THE VALENTINE EXPRESS

Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Author . Cavendish $16.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5183-9

Minna and Pip learn all about the history and customs surrounding February 14, and then celebrate with a jolly class party (one of the helpers is their father, who dons a pink shirt and pours pink lemonade for the occasion). But that's not enough for these two rabbits: they want to ensure that no grownup in their neighborhood gets left out on Valentine's Day. Wallace (Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! ), capitalizing on the crafty feel of her own three-dimensional, cut- paper collage artwork, incorporates instructions for simple but nifty valentines into a story of how the rabbits manufacture their greetings and deliver them with their red wagon. There's a heart-shaped jigsaw for Mrs. Wunder, a puzzle fan on crutches; a flag featuring a butterfly with hearts for wings for the local ballet teacher; and a tic-tac-toe game with pink and purple hearts (in lieu of Xs and Os) for the bespectacled Mr. and Mrs. Checkers. The writing tends towards the obvious and stilted ("You are filling our home with hearts and love," says Mrs. Checker. "Thank you sweet neighbors!"), and the valentine-making directions bring the narrative to a halt. But crafty youngsters will likely brush these qualms aside and run for the scissors, glue and construction paper. Ages 5-8. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-7614-5447-2
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