Get this now—it’s better than candy.

THE YUCKIEST, STINKIEST, BEST VALENTINE EVER

Get ready to enjoy a laugh-out-loud, fast-paced adventure involving a secret crush, a runaway valentine with an attitude and lots of candy.

Leon has a huge crush on Zoey Maloney. He cuts out a big red heart and reveals his feelings. All seems well until the valentine—depicted with wide-eyed disbelief and an oversized mouth—declares, “PUL-EESE! You can’t tell [her] you love her! / …It’s mushy and gross and just plain YUCKY!” Leon thinks Valentine’s Day is all about love; the heart is sure it “is all about candy.” So, he leaps out the window to escape having to proclaim Leon’s affections. What ensues is a hilarious chase that progressively gathers more and more people—boys, girls and teens—who all weigh in on whether the valentine should go to the girl of Leon’s dreams. Ferber gets the character development and dialogue just right. The heart is silly but a tough talker, and in contrast, Leon is earnest and determined. The urgent chase is propelled by quick descriptions that make readers want to turn the pages even faster. Arnold, illustrator of the Fly Guy series, digitally creates varied spreads that look like a super-size version of a Sunday comic strip. Bright with saturated colors, the focal point is always the spunky red heart that conveys an impressive range of funny facial expressions for such a little thing. All too soon, a spectacular crash in the candy store yields romantic results for both the valentine and Leon.

Get this now—it’s better than candy. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3505-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace.

SLUG IN LOVE

A slug longs for a hug and finds it unexpectedly.

Doug the slug would really like a hug and plods on, seeking affection. But a caterpillar, bug, spider, and worm want no part of hugging a slug. They are just not feeling it (might they feel sluggish?), voicing their disdain in no uncertain terms with expressions like, “Grimy, slippy!” and “Squelchy, slimy!” What’s a slug to do? Undeterred, Doug keeps trying. He meets Gail, a snail with crimson lipstick and hip, red glasses; she happens to be as grimy and squelchy as he is, so he figures she is the hugger of his dreams. The two embark upon a madcap romantic courtship. Alas, Gail also draws the (slimy) line at hugging Doug. Finally, mournful Doug meets the best hugger and the true love of his life, proving there’s someone for everyone. This charmer will have readers rooting for Doug (and perhaps even wanting to hug him). Expressed in simple, jaunty verses that read and scan smoothly, the brief tale revolves around words that mainly rhyme with Doug and slug. Given that the story stretches vocabulary so well with regard to rhyming words, children can be challenged after a read-aloud session to offer up words that rhyme with slug and snail. The colorful and humorous illustrations are lively and cheerful; googly-eyed Doug is, like the other characters, entertaining and expressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-046-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more