It was Valentine’s Day today! How appropriate that out of our sizable bundle of holiday books we found so many to love (check out our Instagram page here and here)! We enjoyed all of our books this evening, but in the end there were four that we felt compelled to list here, starting with everyone’s favorite: “Valentine” by Carol Carrick.
“Valentine” tells the story of a very special Valentine’s Day experience for little Heather, who lives on a farm with her mama and grandma. After unsuccessfully pleading with her mama to stay home from work for the holiday, Heather makes Valentine cookies with grandma, including a heart-shaped cookie just for mama. The real adventure begins, however, when Heather and grandma go out to check on grandma’s favorite sheep, Clover, who has just given birth to three baby lambs, one of which is only barely alive. Heather and grandma work diligently to revive the little lamb, and by the time mama gets home the little lamb is safe and resting by the fire and Heather has christened him “Valentine”. We all loved this book with it’s heartwarming story and joyful watercolor illustrations. We thought it was particularly cute how Heather is cared for by her grandma while her mama is busy at work, and that she in turn cares for the little lamb whose own mother is too busy with two other newborns to give him the special attention he needs. It also reminded us of some of the James Herriot stories that are already on our Favorites list.
Our second book, “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, is a tribute to deep and abiding friendship. It is a very funny little book, its pages filled with whimsical illustrations. Each little vignette looks at the connection between friends from a slightly different angle, some of the which sound nonsensical at first, but all of which ring true. Although a very different type of book from “Valentine”, “I Like You” is heartfelt in its own way, and every single page made us smile.
The other two books tonight that we particularly liked were “Hug Time” by Patrick McDonnell, and “The Very Special Valentine” by Maggie Kneen. “Hug Time” is a spare but charming little story with rhyming prose and adorable illustrations about a little cat named Jules who is trying the make the world a better place by hugging everyone. We liked “The Very Special Valentine” because it was interactive – with sparkly inserts and flaps to pull back as Bunny Gray searches for the perfect Valentine.
All in all it was a pretty special Valentine’s Day around our house, I hope the same is true for you.