My favorite valentine is a book of course.
And because the outpouring of sweets is abundant at school, I give my kiddos books for valentine’s as well. This year Cole is getting Inkheart, Mary Polly a new Ivy and Bean, Ben a new My Weird School and Simon a new Mr. Putter.
In case you are looking for a book to give your littlest valentine, may I suggest a few recent favorites.
Of course, you could always pick up the new Bible storybook that I think is a treasure for any age.
February is also Black History month, so a wonderful choice is a new book by one of my favorite children’s authors, Patricia McKissack. All her books are lovely, and this new one that tells the story of the Gee’s Bend Quilters through pages and pages of gorgeous quilts is no exception. Baby Girl is making her first quilt and my favorite part is when she chooses a piece of material from an old pair of pants that her uncle wore the first time he went to vote. Each piece of the quilt tells a story, making a blanket of memories to save forever. I cried as I read this book aloud to my children after we discovered it on the new book shelf at our library. Then I wrote it down on my list of books I would like to own.
Another great choice for school aged children is Lois Lowry’s new book, The Willoughbys. Even better, get the audiobook version. Mother, Mary Polly and I laughed until we cried listening to this fun book on the way to Chicago. Then Mary Polly and I made the boys listen to it after we got back. We’re all still quoting our favorite funny lines. Ben’s: Raisins are actually turds. It’s funnier in context. Who knew that the author of the rather disturbing The Giver and terribly sad Number the Stars could be so cleverly light-hearted and hysterical? Oh, to possess such multi-faceted talent! She is another author to treasure for sure!
In the past year a couple of our other favorite read-alouds have been books by Pam Munoz Ryan. We have enjoyed both Riding Freedom and Esperanza Rising. Both stories brought to life eras of injustice in our country of which we still today face the fallout, therefore providing lots of good discussion and questions about racial prejudice, immigration, migrant farm workers and women’s rights through characters that all of the Chinos enjoyed getting to know. I will always remember sweet Esperanza and that her name embodies her story. Hope. I have picked up a couple more books by this author because we liked these so much, but we haven’t gotten to them yet.
A love story for your older valentine that we are enjoying for our Boxed Lunch Book Club this month is The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima. It is lilting and sweet, perfect for a valentine’s day read. Or for any dreamy afternoon.
Hope your valentine’s day is happy, sweet and full of dark chocolate!