First, you must view this, and then you can really feel that this little story of clockwork hearts is a ticktock whimsical fantasy. I suspect the video helped this story rise above "just okay" for me; having a soundtrack of sorts definitely created a little more mood.Reading this should have felt a tiny bit like being dropped into one of the song and dance numbers from "Moulin Rouge!" with its unlikely creatures and its sad little love story - the love of a foster mother for her "son," as well as the love of a little boy for his songbird girl. I really wish it worked for me. While I was in love with the idea, the characters and the setting, ultimately the prose just didn't create that immersive experience I always wish for in a good read. When I read a book I love, characters (even places,) come alive for me and I can hear their own unique voices in my mind as I absorb story. I wish I could blame my disconnect with Cuckoo-Clock Heart on poor translation, but unfortunately, I think it was the present tense that tanked this one for me. I've always had difficulty becoming immersed in present tense narratives (curse you Margaret Atwood, I desperately want to read your Oryx and Crake, but I just know I'll never make it through. Grr...) and this little novella was no exception. I felt as though, in reading, I merely rode the surface of a sad, sweet, and quirky little story. Pity.