Wednesday, February 14, 2007

and what the heck

My all-time favorite Valentine's book for kids:

The Day It Rained Hearts (Previously published as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm) written and illustrated by Felicia Bond. 1983; HarperCollins, 2004 (0-06-054442-2) $6.99 board book

Far less mushy than you might expect from the title, this Valentine's Day favorite embraces thoughtfulness and creativity. When it begins to rain hearts one day, a little girl catches several and turns them into valentines, each one perfectly designed for its intended recipient: A dog receives a new collar made of hearts; a mouse gets a valentine full of holes, like a swiss cheese. Bond's illustrations use shaded backgrounds, giving a richer, warmer tone to her usual whimsical watercolors, The final pictures, in which we see how happily each valentine is received, are especially appealing. (2-6)