The Mystery of the Love List

Viking. Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593352212.
PreS-Gr 2–Mystery-loving Pippa the porcupine has a problem: Valentine’s Day is coming and her whole class is working on their “love lists” of “things that take up room in your heart.” Pippa, who would rather read the latest “Sherlock Gnomes” mystery novel than make a list, sadly doesn’t have a best friend to share things with. She soon learns, however, that a mysterious classmate has added Pippa to a love list and wants to be her friend. How can she figure out who it is? Using a variety of clues, Pippa sets about solving the mystery of the new best friend, who turns out to be quiet, shy, easily overlooked Mitzi the Mouse. Charming illustrations include several visual clues (such as Mitzi reading the same book Pippa loves) and the text includes a few silly puns (a game of “Deer, Deer, Moose” rather than “Duck, Duck, Goose”) that are perfect for young readers. Though the opening line, “When you’re the only porcupine in your class you stand out” doesn’t lead anywhere—there is only one of each type of animal represented—this is a sweet Valentine’s Day story with a mystery twist.
VERDICT A fine addition to holiday story collections for young readers.

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