| By Rocco Staino |
Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to introduce younger readers to some of KidLit’s favorite characters. Several popular series have added a Valentine title to their list of books. Here are some KidLit friends that you may know and you may want young people to get to know too:
Love, Splat (HarperCollins, 2011) & Splat The Cat: Funny Valentine (HarperCollins, 2012) by Rob Scotton. There are two books in the Splat the Cat series that feature Valentine. Love Splat has our enamored Splat trying to impress Kitten and fend off his rival Spike. While Funny Valentine is a flap book for younger children. It has hidden holiday surprises awaiting Mrs. Wimpydimple and readers.
Here Comes Valentine Cat ( Dial 2015) by Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda. Splat isn’t the only cat that has a market on holidays. There is also Here Comes Easter Cat and Here Comes Santa Cat and he returns for this holiday with a lesson on how to be a good neighbor, especially, when it is a dog.
Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day (Scholastic, 2009) by Norman Bridwell. What better dog for Valentine Day than the big red one, Clifford! Here he is helping Emily Elizabeth make a special Valentine for her grandma. When it comes time to mail it, Clifford gets an unexpected behind-the-scenes tour of the Post Office!
Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine (Yearling, 1995) by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, Illustrated by Marc Simont. Nate the Great is a wonderful way to introduce young readers to detective mysteries and chapter books. In this book Nate undertakes the solving of the mysterious “mushy” valentine left on his dog Sludge’s doghouse.
Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart (HarperCollins, 2009) by Jane O’Conner, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. If you are looking for a mystery for a younger age, try this Fancy Nancy. Have youngsters follow the clues as Nancy tries to discover who her secret Valentine is.
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime (Random House 1999) by Barbara Park Kindergartener Junie B. Jones follows in Nate and Fancy Nancy’s footsteps in uncovering her secret admirer.
How Spider Saved Valentine’s Day ( Scholastic, 1989) by Robert Kraus. Kraus who is best know for his book, Leo, the Late Bloomer. He also created the How Spider Saved series that feature Spider along with his friends Ladybug and Fly. In this book the trio don’t want to forget about anyone in the Valentine celebration at Public Bug School No. 1. You may have to go to your library for this classic out-of-print book.
The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart (Little Brown, 2015) by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton with illustrations by Christine Davenier. This is the 12th book in the Very Fairy Princess series. Gerry celebrates Valentine by highlighting the inner sparkle of her friends.
My Weird School Special: Oh, Valentine, We’ve Lost our Minds! (HarperCollins 2014) by Dan Gutman. The My Weird School Special series has a selection of holiday-themed chapter books that chronicle the adventures of A.J. and his gang at the Ella Mentry School. This Valentine Day has A.J. clashing with a new exchange student over Andrea. It has tons of Valentine facts and puzzles.
The Annoying Crush (Galaxy Zack) (S&S, 2014) by Ray O’Ryan There are 17 Galaxy Zack books about a boy living in the year 2120. In this chapter book Zack must face the fact that their new domestic robot Sara (Super Advanced Robotic Assistant) has a crush on him.
Be My Valentine Amelia Bedelia (Greenwillow, 2004) by Herman Parish
Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine (Greenwillow, 2014) by Herman Parish. With these two books you can introduce readers to the literal-minded domestic created by Peggy Parish in 1963. The books were continued by her nephew, Herman Parish in 1995. In 2009 he began a series about Amelia’s childhood. Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine is the second book in that series. Like the Very Fairy Princess, Amelia forgets her Valentine cards on the bus and doesn’t want to hurt anyone feelings. Meanwhile we have the grown-up Amelia in Be My Valentine Amelia Bedelia offering her usually mayhem with a Valentine twist.
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