About the Holiday
As the cold and snowy weather keeps kids inside more and more, what are they to do? Why not create?! Whether your kids like writing, drawing, cooking, building, music, gardening, dancing, or other pursuits, January’s celebration of creativity makes it the perfect time to begin a new project. And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not stock up on supplies and make some sweet treats – like in today’s book!
Thanks to Tara Knudson for sending me a copy of Valentine’s Day Treats for review consideration. All opinions on the book are my own. I’m happy to be teaming with Tara in a giveaway of a signed copy of her book. See details below.
Valentine’s Day Treats
Written by Tara Knudson | Illustrated by Pauline Siewert
Mother Raccoon is gathering all the supplies her littles need to make Valentines. She helps them cut out red and pink hearts, then they add glue and paint and sparkly glitter, bows and butterflies, and lots more hearts. While the cards dry, Mama and her little ones head for the kitchen, where they get out bowls and pans to make a special cake.
They measure out “Sugar, flour, / Oil in cup, / Milk and eggs, / Mix them up.” They pour the batter into two pans—one square and one round—put the pans in the oven and wait. “Brrrring, they’re done— / Perfect cakes!” When the cakes have cooled, Mama Raccoon slides the two cakes onto plates and cuts the circle in half.
The little raccoons put the shapes together just right to make a heart. They spread on frosting to make it whole and then comes the fun: “Sprinkles on, / Decorate. / Can’t eat yet! / Have to wait.” Finally, it’s time to walk down the street to their friends’ house for a Valentine’s Day feast, complete with heart-shaped cakes to share. Afterwards, the kids hand out their cards. They all laugh and smile as they read them. “Each a gift, / Fun designs, / Made with love— / Valentines.”
A recipe for the raccoon family’s special Valentine’s Day cake follows the story.
When my son was very little, he LOVED Valentine’s Day. He couldn’t make enough Valentine’s cards and crafts, it seemed, to express all of his sweet feelings. Tara Knudson captures that joy and enthusiasm for the holiday in her warm rhymes that transport kids into the middle of exciting Valentine’s Day preparations. As the little raccoons cut and paste, color and paint, and add stickers and lots of glitter, kids will be eager to get out their own supplies to make homemade cards for those they love. And just one look at Knudson’s clever cake will have them running to the kitchen to make that too. But Valentines are to share and just as the young racoons in the story, readers will have to wait… a page turn… to who gets the special treats.
Pauline Siewert’s adorable raccoons craft and cook their way through Valentine’s Day to make special cards and snacks for their friends. Her vivid images are cheerful and lively and charmingly include the little spatters and splashes that are all part of the fun. Little ones will enjoy soaking up all the details in the craft room, the kitchen, and the friends’ house and pointing out the ones they know. When adults point out these details while reading, kids will find it easy to read along too, as Knudson uses them to make her bubbly rhymes and flowing rhythm. Kids will also like keeping their eye on the tiny house mouse who is also making itty-bitty Valentine’s Day treats.
A sparkly and cuddly board book little ones will want to hear again and again for Valentine’s Day and throughout the year, Valentine’s Day Treats would make a sweet gift for grandchildren or other littles on your list as well as favorite addition to home, preschool, and public library bookshelves.
Ages Baby – 4
Zonderkidz, 2020 | ISBN 978-0310768395
Discover more about Tara Knudson and her books as well as Valentine’s Day Treats coloring pages and on her website.
You can connect with Pauline Siewert on Instagram.
Creativity Month Activity
Kids can make a sweet, personalized valentine card that reveals how they feel about Mom, Dad, siblings, grandparents, friends, or anyone they love
- Red construction or scrapbooking paper
- Pink construction or scrapbooking paper
- Paper brad
To Make the Heart
- On the red paper, trace your child’s hand with their fingers closed, rounding around the back of the palm
- Draw in the lines between fingers
- Overlap the hands, matching the middle fingers to create the point of the heart
- Slide the tops of the hands apart a little to create the top of the heart
- Connect the two hearts with the brad
To Make the Card
- From the pink paper cut a square about 1 to 1/2 inches larger than the heart on all sides
- Using the same brad, attach the heart in the center of the square
- Slide the hands apart and let child write “Peek-a-Boo, I Love You” or their own message, close hands
- Apply glue around the heart
- Apply glitter, let dry
You can find Valentine’s Day Treats at these booksellers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review