Roses are Pink, Your Feet really Stink – PPBF

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I know none of you are aware it’s Valentine’s Day next Thursday, right? Well, even if you and your partner aren’t into exchanging lovey dovey notes and flowers, your kids might still enjoy this sweet Valentine’s Day oops. Valentine’s Day was not big for kids in my country growing up, but if you have some fun first Valentine’s stories, do share in the comments!

rosesRoses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

Written and illustrated by Diane de Groat

Published by Harper Collins, 1997

Readily available 

Ages: 3-7

Themes: friendship, Valentine’s Day, teasing, making mends

Synopsis: Poor Gilbert! He had to eat alone at lunch and at recess everyone ignored him! How could his friends be so mean, especially on Valentine’s Day? Unfortunately, Gilbert’s problems all came about because of something he did. Gilbert wrote mean Valentine’s cards to 2 of his classmates and then he didn’t even sign his name on the cards, he wrotetheir names on the cards. Once Margaret and Lewis figured out that it was Gilbert that wrote the cards and wrote their names, everyone was mad at Gilbert. Thankfully, at the end of the day, his friend Patty asked why he did it. Gilbert finally explained that he wrote those mean things because Margaret was mean to him when she teased him about his glasses and Lewis was mean to him when the tweaked his nose. Margaret and Lewis never knew that the things they did hurt Gilbert’s feelings. Now that everyone knew how each other felt, they all said sorry and had a wonderful Valentine’s Day party, as friends.

Why I like this book: This is a great Valentine’s Day book with an important message about teasing and kindness! I think it is great to use this celebration to talk in class about how we can be god friends to one another. The story is a simple, charming story, through which children will understand the importance of saying one’s sorry and second chances. Her soft text and wonderful watercolor illustrations reveal well the small slightsvthat can be so hurtful to young children and her positive, uplifting ending and straightforward solution should open good discussions at home and at school.

Activities: I think making Valentine’s cards and poems would be the most obvious activity from this story.

Diane has some great Valentine’s activities on her website.

Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids


Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

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25 Responses to Roses are Pink, Your Feet really Stink – PPBF

  1. I love your Valentine Book and what a very special message it has too. It’s a kind of “second chance” kind of story. When everyone realises what they do hurt others, to be forgiven and start again, as friends, is very special. I loved it, Joanna.
    Not sure what hubby and I will be doing on Valentine’s Day, but if you check out my blog in a day or two you might work out where we will Thank you, Joanna.

  2. I have heard about this book before. I think I’ll give it a try now! 🙂

  3. Good message, great author! THanks, Joanna

  4. Tina Cho says:

    Love the illustrations on the cover! Wish I had this for my kids to read. They’re getting excited for Valentine’s Day. Now to make plans!

  5. A good reminder that small slights can feel huge. And a good way to move on from it. Thanks for sharing the book, Joanna.

  6. I almost forgot Valentine’s was approaching. Sigh. I have a quiz in class that night, so now I’m keenly aware of the day. 🙂 This looks like a great book.

  7. HA! HA! When I saw the title of the book Pink Roses, the last place I thought it would appear was on your blog…then I saw the rest. What a fun Valentaines Day book with a poignant message and lessons learned. So relevant to today. Great share!

  8. Oh my goodness, Joanna…what a great story for Valentine’s Day! Thanks for sharing it with us for PPBF. I LOVE the title…hilarious.:) And making Valentine’s Day cards is the perfect activity.

  9. Great choice! Retaliation is never a good idea, because rarely anyone knew or remembers who did the first wrong :0)

  10. This sounds like a fun and different Valentines story, Joanna. Definitely a theme I think a lot of kids could relate to – we’ve all been teased at one time or another, and we’ve all made poor decisions about how to handle a difficult situation. Great choice! Thanks for adding it to our list 🙂

  11. Great choice – love isn’t only lovey-dovey. I am intrigued by Gilbert’s expression on the cover too. I don’t know if you are aware, Joanna, but in most elementary schools in the States children bring in valentine’s for all their classmates, and each class/school has another method of delivery. One year my son was ill the week before Valentine’s and in that time he needed to make a Valentine post box to receive cards. With all the days we had, we went all out: built a castle with a drawbridge that really worked; you needed to let it down to place a card inside. We even made little guard figures with pipe cleaners, plaster of paris, and paint. It was a lovely illness!

  12. Joanna says:

    Oh, my, I didn’t know all this, Julie, and I love the fort valentine’s post box!

  13. Leslie Rose says:

    I adore this book. It’s in my PB library and is always a favorite for my 5th graders to read to their 2nd grade buddies.

  14. Rhythm says:

    I like this book a lot! It’s a good read aloud for a class. Thanks for sharing it. Nice review and nice activities!

  15. Cathy Mealey says:

    Cute! What kind of critter is Gilbert? Can’t really tell – not that it matters – but it would be the 1st question my kiddo asked!

  16. What a great message! Kids don’t often realize (and adults sometimes don’t either) that teasing/being mean really hurts. I confess I still have trouble with teasing, because there’s usually a barb in it somewhere… Thanks for sharing this book, Joanna! (sorry I’m late to the PPBF party this week.)

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