Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

Cupid’s Heart Finds a Home

11 Feb

Thought I’d come back to life for a moment and enter Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny story competition. Rules: 1) story must contain a character who is confused, 2) be no more than 214 words, and 3) be written for kids to enjoy. Well, maybe I’m entertaining and distracting myself, too, in these troubling times. So here’s my 214-word story….

69079793 - pink heart box and chocolates with heart shape to give in valentine's day.

Cupid’s Heart Finds a Home


By Jilanne Hoffmann


Dear Stupid Cupid,

Last year, you gave me a green candy cane. I barfed. Please don’t do that again.

Disgustedly Yours,



Dear Hurty Gertie,

You hurt my feelings. It’s not nice to call someone stupid.

Sorry you’ve been sick. I know nothing about candy canes or the color green. I only know about chocolate, the color red, and hearts. Maybe you have me confused with someone else?




Dear Clueless and Confused Cupid,

Sorry to hurt your feelings, but I’m sure it was you. Speaking of red, you wear a red suit, don’t you?




Dear Gertie,

No, I wear my birthday suit.


Bare-bunned Cupid


Dear Birthday Suit Cupid,

Now I’m confused. My birthday’s in June, but I got the candy cane in December, along with a bunch of toys. Does your mom really let you go outside naked?




Dear Gertie,

I have no family, no home. I’m just a lonely cherub, spreading love and chocolate around the world, not toys.




Dear Sad and Homeless Cupid,

Please come live with me! You can sleep in my room, and I’ll give you clothes to wear. We’ll hide the chocolates under my bed.

Your friend,



Dearest Gertie,

On my way! Happy Valentine’s Day!

All my love,



Now, if I were a lit major, I’d read between the lines and realize that this story is really about becoming a little less selfish and welcoming those who need a little extra love and support into our homes. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!


A Crankenstein Valentine – Perfect Picture Book Friday

12 Jun

It’s time for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! Ever get cranky on days that everyone else likes to celebrate? Looking for someone who’s simpatico with your outlook? Well, A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger (illustrated by the fabulous Dan Santat), may be right up your alley. (Yes, I know we’re nowhere near Valentine’s Day, but I saw this sitting on the “new” shelf at the library today and fell in love.) Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.29.12 PM Is this your average Valentine’s Day sweet book? 6349266_s End paper hearts, containing the words:





Put the reader in the right mood. The opening spread shows a bedroom door covered in posters of a skull, “Keep Out,” and “Stay Away.” Mom’s hand, the sleeve of her arm covered in a cheery valentine pattern, pushes open the door. She says:

Have you seen my little sweetheart, Crankenstein? You can’t miss Crankenstein on Valentine’s Day. 

Then on the page turn, the narrative makes an interesting switch to second person:


Crankenstein would say, YECHHHH!

Mom gives poor little Crankenstein a present:

You would say, Look who got brand-new HEART UNDIES!

Crankenstein would say, YECHHHH!

And the day goes downhill from there. Taking roses to teachers, getting smooched on the schoolbus, eating mom’s lovingly prepared heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the school cafeteria. Oh, the HORROR of the biggest, mushiest, sappiest day one must ever endure at school!  Trouble is, everyone else LOVES LOVES LOVES Valentine’s Day. 26368674_s Until— Soulmates unite.  35380713_s For anyone who suffers through celebrations, events, parties, etc…that everyone else seems to love. All you need is a kindred spirit who feels the same way you do.

Title: A Crankenstein Valentine

Author: Samantha Berger

Illustrator: Dan Santat

Publisher: Little Brown

Pub Date: 2014

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