As the little hearts on the cover show, this is one of the lovely picture books that Random House Children's Books sent us through from their selection of Valentine's-themed story books. 2-year-old Pierre was instantly attracted to the shiny hearts on the cover and the big, full colour illustrations throughout the book but it was mainly the girls, both 7-year-old Juliette and 10-year-old Sophie, who giggled and really got involved in the story.
We all loved the plot. We're used to hearing tales of unrequited love but this book takes the opposite viewpoint. The boy telling the story - we think he's called Percy, from a clever bit of deduction from Sophie by looking at the names on the envelopes in the pictures ! - has had enough of being the object of classmate Jennifer Jones' attention. He's fed up of being teased by his friends and he's fed up of her. But then she moves away and he realises how much he misses her so he's over the moon and decides to get a bit romantic himself when he learns that she's coming back !
The story is funny, getting perfectly into the mindset of young children who are still at the stage where people of the opposite sex are considered yucky but the first stirrings of deep friendship and childish love are making themselves known. Written all in rhyme, it's great for reading aloud and it also led onto some great conversations about how the girls's schoolfriends all get on with each other and who "fancies" who !
We also loved the clever use of real photos of foreign places within the illustrations to show where Jennifer goes on her travels.
It's great to find a book that we all loved, from 2-year old Pierre right up to 10-year-old Sophie and even myself, and which led on to great discussion about the girls' real lives.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £5.99
Other reviews you may be interested in :