“Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day” by Tomie de Paola


02.07.21 • 3:26 pm EST | 0 responses |

I remember my husband laboring over a large wooden Valentine’s Day Box for my daughter’s to share with classmates on Valentine’s Day. It said “Happy Valentine’s Day” in lettering writ large and a slit for the missives of affection that could be deposited through an opened slit at the top.

It was a huge hit and made appearances on a yearly basis.

Perhaps I am dating myself, but children would slip valentines into a box in the classroom; then the selected “Postman,” would hand deliver them to each desk in the room.

In theory, it was a lovely idea, but in practice, it left something to be desired as certain children’s desk would be flooded with valentines (picture the bench of the judge in the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” as he sits behind mounds of  letters from children to Kris Kringle, as exhibits in the case as it is adjudicated to prove Kris is the “one and only Santa Claus”) .

Some children had very few valentines delivered  to their desks.

Well, this book by Tomie de Paola, published in 1976, has something to gladden the hearts of childhood for everyone!

It starts with the premise that on February 14th, “we tell people how much we like them.” The whimsical art is dear to my heart as the illustrations show varied examples of same. My favorite is Frankenstein embracing the Wolfman with the caption, “Let’s be friends.”

Tomie also gives very clear illustrations of how children can make their own cards to deliver on the big day.

His own idea of a valentine mailbag is clever, doable and very creative.

Jokes abound in one section as in:


“What did the valentine card say to the stamp”

“Stick with me and we’ll go places.


There are a selection of valentine tongue twisters as in:


Vile Violet’s varnished Valentine vanished.

Can you say it five time fast?


There are directions for fancy sandwiches for a Valentine Party and super simple and easy for kids – with mom’s help!

How about a chocolate snowball valentine for dessert? Yum!!!!

Tomie provides directions for games and card tricks and a “how to” for making presents with “Baker’s clay.” Easy!

Tomie provides a picture where kids can count the number of hearts on an illustrated page of a woman, a tree, and his ubiquitous dove.

Won’t divulge the number, but he does give the number at the end of the book.

But, it’s more than the number of times that I have missed Tomie, as this is the very first Valentine’s Day since he passed on March 30, 2020.

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear Tomie, I love you lots on Valentine’s Day and always!


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