cover image Mr. Goat’s Valentine

Mr. Goat’s Valentine

Eve Bunting, illus. by Kevin Zimmer. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-944-7

For readers who think Valentine’s Day is too sappy, Bunting and Zimmer have an ideal antidote. That’s because Mr. Goat’s idea of the perfect gifts for his “first love” include ragweed salad in a rusty can and two-year-old rotten eggs. “Guaranteed foul and disgusting,” says the proud vendor. Zimmer playfully emphasizes the story’s gross-out moments in his exaggerated, vibrantly colored illustrations, and Bunting keeps the target of Mr. Goat’s affections secret until the final page. Suffice it to say that mothers will be happier to receive this book than, say, a box of “black and oozing” rotten eggs. Ages 5–7. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Jan.)