Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown

Marc Brown's Arthur is your typical.... third? fourth? grader. He is slightly unbrave and a little unsure about things, but he is game enough to keep on trying. I have never had any strong feelings about Arthur. I enjoyed the books as a kid, but never loved them.  

My cousin gave my kids a tape of Arthur being interviewed, which Gilbert loves. Having listened to it a lot, I have more of a sense of what Arthur is--a slightly pessimistic and earnest aardvark without a great sense of humor. Most of the humor in the books comes from other characters. I can relate to that actually. Especially as a kid, I felt that everyone else was funnier or thought up better comebacks than I did. And clearly other kids relate to that too. Arthur has been back burner popular for several decades now. Other books might come and go with flashier receptions of critical acclaim and award medals on the covers, but Arthur is always there, steady and faithful.

He has his own show on PBS too. My kids play Arthur games on pbskids.org a lot. 

Good ole Arthur.  

This book is about Arthur's secret admirer, who kept sending Arthur Valentine's, even though it wasn't Valentine's yet. 

This was worrying Arthur. Who was it? And how could he keep everyone from finding out about it?

Classroom Valentine's preparations.

One afternoon, after taking off his coat to play soccer, the Valentine's fly out and everyone finds out about them. Mortifying! 

Finally, Arthur gets a note telling him to come to a specific seat in the theater at a certain time. And there is Francine. Arthur tells her to close her eyes because he wants to give her a kiss. 

But just like she has always teased him, he teases her. It is a sweet sort of teasing though. 

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