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This is the second picture book on which Cuyler and Winborn have collaborated. Just as their first, Sir William and the Pumpkin Monster, gave a new twist to the Halloween theme, Freckles and Willie provides a different perspective on Valentine's Day. Now that Willie has moved to a new town, he has only one friend--his dog Freckles. These two best-friends do everything together. And whenever Willie is cold, lonely, or sad--Freckles is there to help, comfort, or play with him. Since Valentine's Day is only two weeks away, Willie makes a special valentine for Freckles and hides it away. However, by the end of the week, Willie becomes friends with Jane, the new girl in town. Jane is allergic to dogs, and states that if Willie and she are to stay friends, Freckles must be kept out of her way. Needless to say, Willie is soon spending all of his time with Jane, talking about Jane and what she doesn't like about Freckles, and finally--making a valentine for Jane! At first, Freckles is puzzled by Willie's gradual withdrawal. As Willie ignores Freckles more and more, Freckles becomes sadder and sadder, until finally he creeps down to the basement to sit alone in the dark. When Jane rejects Willie's valentine with an emphatic ""Yuck!,"" Willie is crushed and returns home in-search of his real friend, Freckles. To demonstrate his renewed affection, Willie gives Freckles the valentine he had made for him so long ago. Freckles happily cuffs up at Willie's feet at night as if nothing at all had happened. Cuyler's charmingly simple text and Winborn's endearing illustrations are a winning combination.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
Publisher: Henry Holt