Valentine's Day is only a day away, so I have chosen a book that I think perfectly captures the confusion that comes with falling in love. Thankfully, in this tale at least, the characters figure out what is going on and there is a happy ending.
Ingrid and Dieter Schubert
For ages 5 to 8
Boyds Mills Press, 2009, 978-1-59078-659-8
It is a beautiful morning, and Ophelia the hippo has just woken up. She floats on her back in the water and looks at the pretty flowers in the tree over her head. Then Ophelia hears someone calling her name. She can tell that it is Kevin, and when he tells her that he has “butterflies in my stomach,” Ophelia gets very worried.
Quickly Ophelia runs to the shore carrying a medical kit. She sees Merrkat standing on a rock, and she tells the little animal that Kevin has a stomachache. Meerkat decides to give Kevin a hot-water bottle, because hot-water bottles are very useful when you have a stomachache.
Next, Ophelia and Meerkat meet Frog. Meerkat tells Frog that Kevin “has a terrible cramp. And his throat hurts.” Frog decides that what Kevin needs is some herbal tea. Soon Ophelia is trotting through the forest with Meerkat (carrying a hot-water bottle) and Frog (carrying a pot of tea) in her wake. What none of the animals know, is that Kevin does not have a stomach-ache at all. Instead, he is suffering from a very common and non-lethal complaint. Poor Kevin is in love.
In this charming picture book, young readers get to meet a very warm-hearted group of animals who are prone to exaggerating, and who discover that love is a very contagious condition.
The loveable characters and amusing story in this book are perfectly complimented by the charming illustrations.