Valentine Shmalentine! Happy Bunny Saves the Day, Plus a Redeemable Coupon Book from Cupid

I’ll just say it outright. Valentine’s Day can stink to high heaven if you don’t have the right attitude. Couples are out gallivanting all over town, celebrating their love for each other. Shiny heart-shaped boxes of nougat-filled chocolate line the tops of cubicles in offices and lunchrooms all across America. Proposals are made. Children are conceived. Bouquets of roses are gifted and received by the boatload. 

But tears? Those are also shed. Singles lament their solo status. Newly split halves of a disintegrated relationship spend the day feeling resentful or depressed. Those who have lost a loved one see the day as just another reminder of what once was. Valentine’s Day, a holiday meant to glorify Love in all its enriching splendor, can seem like a nail in the coffin if you’re already stuck singing the blues.

Contrary to popular belief, kids don’t have it any easier. Adults might call it “cute” but when a pre-teen behaves amorously towards a peer or is the object of someone else’s affection, it can be exciting, confusing, all-consuming, and, let’s face it, scary—just like any adult romance. Sure, kids aren’t proposing marriage at 9 (although my 2nd-grade boyfriend did put a dime-store ring on my finger during recess. My response: “Don’t you think we’re too young?” (How precocious was I?!)), but feelings of love—and despair—can be just as strong and just as alienating at a very young age. If a valentine isn’t received or a box of chocolates is given and rejected, the hurt feels just as painful at 11 as it would at 36—maybe even more so.

That’s why I’ve devoted this pre-Valentine’s Day post to an old tongue-in-cheek favorite (now, repackaged as a new special edition!) that uses humor to salve all potential wounds. It’s not for the innocent or the faint of heart . . . but it sure is funny.

Love Bites, Special Edition (It’s Happy Bunny Series) by Jim Benton. Is your little one feeling down in the dumps over a love interest? Is s/he swearing of Valentine’s Day forever at the ripe old age of 10? Or does s/he have a crush that s/he doesn’t know how to approach? If so, perpetually sarcastic Happy Bunny can help. Sharing “useful” advice like “always tell your honey-bunny how cute they are” and “show your snooky-wookums that you care” H.B. starts by teaching the basics. After the relationship is in full-swing, H.B. fills his next few chapters with tips on how to ensure it stays on track (spying isn’t exactly a bad thing, is it?) and steps to keeping the connection strong day-to-day (telling each other exactly what you’re thinking in every situation is a good thing . . . right?). Of course, if it is splittsville time, H.B. has just the right words to describe that conundrum in language any kid can appreciate (“Of course we can still be friends! We’ll be the kind of friends who throw up a little every time they see each other.”). With a quiz at the end of each short chapter (i.e. “So now you’ve found your soul mate. What’s the perfect next move?”), a chart to fill in details about other love snafus, and even a Mad Libs-esque break-up letter, Love Bites really can’t get any more giggle-worthy and fun. And don’t worry. “No actual bunnies were physically harmed or emotionally damaged in the making of this book.”

To read the rest of the post, please visit  Letter Blocks: The B&N Parents and Educators Blog.

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