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Valentine’s gouache and pencil drawings blend action and comedy
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
Simple, sophisticated language...suggests a respectful alliance between mother and son, and is perfectly complemented by charming, gouache-and-pencil illustrations that capture the characters’ emotions as the story unfolds.
— Booklist, starred review
The story’s implicit messages—that it should be unremarkable when boys play with dolls; that parents can become superheroic to do right by their children—ring loud, true, and (in a book full of comical flourishes, particularly in the mixed-media illustrations) funny...in terms of presenting gender nonconformity as perfectly normal, it’s ahead of the curve
— Horn Book Magazine

 
Readers familiar with beach vacations will close the book feeling nostalgic for their own ocean days.
— Kirkus Review
The child’s recollections play out in Valentine’s gouache spreads. Misty, cloudlike waves roll in as the girl and her family—friendly, white dog included—play in the water and sand. Though special days must end, Ziarnik suggests, warm memories are carried onward into the present.
— Publishers Weekly

 
Who knew inanimate friends could be so rewarding?
— Publishers Weekly, Starred review
A winning combination of words and pictures for beginning readers and listeners.
— Kirkus Review, Starred review
highly giggleworthy
— The Bulletin of the Center For Children’s Books

A Scholastic Book Club selection with accompanying audio book.

A Baker's Dozen: The Best Children's Books for Family Literacy (2018) - Pennsylvania Center for the Book

 A Junior Library Guild Selection.

           AMAZON PICK OF THE MONTH (October 2017)                     


Valentine’s cleverly composed cartooning slyly portrays how a skewed domestic dynamic rights itself.... From start to finish, it’s an irresistible story for the target audience
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Striking a balance between lively and atmospheric, Valentine’s illustrations lend a depth to the lighthearted story of cosseted Henry’s insistence on independence
— Kirkus Reviews
Valentine’s witty watercolors and gouache present a kind of anthology of the current vogue for extreme parenting, adding fantastic details to the already humorous story
— The New York Times

A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Check out the entire NYTIMES BOOK REVIEW!


Valentine’s delightful llustrations move from bubbly daylight scenes to a scribbly nighttime world of menacing toys
— The New York Times

A Winter 2014/2015 Kids' Indie Next List Selection

A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Check out the entire NYTIMES BOOK REVIEW!