Reviews for 10 Valentine Friends : A Holiday Counting Book

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Lighthearted but awkwardly rhymed text and splashy digital illustrations depict ten friends making cards for each other and setting up a Valentine's Day party (but whose house are they decorating?). The counting aspect is hard to follow since there are often more (or fewer) cards per spread than the text indicates.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 December #1
Davick complements the late Schulman's serviceable, rhyming verse with pleasant, digitally rendered pictures of circle-faced friends preparing for Valentine's Day. The fourth title in this duo's series of holiday counting books (10 Easter Egg Hunters, 2010, etc.) introduces the ethnically diverse crew on the opening page with strategically placed candy hearts identifying their names. The following two-page spreads feature the author's couplet describing each valentine, its creator and recipient: "Annie Lee knows how Pete likes bugs. / He'll really dig her squishy slugs!" On the right half of the recto of these spreads is white space that fills up one by one with the various valentines. Once all 10 are completed, the narrator asks and answers, "Did everyone--even the cat-- / get lots of cards? YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT!" For those up for greater challenges, turn the page to see dozens of additional valentines. "How many can YOU count?" Readers may also extend the fun further by trying to spot the 10 valentines from the story. The flat illustrations made up of bright hues on pastel backgrounds are amiable enough. But the book's smaller size as well as the detailed depictions of the kids' artwork will likely limit its use to sharing one-on-one or with an intimate group. Not much new here--consider it an additional purchase. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 November #4

Fourth in Davick and the late Schulman's holiday-themed series of counting books, this outing focuses on 10 children's Valentine's Day preparations. In each scene, a child creates a personalized valentine for one of his or her friends: "Tom likes to pretend to be a gorilla. Guess what he gets from his neighbor Priscilla./ Annie Lee knows how Pete likes bugs./ He'll really dig her squishy slugs!" The valentines are collected on the right side of each spread, while the kids busy themselves making cards, decorating a house with streamers and balloons, and enjoying party food. The bright, eye-catching spreads offer ample details for readers to explore, and the upbeat rhymes (and the emphasis on tailor-made gifts) should help get them in the mood for some craft projects of their own. Ages 3-8. (Dec.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 December

PreS-Gr 1--During a neighborhood party, 10 children work diligently to make just the right valentine cards for one another. Aloysius has "sweet-tooth wishes," so he gives Alexandra chocolate kisses, while Priscilla gives Tom a gorilla card in honor of his favorite animal. From the outset, the rhyme scheme jolts along, forcing rhymes like, "A dinosaur card, thinks little Pete,/my pal Max would find real neat." The digital artwork is a sugar overload with pinks, reds, and purples dominating the palette. There is a lack of depth, leaving the activities on each spread hard to distinguish from the background. The children resemble bobblehead dolls complete with manic grins and static limbs. The moral of giving thoughtful handmade valentines to friends is made woefully trite, as neither the rhyme scheme nor the artwork has any real sweetness.--Jenna Boles, Washington-Centerville Public Library, OH

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