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Heart and Soul by Carol Ann Martin and Tull Suwannakit


Charlie Wintergreen is an elderly musician who rescues a no-name pup from the Dog’s Home and gives him a home of his own and the name Louis. They become a team as Charlie plays his trumpet at night and Louis joins in with his ooh-ooh song.

“Louis you have to have heart and soul. It’s the only way to play!”

When Charlie gets sick, Louis becomes a lonely street dog, scavenging and scrounging for food and sleeping in dark corners until music brings Pete into his life along with one other special surprise.

This is a gentle and uplifting story of friendship that shows how friends can become the family we choose. It reminds us of how precious our elderly people are and celebrates the way music brings joy and connects us no matter our age.

I first discovered Tull Suwannakit when he illustrated one of my favourite books, Sad the Dog by Sandy Fussell. The front cover looked so much like a photo I had taken of my dog Jambo watching autumn leaves fall in my backyard. Can you see the likeness?

To illustrate this book, Tull uses a small palette of gentle watercolours that give the story a warm vintage feel. Can you see the colours he has chosen? Tull has designed beautiful moss green endpapers covered in musical notes. How might these have a connection with Charlie?

Author Carol Ann Martin’s husband is a jazz musician and I wonder if he was the inspiration for this story.

Heart and Soul is a book that will warm your heart and soul and might even bring a tear to your eye, in a good way.

Happy reading!

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2 thoughts on “Heart and Soul by Carol Ann Martin and Tull Suwannakit

  1. Louise

    Totally agree - this book tugs at the reader’s heart strings in a gentle yet soulful way. I love how children respond to this book.

    1. Miss Y

      Hi Louise,

      Thank you for recommending such a special book for me to read. The students in your library are very lucky to have you read it to them.

      Miss Y 🙂


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