Woo hoo! It's Perfect Picture Book Friday!
And not just ANY Perfect Picture Book Friday, mind you, but the one that's the day before Valentine's Day!
This is great!, I thought gleefully to myself last week. Surely there are a plethora - a PLETHORA, I say - of fantabulous Valentine's books that have been waiting all year for this day - THEIR day - the one time they can rightfully be shared! I did a small jig in anticipation.
But day after day has gone by as I've searched for a great Valentine's Day book to share, and good golly if I haven't been just flat-out underwhelemed by titles I was hoping would knock my socks off! (I myself have written two Valentine's books: A Valentine For Phyllis, which apparently failed to knock Holiday House's socks off since they declined the opportunity to publish it, and Be Mine, which left my agent's socks drooping around her ankles because, as she said, it's so hard to sell books that are only holiday books, so my efforts have been underwhelming too! Oh, plus I mustn't forget my dreadful entry in the Valentine's Contest of 2012 - a "story" that just proves that with a low enough word count requirement I can barely make sense! :) But we seem to have gotten off on a tangent here... and by "we" I mean would you guys please stop asking about my Valentine stories? Sheesh! We're here for Perfect Picture Books!)
Anyway, it would be morally wrong to post a book for Perfect Picture Books that I did not consider Perfect just so I could post a Valentine's Day book. So instead, I will repost one of my favorite love books.
I am downright tingly with excitement because it is 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) but 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 :)
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Happy Valentine's Weekend, everyone! May you all revel in hearts, flowers, and chocolate - especially chocolate :)