorite horse. He sought out a man named Homan, known as a great painter of horses and commissioned the portrait. Then he waited…and waited…and waited. As the years passed, his hair grew gray, and he grew furious. What was taking so lon ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Roaring Brook Press
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In a Blue Room by Jim AverbeckWe are the Ship by Kadir NelsonWabi Sabi by Mark ReibsteinOld Bear by Kevin HenkesHow I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz
2009 Caldecott Contenders
25th out of 37 books — 92 voters
Wabi Sabi by Mark ReibsteinLon Po Po by Ed YoungThe Masterwork of a Painting Elephant by Michelle CuevasSeven Blind Mice by Ed YoungRed Thread by Ed Young
Best of Ed Young
10th out of 79 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 105)
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Angie Quantrell
Jul 25, 2016 Angie Quantrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful story that illustrates the fact that anything good takes time and is worth the wait.
This book gave me shivers. I was not expecting that. I was expecting some irritating pseudo-deep thing, derived from some ancient folklore that doesn't work at all as an adaptation and is not at all right for children or is at least seriously preachy. I know, I'm cynical.

But it is really, really lovely. The ending was totally unpredictable for me, yet it made sense. That alone in a children's story is awesome. But it also captures the strange sense of lost time -- I know, children won't understa
Whole And
Apr 26, 2015 Whole And rated it it was amazing
An excellent story to demonstrate the art of patience, understanding and how anger can interfere. Breath taking images and sketches.
We deeply appreciated this book.

Sep 18, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 6-star-books, art, horses
6 star book

how is art created, where do inspiration and work meet?
May 30, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
In this original Chinese fable with an unassuming cover, a wealthy man commissions a painting of his beloved horse from a renowned artist, and consequently has to wait many years to see the result. The warm earth tones and rich reds, golds, oranges, and greens make for a beautiful color palate. The illustrations appear to be a collage of cut and ripped paper, resulting in an exquisite multi-dimensional layered effect. The art has such a beautiful, fibrous texture that begs to be touched, but
Aug 27, 2008 Allison rated it liked it
A man commissions a painting of his favorite horse from the most famous artist of the time. The artist takes forever, and the man gets impatient after many years of waiting. The artist paints the picture in front of him in 20 heartbeats- the same ammount of time is takes his beautiful horse to run and meet him from the field. The man is angry, but in the artists workroom he sees thousands of pictures of his horse, captured in every movement.

Simple, beautiful, and original. The pictures are gorge
Sonia Allison
Mar 19, 2016 Sonia Allison rated it it was amazing
Poetry yeah
Exactly what I was looking for! It's fast-paced, beautiful pictures that aren't too "hard" to look at, a subject the children will connect to (horses and painting), and such a sweet ending with an amazing lesson if the children care to learn it. Some Gospel principles could be seen in this book, too. Wonderful to wrap up Book Time if I have the time. And a great possibility for my horse-loving niece as well!
Sam Bloom
Mar 12, 2009 Sam Bloom rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Not my favorite Ed Young book, but really, how can you go wrong when this guy is illustrating? This time he's working with collages, and they are truly amazing. Haseley's story doesn't really excite me too much, quite honestly, but like a David Lynch movie where you don't know what in God's name is going on, this book is a feast for your eyes... who cares about the story?
Susanna S571
Sep 12, 2012 Susanna S571 rated it really liked it
Stunning collage illustrations. I love all of Ed Young's work that I've seen. The story has nice messages about both patience and the artistic process. The illustrations were definitely the most compelling part for me. Probably best for kids up to 8 or 9.
A man seeks out an artist to create a painting of his beloved horse. When the painting takes much longer than anticipated to finish the man learns a lesson in patience.

Collage artwork captures the beauty of the man's beloved animal.
I didn't think I'd be as impressed with this book as I was, but wow! This was a really cool book. I loved it. Great lesson about patience, though I don't think I would want to wait for decades for a drawing of a horse.
Jan 14, 2009 Molly rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book
I really love this illustration style but the book is just not a Molly book. I liked it ok but it is nothing that will really stay with me for a long time and I am not sure who I would suggest it too.
Ages 5+
Dec 03, 2013 Cecilia rated it really liked it
I first heard this read aloud by a professor a couple weeks ago. As a writer, I can really relate to it, so I bought it.
Mar 15, 2009 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I am a big fan of Ed Young's work, and Rory really liked this quiet story about an artist painting a portrait of a horse.
Apr 09, 2008 Rachel rated it liked it
Traditional/Classic style story of a painter trying to capture the nature of a horse. Very beautiful pictures
Sep 22, 2008 Chantel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
From 2009 Mock Newbery list

A great book for art lovers, picture book lovers and horse lovers.
A beautifully illustrated tale concerning the quest for the perfect painting of the perfect horse.
Sep 08, 2008 Zonia rated it liked it
Shelves: read-school
Beautifully illustrated story of a rich man, a patient artist, and a horse.
Jun 17, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
Good story, but not as pretty or as memorable as A Story For Bear.
Rhonda Walterfrojen
Lovely artwork.
Lauren S
Lauren S marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2016
Laura Flick
Laura Flick marked it as to-read
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Naomi Uppenborn
Naomi Uppenborn marked it as to-read
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Pamela Pabst marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2016
Joy Scott
Joy Scott rated it it was ok
Feb 12, 2016
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