THE BALLAD OF VALENTINE by Alison Jackson

THE BALLAD OF VALENTINE

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Clever interplay of text and art makes this ballad more than a simple love story. The text (which can be sung to the tune of “Clementine”) tells the tale of a heartsick man who is hilariously stymied in his repeated efforts to declare his love to his neighbor Valentine: the postman can’t find her address, the homing pigeon gets lost in Madagascar, a cyclone blows away smoke signals, and so on. Illustrations of her besotted admirer’s attempts to get his message across are interspersed with images of Valentine going about her business. They reveal that canny Valentine may have figured out what’s going on; in a hint of things to come, she’s shown on the cover carrying a basket of apples, internal illustrations show her milking, mixing ingredients, baking a pie, and climbing over hill and dale to deliver the sweet, freshly baked treat to her frustrated, exhausted suitor, making for a happy ending. Comical depictions of the smitten man’s attempts to get his message across are suitably exaggerated; Valentine herself sports a beatific smile and huge upswept hairdo along with her traditional apron and flowered dress as she does her chores and bakes for her sweetie. Just right for Valentine’s Day, this is funny and satisfying without being too sugary. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-525-46720-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2002




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