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!
Written and illustrated by Diane de Groat
Published by Harper Collins, 1997
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.