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TOO MANY VALENTINES by Margaret McNamara

TOO MANY VALENTINES

By Margaret McNamara (Author) , Mike Gordon (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-85538-9
Publisher: Aladdin

McNamara (One Hundred Days [Plus One], above) explores Valentine’s Day in this beginning easy reader, part of her Robin Hill School series set in a first-grade classroom. In this story a boy named Neil announces that he doesn’t want any Valentines because “Valentines are frilly! Valentines are pink!” He comes to regret his decision when all the other children are caught up in the Valentine celebrations, with lots of cards to examine for the rest of the day. Neil’s wise teacher respects his feelings, but then arranges for all the children to sign one Valentine, which is delivered to Neil at home. Some subtle lessons are artfully conveyed within the story: how it feels to stick with a decision to be different and how accommodations can sometimes be made to respect someone’s wishes and allow that person to save face. Teachers will use this as a read-aloud before Valentine’s Day to address the perennial problem of leaving someone off the Valentines list, and new readers will enjoy reading about Neil’s problem and its solution. Gordon’s humorous illustrations in watercolor and ink bring the first-graders to life, with funny little touches (a bird delivering Neil’s card, his cat with the stamp caught on its tongue). Successful easy readers with real stories, humor, and appealing illustrations are always in demand, and the kids of the Robin Hill School first grade seem poised to each star in their own story. (Easy reader. 5-7)