Popular Ruby Valentine is back, and she has quite a dilemma on her hands. Will beloved pet Lovebird and new cat Sweetie Pie understand that Ruby has enough love for both of them?
Friedman sets the scene with snappy rhyming couplets: “At the Heartland railway station, / Ruby hugged Lovebird good-bye. / She said she’d just be gone a day— / but what she didn’t say was why.” When Ruby returns home, her pet bird meets the new “baby kitty.” The young feline grows quickly and occupies a lot of Ruby’s time. Lovebird isn’t happy. She “missed the good old days / when she and Ruby were a pair.” Jealousy fuels a competition between the two pets. They both want to impress Ruby with wonderful surprises for her favorite holiday, but quickly, things escalate to an all-out brawl, with fur and feathers flying. When Ruby happens upon the tussle, she ends the conflict by declaring she has “room in my heart for two.” Soon the trio cleans up, tucks into some snacks and finally curls up together to watch a movie. Avril’s illustrations are dominated by Valentine hues but still capture comic details about the emotions and energetic antics of the characters.
A good choice for Valentine’s Day as well as for kids who are coping with a new member of their household, whether animal or human. (Picture book. 4-8)