Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue...

Hugs and kisses abound in an array of heartfelt titles just right for book-loving Valentines. Cheerful and high-spirited I Love You! A Bushel and a Peck adapts Frank Loesser's lyrics from a song in Guys and Dolls. Rosemary Wells, in her illustrations, introduces a brightly-colored pair of yellow ducks who eye each other, talk on the phone nightly and eventually drive off together in a shiny red, wind-up toy convertible. Loesser's melody is included at the end, highlighting the tune's folksy phrases (e.g., "it beats me all to heck," "y'bet your pretty neck" and "Doodle oodle oodle ooo"). (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 3-6 ISBN 0-06-028549-4; Dec.)

The board book edition of I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy makes the ideal Valentine from mother to child or for a new older sibling. In our Best Books citation, PW said, "Murphy offers indisputable proof that a newborn is one of nature's most powerful mood enhancers, as various pairs of animals gleefully compare notes in rhythmic prose about feeding, tickling or serenading the titular baby." (Candlewick, $6.99 16p ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. ISBN 0-7636-2443-8; Jan.)

Martin Waddell's Who Do You Love?, illus. by Camilla Ashforth, makes a smooth transition to board book edition, with watercolor paintings that show an imaginative, loving cat whose bedtime game with her mother ends with a reassuring "I love you." PW said of the original, "Preschoolers will love being in on this go-to-bed game, and will want to try it out for themselves." (Candlewick, $6.99 24p ages 1-3 ISBN 0-7636-2565-5; Jan.)

Cupid targets grade-school children, picnicking cats, lovebirds and a pair of bees in A Recipe for Valentine's Day: A Rebus Lift-the-Flap Story by Marion Dane Bauer. Sweetly drawn illustrations by Jennifer Herbert show love blossoming on every page, and tiny images on flaps correspond with the words they hide. (Little Simon, $6.99 paper 16p ages 3-7 ISBN 0-689-85895-7; Jan.)

Hearts, love and candy come to the fore in a dozen poems offered in the I Can Read book Valentine Hearts: Holiday Poetry, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins (who contributes a pair of poems himself), illus. by JoAnn Adinolfi. Marilyn Singer pays homage to the happy glittery, gluey mess involved in making Valentines, while Ann Whitford Paul pens a heartfelt missive from a smitten fellow. Adinolfi's artwork incorporates stamped images, frilly patterns and fuchsia-toned backgrounds that may well inspire readers' own love notes. (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-06-008057-4; Dec.)

The team behind the bestselling Bear Snores On, Karma Wilson and Suzanne Watts pair up again for Bear Hugs: Romantically Ridiculous Animal Rhymes. This time each rhyme highlights a different animal, and love's various aspects, including a cat enamored of himself, a moose who falls in love with a Jersey cow, and a rooster too chicken to ask a hen for a date. A greeting card featuring the title ursine pair is affixed to the inside back cover. (S&S/McElderry, $14.95 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-689-85763-2; Jan.)

Lucy Cousins's Maisy makes an appearance not once, but twice this sweetheart season. In the paper-over-board book, With Love from Maisy, the mouse star returns from a trip with gifts for Eddie, Charley and all the gang. With tabs that pull out, fold out and pop-up surprises emerge on every page, including a present to readers, from Maisy herself, on the final spread. (Candlewick, $13.99 16p ages 2-5 ISBN 0-7636-2513-2; Feb.)

In her second appearance, Maisy sends her love to readers with Maisy Loves You Book and Toy Gift Set, which includes a board book edition of Maisy Loves You and a plush Maisy doll, decked out in a shirt with a red heart on it. In the book, she shows how she cares for her friends by baking cookies, singing songs and giving them flowers. (Candlewick, $12.99 10p all ages ISBN 0-7636-2564-7; Jan.)

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat's winsome detective (and his dog) has not one, but two mysteries to solve in Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine, illus. by Marc Simont. This chapter book (originally published in 1994) is being reissued with 24 pages of bonus activities, including trivia questions, craft projects, recipes and riddles all related to Valentines Day. (Dell/ Yearling, $4.50 paper 80p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-440-41013-4; Dec.)

