Valentine’s Day Picture Book Round Up
Valentine’s Day is less than a week away! If you are looking for a sweet read to gift your little one or budding reader, check out these offerings out recently from Macmillan Children’s Publishing.
XO, OX: A Love Story
by Adam Rex, illustrated by Scott Campbell
The hilarious tale of love between a hapless ox and a fabulous gazelle, told in correspondence.
For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you. You are so graceful and fine. Even when you are running from tigers you are like a ballerina who is running away from tigers.
I think that what I’m trying to say is that I love you.
And so begins an epic, if initially unrequited, love affair between a graceful gazelle and a clumsy, hapless ox. Romance will never be the same.
Adam Rex’s hilarious, sweet, and at times heartbreaking letters between a hopelessly romantic ox and a conceited, beautiful gazelle is paired perfectly with Scott Campbell’s joyful illustrations to bring you a romance for the ages.
MY THOUGHTS: A lovingly oblivious Ox has fallen for a rather conceited Gazelle who at first insists she wants nothing to do with him. Cute, but depending on the reader could be taken in a negative light. As for myself, I found it light hearted and kind of funny that the Ox was really in a world of his own and found every thing the Gazelle said and did a sign of her devotion.
Hug it Out!
by Louis Thomas
A fresh, funny take on sibling rivalry and conflict resolution, as two sparring siblings are forced to “hug it out.”
Mom has had enough of Woody and Annie’s incessant fighting. When her pleas for sharing and apologizing are ignored, she demands they “hug it out.” At first, the warring siblings are confused. Hugging? But after a long afternoon of forced embraces, the brother and sister decide to call a truce to avoid yet another icky hug. However it doesn’t take long for them to miss that newfound closeness. And soon they’re looking for something to fight about so they can hug it out once more!
Adults will delight in a new solution to conflict, while kids will enjoy yelling “HUG IT OUT!” at each familiar situation. With subversive humor and smart, eye-catching illustrations, Louis Thomas’s debut is a cheeky tribute to sibling rivalry and (cuddly) compromise.
MY THOUGHTS: A brother and sister who constantly fight are forced to find a way to get along when their mom decides to force them to–yuck!–HUG!! I do have two boys but the youngest isn’t old enough to be fighting with his older brother yet. I will keep this for of discipline in mind though! This book is perfect for kids who are close in age or those who argue and pick. Lessons learned include that time on your own can be OK, and that fighting with your sibling isn’t nice.
All Kinds of Kisses
by Heather Swain, illustrated by Steven Henry
A grasshopper mouth opens east-west but not south. They’re like scissors for chopping up leaves.
“Don’t try to hide from a kiss on its side,” says grandpa grasshopper to nymphs.
How would a grasshopper kiss?
Whichever it is, this much is true. When we say goodnight, I love all kinds of kisses from you!
We humans smooch with our lips. But how do giraffes, whales, hummingbirds, tree frogs, and other creatures kiss? It’s fun to wonder about and to see in the pages of this charming book, which includes facts about each animal at the end.
MY THOUGHTS: This book is perfect for a bedtime story! It gives a look into how different animals, such as giraffes, piranhas, and even humpback whales, might give kisses to their young. Older kids will love the scientific facts, and little ones will like trying to act out the different kinds of kisses. I adore books that give chances for kids to interact with what they are hearing!
Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar
by Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper
In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship.
It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!
MY THOUGHTS: Sweet and charming board book about a pair of hedgehog best friends who find a caterpillar. The story moves quick and has a concise ending, which is good for storytime with wiggly toddlers. It encourages kids to use their imagination.
Shiny Shapes: Love You Always
by Roger Priddy, illustrated by Lucy Fleming
Cute and cuddly animals wear their hearts on their sleeves in this charming board book with Valentine’s Day rhymes. There are tactile, heart-shaped holes on every page, while glitter and foil add a sprinkle of Valentine’s Day magic to this endearing book for the little one you love.
MY THOUGHTS: Colorful illustrations and eye catching glitter on the pages will keep the attention of even the littlest ones at bedtime. A quick, easy rhyming read about a duck and bear who are best friends. Super sweet way to show your love this Valentine’s Day!
Thank you so much to Macmillan for providing these books for review! Find more information on these titles, activity kits, and so much more at http://us.macmillan.com/mackids/.