First Valentine

Scholastic/Cartwheel. Dec. 2022. 24p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781338803938.
PreS–In this Valentine’s story, a child called little friend struggles to make a heart for a valentine. Little friend’s dog is there for support but cutting a valentine shape is still hard. The first attempt results in a circle, followed by a square, then a rectangle, triangle, and star. It seems like making a heart will never be a success. Little friend is ready to give up and sits on the chair with legs up, arms crossed, and sad eyes. Even the dog looks worried. The mood changes when little friend looks down at the floor and sees that all the shapes have come together into the shape of a heart. The story has a happy ending when little friend gets to present the piece of art to grateful recipients. Text and illustrations work well together. Little friend and other characters are Black.
VERDICT Recommended; this title combines the theme of Valentine’s Day with lessons on shapes and not giving up when faced with a challenge.

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