Good morning, sweet friends! Before I get started, I wanted to thank you for the birthday comments/visits and warm wishes from afar. It's so fun to get to know you all even more through the love you leave me here. I won't ever be able to completely express how much that means to me, but I'm sure going to try. Thank you so very much!
This month's For the Love of Books pick comes just in time for our love-filled, sweet-treat holiday that's just around the bend and is written for children ages five to eight. It is such a relatable story for children whose parents must go to work, and I love the way its rugged yet cozy, pencil and watercolor illustrations are a perfect reflection of life on the farm.
Valentine, written by Carol Carrick and illustrated by Paddy Bouma, Heather holds on tight to Mama as she's getting ready to leave for work. "Don't go," she said. "It's Valentine's Day." Grandma tried to cheer her up by having her help make cookie valentines, including a heart-shaped one for Mama; but Heather's smile quickly faded, when she was told she couldn't eat one until they were baked. Heather "always had to wait. Wait for Valentine's Day. Wait for cookies to bake. Wait for Mama to come home." Fortunately, Grandma was good with distractions and, while the cookies were baking, led Heather out to the barn to check on the sheep. To their surprise, they found three baby lambs, but one of them felt cold and stiff. Grandma warmed him in a hot bath, and Heather offered her very own towel to dry him. After Grandma dried him completely with Mama's hair dryer, Heather "covered him with her blanket. The blanket always made her feel better." A little, warm milk made the lamb wag his tail and bleat. Heather was filled with laughter. She couldn't wait to show Mama her special cookie AND Valentine, the name she appropriately gave the little lamb, announcing, "He needs me. His mother can't take care of him."
Thanks so much for reading! Don't forget to get your name in the hat for my Birthday Giveaway by the close of the day tomorrow, and may your Valentine's Day be as tender and full of love as Heather's. Hugs!