Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Friday, January 22, 2010

Boys and Valentines

Nate the Great and The Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat illustrations by Marc Simont

When a Valentine for Nate's dog Sludge mysteriously appears, Nate must investigate to find out who this Valentine is from. Before he gets very far in the case his friend Annie comes over looking for his help to solve her case of a missing Valentine she made. Although Nate does not like to take on two cases at one time he decides to make and exception for his friend Annie. Once on the case Nate is taken to Annie's house and her friend's Rosamond's house. After a hearty helping of pancakes Nate solves the case only to have another unexplained Valentine turn up on his door. Nate knows who this Valentine is from and decides rather than take it he will stay with Sludge until someone removes it.

This was a cute story of Valentine mystery. Nate, like most boys, does not like Valentines. I think this is a great Valentine story for boys and girls but really a great way to have a young boy read about Valentine's Day. Not mushy at all despite what the title implies. I like how many questions Nate asks as he tries to figure out this mystery. I also love the ending. The fact that Nate will not touch the Valentine and would rather go hang out in the dog house then take it down is such appropriate behavior for that age group. This Nate story does not disappoint with large text size for new readers and an easy to follow story arc. I recommend this book for readers 6-8.

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