Friday, February 12, 2016

SNOWY VALENTINE Children's Read Aloud Along Story Book


Written and illustrated by David Petersen

Ages 4+

Unwrapping some fabulous illustrations...

My Review...

Jasper bunny loves his wife Lilly very, very much.  Valentine's Day is approaching and he has nothing worthy to give to her to show his great love.  He bundles up one winter's morning and ploughs his way to his neighbours' homes for a visit. He hopes perhaps they can inspire him and help him find that perfect gift. 

First stop is Porcupine's snug dwelling.  The whole family is busily knitting beautiful scarves for mama. Although the scarves are lovely poor Jasper doesn't even know how to knit so that won't help him out much.  Next on his list is the Frog family.  Mariam Frog displays the perfect gift to him, in her opinion anyway.  She shows Jasper a lovely gift box filled with chocolate-covered flies.  The ideal gift for a frog...but for a bunny? No that will not work Jasper thinks. 

Everett Raccoon is peddling "beautiful blooms and fantastic flowers", but unfortunately the cold has made them all wilted and dead looking...not a love-gift that Jasper wants to give to his beloved wife. Of all the gifts that he witnesses none are appropriate or befitting to give to his darling wife.  

Fox invites Jasper inside his abode and spouts off about the perfect gifts to give.  During that visit Jasper almost becomes part of the Valentine's Day gift that Fox wants to give to his vixen... a tasty, yummy rabbit stew.  Oh my!  Jasper luckily escapes.  Cold, wet, downhearted and tired he trudges home. On the way a beautiful red cardinal shows him a lovely necklace of winter berries, but Jasper hardly notices he is too heartbroken.  Poor Lilly whatever shall he give to her to show his undying love?  

From the cardinal's perch high in his tree he can see exactly what Jasper can give.  A true gift of love that isn't manufactured but comes out of a pure that shows Lilly his true love.  When she sees what Jasper has created from his caring, tender heart she is thrilled and has an exceptional, happy Valentine's Day. 

The artwork started with pencil drawings, then ink.  Peterson used photos of fabric and other items then arranged them to get the effects that he desired.  The story works well as a read aloud for a group but especially when curled up on a cold winter's eve, snuggled together under the covers and shared one-to-one.  Because there is so much emphasis on the winter theme in this book it would be ideal to share all season long.

About the author/ illustrator...

Author and Illustrator David Petersen
David Petersen is most well-known for his award-winning Mouse Guard series of graphic novels, which the About.Com Comics Guide, Aaron Albert, includes on his list of The Top Kids Graphic Novels. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 and Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 were 2008 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award winners.
On his blog, Petersen provides a detailed three-part illustrated overview of the process of creating the Valentine's Day picture book. See Snowy Valentine: My 1st Children's Book: (part 1), part 2, and part 3. It's interesting to learn how the book evolved as Petersen worked with the publisher.

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