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Ballad of Valentine

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Overview

Love really is blind in this hilarious and pitch-perfect Valentine's Day picture book, set to the familiar rhythms of "Clementine," one of our most beloved American folk songs. Alison Jackson, author of the Thanksgiving favorite I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, cleverly replaces the heroine of "Clementine" with a dreamy girl named Valentine who keeps missing what's right in front of her nose: the love letters being sent her way by a smitten admirer. Whether carried by pigeon, pony, or freight train, his ...
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Overview

Love really is blind in this hilarious and pitch-perfect Valentine's Day picture book, set to the familiar rhythms of "Clementine," one of our most beloved American folk songs. Alison Jackson, author of the Thanksgiving favorite I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, cleverly replaces the heroine of "Clementine" with a dreamy girl named Valentine who keeps missing what's right in front of her nose: the love letters being sent her way by a smitten admirer. Whether carried by pigeon, pony, or freight train, his messages continue to go unnoticed or undelivered. But just when the lovelorn writer loses all hope, something unexpected happens that proves his crush isn't so one-sided after all. Brought to life by the larky illustrations of Tricia Tusa, this silly and sweet tale is perfect for little valentines as well as grown-up sweethearts.

An ardent suitor tries various means of communication, from smoke signals to Morse code to skywriting, in order to get his message to his Valentine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review of this adaptation of the folk song "Clementine," PW wrote, "This inspired treatment of an age-old tale communicates plenty about love." Ages 5-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A story told in the rhythm of the folk song "My Darling, Clementine." A bashful gentleman sends love messages to his sweetheart, but his proclamations of love never arrive. A homing pigeon flies to Madagascar instead of to Valentine's door with a letter; smoke signals are lost in a cyclone; and a mail car derails, "leaving letters strewn behind." The pages alternate in perspective, portraying the prolific, poetic fellow as well as the plucky lass who goes about her chores and even has time to bake a pie for a special someone. At the end of the book, even though she never receives his messages, Valentine travels from her home across a canyon to deliver her luscious-looking treat to him. Jackson has created a lovesick fellow who, despite his best intentions and for reasons out of his control, just can't seem to do anything right. Valentine is a strong character and readers will feel that her darling will be safe as long as she's with him. Tusa's quirky watercolor illustrations portray a simpler time, when folks communicated by Morse code, an airplane was a modest machine, and a homemade apple pie signified true love and devotion. Without ever being treacly or melodramatic, this fun book is ideal for Valentine's Day programs.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Clever interplay of text and art makes this ballad more than a simple love story. The text (which can be sung to the tune of "Clementine") tells the tale of a heartsick man who is hilariously stymied in his repeated efforts to declare his love to his neighbor Valentine: the postman can’t find her address, the homing pigeon gets lost in Madagascar, a cyclone blows away smoke signals, and so on. Illustrations of her besotted admirer’s attempts to get his message across are interspersed with images of Valentine going about her business. They reveal that canny Valentine may have figured out what’s going on; in a hint of things to come, she’s shown on the cover carrying a basket of apples, internal illustrations show her milking, mixing ingredients, baking a pie, and climbing over hill and dale to deliver the sweet, freshly baked treat to her frustrated, exhausted suitor, making for a happy ending. Comical depictions of the smitten man’s attempts to get his message across are suitably exaggerated; Valentine herself sports a beatific smile and huge upswept hairdo along with her traditional apron and flowered dress as she does her chores and bakes for her sweetie. Just right for Valentine’s Day, this is funny and satisfying without being too sugary. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525467205
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.34 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Jackson is the award-winning artist who created the BBC TV series Double Take and the internationally acclaimed Schweppes advertising campaign. After studying sculpture and then Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art in London, Alison's work, has for the last five years, astonished and sometimes shocked audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tricia Tusa lives in Houston, Texas.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 5, 2012

    recommend

    I'm always looking for holiday books to share with my grandchildren. This is a great way to sing along with a child or grandchild and the humorous illustrations are a lot of fun too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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