Hello, friends! Our book today is Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine, written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, the latest in the delightful Duck and Hippo series.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Duck is a little bummed to realize that she doesn’t have a valentine of her own – but that quickly transitions into a fun idea! Stealthily sneaking around town, she leaves anonymous invitations for her best friends – Hippo, Turtle, Pig, and Elephant – to meet their secret Valentine in the park at 4 o’clock. The friends are delighted and excitedly prepare to meet up. When they all arrive, however, they are surprised to see each other, and no one else waiting! They puzzle for a moment until Duck appears, presenting them with a picnic and some good company – after all, the best Valentines are friends!
Very cute! All the hallmarks of the previous Duck and Hippo books are back, from the innocent, playful storyline and dialogue to Joyner’s classic storybook-inspired illustrations. There’s an odd moment in which the reader gets the sense of Pig being slightly catfished by her “secret admirer” – she sings “I’m so in looooove!” as she prepares for the meetup – but otherwise the story is gentle, and sends a nice message about the importance of appreciating our friendships. The length was great, and JJ loved it – Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this books was provided the The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)