With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it is time to stock up on chocolate (the darker the better at our house!) and books to share with those you love most. My all-time favorite, hopefully available at your library (or at least purchase a paperback copy!), is Ballad of Valentine.
The Ballad of Valentine
Alison Jackson, Tricia Tusa
Dutton Children’s Books, 2002
A bespectacled, shy admirer of his pompadoured neighbor tries every way in vain to tell her ardently he admires and loves her, but his every effort goes awry. He tries letters, homing pigeon, smoke signals, pony express, telegram, and more, but the message never seems to get through…still, his love is not in vain! The ending is so sweet I can’t spoil it for you, so do find it if you can. If you know the tune to the original Ballad of Clementine, then by all means, serenade the book to your sweetheart (or at least make an effort)! The illustrations are marvelous.
Two other sweet-lovin’ books are great to read any time of year, but this is a good time to mention them:
A Kiss for Little Bear
Else Holmelund Minarik, Maurice Sendak
Little Bear draws a picture for his grandparents and gives it to Hen to deliver. Hen is given a kiss in return and instructed to give the kiss to Little Bear. However, the messenger soon tires of her errand-running and passes the kiss along to someone else, who also gets sidetracked and gives it to someone else, and so on. (The best part is when it gets to the skunks.) Although Hen finally objects to “Too much kissing!” it is all finally sorted out and everyone lives happily ever after.
I Kissed the Baby!
Walker Children’s Paperbacks, 2011
This is ideal for very, very little ones because it is all black and white with just a few bright colors, so it is a book to snuggle babies with. Everyone is excited to see, sing, tickle and kiss the baby, but of course Mama’s kisses are best and always readily available. Simple and sweet–makes everyone want to participate!
cover images from goodreads.