Diane de Groat is no stranger to childrens books. She has spent decades of her life illustrating lovable tales for well-known authors, the likes of which are Eve Bunting and Lois Lowry. She has more than 120 books to her credit. She started illustrat
ing and writing her own endearing stories of her own, which have garnered acclaim from literary critics. Her most notable series about a main character named Gilbert, an
opossum, includes titles like Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet and a New York Times Best Seller called Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. The series includes 12 books, which have earned Diane de Groat plenty of awards.
In Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink, Gilbert, a fuzzy creature, does what his teacher says and inscribes Valentines for his fellow students. He wrote nice rhymes for most of his classmates, save for two. Lewis and Margaret, both of whom picked on Gilbert, received rude cards on what should be a loving holiday. Instead, he plays a prank on the two students. He signed Lewis’ name to the Valentine he gave to Margaret and Margaret’s name to the Valentine he gave to Lewis. His reuse is discovered pretty quickly because neither Margaret nor Lewis receives a Valentine from Gilbert. The prankster finally does what he’s supposed to do and writes nice
Valentines for the two and the two classmates apologize for hurting Gilbert’s feelings. These are real human emotions for which de Groat gives practical resolutions.
Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink is a wonderful read, but what sends it over the top is de Groat’s upbeat watercolor illustrations. The pictures feature a bunch of lovable animals, many of which don Valentine’s Day-related garb. There are 2-page, large watercolor spreads that capture the delightful moments of this story.
Your 4- to 8-year-olds will relate to Gilbert who goes through what many kids go through while at school. They have to deal with rude classmates while staying true to their feelings about them. The three students get their feelings hurt but the moral of how they resolve and forgive makes these 32 pages a wonderful feel-good Valentine book.