Sunday, February 13, 2011

What is Your Heart's Desire on Valentine's Day??

What could be simpler than celebrating Valentine's Day when you're a little girl?

Sadly, for little Heather life isn't quite as uncomplicated as it might seem to grown up eyes. It's a holiday, but still her mommy has to go off to work, leaving the house early in the morning not to return before it gets dark out.

Her grandmother tries to raise her spirits by engaging her in cookie baking -- together they roll out the dough and cut out animal shaped treats as well as one special heart shaped cookie she'll be able to offer her mom as a Valentine's Day present.

In between baking, grandma and Heather visit the barn to check on Clover the sheep. She has delivered three babies! Two are just fine, but the third one is cold and very still. Alarmed, grandma and Heather carry the wooly babe back to the house, bathing him gently in warm water and drying him in a warm blanket. After reminding grandma about the cookies in the oven, Heather helps out by holding the lamb in her arms by the fire, gently comforting and caring for the helpless critter. The little girl instinctively knows how much the babe needs her to provide the care its mother can't give.

At day's end, the cookies, though brown and crisp, have been salvaged, even the large heart shaped one. Best of all, the baby lamb has begun to show signs of life. When her own Mommy returns home, Heather has an extra special gift to share along with the heart-shaped cookie: the precious new life she helped nurture while Mommy was away.

When asked what they should name the lamb, Heather doesn't miss a beat in answering. She knows exactly what this little miracle of love should be called -- "Valentine".

With beautiful watercolor illustrations and a subtle but substantive storyline, this gently moving tale will warm the heart of the reader and listener alike on Valentine's Day.

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