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A STRING OF HEARTS  by Laura Malone Elliott


by Laura Malone Elliott, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-000085-1
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

When Mrs. Wright instructs the class to make a valentine for everyone, Sam knows his valentine to popular Tiffany has to be very special…but he doesn’t know how to make one. Luckily, his neighbor Mary Ann helps him, even though it is obvious that she wishes she were Sam's valentine, not Tiffany. While the next school day does not turn out the way he had hoped, Sam isn’t sad for long—a special string of hearts in his pocket makes him realize what a great friend he has in Mary Ann. Munsinger’s animal cast is delightfully diverse. They fawn shamelessly over Tiffany, while Mary Ann, who is not afraid to be herself, holds herself apart. Through it all, the strong bond shared by Sam and Mary Ann is evident. While Elliott fails to delve deeply enough into Sam’s difficulty in saying nice things about ALL his classmates, this is a solid, albeit predictable, tale of the value of true friends and the façade that sometimes covers popularity. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)