Books for the Love Holiday!

By on February 3, 2018

These books are favorites that kids have loved over the years. As you read them you can see why! Animals are the characters, although these behave like kids. These titles are also still engaging kids because the writing is still fresh, the stories tickle imaginations, and the illustrations keep readers’ attention. Show your favorite young people your love when you read these terrific tales.

by Meribeth C. Shank 

Henry and the Valentine Surprise

by Nancy Carlson

BooksHenryHenry, a mouse, and his animal classmates notice a heart shaped box on their teacher’s desk. When they ask Mr. McCarthy, a dog, who the box is for, he promises to tell the students at the Valentine’s party the next day.
The students speculate about a possible girlfriend, noticing their  teacher chatting with the playground monitor, getting an extra tuna melt from the lunch lady, eating it with the French teacher.
Carlson’s signature flat detailed paintings are filled with movement, expressive faces, and color ful patterns. Readers will not be surprised that the heart shaped box is a gift for the students. But although the students haven’t figured out that teachers aren’t too busy to have girlfriends, attentive readers will notice a hint on the final page. This sweet Valentine story is a winner with the younger set.
Penguin Publishing, $15.99 hardcover. Interest Level: Kindergarten–Grade 2
(This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library; Lemon City, South Dade Regional, South Miami, West Dade Regional, West Kendall Regional. Also, may be purchased from local and online booksellers.).


The Valentine Bears

by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett
ValentineBearsMrs. Bear sets her alarm to go off early, Valentine’s Day before the winter hibernation is ended. She makes a sign for Mr. Bear to see when he wakens. She uncovers a honey pot she has saved from summer just for this purpose.
She puts out Valentine poems she has hidden in a drawer. Before she can get Mr. Bear completely awake, he surprises her.
He too has hidden some treats for Mrs. Bear. The two sweethearts share their Valentine treats before going back to sleep until spring.
This lovely story has just touches of color to spice up the wintry grey and white. The valentine red highlights important details to cheer the icy season.
Clarion Books, $6.99 paperback. Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten–Grade 2
(This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library; N Dade Regional, Opa
Locka, West Dade Regional. Also, may be purchased from local and
online booksellers.)


Louann Pig in The Mysterious Valentine

by Nancy Carlson

TheMysteriousValentineA secret admirer sends
Louanne a huge valentine. To her friend Harriet, she observes that whoever signed the valentine used a green pen. At school, during math and geography, she thinks about how to track down the secret valentine admirer with the green pen.
Looking over shoulders, peeking inside a desk, peering into pockets and book bags, makes her classmates nervous and suspicious of her motives. It also reminds Louanne of why each classmate she investigates is NOT a good choice for an admirer!
Author-illustrator Carlson uses pigs, dogs, rabbits, and cats to populate her pages. The pastel squares are filled to the edges, with text below the illustration. The paintings are cheerful and active and sometimes sly, allowing the reader to use their imagination to fill in where the words are not specific.
Although Louanne stops at the card shop to ask the clerk for clues, the story ends without
her knowing who is her secret admirer. However, if the reader is paying attention,
s/he will know!! This is a clever holiday story.
Penguin Publishing, $9.99 paperback
Interest Level: Kindergarten–Grade 2
(This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library; South Dade, West Kendall Regional. Also, may be purchased from local and online booksellers.)


Meribeth Shank works in the Media Center at Miami Country Day School, an independent school in Miami Shores, Florida, has taught classes on Writing Books for Children, and earned her MFA in Writing for children from Vermont College. You can also find her on the web: http://meribeths.blogspot.com

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