Roses are Red, Your Feet Really Stink is one of my favorite Valentine books–especially when I was teaching. I read it to my class every year! Diana deGroat illustrated and wrote the book–such a talent. Here’s a summary of the story: “When Gilbert writes two not-so-nice valentines to his classmates, his prank quickly turns into pandemonium. But there’s always time for a change of heart on Valentine’s Day. This warm and funny book about a favorite holiday also provides a subtle message about forgiveness and being a good friend. Ages 5 up.” Besides using this book around Valentine’s Day, you can also use it to talk to children about how words can hurt and how to be a good friend. An activity you can do with this book is to exchange names among classmates and have students write a “nice” Valentine to the student whose name they received. You can talk to them about finding specific things, instead of general things, like, “I really like how you always help me with my math problems.” or “You are so good at kickball–you always kick a homerun.” Students can write their messages and decorate them before passing them out.
The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever written by Illinois author Brenda Ferber and illustrated by Tedd Arnold is a new picture book that is a real treat! If you are familiar with Tedd Arnold (Parts), then you know he is an illustrative genius. Brenda is a wonderful writer, and the two together make a terrific team. Here’s a summary of the story: “Leon has a crush. A secret crush. A dreamy crush. A let-her-cut-in-line-at-the-water-fountain-crush. And he’s made the perfect valentine. But the valentine has other ideas. ‘Love is yucky, kid! Valentine’s Day is all about candy!’ The card yells before leaping out the window and running away, leaving Leon to chase it across town, collecting interested kids along the way. Saying ‘I love you’ has never been so yucky or so sweet.” Brenda provides all sorts of resources on her blog for how to USE her book. She has a Q and A with her about things like why she wrote the book, how she named her character, and more. She also has an ACTIVITY KIT you can download for free (love this!). You can find all of this at this link: http://www.brendaferber.com/yuckiest-stinkiest-best-valentine-ever.php
Here’s a link to both books on Amazon! Have fun this Valentine’s Day and hug someone you love!