Valentine’s Day ranks right up there with New Year’s Eve among my least favorite holidays. As a kid, there was always the thing about giving valentines to EVERYONE in the class, even if you couldn’t stand them. Mostly that just meant that whoever I didn’t really like got the worst valentines in the pack, but still. Then there was the added fun of having a birthday close to Valentine’s Day, which usually meant having a heart-shaped cake, as well as having to get heart-y napkins and plates. And as I got older, there was the inevitable Valentine’s Day pressure – what to do if you’re dating and feel obligated to do something, how to feel if you’re single.
Anyway, where kids’ books are concerned, I have always counted the excellent Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (by Eileen Spinelli) as my go-to Valentine’s Day book, even though I don’t think it specifically happens at Valentine’s Day. Really, it’s about reaching out to people and caring about your community, and who can argue with that?
This year, however, I’ll add Here Comes Valentine Cat, because it’s cute and interactive, and Cat is just a little persnickety, which is always nice. Cat doesn’t seem to like Valentine’s Day at first, either, which makes the inevitable sweet ending all the better. There is also some rocket-building and “roses are red” poems along the way. Rockets? Valentines? I’m there.
Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood, illustrations by Claudia Rueda