You know, I just LOVE Perfect Picture Book Friday! All week I've been downright tingly with excitement because I'm going to share arguably one of the best love stories ever. Are you ready? It involves slugs. What's not to love? :)
Written By: Susan Pearson
Illustrated By: Kevin O'Malley
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, November 2006, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: love, friendship, perseverance, humor, Valentines Day
Opening: "Marylou loved everything about Herbie - how his slime trail glistened in the dark, how he could stretch himself thin to squeeze inside the cellar window, how he always found the juiciest tomato. Though she never spoke a single word to him - she was too shy - she thought about Herbie every morning and every night and most of the hours in between.
On Monday, while she grazed in the strawberry patch, Herbie filled her mind and a love poem filled her heart. She wrote it in slime on the watering can."
Brief Synopsis: (From Publishers Weekly) "Herbie keeps finding Marylou's poems, etched in slug slime and full of devotion, but Marylou keeps missing the longing letters he writes in return. While she watches his every move, he can't find anyone who knows where she is so he can meet her." How will the "slime-crossed" lovers ever meet?
Links To Resources: Cool Facts About Slugs, Doorknob Valentine, Finger Puppet Valentine - (and with a little ingenuity, the last two could incorporate slugs! :)) Kids could make up their own poems like Herbie and Marylou.
Why I Like This Book: It's sweet and it's funny. It's maybe not technically a Valentines Day book (as in, it's not about Valentines Day) it is about love/friendship on a level that I think kids can relate to. Because Marylou and Herbie can't seem to connect, there's the added fun of rooting for the heroes. And the art complements the story perfectly. It's so wonderful - really, I think it takes a genius to make slugs look so expressive :)
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
Now then. I hope you're all geared up for our Valentines Day Contest which opens tomorrow! Having spent some time (I'm not saying days, but, seriously, days!) trying to come up with my sample entry, I am deeply regretting setting the 150 word limit. Kudos to any of you who pull it off! After extensive MERCILESS cutting mine is only down to 178. I realize that I tend to the verbose, so maybe no one else is having a problem. But if you're struggling, I've decided to up the word limit to 200. Because it's Valentines Day and all about sharing the love, right? :) So a little recap on the contest guidelines:
A children's story, poetry or prose, maximum 200 words, about unlikely Valentines, posted on your blog (or in the comment section of mine) between Saturday February 11 and Monday February 13 at 5 PM EST. Add your entry-specific link to the link list on my blog so we can all come read your entries! There will be no new post on Monday so the link list will stay up. Instead, I will have a hitherto unheard of Tuesday post to celebrate Valentines Day, and that post will list 3 finalists (or possibly a couple more - you know how bad I am at choosing :)) for you all to vote on. The winner will be announced on Friday February 17 and will receive his/her choice of a copy of Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation To Publication or a picture book ms critique from yours truly.
See you tomorrow with Valentines stories. I can't wait to read yours and I sincerely hope there will be more than one entry :)
And now, since I forgot last night - SO SORRY everyone, please blame the fever :) - here is the link list for this weeks Perfect Picture Books.