Reviews for If You'll Be My Valentine
Booklist Reviews 2004 December #2
PreS-Gr. 2. This pleasant picture book brings a young child's sensibility to Valentine's Day. In each verse of the rhyming text, a little boy addresses someone or something he loves, from his cat and his teddy bear to his little sister, his big brother, and his parents. He makes a card for each, expressing his affection and offering a way of spending time together, such as pulling his sister in a wagon or making funny faces with his father. The simplicity of the words and the warmth of the shared activities are reflected in the large scale of the artwork, which creates a friendly, reassuring world with its rounded forms, smiling characters, and gentle colors. ((Reviewed December 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Spring
A boy distributes handmade valentine cards to his family and others. Each valentine comes with its own appealing rhyme written just for the recipient. For Grandma: "If you'll be my valentine / I'll write a special letter. / I'll add some hugs / and kisses, too, / to make it even better." Bright, childlike illustrations show the boy interacting with his loved ones. Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2004 December #2
"If you'll be my valentine / I'll kiss you on the nose / I'll scratch your ears / and rub your head / and pet your little toes," writes a young boy to his kitten. Each double-page spread presents the rhyming text of a Valentine's Day card above a picture of the card that he's created. There is one for all of the special someones in his life. He also writes to his dog, grandmother, siblings, teddy, parents, and a bird outside his window. The Valentine's wishes end as he's tucked into bed with a kiss on the cheek. Rylant's sweet, simple rhymes capture the likely sentiments of a toddler without resorting to syrup or sentimentality. Kosaka's serene, silly, smiling cartoon toddler, captured mostly in close-up with the object of his Valentine, is rendered in bright chalk pastel. The text and illustrations are a fine match, making this an excellent addition to holiday collection. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 December #1
What are the rewards of becoming the boy narrator's valentine? That depends on whom he's addressing. On the left-hand side of each spread, readers see a homemade heart-themed missive specially tailored for a beloved recipient; opposite, a full-bleed illustration demonstrates how the sentiment inside the card plays out-and clearly it's an offer too good to refuse. For his dog, the boy draws a heart with a bone where Cupid's arrow would go, and promises, "If you'll be my valentine/ I'll give you extra treaties/ I'll give you two/ and maybe three/ and let you lick my feeties." Mom gets a valentine covered in hearts that doubles as an invitation to tea for two-during which the hero displays a suave mastery of pouring. For a big brother who undoubtedly thinks Valentine's Day is mushy, the boy makes a ghoulish valentine and proposes to "make you funny faces." Kosaka's (Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed) simply rendered, openhearted pictures provide literal distillations of the text, but do little to energize the gentle rhymes. Older or antsier readers may wish for more visual hooks and a less sentimental ending ("We'll love the trees/ and all the world.../ We'll love each other, too"). Younger children, however, will likely warm to the book's genial straightforwardness, and eagerly speculate on the ideal valentines for recipients of their own acquaintance. Ages 3-8. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2005 February
PreS-A little boy creates and presents valentines to his pets, family members, and even his teddy bear in this appealing picture book. Told entirely in rhyme, the story commemorates kindness as well as love: the child reads a book to a younger brother and sends an affectionate note to his grandmother. There are also touches of humor: he tells his dog, "If you'll be my valentine/I'll give you extra treaties./I'll give you two/and maybe three/and let you lick my feeties." The text reads smoothly and is ideal for sharing aloud. Kosaka's pastel artwork is warm and cheery, depicting simply drawn characters set against textured backdrops. On each spread, the text is printed on the left page above a small picture of the appropriate valentine; the right side contains a large illustration of the youngster interacting with the card's recipient. Include this book in holiday programs that celebrate sentiment over commercialism.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.