The Mystery of the Love List by Sarah Glenn Marsh, illustrated by Ishaa Lobo

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

Summary:  As the only porcupine in her class, Pippa sometimes feels like she stands out.  It’s a lonely feeling.  When her teacher makes a Valentine’s assignment to compile a list of “things that take up room in your heart”, Pippa would rather read her latest Sherlock Gnomes book.  But when she finds a heart with a list that’s similar to her own, she puts her detective skills to work trying to figure out who her potential friend might be.  It’s a tough case to crack, but when Pippa finally figures it out, she comes up with the perfect way to connect: writing a new story called “Sherlock Gnomes and the Mystery of the New Best Friend,” which she leaves for her friend to find in her desk.  The last page shows Pippa and new friend Mitzie the Mouse meeting up in the forest.  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A cute story for Valentine’s Day that celebrates friendship and introduces some elements of mystery books.  Kids will have fun spotting Pippa’s new friend in the pictures before she figures out who it is.

Cons:  It doesn’t feel like the right week to be thinking about Valentine’s Day.

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