Robin Hill School: Too Many Valentines (Ready to Read: Level One)

by Margaret McNamara (Author) Mike Gordon (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Everyone at Robin Hill School is looking forward to Valentine's Day. Everyone except Neil. He thinks valentines are silly. But on the big day, when Neil doesn't get any valentines at school, he's not sure they're so silly after all!

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 2  Neil is the only child in Mrs. Connor's class who doesn't look forward to Valentine's Day. He emphatically declares that he gets too many frilly, pink valentines, and he doesn't want any more. When the day comes, his classmates happily exchange cards, and though Neil claims that he feels great, he really doesn't. He is isolated and unhappy until he arrives home where a surprise is waiting. Charming cartoon illustrations augment the lighthearted tone. This slight story is predictable but pleasant, and the vocabulary is well suited to beginning readers. - Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Copyright 2003 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Kirkus

McNamara (One Hundred Days [Plus One], above) explores Valentine’s Day in this beginning easy reader, part of her Robin Hill School series set in a first-grade classroom. In this story a boy named Neil announces that he doesn’t want any Valentines because “Valentines are frilly! Valentines are pink!” He comes to regret his decision when all the other children are caught up in the Valentine celebrations, with lots of cards to examine for the rest of the day. Neil’s wise teacher respects his feelings, but then arranges for all the children to sign one Valentine, which is delivered to Neil at home. Some subtle lessons are artfully conveyed within the story: how it feels to stick with a decision to be different and how accommodations can sometimes be made to respect someone’s wishes and allow that person to save face. Teachers will use this as a read-aloud before Valentine’s Day to address the perennial problem of leaving someone off the Valentines list, and new readers will enjoy reading about Neil’s problem and its solution. Gordon’s humorous illustrations in watercolor and ink bring the first-graders to life, with funny little touches (a bird delivering Neil’s card, his cat with the stamp caught on its tongue). Successful easy readers with real stories, humor, and appealing illustrations are always in demand, and the kids of the Robin Hill School first grade seem poised to each star in their own story. (Easy reader. 5-7)

Copyright 2003 Kirkus Reviewsl, LLC Used with permission.


Margaret McNamara
Kay Thompson (1909-1998) was a singer, dancer, vocal arranger, and coach of many MGM musicals in the 1940s. The Eloise character grew out of the voice of a precocious six-year-old that Miss Thompson put on to amuse her friends. Collaborating with Hilary Knight on what was an immediate bestseller, Kay Thompson became a literary sensation when Eloise was published in 1955. The book has sold more than two million copies to date. Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight created four more Eloise books, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmas, Eloise in Moscow, and Eloise Takes a Bawth.

Hilary Knight, son of artist-writers Clayton Knight and Katharine Sturges, was educated at the Art Students League, where he studied with Reginald Marsh. Besides the Eloise books, Hilary Knight has illustrated more than fifty books for children, six of which he wrote himself. He lives and works in New York City, not far from The Plaza Hotel.

Margaret McNamara is the author of the Robin Hill School series, and she gets many ideas from her daughter's own school experiences. She lives in New York City.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780689855375
Lexile Measure
420L
Guided Reading Level
I
Publication date
January 20, 2003
Series
Ready to Read: Level One

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