Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever

Author: Brenda A. Ferber
Illustrator: Tedd Arnold
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Children (December 6, 2012)
Audience: Ages 4 to 8
Source: Copy for Review
Valentine's Day * Friendship * Fiction

Description from GoodReads:
Even boys will fall in love with this valentine!

Leon has a crush. A let-her-cut-in-line-at-the-water-fountain kind of crush. And he's got the perfect valentine. But this valentine has no intention of getting caught up in any romantic conspiracy. "Love is yucky, kid! Valentine's Day is all about CANDY!" the card yells at Leon, before leaping out the window and running away, leaving Leon to chase it across town, collecting interested kids along the way.

Here is a hilarious take on the holiday that boys love to hate, the most complex holiday of them all. Saying "I love you" has never been so yucky or so sweet

Thoughts on this book:
If you are looking for some humor on Valentine's Day, Ferber's book The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever will provide you with a chuckle and leave you with a sweet feeling.  Leon has a crush on Zoey Maloney and proceeds to create a Valentine for her.  With a nod to the Gingerbread Man, what happens next mixes humor and excitement as the neighborhood boys, and girls and teens run after Leon in an attempt to capture the Valentine who seems to be opposed to being a valentine.  I love when Leon and the Valentine finally meet up with Zoey Maloney.  Maybe there is more than one match about to happen in the end.

Tedd Arnold's illustrations are the perfect partner for the text and adds just the right amount of fun and sass to the story.  I don't often add too many new books to my Valentine's collection because most do not add anything new to the vast number of books out there.  However, this one definitely has a place in a classroom or school library.

For additional resources, check out Brenda Ferber's website for an activity kit for the book.