Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner. It recently published in December 2018. Special thanks to Two Lions Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Join Duck, Hippo, and their friends as they uncover their secret valentines!
It’s Valentine’s Day, and something curious is going on. As the birds tweet their love songs, Hippo and his friends Elephant, Pig, and Turtle each receive mysterious, unsigned Valentine’s Day cards. Hippo wonders if his is from Duck; Elephant and Turtle think theirs are from Pig; and Pig dreams that hers is from Turtle. The cards tell the friends to come to the park at four o’clock to meet their valentines—so they’ll find out soon enough! As the clock ticks away, the friends wonder—and dream—about their valentines and make special preparations. But when they arrive…SURPRISE!
This Valentine’s Day might not go exactly the way they expected, but one thing is certain: being friends with Duck and Hippo is always a special treat!
Review and Thoughts:
Like all the books in the Duck and Hippo series, the theme of friendship is at the center of the story. In The Secret Valentine, no one knows for sure who the mystery valentine is but all the animals have their suspicions. Astute readers though will be able to spy the character responsible, for illustrator Joyner has included some clues in his artwork. Another observation is all the animals take pride in wanting to look their very best for their secret valentine. Andrew Joyner’s illustrations warmly capture all the animals’ personalities and excitement as they prepare for the Valentine party in the park.
I have adopted a second grade class for #classroombookaday and I read them a picture book every day. Reading aloud The Secret Valentine was a lot of fun because author Jonathan London includes a lot of sound effects such as SCRUBBA-DUBBA-DUBBA as the animals receive their invitations and get ready for the party.
After reading aloud, I always ask them “What does the author want to teach us? Since we started teaching virtues as a whole school, the students make connections to previous virtues as well as the current. While students identified Duck as being kind and caring, one student looked at the classroom community chart and said “Duck was showing courtesy because he invited all the animals to the Valentine party, not just Hippo.” Then another student said, “Actually, all the animals were polite because they brought gifts and shared them with each other.”
The classroom teacher and I just looked at each other smiling. Every day, we both see the importance of reading aloud. Students are getting to see examples of positive virtues which will help them become better classmates, friends, and citizens. Here’s hoping there are more Duck and Hippo adventures to come! This series is definitely becoming a class favorite!
About the Author:
Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, which has sold more than fifteen million copies. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more at www.jonathan-london.net.
About the Illustrator:
Andrew Joyner is an Australian illustrator and author whose work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He has created the artwork for many picture books, and he is author and illustrator of a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. Andrew lives in South Australia. Learn more at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.
Learn how to draw Duck and Hippo in this free downloadable activity page! https://www.andrewjoyner.com.au/activities/.
The fourth book in the Duck and Hippo series is a sweet way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Check out the trailer!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of DUCK AND HIPPO: THE SECRET VALENTINE courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Giveaway begins Friday, February 1, 2019 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019. Good luck!