Winter -- Valentine's Day

 
Bond, Felicia.  THE DAY IT RAINED HEARTS.  Illus by the author.
    New York:  Geringer/Harper, 1983, 2002.  36p.  0-06-623876-5; hb., $9.95
    0-06-001078-9; lib.bdg., $14.89  82-45586    K-Gr. 2     E

    Originally published in 1982 under the title FOUR VALENTINES IN A RAINSTORM, this book will be popular in February.  Cornelia Augusta caught many hearts that fell during a rainstorm.  After looking at them carefully, she made them into Valentines and decided who should get which ones.  Although it never rained valentines again, she “found other ways to make Valentines.”   The picture accompanying that quote shows valentines growing on trees.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Bourgeois, Paulette and Brenda Clark.  FRANKLIN’S HOLIDAY TREASURY.  Illus by
    Brenda Clark, Shannon Jennings, Muriel Wood, and Shelley Southern.   Tonawanda, NY:
    Kids Can, 2002.  128p.  1-55337-045-7; hb., $15.95  C2001-902831-8    PreS-Gr. 3     E

 This volume includes four individual holiday picture books.  The titles are FRANKLIN’S HALLOWEEN (1996), FRANKLIN’S VALENTINES (1998), FRANKLIN’S CHRISTMAS GIFT (1998), and FRANKLIN’S THANKSGIVING, (2001).   The four picture books are presented in their entirety including text and illustrations.  Except for slightly brighter illustrations in the originals, this book contains the same text and illustrations in the picture books.  The price for this collection makes this a bargain that will be appreciated by fans who enjoy viewing Franklin on TV.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Bulla, Clyde Robert.  THE STORY OF VALENTINE'S DAY.  Illus by Susan
    Estelle Kwas.  New York:  HarperCollins, 1965; 1999.  unp. 0-06-027883-8;
    hb., $14.95   0-06- 027884-6; lib.bdg., $14.89   97-37195    Gr.3-6+     394.26

      Now is the time to replace the lost or tattered copy of Bulla's book, first published in 1965, now reissued with new illustrations and significantly longer text.  Included is the history of the holiday from two thousand years ago.  Information is given about  the "feasts of Lupercus," Cupid, and two stories of men named Valentine.  Valentine asked a prison guard to give a note to his blind daughter and signed it "From your Valentine."  In another story,  a priest disobeyed Claudius and married young couples when the emperor preferred his soldiers to be single. Valentine was martyred and the day celebrates his courage. Customs are also included for Greeks, Romans, the Middle Ages, the Victorian Age, and mid 18th century America.  Directions are given for making an old-fashioned "pinprick" valentine, old-fashioned acrostic valentines, as well as  a recipe for valentine cookies.  This is an invaluable and inviting holiday book.  Replace your older copy if you can afford it and  purchase one if you don't already have it in your school or public library.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
     32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Capucilli, Alyssa Satin.  BISCUIT’S VALENTINE’S DAY.  Illus by Pat Schories.
    New York:  HarperFestival, 2001.  16p.  99-71632   0-694-01222-X; hb.,
    $6.95  PreS   E

    Told in the first person by a little girl, who, with her dog, Biscuit, delivers hand-made valentines.  Biscuit answers the girl’s comments with “Woof,” providing listeners with an opportunity to participate in the story.  Individual children can open the flap that covers half of the page on the right.  The flaps have not been used to advantage.   Except for having her friend open the door and having readers see inside that house and her grandparent’s window, the illustrations might just as well have been on another full page.  The story is slight but is well within the range of the intended audience.  Purchase if more valentine books are needed.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Carr, Jan.  SWEET HEARTS.  Illus by Dorothy Conohue.  New York: Holiday, 2003.
    32p.  0-8234-1732-8; hb., $16.95     2001-059404     PreS-K     E

    The first page provides information to answer the question “Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?”  The last page provides illustrations and directions on “How to Make Hearts.”  The story in between is about panda parents and their little panda who is “their sweetest heart.“  The collage illustrations add to rhyming text which reassures little ones of parental love.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Cazet, Denys.  MINNIE AND MOO WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?.   I Can Read
    series.  Illus by author.  New York: Harper, 2003.  48p.  0-06-623754-8; hb.,  $15.99
    0-06-623755-6;  lib.bdg., $16.89    Gr. 1-3   2002-276253     ER

