The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever

illus. by Tedd Arnold. 32p. Dial. Dec. 2012. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3505-7.
PreS-Gr 2—Young Leon is hopelessly in love with Zoey Maloney. But the valentine he makes for her comes to life and declares, "Love is yucky. Stinky too. It will turn your brain to goo!" and takes off. As Leon chases it through town, followed by other kids who are eager to see how "this whole mess" turns out, the valentine delivers a compelling argument as to why Leon should not share his love for Zoey. It's not until the valentine meets Zoey's valentine that the cynic abruptly changes his mind and says, "Love is yummy. Love's divine. Won't you be my valentine?" Arnold's full-page, boldly colored, digitally created cartoonlike illustrations are dynamic, bringing the chase to life. With its creative story line and upbeat writing, this picture book is a must for holiday collections.—Mary Cass Mabbot, Indianapolis Public Library

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