Mr. Valentine's Dramatic Birthday

Children - Social Issues
46 Pages
Reviewed on 05/25/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

“What else could possibly go wrong?” How often have we said those words and then things did go decidedly worse than before? And, yet, we never learn to avoid saying those words when things appear to be going totally awry. That’s what happened to Mr. Valentine. It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s his birthday. Because his birthday falls on such an important day, Mr. Valentine has never had a real birthday party. He wants one this year; he even sends out invitations to all his friends to attend his party, only they all turn him down. Saddened and depressed, he decides to do his regular routine and make the best of yet another un-birthday year. When a five-legged dog chases him from the park, he knows the safest thing for him to do is to go home. His dramatic day couldn’t possibly get any worse, could it? Or will it be surprisingly better?

Ms. Kimms’ picture book story, Mr. Valentine’s Dramatic Birthday, is a fun read. Using simple vocabulary and easy sentence structure, this story will be a gem for young readers to improve their reading skills. The plot follows Mr. Valentine’s desire and plans for a birthday party, his ultimate disappointment, and the series of dramatic events that plague him throughout his special day. The colorful illustrations are bold and add another dimension to the story. Young readers will appreciate the heart-shaped body of Mr. Valentine and the unusual characters he encounters, both friends and foes (image a five-legged dog). For those who have to share their birthdays with a special holiday like Valentine’s Day, this story will be particularly appealing and will encourage young readers to find alternate ways to make their special day truly special.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Mr. Valentine only wanted one thing: his very own birthday party. His birthday falls on February 14, which means that he always has to share it with a holiday. Just once, though, he’d like to have a birthday party with all of his friends for the sole purpose of celebrating his birthday only, and not compete with Valentine’s Day. He decides that this is the year and sends out his invitations, only to get a pile of rejections back. Discouraged, he tries to make the best of it by doing all of his favorite things on his birthday, which doesn’t go as planned. Actually, it’s so dramatic that he winds up running for his life. How will this birthday end? Find out In Ms. Kimms’ Mr. Valentine’s Dramatic Birthday.

I think adults can relate to having a birthday (or any special holiday or event) not going as planned, but children have no concept of “life happening” even on special days. Mr. Valentine’s Dramatic Birthday is a fun, adventurous tale that shows the value of resilience and fortitude in turning bad circumstances around to create better things. Mr. Valentine doesn’t give up on trying to make his day special, and his adventure in finding his way home is a great lesson in learning not to give up and to keep faith and hope. Ms. Kimm creates a wonderful tale that I believe children will enjoy and look back on as they grow up for a powerful lesson in bouncing back from the unexpected, and learning that good things can come, even if the journey is painful and filled with unexpected circumstances. A wonderful book!

Sheena Monnin

Mr. Valentine’s Dramatic Birthday by Ms. Kimms is a heartwarming story of friendship, positivity, and perseverance. Mr. Valentine is a lovely soul with many friends who have never remembered to celebrate his birthday. Because his birthday falls on Valentine’s Day, each of his friends is too busy celebrating the global holiday to stop and give Mr. Valentine a birthday party. Throughout this story, Mr. Valentine resolves to celebrate his own birthday by deciding to have a great day, even if no one can celebrate with him. He encounters a series of disappointing events on his birthday but does not become negative, only a little sad. When he returns home, he is so happy to discover his friends are there ready to celebrate his birthday and he is so glad he chose to be happy that day even if the day did not turn out perfectly.

One of the things I love about this story is it demonstrates that no matter how much we make up our minds to have a great day, we will inevitably have negative or disappointing things happen to us. Mr. Valentine’s Dramatic Birthday by Ms. Kimms shows a great example of how to keep choosing to have a great day, even when things don’t go exactly the way we wish they would. Mr. Valentine shows the reader how to navigate complex emotions, including being sad that friends are not there but not blaming them or being angry, as well as choosing to celebrate important events in our lives with positivity while wishing others would celebrate with us. This book is well-written and has colorful and engaging illustrations. The author captures human emotion and shows the reader the many ways we can move through life without allowing disappointments or sadness to overshadow our lives.