Thursday, February 2, 2012

Valentine's Day Children's Books

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I picked up a few Valentine themed books from our library. We've enjoyed reading them aloud and I recommend you read them, too!

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz is basically the old Charlie Brown Valentine's Day video in book form.

Charlie Brown is confident that this will be the year he receives a Valentine's Day card. As the story goes along his confidence wans and eventually he realizes no one sent him a Valentine. Poor Charlie Brown!

I really like the way that old Charlie Brown movies are also made into books. The entire movie is included so you don't miss your favorite parts. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown is laid out like a comic strip so it's visually attractive to young readers.

I loved introducing my kids to Charlie Brown and his friends. Hopefully I'll find this book at a used book sale this year.

The Valentine Box

The Valentine Box by Maud Hart Lovelace is a sweet story about a little girl, Janice, who is new in town. She dreads her class Valentine's Day party because she's afraid no one gave her any valentines. I won't spoil the story but I will say the ending is happy and cheerful.

This is the first book I've read by Maud Hart Lovelace. When I opened the book to read it I recognized her name as the author of Betsy-Tacy, which I've seen mentioned on other blogs but have never read.

So, I know almost nothing about Maud Hart Lovelace. I don't know if this is a typical story for her or different from her norm.

The thing I find most interesting about this book is the illustrations. While the storyline is your typical new girl story, the illustrations show Janice as an African American child in a class of all Caucasians. The words of the story in no way address the difference. The black and white illustrations make the difference very subtle and I doubt my children even noticed.

The Valentine Box was published in 1966 during a racially turbulent time for our country. I wonder if the illustrator, Ingrid Fetz, was trying to make a point through her drawings or if the story as a whole was intended to make a statement. If you know the history behind this book, I'd love for you to share in the comments.

Cranberry Valentine

Cranberry Valentine by Wende and Harry Devlin is a cute story about a confirmed bachelor, Mr. Whiskers, who begins receiving unsigned valentines. Being a confirmed bachelor he is very concerned that someone has set her cap to catch Mr. Whiskers!

I'll not give away who has sent the valentines but in the end Mr. Whiskers is relieved to learn that he was never in any matrimonial danger.

You may recall we read Cranberry Thanksgiving last fall. Cranberry Valentine is part of the same series and centers around the same three characters. Like the other book, a cranberry cake recipe is included at the end of the story.

I'll definitely keep my eye open for the Cranberryport series when I visit a used book sale! And recommend you do the same!

What books have your been reading? Any good Valentine's Day books?

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Amy said...


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Hmmm. . . Not sure about MHL and a message behind the book, though I do know that she was concerned with the treatment of Syrian immigrants in her little corner of MN. I think we have this book at the library where I work; I'll have to bring it home to read to my girls! Thanks for the other two recs, too, and for linking up to RAT!

Brimful Curiosities said...

I've never read any books by Betsy-Tacy, either. She's on my list! I didn't know she wrote a Valentine's book.

This week NPR aired a story about The Snowy Day, also published in the 60s. It addresses why Keats' chose to feature a child of color in his book. Thought you might find it interesting.

jmommymom said...

We love the Cranberry Port books. Thank you for reminding me about he Valentine's Day one. I will see if it available at our library.

Stephanie Kay said...

Amy @ Hope Is the Word & Brimful Curiosities, thanks for sharing about the immigrants and Keats. Both are interesting.

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