Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Award Winning Author's Valentine's Books

I had a hard time picking out Valentine's books for this week's posts... So, I opted to go with two older, notable, award-winning authors for today - Cynthia Rylant and Eve Bunting.

Rylant, Cynthia.
If You'll Be My Valentine.
HarperCollins Publishers.
Review copy borrowed from local library.

A little boy sets hard to work, creating valentines for those in his life who he wants to show his appreciation for. Each of the valentines is hand-crafted - a uniquely written poem designed for its intended receiver. For the dog, the little boy writes of giving treats, scratching the cat's ears, taking his little sister on a walk, etc. What's neat about these valentines (other than the fact that they are hand-crafted) is that they all allow the little boy to "give" without spending money - something definitely worthwhile of teaching kids today. Plus... the effort gone into a homemade card is worth far more than any gift!

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • During times when money is tight, get your child a pack of crayons and some construction paper. Encourage him/her to create their own valentines for each family member/class mate, taking into consideration the likes of their "loved" ones. Provide your child(ren) with the basic poem to get started: If you'll be my valentine, I'll ___________________... encourage rhyming words where appropriate to follow the pattern found in the story.
Bunting, Eve.
The Valentine Bears.
Clarion Books.
Guided Reading Level: K
Review copy borrowed from local library.

Not your ordinary bears, Mrs. Bear decides to set the alarm to awaken five weeks early this year to celebrate Valentine's Day with her husband Mr. Bear for the first time ever. However, as Valentine's Day rolls around and Mrs. Bear makes sure she's prepared for her special date with Mr. Bear, she encounters just one problem... Mr. Bear won't wake up! She tries all sorts of things before retreating to the river for a can full of ice cold water. She returns to a surprise of her own, however! But, in the end it's all worth it, as the two celebrate the day with some of their favorites: chocolate covered ants and sweet, summer honey.

This isn't a book that I'd typically expect to be written by Eve Bunting. However, it's a very neat take on a Valentine's Day story and is definitely worth considering sharing!

Reading/Learning Activity:
  • Discuss with children the reason that bears don't celebrate Valentine's Day.... They're hibernating! Discuss what it means to hibernate and why animals would do this. Then, research with your child other animals that hibernate. Learn all that you can about that animal and work together to create a Valentine's Day story that features that animal as the main character!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!