At school everyone is busy making valentines to send to their friend Michiko in Japan. As they cut, paste and decorate, they reflect back on the wonderful times they had with their friend. After they finish, all the kids head off to the post office to mail their cards. Later in the week, a package arrives and it has valentines for each of them from Michiko. It is a cheerful story filled with a multicultural cast of kids. The big question, however, that parents and caregivers will be askedwhy is Michiko in Japan? Was she only a visitor to the school, or is she just visiting her grandparents and due to returna good subject for discussion. There is also a challenge offered to kids by the illustrator, who asks them to find the more than two hundred hearts depicted throughout. 2001, HarperCollins, $14.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
PreS-Gr 3-Continuing their series of picture books depicting special days (Career Day , Show & Tell Day , Halloween Day , and Thanksgiving Day [1999, all HarperCollins]), the Rockwells have again produced a realistic example of a classroom celebration. Mrs. Madoff's students are busy making valentines for Michiko, who is visiting family in Japan. Using construction paper, crayons, glitter glue, etc., each child creates a card and writes a personal message to her. Each valentine appears on a page with the short text that describes it, while the picture opposite illustrates the sentiment with which it was designed. For example, "Sarah's valentine is pink. Her valentine says, `I miss you every single day, especially when it's snack time,'" is accompanied by a picture of the two girls sitting at a table sharing crackers and juice. Finally, the class takes a field trip to the post office to mail the cards. On Valentine's Day, they enjoy the origami valentines they receive from Michiko, and exchange cards as well. With a simple and accessible text that accurately reflects the language of preschool and primary classrooms, this book depicts a common childhood experience. The animated, colored-pencil illustrations give life to the faces of the classmates, as well as to their crafts and activities.-Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.