The house of Tipheret's parents has been destroyed by the wicked Fire Dragon. The inhabitants of the Village of the Heart have all escaped into Tipheret's toybox. Tipheret is the only survivor. Assisted by her father's copper talking stick, her mother's iron kettle and her cherished toy houses, Tipheret sets out on a dramatic journey of discovery and transformation, where she encounters Trust, Hope, Perseverance and the Power of Love. During her sleep she is taken care of by the wonderful and generous "Snigglee" spirits, who inspire her to meet the Loving Heart which is her guide and inner voice. This tale is for all children between the ages of 6 and 9 years. The author's colourful naive paintings are essential to the story and speak eloquently for themselves. Reviews: Tne of the benefits of this story is the message of Hope and never giving up that it brings to the reader. The fact that Tipheret continues to search for her parents even if she is alone and afraid, brings out the message that even if something is not easy and you are scared you must never give up on your dreams. This is a positive message for youngsters of all ages. Another message it touches upon is, of course, that of LOVE. The message that LOVE conquers all evil. How the brightness of the sun pushes away the darkness, again a message of HOPE. Another theme is TRUST. The trust Tipheret had to have towards the MOST LOVING HEART and believe that this voice was telling here the truth and leading her closer to her parents; such as the TRUST she had to have towards the copper talking stick. What makes the book special is the Village of the Heart idea, symbolic of love. THE MOST LOVING HEART, and the care and love of the "Snigglee" spirits, are again all about love. I think that if the readers do not read this book they will lose three important messages that of HOPE, TRUST and the power of LOVE. I would recommend this book for all students of the elementary cycles. I would simplify the vocabulary if I was reading it to Kindergarten students and the images would have to play a significant role in delivering the message of the story. Even students in the older grades of the elementary cycle could relate to the messages of HOPE, TRUST AND LOVE found in the story. Tipheret the protagonist in the story is an endearing character. The "Snigglees", are adorable little people and the MOST LOVING HEART sounds very maternal/paternal. Patrizia Ciccarelli, Vice-Principal and teacher ..... After a wicked fire dragon burns down the village where she lives, Tipheret starts out on a long and lonely journey to find her missing parents. Armed with a talking stick, an iron kettle and her beloved toy houses, she discovers the magic and the mystery of love. An enigmatic tale, beautifully illustrated. A symbolic journey of the heart. Christina Manolescu, Author ....... Barbara Sala's "naive" paintings delve into the deepest spiritual and emotional transformations of our time. How do we cope with a world apparently gone mad with violence and anger? Tipheret's journey shows us that the answers lie within ourselves, and our capacity for love and hope. Ann Diamond, Authour ..... Barbara Sala's Village of the Heart is a picture book for older readers, or older listeners. In an era where the text in children's books is becoming more simple and sparse, the language here is polysyllabic and quite dense. Sala is a graphic artist, and her unusual, colourful and naïf pictures are the main focus of the book. The plot is classic quest: Tipheret comes home to find her village destroyed by a two-headed fire dragon, and sets off with a talking stick, a kettle, and some toy houses to find her missing parents. She has plenty of adventures along the way, and is required to overcome obstacles, and to persevere. As in every classic children's story, there is a happy ending. However, the strength of Village of the Heart is Sala's bright acrylic-on-illustration-board artwork. Margaret Goldik , Montreal Review of Books, summer 2009
Barbara Sala was born in 1937 and grew up in the Bavarian Alps. She left home to learn English and French. She became a secretary and found employment with the united Nations in the Congo. There she met her husband, gave birth to her son and daughter and escaped from the Congolese turmoils in 1967. After two more assignments with the UN in the Dominican Republic and Guyana, the family emigrated to Canada, Montreal in 1974. Here she worked as a real estate agent while raising her children. After a mid-life crisis in the late 70s she started painting and never stopped doing so. Barbara Sala belongs to the visionary types of naive (primitive) painters, who tell themselves fairy tales on canvas. Essentially self-taught, she fills her canvases with people and animals together with magical and mystical symbols. Her brightly coloured works aim to evoke a time of innocence and childlike wonder. Since 1985 she has participated in many group and solo exhibitions in Canada and abroad.