    While these two favorite cows are sitting under a tree with a box of cream puffs, Moo READSlove poems that inspire her to write a poem called “Ode to the Cream Puff.”    In the chapters that follow, the cows shoot valentine poems with bows and arrows at other animals.  Sometimes the valentines cause chaos because they are sent to the wrong animals but the farmer and his wife take theirs in stride.  This is the silliest of the Minnie and Moo books.  There are several stereotypes in the book: a bull named Don Juan del Toro, turkeys that shout “INDIANS” when an arrow comes their way, and an old farmer in bib overalls and his white-haired wife.  Examine before purchasing this title.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Gregory, Valiska.  A VALENTINE  FOR NORMAN NOGGS.  Illus by Marsha Winborn.
    New York:  HarperCollins,  1999.  unp.  0-06-027656-8;  hb.,  $14.95 0-06-027657-6;
    lib.bdg., $14.89    0-06-443623-3; pb., $5.95    96-48589    Gr. K-3     E

    Norman Noggs likes Wilhemina, a new girl, but so do the bullies,  Richard and Arthur.  The three animal boys vie for her attention.  Norman makes a valentine for her but the other boys tear up two valentines when Wilhemina comes along and gives them several karate chops.  Then resourceful Norman pulls out a third valentine.  If you think that first and second grade is too young for a girl's voice to make a boy's stomach feel wobbly or her brown eyes make his knees start to buckle, then this book is not for you.  If you like strong female characters or like to see bullies get their due, then you will love this book.  When reading this book aloud, adults should stop when the figure in the blue coat appears.  Then have students identify the person in the blue coat and predict the end of the story.  This is a great valentine read aloud for teachers and librarians.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library-media specialist

 Hoban, Lillian.  SILLY TILLY'S VALENTINE.   Illus. by the author.  I Can Read Series.
    New York:  HarperCollins, 1998.  48p.   0-06-027400-X; hb.,  $14.95  0-06-027401-8;
    lib.bdg., $14.89   0-06-4223-3; pb., $3.95    96-38239     Gr. 1-2         ER

     Silly Tilly and Mr. Mail-Mole make a snowman in this valentine story for beginning readers.   When her glasses become fogged, Tilly thinks the valentines the wind is blowing around are colored snowflakes. When Tilly slips in the snow, Mr. Mail-Mole thinks she is making snow angels.  There is just enough silliness for first graders to enjoy while sharpening their new reading skills.  Hoban has created an entertaining and snowy easy reader.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library-media specialist
  .  .
 Lexau, Joan M.  DON'T BE MY VALENTINE: A CLASSROOM MYSTERY.
    Illus. by Syd Hoff.  I Can Read Series.  New York: Harper, 1985, 1999.  64p.
    0-06-028239-8- hb; $14.95   0-06-023873-9 lib.bdg., $15.89
    0-06-444254-3-pb. $3.95    85-42621  PreS-Gr.3    ER

    Sam is bugged by Amy Lou's constant advice so he writes a mean valentine verse for her that goes to his teacher instead.  Then Sam blames his best friend, Albert, for the mix-up.   The problem is realistically solved to the satisfaction of all parties.  Because of the variety of interpersonal relationships, it can be used for discussion purposes by counselors and teachers.  This book has more meat to it than most easy readers.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library-media specialist

McGrath, Barbara Barbieri.  BE MY VALENTINE BOOK.  Illus by Frank Mazola, Jr.
    New York:  HarperFestival, 2000. 12p.  0-694-01534-2; bd. bk, $5.99    PreS+   BB

