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10 VALENTINE FRIENDS by Janet Schulman


by Janet Schulman, illustrated by Linda Davick

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Dec. 27th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86967-9
Publisher: Knopf

Davick complements the late Schulman’s serviceable, rhyming verse with pleasant, digitally rendered pictures of circle-faced friends preparing for Valentine’s Day.

The fourth title in this duo’s series of holiday counting books (10 Easter Egg Hunters, 2010, etc.) introduces the ethnically diverse crew on the opening page with strategically placed candy hearts identifying their names. The following two-page spreads feature the author’s couplet describing each valentine, its creator and recipient: “Annie Lee knows how Pete likes bugs. / He’ll really dig her squishy slugs!” On the right half of the recto of these spreads is white space that fills up one by one with the various valentines. Once all 10 are completed, the narrator asks and answers, “Did everyone—even the cat— / get lots of cards? YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT!” For those up for greater challenges, turn the page to see dozens of additional valentines. “How many can YOU count?” Readers may also extend the fun further by trying to spot the 10 valentines from the story. The flat illustrations made up of bright hues on pastel backgrounds are amiable enough. But the book’s smaller size as well as the detailed depictions of the kids’ artwork will likely limit its use to sharing one-on-one or with an intimate group.

Not much new here—consider it an additional purchase. (Picture book. 3-5)