Perfect Picture Book Friday – Slugs In Love

You know, I just LOVE Perfect Picture Book Friday!  All week I’ve been downright tingly with excitement because I’m going to share arguably one of the best love stories ever.  Are you ready?  It involves slugs.  What’s not to love? 🙂

Slugs In Love
Written By: Susan Pearson
Illustrated By: Kevin O’Malley
Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, November 2006, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: love, friendship, perseverance, humor, Valentines Day
Opening:  “Marylou loved everything about Herbie – how his slime trail glistened in the dark, how he could stretch himself thin to squeeze inside the cellar window, how he always found the juiciest tomato.  Though she never spoke a single word to him – she was too shy – she thought about Herbie every morning and every night and most of the hours in between.

On Monday, while she grazed in the strawberry patch, Herbie filled her mind and a love poem filled her heart.  She wrote it in slime on the watering can.”

Brief Synopsis:  (From Publishers Weekly) “Herbie keeps finding Marylou’s poems, etched in slug slime and full of devotion, but Marylou keeps missing the longing letters he writes in return.  While she watches his every move, he can’t find anyone who knows where she is so he can meet her.”  How will the “slime-crossed” lovers ever meet?

Links To Resources:  Cool Facts About Slugs, Doorknob Valentine, Finger Puppet Valentine – (and with a little ingenuity, the last two could incorporate slugs! :))  Kids could make up their own poems like Herbie and Marylou.

Why I Like This Book:  It’s sweet and it’s funny.  It’s maybe not technically a Valentines Day book (as in, it’s not about Valentines Day) it is about love/friendship on a level that I think kids can relate to.  Because Marylou and Herbie can’t seem to connect, there’s the added fun of rooting for the heroes. And the art complements the story perfectly.  It’s so wonderful – really, I think it takes a genius to make slugs look so expressive 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then.  I hope you’re all geared up for our Valentines Day Contest which opens tomorrow!  Having spent some time (I’m not saying days, but, seriously, days!) trying to come up with my sample entry, I am deeply regretting setting the 150 word limit.  Kudos to any of you who pull it off!  After extensive MERCILESS cutting mine is only down to 178.  I realize that I tend to the verbose, so maybe no one else is having a problem.  But if you’re struggling, I’ve decided to up the word limit to 200.  Because it’s Valentines Day and all about sharing the love, right? 🙂  So a little recap on the contest guidelines:

A children’s story, poetry or prose, maximum 200 words, about unlikely Valentines, posted on your blog (or in the comment section of mine) between Saturday February 11 and Monday February 13 at 5 PM EST.  Add your entry-specific link to the link list on my blog so we can all come read your entries!  There will be no new post on Monday so the link list will stay up.  Instead, I will have a hitherto unheard of Tuesday post to celebrate Valentines Day, and that post will list 3 finalists (or possibly a couple more – you know how bad I am at choosing :)) for you all to vote on.  The winner will be announced on Friday February 17 and will receive his/her choice of a copy of Ann Whitford Paul’s Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation To Publication or a picture book ms critique from yours truly.

See you tomorrow with Valentines stories.  I can’t wait to read yours and I sincerely hope there will be more than one entry 🙂

And now, since I forgot last night – SO SORRY everyone, please blame the fever 🙂 – here is the link list for this weeks Perfect Picture Books.

80 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Slugs In Love

  1. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Hi Susannah,
    Love your choice…who would think of writing a love story about slugs. 🙂 And the activity and resource ideas sound great.
    I'm also excited about the Unlikely Valentine contest. I'm going to go over mine now and check for spelling. 🙂
    One question…I don't see the linky for PPBF…am I missing it? Here is the link to my contribution:
    Thank you so much!


  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    That slug book is so cute. I love it! I've only written one draft of a rubbish entry for that competition. I'd better look for it and either make it better or whip up another one. The clock is ticking. Have a lovely weekend Susanna.

  3. patientdreamer says:

    LOL…. I came racing here thinking I'll get in early with my link…. and what do you know… no link….LOL. Loved Catherine's analogy on what might have happened…lol.
    Loved your picture book Susanna, oh so sweet and oh so …. umm Very appropriate for valentines.
    Just saw Margaret's picture book for this week and can't believe I just got that same book out of the library to read for next weeks PPBF…lol….. great minds! Off to read her review.
    Here's my link…… Called “Happy Feet's Incredible Journey”

  4. Jennifer Young says:

    Hi Susanna, I'm not sure why my link never adds, but can you add Milo Armadillo to the list? Here's my link- Thanks a bunch

  5. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    The slugs seems perfect for Valentine's Day. I'm adding it to my library list. My first few drafts were around 170. I'm missing my funny factor, so I'm still working. Glad to see a little more wiggle room. I do admire people who can share a great story in 100 or less. 🙂

  6. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I agree! It's not supposed to be impossible 🙂 I was thinking fewer words would seem like less of a task, but of course, it's harder to write in fewer words. Clearly my brain is addled this week 🙂 I will look forward to your entry and will not judge harshly if it sneaks a little over 200 🙂

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I don't know why either! It's very frustrating. There are three of you who can't ever add your links and everyone else seems to be able to do it without a problem. I can't even find a common denominator among you – you're not all on blogger or all on wordpress. Arrghh! Technology! Of course I will add your link 🙂

  8. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Aw, you are sweet! A lot of love, yes, but no slack. If mom doesn't do her part the whole house falls apart apparently 🙂 It's OK – I'm tough and on the mend and there are way worse things then a couple days of fever 🙂

  9. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    I got my story in 150 words but guess I can make it better by adding a few words. I wish there were a special category for those of us who did comply with the word limit. But I'm sure my story will be better now. Got to go work on it some more now.

  10. tiltonph says:

    Slugs in love — what fun book. The cover is very creative and it sounds like kids would have fun with this book, as well take away a message. Cute selection.

  11. Natalie says:

    What a completely cute book!

    O.K–When I thought about an “unlikely Valentine story,” the first thing that came to mind was a slug.

    I'm serious…how does this happen??

    It's a good thing, I haven't written anything yet. 🙂

    I'm hoping that I can get the creative juices flowing this weekend and come up with something for the contest. 🙂

  12. Tracy Bermeo says:

    This book just goes to show you that slugs are misunderstood creatures. Must be the slime. Everyone deserves love! Great choice Susanna.

  13. Kellyamtowerkorenek says:

    “Slime-crossed lovers”- now what's not to love about that? I think my students would absolutely love this book. I would even consider reading it to my fifth graders who are all caught up in Valentine's drama 😉

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