Books little ones will
By Jo-Ann Greene, Books Editor email@example.com
Valentines have been made of paper since the days of saint himself. So books as Valentine gifts aren't too big a stretch.
These three books seem perfect for the littlest loved ones, who may be on candy-restricted diets and not care a whit for roses.
l"See a Heart Share a Heart" is a sampling from Eric Telchin's BoySeesHearts.com website, where he posts heart shapes he discovers at random in an ordinary day and captures with his phone's camera. It all started with a puddle of melted ice cream at a party, he writes at the end of this arty picture book.
The hearts come in all colors, textures and materials, from the natural and the man-made worlds: flower petals, garden hose, snake, rock fissure, crushed peppermint, piece of coral.
None of the images are explained. Viewers may use their imagination or their deductive reasoning (sometimes there's a clue in the frame). Words, generally, are sparse, limited to a few phrases such as "Mend a heart," "Warm a heart," etc.
"At their most basic level, these hearts are a reminder of the love that surrounds us all, even in unexpected places," Telchin says on his website.
This book is proof that you find what you look for. It might inspire even the youngest child to begin his own search -- for hearts, and all the other things he hopes to find in the world.
l"Ten Things I Love About You," written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk, is for children old enough to appreciate how complicated our love for our friends can be.
Rabbit is making a list of everything he loves about Pig and wants him to help. Pig gives Rabbit numerous excuses for why he can't be bothered right now, starting with "Well, Rabbit, I'm kind of busy." The adoring Rabbit writes, "I love Pig because he knows how to keep busy." Pig's exasperated, "Rabbit, please!" inspires "I love Pig because he is polite and always says please."
No need to worry about unrequited friendship; the story has a happy ending.
lAre we bordering on mushy yet? "The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever" may be titled to attract the typical third-grade boy, but it contains a love story nevertheless.
Brenda A. Ferber's words and Tedd Arnold's cartoonish art tell of Leon's crush on Zooey and how the paper heart he makes for her bolts, insisting Valentine's Day is all about the candy.
Leon gives chase and proves his cynical heart wrong.
Despite the male protagonist, girls will probably appreciate this book more than boys will.
All three hardcover picture books are published by Penguin and priced at $12.99 to $16.99 each.