Get ready to enjoy a laugh-out-loud, fast-paced adventure involving a secret crush, a runaway valentine with an attitude and lots of candy.
Leon has a huge crush on Zoey Maloney. He cuts out a big red heart and reveals his feelings. All seems well until the valentine—depicted with wide-eyed disbelief and an oversized mouth—declares, “PUL-EESE! You can’t tell [her] you love her! / …It’s mushy and gross and just plain YUCKY!” Leon thinks Valentine’s Day is all about love; the heart is sure it “is all about candy.” So, he leaps out the window to escape having to proclaim Leon’s affections. What ensues is a hilarious chase that progressively gathers more and more people—boys, girls and teens—who all weigh in on whether the valentine should go to the girl of Leon’s dreams. Ferber gets the character development and dialogue just right. The heart is silly but a tough talker, and in contrast, Leon is earnest and determined. The urgent chase is propelled by quick descriptions that make readers want to turn the pages even faster. Arnold, illustrator of the Fly Guy series, digitally creates varied spreads that look like a super-size version of a Sunday comic strip. Bright with saturated colors, the focal point is always the spunky red heart that conveys an impressive range of funny facial expressions for such a little thing. All too soon, a spectacular crash in the candy store yields romantic results for both the valentine and Leon.
Get this now—it’s better than candy. (Picture book. 4-8)