Queen of Hearts, the third Ann Estelle story by Mary Engelbreit, finds the heroine and her friends engaged in a time-hallowed class project: transforming shoe boxes into valentine mailboxes. But Ann Estelle, who deems her box "The Queen of Hearts," is not content with pink paper and crayons, festooning hers with ribbons, feathers, glitter—even a spritz of her mother's perfume. The pages brim with valentine-motif border designs, leading up to a final twist. (HarperCollins, $15.99 32p ages 4-8 ISBN 0-06-008181-3; Dec.)

Funny Honey Valentine, illustrated by Steven Salerno, is a valentine's greeting made gift-ready with its silver foil, red bow and gift tag. The novelty board book format with tiny chunky pages featuring rhyming phrases and whimsical illustrations is sure to capture the hearts of a wide range of readers. Kissing canines in "Pooch smooch" will tickle youngest Cupid fans, while a turtle bearing a rose bouquet and chocolates for "Slow beau" will appeal to veterans of romance. (Little Simon, $5.99 24p all ages ISBN 0-689-87056-6; Jan.)

Believe It or Not!

The paper-over-board Ripley's Believe It or Not! guide celebrates its 75th anniversary in a coffee-table-size hardcover with a (literally) eye-catching holographic cover. With chapters including "Body & Mind," "Wonders of Science" and "Beyond Belief," this volume ups the weird factor, covering instances of alien abduction, spontaneous combustion and incredible human and animal feats in a visually engaging format saturated with fun photos. (Ripley Entertainment, $25.95 256p all ages ISBN 1-893951-73-1; Oct.)

Ripley's Believe It or Not: Special Edition 2005 by Mary Packard updates records, exploits and oddities. Notable entries in the paper-over-board book include Aron Ralston's ill-fated 2003 hiking trip, in which he had to amputate his own arm when a boulder pinned him in a canyon, and Hira Ratan Manek, from India, who has (at the book's printing) survived 130 days without food, by drinking liquids and staring at the sun. A colorful format, photos, illustrations and "Extra! Extra!" sections of historical feats make for a glossy guide to the strange but true facts. (Scholastic, $14.95 144p all ages ISBN 0-439-65191-3; Oct.)

The Art World

The renowned pop artist joins the paper-over-board Adventure in Art series, Andy Warhol: Paintings for Children by Silvia Neysters and Sabine Soll-Tauchert. Warhol's story—starting with his drawings for Glamour magazine and continuing through his creation of the Factory—pairs with fine reproductions of his works and flower-shaped sidebars inspired by his floral prints. The book also explains the artistic techniques Warhol employed and suggests related creative projects. (Prestel [212-995-2720], $14.95 30p ISBN 3-7913-3063-2; Nov.)

A companion to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Can You Find It? is Can You Find It, Too?: Search and Discover More Than 150 Details in 20 Works of Art by Judith Cressy, which encourages readers to examine closely some famed artwork from across the centuries to discover a variety of items. Kids peruse works from Horemhab Offering Wine to Anubis, by an unknown artist circa 1323—1295 B.C., to The Haywain or Path of Life by Hieronymus Bosch (1450—1516) of the Netherlands. The museum home of each can be found in the back, along with a brief analysis of the piece. (Abrams, $15.95 40p ages 5-9 ISBN 0-8109-5046-4; Nov.)

Kathleen Thorne-Thomsen (Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids) returns with another crafty examination of American architecture in Greene & Greene for Kids. Historical and architectural details (as well as photos, illustrations and documents), intermix with a chronicle of the brothers' early years, and work at their architectural firm (they were peers of Frank Lloyd Wright). Kids with an eye for history, architecture and design should enjoy the background presented, as well as numerous craft and activity ideas. (Gibbs Smith, $17.95 112p ages 4-8 ISBN 1-58685-440-2; Nov.)