    The style of the illustrations isn’t particularly distinguished but serves the purpose because preschool readers will have no trouble identifying the cats, rabbits, and other animals in the pictures.  Each double page spread shows an adult animal hugging a baby while other babies look on or are in the background.  All text for each spread is confined within two candy hearts by NECCO called Sweethearts.  The captions for the hearts on the hound dog page are “Let’s Kiss” and “Like this.”  The colors of the candy are typical  of the famous product.   The book is a bit larger than board book size and the illustrations and text are large enough for this book to be used with story hours.   Librarians will have no trouble finding appropriate treats to share.  The back cover has lines for “To” and  “From,” making this a natural for personal giving.  Grandparents would be advised to send the book instead of the candy.  Add this to the growing number of books promoting candy or cereal if commercialization doesn’t bother you.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Minarik, Else Holmelund.  LITTLE BEAR’S VALENTINE.  Illus by Heather Green.
    New York:  Harper, 2003.  32p.  0-694-1712-4; hb., $14.99  0-06-052244-5;  lib.bdg.,
    $14.89     2002-011577     PreS-Gr. 1     ER

    The original illustrations for the “Little Bear” books were created by Maurice Sendak.  In this title, Green illustrates a bear reminiscent of Sendak’s.  While Mother Bear is making cookies, Little Bear makes valentines for Emily, Hen, Owl, and Duck.  Before he leaves to deliver his valentines, Little Bear hides his mother’s valentine in the cookie jar.  A stop at the mailbox provides Little Bear with an unsigned valentine which his mother says comes from a “secret admirer.”  While delivering his valentines, Little Bear learns that none of his four friends are his secret admirer.  This quest provides repetition as well as a mystery that is resolved at the end of the story.  Add this easy reader to holiday collections in school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Moser, Barry.  THE THREE LITTLE PIGS.  Illus by author.  32p.
    0-315-58544-0; hb.,  $14.95  00-035228  PreS-Gr. 2    E    or  398.24

    The story is very similar to the usual version.  Two of the pigs ask a man for bundles of straw and sticks and the wolf says "Little Pig, little pig, let me in."  The pig replies, “No, no no, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin."  The wolf huffs and puffs and blows the houses down and eats the little pigs.  The last pig builds his house of bricks and of course the wolf has to trick the pig into coming out of the house to a field of turnips and when that doesn't work, a nice apple tree.  When the wolf suggests that they meet at the fair, the pig goes early and comes down the hill in a butter churn.  Finally, the wolf climbs down the chimney into the pot of boiling water and the last little pig has wolf stew for supper.
    So far, there is nothing to distinguish this tale from hundreds of other retellings.  It is the illustrations that make this story special.  The house of straw has a "See Rock City" sign on it.  After eating the second pig, the wolf lies down with rounded tummy and a pot of bones showing beside a jar of Bubba's No Cook BBQ Sauce and a container of PIG Pepper Sauce.  The cement used by the third pig is called Wolfe Pruf cement.  The brand of kettle used by the third pig to cook his turnips is called Lupus ware.  The churn is made by the Huffin and Puffin Churn Company.  The recipe box next to the fireplace has a card in a box for "My Mama's Wolf Stew with Garlic" and a nearby book is Harley Rhode Hogg's WOLF COOK.  The last page shows the third little pig with a malevolent look on his face eating wolf stew while wearing wolf slippers.  Because the pigs set off on their journey on Valentine’s Day, this book can be read aloud for that holiday and should be part of Valentine book displays.
    Although Moser sometimes appeals to adults more than to children, this book offers something for both groups.  This version is not for the squeamish but if you want a "no holds barred" rendition of the tale, this one fills the bill.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Poydar, Nancy.  RHYME TIME VALENTINE.  Illus by author.  New York:
    Holiday, 2002. 30p.  0-8234-1684-4; hb., 16.95    2001-024113    PreS-Gr. 3    E

     Ruby loves everything about Valentine’s Day and her favorite color is red.  When Room Nine gets ready for the holiday, Ruby has already written her rhyming cards.  On Valentine’s Day, Ruby wears red, gives her parents their valentines, and puts her homemade valentines in a bag and sets out for school.  Disaster strikes when the wind takes her valentines.  Ruby tries to make new ones out of orange, green, and purple paper because the red paper is gone but this doesn’t work.  There are two solutions to Ruby’s dilemma, one through her parent’s valentine gift to her, and the other one through the elements.  The cartoon-like illustrations are lively and show a multicultural classroom.  The last page shows how to make a heart using colored paper, pencil, and scissors. This is a good holiday book.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Rockwell, Anne.  VALENTINE’S DAY.  Illus by Lizzy Rockwell.  New York:
    HarperCollins, 2001.  40p.  0-06-027794-7; $14.95.  0-06-028515-X; lib.bdg.,
    $14.89  97-17492   PreS-Gr. 2   E

