Petal and Poppy discover the identity of their mystery valentine.
Friends Petal and Poppy wake on the morning of Valentine’s Day wondering if they will receive any valentines. Petal, an elephant, finds a vase of roses and an unsigned card and assumes they must be from Poppy. Poppy, a rhino, discovers a box of chocolates and an unsigned card. It’s easy to guess what she thinks. When they thank each other, though, the truth comes out, and the two sleuths set out to find out who their mystery valentine might be, each secretly still thinking it’s her friend. A trail of heart cards leads to the sighting of their valentine in a hot air balloon. They spread the cards around to all their friends and find their valentine, a winter-hatted penguin whom observant readers will have already spotted throughout, waiting for them on their doorstep. The three take a ride in the balloon together. Briant’s cartoon panels are easy to decode, the characters’ emotions plain. The simple vocabulary (other than “mystery” and “valentine”) and repetition of phrases are key for beginning readers, but the text is missing some vital parts, namely, character development and an exciting story.
Stick with Elephant and Piggie, Mouse and Mole, and Minnie and Moo. (Early reader. 5-7)