The Secret Valentine (Duck and Hippo #4)

by Jonathan London (Author) Andrew Joyner (Illustrator)

The Secret Valentine (Duck and Hippo #4)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Duck and Hippo
It's Valentine's Day, and something curious is going on. As the birds tweet their love songs, Hippo and his friends Elephant, Pig, and Turtle each receive mysterious, unsigned Valentine's Day cards. Hippo wonders if his is from Duck; Elephant and Turtle think theirs are from Pig; and Pig dreams that hers is from Turtle. The cards tell the friends to come to the park at four o'clock to meet their valentines--so they'll find out soon enough! As the clock ticks away, the friends wonder--and dream--about their valentines and make special preparations. But when they arrive...SURPRISE! This Valentine's Day might not go exactly the way they expected, but one thing is certain: being friends with Duck and Hippo is always a special treat!
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Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--When Duck realizes that she doesn't have a valentine on Valentine's Day, she devises a plan to bring all her friends together to celebrate. As she secretly delivers her anonymous party invitations, Hippo is hoping it is from Duck, Turtle is hoping it's from Pig (and vice versa), and Elephant is wondering if it's from Duck or Pig. As the time for the gathering draws near, each animal puts on their best outfit, gathers a treat to share, and heads to the park. They all arrive at exactly 4:00 p.m., but where is Duck? With a flourish she leaps from a bush and declares, "I'm the secret valentine!" and as she gives Hippo a rose she says, "The best valentines are friends" and all of the others heartily agree. Joyner's digitally colored illustrations depict the affable pals in varied settings including house, pizza shop, pond, grocery, bathroom, and street as they get their invite, prepare, and rush off to the park. Plenty of detail, white space plus fun text type and placement make for a lively read. Observant readers will see telltale signs of sneaky Duck as she delivers her missives and spot the birds on every page. An added bonus is a lesson in analog time telling. On six occasions that the text mentions time, there is a clock face somewhere in the illustration (alarm clock, clock tower, timepiece, sundial, etc.) with a blue minute hand and red hour hand with matching numbers. VERDICT A friend-affirming Valentine story with a time-teaching element to boot. A good choice for storytime or one-on-one sharing.--Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Jonathan London
Jonathan London is the creator of more than 20 books about the lovable and enduringly popular character Froggy. He is also a poet and a novelist.

Gilles Eduar is a musician and self-taught artist who has lived in many places around the world, including his native Brazil. He is the illustrator of the Little Hippo Series.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Two Lions
Publication date
December 18, 2018
Duck and Hippo
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002280 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Ducks, Geese, Etc.
JUV017070 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Valentine's Day
JUV002330 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Hippos & Rhinos
Library of Congress categories
Valentine's Day

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