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Story of Valentine's Day, The (Trophy Picture Books) Paperback – January 5, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Valentine's Day wasn't always a time for pink cupcakes and mushy greeting cards. Most scholars say this love-focused day leapt gleefully from the Roman holiday Lupercalia, a festival celebrated more than 2,000 years ago to mark the beginning of spring. After Christianity came to Rome, the Church decided to use this day to honor a priest instead. They renamed the holiday St. Valentine's Day, and scooted the date back to February 14. The Story of Valentine's Day, artfully illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas, paints the history of this age-old occasion in a style and presentation that's as straight as a Cupid's arrow. Kids will learn about the mysterious character Valentine, how the tradition of the day spread to other countries, and when the very first valentine was written. If inspired, they can make their own old-fashioned valentines and sugar cookies with the instructions in the back! (Ages 8 and older) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3Colorful new illustrations update this text first published as St. Valentines Day (Crowell, 1965; o.p.). In it, Bulla offers a cheerful explanation of one of our oldest and most mysterious holidays, and gives the history and customs associated with it. From ancient Rome, through Victorian England, and on to modern celebrations, the author provides examples of how love and friendship are expressed. Craft ideas and a cookie recipe are appended. The information is more compact and is presented with more energy than in Edna Barths Heart, Cupids, and Red Roses (Clarion, 1982). An attractive addition to holiday shelves that gives librarians something to offer primary graders besides Gail Gibbonss Valentines Day (Holiday, 1986).Jane Claes, T. J. Lee Elementary School, Irving, TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Trophy Picture Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl (January 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064436268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064436267
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 7.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,760,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was wonderful. It gave a great explanation of how the story of Valentine's Day came about. It also had crafts and other fun stuff you could do in the back of the book. This book can teach the history and meaning/purpose of Valentine's Day in an interesting way. The pictures are wonderful. The bright colors add so much to the story. I would recommend this book in a hearbeat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MaryAnn on April 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although in the description of this book, it says it is for 9 years and up, the official library review of it recommended it for K-3. I would disagree with that rating. I bought it with the intention of teaching why we celebrate Valentine's Day to my kindergarten class. However, the book is much more technical with lots of different information about Greek gods and old traditions. It is not really appropriate for five and six year olds...TMI. What I wanted was a story...something like the story of St. Patrick or the history of why we fill Christmas stockings with goodies...a good story the kids could take away from class, that would help them remember why the holiday is celebrated. I was very disappointed with the book.
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Format: Paperback
Valentine's Day, generally understood as a celebration of romantic love, is a cultural phenomenon in the West. Sweethearts exchange cards, candies and gifts, and children in classrooms everywhere also participate in the tradition, inviting one another to "be my valentine," with pre-printed or handmade cards and candies, often competing to see who will receive the most valentines. But most people have no idea how the holiday came to be.

Clyde Robert Bulla's attractive, readable book lays out the most prominent theories about this mysterious holiday's origins, beginning with describing (in sanitized form) its probable origin in the first-century Roman festival of Lupercalia. When Christianity came to Rome, in keeping with religious practice of the time, the festival was dedicated to a Catholic saint. There are a few saints named Valentine, and Bulla gives brief biographies of two of the more likely candidates to have been honored with the day. He then traces how Valentine's day was observed in different parts of the Western world through the Middle Ages and into modern times. He closes with instructions for easy-to-make traditional valentine cards, and a recipe for heart-shaped cookies.

In a society obsessed with romantic love, it is refreshing and heartening to be given a historical context for the modern flurry of flowers, cards, and candy. Children who have read this book will benefit from a much richer understanding of what the day means.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sue & Harley's Daughter on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This colorfully illustrated book gives a broad view of Valentine's Day that is easily understood by preschoolers and one which school-age children will also appreciate.
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