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This is Not a Valentine

This is Not a Valentine
Written by Carter Higgins
Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Chronicle £10.99
ISBN: 978-1452153742

A touching, beautiful and very down-to-earth book about really liking someone and not being interested in all the flowers and glitter of Valentine's Day. Set in a primary school on Valentine's Day when, all around them, students are passing red envelopes to each other, this understated book shows a young boy finding one way after another to show a young girl that he really likes and knows her. He knows that her best shoelaces are turquoise, just like the toy-ring he bought her, and that her favourite colours are brown and orange, not pink.

The simple, almost childlike, illustrations are a vital part of the narrative, as they add information and nuance to the text. Readers can enjoy tracing the boy's awkwardness, then growing confidence, as he gives a series of gifts throughout the day. The only card he actually hands over is one that the teacher made them make. Valentine's Day may be more of an institution in the United States where this book was written, however, it's complete lack of sentimentality, yet very genuine tone, makes This is Not a Valentine a delight to read.
Annalise Taylor


 

About Carousel

What is CAROUSEL?

Carousel, published 3 times a year is a magazine which aims to inform its readers about the world of children’s books. The contents of each issue include new book, signed reviews ranging from babies to young adults and covering fiction, poetry and information. Alongside are articles and in-depth interviews with authors and illustrators. The editorial team have a vast experience between them of working with young people as teachers, librarians and booksellers. The link between them is their passion for quality children’s books and their belief that every child has the right to be presented with appropriate books.
Elaine & Dave Chant

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Past issues

Carousel 65

Lemony Snicket, Nadiya Hussain, Wildwood (Carousel 66)

Carousel 65

Anthony Horowitz, Andy Riley, Lydia Monks (Carousel 65)

Carousel 64

Shaun Tan, Marion Deuchars, Bruce Ingman (Carousel 64)

Carousel 63

Alex T Smith, Jeanne Willis, Frances Hardinge (Carousel 63)

Carousel 62

Michael Foreman, William Grill, Robin Stevens (Carousel 62)

Carousel 61

Nicola Morgan, Richard Adams and Lauren Child (Carousel 61)

Carousel 60

Jacqueline Wilson. Modern take on Alice and more (Carousel 60)

Carousel 59

Frank Cottrell Boyce. Simon Mayo, children's author (Carousel 59)

Carousel 58

25 years of ELMER at Andersen Press. Michael Rosen . . . (Carousel 58)

Carousel 57

The Great War, Chris Haughton, Mick Inkpen, Erin Lange (Carousel 57)

Carousel 56

Oliver Jeffers, Robert Ingpen, Sophia McDougall (Carousel 56)

Carousel 55

Michael Morpugo, Emma Chichester Clark, Shirley Hughes (Carousel 55)