MUSHY! by Lynda Graham-Barber


The Complete Book of Valentine Words
Email this review


In the same style as Limburg's book about Halloween words, Weird! (1989), a patchwork of historical information, legend, etymology, hearsay, and amusing facts and fancies. Lewin, master of a deceptively casual broad pen-line, again contributes comic drawings that enliven the proceedings--appropriately, for most of the book, though her style is at odds with the introductory remarks about the martyrdom of some of history's eight St. Valentines. However, what follows is mostly lighthearted: ruminations on 40 or so words like "turtledove," "swashbuckler," "romance," "token," "melancholy," and "moonstruck"--all introduced with some quintessentially forced verse designed to incorporate them: "I'd rather eat dirt than/Admire and Flirt;/after all, Bride and Groom/rhyme with doom. . ." Extras include tangential facts like who Spooner was (an Oxford minister who Once told the groom that "it is kisstomary to cuss the bride"), a list of famous lovers, and a chronology that includes such disparate entries as the invention of ink, the commencement of Old English, and Anne Boleyn's execution. A little miscellaneous, but there's lots of information here, much of it entertaining.

Pub Date: Dec. 31st, 1990
ISBN: 02-736941-2
Page count: 122pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000