Story-slinger readers, here’s a Valentine of sorts—mini reviews of four picture books on love & friendship.
A Kiss Like This (Candlewick, 2012) by Mary Murphy gives very young readers (toddlers and up) a chance to lift flaps and discover bees, fish, mice, elephants, and others planting smooches.
I Haiku You (Random House, 2012) by Betsy Snyder is a personal favorite. It’s a collection of haiku poems, each dealing with some aspect of love—whether it’s a dog pining for his child-owner or kids relishing favorite sticky-sweet treats.
The Ballad of Valentine (Dutton/Puffin, 2002) by Alison Jackson; illustrated by Tricia Tusa, tackles the thorny question of how to get someone’s attention when they’re totally clueless. The rhyming text follows the pattern of “My Darling Clementine,” and tells of a man’s repeated efforts to gain the attention and affection of a blissfully unaware woman named Valentine.
Bear in Love (Candlewick, 2012) by Daniel Pinkwater; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, looks at the way in which friendship grows and how relationships widen and transform our world. Sounds like a lot to get across, but Pinkwater does it well in a very short text about a solitary bear and the bunny who leaves small gifts outside the bear’s den.
“Those thing you left first,” the bear said.
“Carrots,” the bunny said. “They are much favored by bunnies.”
“Imagine that,” said the bear.
Imagine that. Four good books on love and friendship.
Happy Valentine’s Day!