THE BOY WHO HATED VALENTINE'S DAY by Sally Wittman

THE BOY WHO HATED VALENTINE'S DAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cheerful, soft, three-color illustrations are the most appealing aspect of this slight story, which lacks the realistic dialogue, humor and satisfying plot that Gift brings to Polk St. School Stories, written at the same post-controlled vocabulary level. Ben hates Valentine's Day because when he was seven he told everyone Valentine's Day was silly, so no one sent him a Valentine. To avoid being embarrassed this year, he spends the night before Valentine's Day creating 20 forgeries, signing the name of a classmate to each. He puts these in his own Valentine box without anyone noticing; but when he accidentally knocks over the box for Henry, a new classmate, he discovers no one has sent Henry a Valentine. Remembering his own hurt feelings, Ben dumps his forged Valentines into Henry's box. At the party, Henry is delighted to find 40 Valentines in his box. And Ben keeps his good deed a secret. How come Ben, remembering his own disappointment last year, makes no effort to give any classmate a Valentine? How come no other child gives Henry a Valentine? How come Henry doesn't notice there is no Valentine from Ben in his box? How come the teacher doesn't do anything to insure that new children receive Valentines? Despite the warm and gentle illustrations, Ben goes to a pretty mean school. This is a not very satisfying story.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harper & Row