Valentine

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Overview

Paddy Bouma's soft watercolors highlight this unusual Valentine's Day story of a loving grandmother-granddaughter relationship. Heather is disappointed that Mama can't stay home from work to spend the holiday with her. Making cookies with Grandma-including a big, heart-shaped one for Mama-cheers her up. But when Heather and Grandma check on the sheep, they find one of the new lambs cold and still. Young children will identify with Heather's pride in helping care for the lamb and her joyful anticipation of another...

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Overview

Paddy Bouma's soft watercolors highlight this unusual Valentine's Day story of a loving grandmother-granddaughter relationship. Heather is disappointed that Mama can't stay home from work to spend the holiday with her. Making cookies with Grandma-including a big, heart-shaped one for Mama-cheers her up. But when Heather and Grandma check on the sheep, they find one of the new lambs cold and still. Young children will identify with Heather's pride in helping care for the lamb and her joyful anticipation of another surprise to share with Mama.

While waiting for her mother to come home from work on Valentine's Day, Heather helps her grandmother rescue a newborn lamb and bake a special cooky.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Heather, who appears to be four or five years old, misses Mama whenever she goes to work, but especially on Valentine’s Day. . . . Caring for one of the creatures helps distract Heather from her sadness, and all ends well, with cookies and a lamb named Valentine. Accompanied by soft pastel watercolors that reflect the text, this is a simple, reassuring story."

Booklist, ALA

"In this quiet, James Herriot–style story, Heather’s self-pity evaporates as she tends the sickly newborn lamb Grandma discovers later that morning in the barn. . . . Carrick portrays Heather’s sadness, anger and happy realization that mothers are not the only ones who can love and care for their children. Bouma’s illustrations—soft washes of color bound by airy pencil marks—heighten the ingenuous tone of the story."

Publishers Weekly

"Carrick weaves accurate information into the story, creating a tale with a strong message about love and caring. Bouma’s watercolor-and- pencil illustrations, done in a soft palette with interesting color accents, blend well with the text. . . . A very successful effort that children will relate to and enjoy."

School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Heather says good-bye to her mom one Valentine's Day morning, she speaks for many children of working parents: ``Why do you always have to go to work?... I don't want you to go.'' But in this quiet, James Herriot-style story, Heather's self-pity evaporates as she tends the sickly newborn lamb Grandma discovers later that morning in the barn. Grandma warms him with a hairdryer, and Heather wraps him up in her blanket and feeds him a bottle. He recovers and Heather names him Valentine. When Mama returns, Heather says proudly, ``He needs me. ... His mother can't take care of him.'' Credibly and sensitively, Carrick (Two Very Little Sisters) portrays Heather's sadness, anger and happy realization that mothers are not the only ones who can love and care for their children (or lambs). Bouma's (One More Time) illustrations-soft washes of color bound by airy pencil marks-heighten the ingenuous tone of the story. Ages 5-8. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
PreS-K-It's Valentine's Day and Heather is upset. With understated prose, Carrick captures a familiar mini-drama played out in countless homes: "`Why do you always have to go to work?' said Heather. I don't want you to go.'" Mama answers, "`I would rather stay home with you.'" The plot line is simple and effective: the child and her grandmother plan to spend the day baking Valentine cookies (a project that distracts Heather for only a little while), but when they go out to the sheep pen to check Clover, the day takes on an abrupt turn: one of her newborn lambs is cold and stiff. The life-and-death suspense that follows is mild and appropriate for young children, who will be fascinated by the ways in which Grandma and Heather warm up and save the little lamb, Valentine. Carrick weaves accurate information into the story, creating a tale with a strong message about love and caring. Bouma's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, done in a soft palette with occasional interesting color accents, blend well with the text. Visual details reflect comfort and safety: cozy kitchen, warm fire, child-sized rocker, steam billowing from a kettle, a nosy black cat. A very successful effort that children will relate to and enjoy.-Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618051519
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/21/2001
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Carrick has written more than twenty-five well-received books for Clarion, including PATRICK'S DINOSAURS, one of the many books illustrated by her late husband, Donald Carrick. She lives in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2013

    Heather is sad to see Mama leave for work on Valentine¿s Day. Gr

    Heather is sad to see Mama leave for work on Valentine’s Day. Grandma tries to get “such a sad face on this special day” to turn around by making Valentine cookies shaped like the animals on Grandma’s farm, a sheep, some chickens, and some cats – and a special heart cookie for Mama’s Valentine. While the cookies bake, Grandma and Heather check on the pregnant sheep Clover – to find that she’s given birth to two lambs! Heather bends down to see through the fence. She sees a shocking sight! Apparently there are THREE lambs, but one was on the ground, barely alive! Heather soon forgets about her sadness and thinks about helping the little lamb she calls Valentine.

    Why I liked this book – First off, this has got to be one of the cutest Valentine’s books ever! The illustrations are warm, and inviting! I like the untold words in the pictures. Like when Grandma is putting the second batch of cookies in, Heather is smiling and pointing at the heart cookie for Mama. I like what Grandma and Heather do to try to save the lamb. Heather is frequently worried if the lamb is alive. One of my favorite lines from that time is “Grandma, I don’t want the lamb to die”. It is so touching and pretty much sums up the feelings of someone afraid of losing someone. I like the happy ending!
    **Note - I reviewed a library copy of this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    Great story for children!

    I read this book to a group of 6-7 year olds and they loved it! It has was a great book for Valentine's Day that showed love and caring without being silly (like so many children's books)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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