    The same children who appear in HALLOWEEN DAY (H, 1997), THANKSGIVING DAY (H, 1999), SHOW & TELL DAY (H, 1997), , and CAREER DAY (H, 2000) with Mrs. Madoff’s class make valentines to send to a former classmate who is now in Japan.  The valentines they make are as individual as the children.  After they take the valentines to the post office, they decorate the box .  The solution to hurt feelings because someone got too many or too few valentines is solved because each child drop one valentine in the box and  then each child picks one from the secret box.  They also open a package that Michiko has sent, an origami figure for each person in the class and a picture of her with her grandparents.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Rosinsky, Natalie M.  VALENTINE’S DAY.  Illus with photos.  Let’s See series.
    Minneapolis:  Compass Point, 2002.  24p.  0-7565-0393-0; lib.bdg., $18.60
    2002-003044    Gr. 1-3  394.26

    There is a lot of information packed into the pages of this easy-to-read book.  The text is opposite the illustrations that are less impressive than the text.  A glossary of eight items, a bibliography of three age appropriate books, two web sites, one address, and two sources of valentines conclude the book.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Roth, Carol.  MY LITTLE VALENTINE.  Illus by Jennifer Beck Harris.  New York:
    HarperFestival, 2003.  18p.  0-06-009120-7; bd.bk., $5.99  PreS   BB

    When a mother animal tells her valentine baby that she loves him “in every way,” he offers seven  “What ifs.”  He asks “What if butterflies were big, and elephants were small?  She replies “I’d love you best of all.”  The illustrations do a good job of illustrating the text.  However, the animal could be a dog or a mouse.  The face looks like it could be either but the tail is too short for a mouse. This does not distract from the message of this board book.  The rhyme helps the text to flow smoothly.  This is a reassuring book for preschoolers.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Ruelle, Karen Gray.  SNOW VALENTINES.  Holiday House Readers, Level. 2
    New York:  Holiday, 2000.  32p.    0-8234-1533-3; hb., $14.95    99-46315
    Gr. 1-2   ER    PAULIN’S PICKS

    It is difficult to write an easy reader that sustains the story while making it fascinating for emerging readers.  Ruelle does so admirably using sufficient repetition in four chapters about a cat named Harry and his sister, Emily.  The kittens get hugs from their mother and drawings from their father for special occasions and know this will be true for Valentine’s Day also.  The cat kids want to do something special for Valentine’s Day but after unfavorable feedback from their parents, they discard paper hearts, a dance, a song, a dessert, and finally settle on the newly fallen snow to help them express their love for their parents.  This is a humorous and tender story that is totally believable.    Although this title is a holiday and winter book, it can be read all year long because love and family don’t have boundaries dictated by the calendar.  Consider shelving it with the easy readers rather than with the holiday books, especially in snowy climates.  Even if your easy reader budget is limited, make sure that this is one of your selections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Schoberle, Cecile.  BIG PIG SAVES VALENTINE’S DAY.  Illus by author.  New York:
    HarperFestival, 2003.  18p.  0-06-050649-0; pb., $6.99     PreS      BB

    Pauline, the older sister, gets ready for her Valentine’s Day party at school by making cards and baking cookies.  Her little brother, whom she calls “Big Pig,” becomes an obstacle to all her endeavors.  When a school friend accidentally pours juice on her box of valentines and ruins the box, she is happy that Big Pig’s interference saves the day.  The watercolors and black line illustrations show the pink pig family with a variety of colored piggies at school, making it “multicultural.”  The flow of the story is aided by half pages that fold out which allows listeners to participate in turning them.  The pages of the book are much stiffer than regular pages but not as stiff as those found in board books.  This will be popular with preschoolers, especially those with younger siblings.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist
 
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