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Mirabel's Missing Valentines
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About the Author

Janet Lawler is an award-winning author whose books have been licensed into the Scholastic Book Clubs and been featured selections of the Children's Book of the Month Club. Her first picture book, If Kisses Were Colors (Dial, 2003), has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew, and Korean. Her most recent picture books include Ocean Counting (Nat'l. Geo. 2013; NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book), Love Is Real (HarperCollins, 2014), and Rain Forest Colors (Nat'l. Geo., fall 2014; starred Kirkus review). Learn more about Janet at janetlawler.com.

Olivia Chin Mueller attended the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in Providence, RI. Learn more about Olivia at oliviachinmueller.com and follow her @ocmillustration.

Reviews

"Mirabel is a shy mouse with lots of determination. Despite her nervousness she makes Valentine's Day cards for her classmates. In spite of her trepidation, she slowly makes her way to school on the fateful day. Unbeknownst to her, the cards have fallen from a hole in her bag and have brightened the day of each person (animal) who picked one up--a lonely lady, construction workers, a busy papa, a jogger, a garbage man. Arriving at school with an empty bag Mirabel cried, 'I've lost my Valentines!!' Hearing her cry, smiling folks return her cards and thanking her for sharing them, if only for a little while. Emboldened by unintentionally making new friends, Mirabel joins in the fun at party time. As she skips home from school, her pals slip more valentines into her bag. Lawler's rhyming text is a pleasure to read. Using muted colors and plenty of detail, Mueller's digital illustrations are warm and cozy with a small town feel. The opening endpapers depict Mirabel's path to school and the folks she'll encounter while the back pages depict those same folks exchanging their own valentines. VERDICT This sweetly inspiring story of a timid mouse stepping outside her comfort zone is a winner. Great for Valentine's or any day." --School Library Journal

"Shy Mirabel, a little mouse with a fondness for hats and headpieces, 'trembled at the thought of giving valentines away.' 'Despite her nerves, ' she makes the cards and bravely sets out for school along a grassy path and past a quiet city block. Readers will see what Mirabel does not: the valentines slip out of her bag. When she realizes, Mirabel is devastated, but the individuals she has crossed paths with--a lonely bunny, a father dog, a jogging fox, all delighted by the handmade paper crafts they find--hear her cry out and return them straightaway ('Your cards have made us smile!/ Thanks for sharing them with us, / if only for a while'). The positive interactions embolden Mirabel to deliver her valentines at the class party and delight in those she receives in return. Mueller creates a snug community of anthropomorphic animals, leafy trees, and unassuming storefronts in this kind story about overcoming anxiety through practice." --Publishers Weekly "Though shy mouse Mirabel is nervous about Valentine's Day, she still makes cards for classmates. But, while walking to school (unbeknownst to Mirabel), the valentines fall out of her bag. Happily, however, several passersby find them and are warmed by their sentiments: 'Construction workers sweating / as they dug around a pole / laughed to find a sweet surprise / half-buried in a hole, ' as well as a lonely lady, a garbage man, a jogger, and more. Meanwhile, at school, Mirabel discovers her bag is empty, but the people who found the valentines rush to return them: 'Your cards have made us smile!' It all ends on an upbeat note as Mirabel now 'traded cards with courage' and, en route home, receives some unexpected, special valentines. Rhyming stanzas keep the pace peppy, while cute, vibrant cartoon illustrations depict the doe-eyed animal characters in idyllic settings. This entertaining read showcases relatable worries about valentine giving, and offers supportive messages about finding confidence and how the holiday can lead to serendipitous new friends." --Booklist

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