Missing Valentine’s Day already? Keep the love going with these few sweet picks from the kids’ staff at the Harvard Coop Bookstore. Get a PDF of the whole list here.
In this follow-up to Splat the Cat (HarperCollins, 2008), the fuzzy black feline learns that bigger isn’t better when it comes to Valentine’s Day cards. Splat has a crush on Kitten, a fluffy white cat with pea-green eyes, but he isn’t the only one. Self-assured Spike informs Splat that he likes her much more and has prepared a superior Valentine to prove it. Discouraged, Splat tosses his tribute into the trash. Kitten smiles as she receives Spike’s card but doesn’t swoon as she reads, “You are so lucky that I like you.” Happily, she notices the little red envelope in the trash and surprises Splat with a pink Valentine that leaves him grinning from ear to ear. The cartoon-style illustrations have a contemporary, quirky feel due to the monochromatic palette, which is punctuated with brightly colored details. Children will giggle at Splat’s awkward interactions with Kitten and smile at the story’s satisfying conclusion.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
- ages 3 & up
- fun take on why bigger is not always better
- Unusual, cartoony illustrations will appeal to both kids and adults
The Day it Rained Hearts, Felicia Bond
Originally published in 1983 as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, this sweet book remains the same except for a new cover. Still, many libraries will no longer have the original, and this is a good choice for holiday shelves. Young Cornelia is walking along when it starts raining hearts. Catching them in her hand and in her yellow slicker, she takes them home to make valentines. Because each heart is different, she is able to make very special cards for her special friends. The small watercolor-and-ink illustrations in the center of each snowy page give the spreads a cozy feel. Little ones will enjoy watching as Cornelia catches her hearts and decides what to do with them, and they will appreciate the happiness the valentines bring to Rabbit, Turtle, Mouse, and Dog.–Ilene Cooper
- ages 3 – 5
- story encourages discussion about individuality and giving
- classic, elegant watercolor illustrations are a favorite with adults
Almost everything about Valentine’s Day is fancy . . . especially with Fancy Nancy! Mystery is in the air when Nancy receives a valentine from a secret someone. Join Nancy as she follows the clues to find out who it is—all in her trademark fabulous style, of course.
- ages 4 & up
- kids will enjoy following the clues to find Nancy’s secret valentine
- filled with opportunities to discuss about new words
- stickers included
Henry in Love, Peter Mccarty
Henry the cat is in love with Chloe, the cute little bunny in the back row. On this particular day, his mother makes blueberry muffins for her sons to take for lunch, but Henry saves his for afternoon snack as a special treat. He is the typical little boy who is short on words but big on action. He does a forward roll to impress Chloe, but she bests him with an impressive cartwheel. Later, the teacher reassigns seats and Chloe moves up next to Henry. At snack time, she asks him what he has, and he shows her his big, beautiful blueberry muffin. Henry, who has yet to say a word to his favorite little girl, is surprised but pleased when Chloe thanks him and takes it. It seems that all is fair in love and kindergarten. McCarty’s meticulous ink and watercolor art greatly extends the spare, understated text. The exquisite cream-colored pages bring richness to the presentation that makes readers want to turn each page. This beautiful book should appeal to the little ones who have a special someone in their lives but dare not say a word about it.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
- ages 4 & up
- strong female character
- short text is easy for older kids and independent readers
In this ninth outing in the series, the naughty behaviors of young dinosaurs are followed by an endearing act that reminds their human parents why they love their offspring. The situations are familiar: “Out in the sandbox/you threw lots of sand./You ran from the slide,/after slapping my hand.” Fans can follow the 10 dinosaurs by starting with their names and pictures on the endpapers. Expressions are expertly painted for humorous effect, including the defiant Tsintaosaurus letting water overflow onto the floor and the rollicking Pachycephalosaurus kicking the seat while mother is driving the car. The large, colorful spreads and rhyming text that is still a joy to listen to after repeated readings make this a successful storytime selection. Well-designed pictures and skillfully arranged words will entice newly independent readers, who will be challenged to find the dinosaur name hand-lettered in the illustration where the creature is introduced. The familiar format will produce laughs, kisses, and cuddles during or after an exhausting day of many of the same events.—Debbie S. Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI END
- ages 4 & up
- nice rhyming scheme make reading aloud fun
- keep an eye out for the hidden dinosaur names!