Chocolate, flowers, poems, gifts—all of these things are readily associated with Valentine’s Day, the most romantic holiday of the year. But how did this day devoted to the celebration of love come to be? How have the traditions associated with February 14th changed over the years, and how do people in different countries around the world mark the occasion? In VALENTINE BE MINE, readers learn all about this special holiday, from its origin in Rome in the first century all the way to the distribution of Valentines...
Chocolate, flowers, poems, gifts—all of these things are readily associated with Valentine’s Day, the most romantic holiday of the year. But how did this day devoted to the celebration of love come to be? How have the traditions associated with February 14th changed over the years, and how do people in different countries around the world mark the occasion? In VALENTINE BE MINE, readers learn all about this special holiday, from its origin in Rome in the first century all the way to the distribution of Valentines among grade school students in classrooms today. A secondary layer of text provides more detailed information encouraging further research and discovery, while the collage-style art gives readers plenty of visual details to explore and uncover. In addition to providing fascinating facts and stories about this romantic holiday, the book includes Valentine’s Day jokes and step-by-step instructions on how to make your own Valentine Day’s card and tissue paper flowers.
Gr 3–6—This engaging presentation is chock-full of fascinating information. Readers will learn the origin of the holiday's name and why it is celebrated on February 14; traditions dating back to ancient Rome; how a Massachusetts woman created the Valentine card industry; and why cupids, flowers, and chocolates are popular symbols around the world. Parts of the book are presented in a scrapbook format, and factual matter is interspersed with mixed-media collage, including vintage photographs and clip art, romantic quotes written on hearts, and hand-drawn images. A couple of craft projects and Valentine jokes add to the fun. This book could be useful for classroom research or just read for enjoyment. A lovely addition to holiday bookshelves.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Valentine’s Day is about more than just creating paper hearts and eating too much candy—at least, it used to be. Farmer presents a historical overview of the holiday, including the origins of its name (from three saints, all named Valentine and all martyred on February 14) and practice (including ties to the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia), the evolution of the holiday’s traditions, and its symbolism. Halsey and Addy’s mixed-media collages are suggestive of handmade valentines, with a blend of classic imagery (Cupid, flowers, doves) and vintage and modern photographs of couples and families, all assembled on painted canvas backdrops. Romantic quotations from the likes of Picasso, Plato, and Tennyson appear on banners and hearts; craft ideas, jokes, and mentions of global celebrations of Valentine’s Day lend additional substance to this wide-ranging look at the holiday. Ages 6–9. (Jan.)
- Suzanne Javid
Once upon a time there were three religious figures named Valentine. One was a priest, another was a bishop, and the third was a missionary. All were martyred or killed on February 14 for their beliefs, and all were later declared saints. Saint Valentine's Day gets its name from these three men. This is just one of many interesting facts found in the book regarding February 14th. Although most often associated with love, marriage, hearts and flowers, the holiday's history may have originated from ancient Rome, and it was not always about romance. This book is beautifully illustrated with mixed media collage including photos, vintage clip-art, hand-drawn images, and acrylic paints. Twenty-eight double page spreads on large glossy paper contain a wealth of information about valentine traditions, symbols, and celebrations. Religious customs, poets, kings, hearts, and flowers are all part of the story. Large, sometime full-page, illustrations provide support to the reader as do many quotes by famous people scattered throughout the pages—on heart shapes, of course. Each two-page spread begins with a lead paragraph, printed in a bold, large-text font, which provides a sense of consistency for readers. Easy-to-follow craft instructions are included, as are jokes for those wishing to be a funny valentine. The last page contains "Did You Know?" facts, adding to this already comprehensive resource. This book is beautiful and informative, historical and practical and factual; it is also fun. An excellent addition to classroom and personal library, this is a "must" for school library collections. Reviewer: Suzanne Javid