Childrens' books: Love and Valentine's Day

 

Heart to Heart
George Shannon
Steve Bjorkman

When Squirrel gets a Valentine from Mole, saying he's bringing a cake over for them to share, Squirrel panics, realizing that he has forgotten to get a Valentine for Mole. After several failed attempts at making a fancy card with ribbons, yarn, crepe paper and confetti, Squirrel finally resorts to building Mole's gifts out of common memorabilia from several of their trips together. Touched by this thoughtful gesture of friendship, Mole spends a pleasant evening with Squirrel, eating cake and recalling stories from their past that "nobody knows but us." The energetic water color and pen and ink illustrations contribute to the fast pace of the story and reflect Squirrel's eagerness to please his long-time friend. Although Shannon's overuse of sentence fragments like "Wait. Better yet" get monotonous, the ideology that he advances in this story is a relevant one for a materialistic culture such as ours: simple, homemade gifts often give more joy to the receiver than fancy or expensive ones. 1995, Houghton, Ages 3 to 8, $13.95. Reviewer: Michelle H. Martin

Love Bugs
David A. Carter

A red and white heart-shaped, pop-up book that is sure to please little ones. No great poetry here, just rhymes with strange little bugs that jump up off the pages. 1995, Ages 3 up, $12.95. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot

My Secret Valentine
Valentine Thoughts
Jane E Gerver
Illustrated by Kathy Mitchell

In "My Secret Valentine," is a heart shaped board book in which a little girl tries to figure out who sent her a valentine. "Valentine Thoughts" is shaped like a lacy handkerchief. It offers a rhyme to bring Valentine things to mind, such as a kiss from a sweetheart, chocolate candy or the fun of making Valentine cards. Both books are liberally sprinkled with glitter to create sparkles on the pages. 1997, Little Simon, Ages 3 up, $4.99. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot

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