With Prideful Heart – The 7th Annual Valentiny Contest Is HERE!!!

Hi Everyone! I’m so sorry, but there is absolutely no chance I’m going to have finalists Friday morning as I originally posted. I’m not even sure when to say I will have them, though I’ll get them up as soon as I can. It will not be over this weekend, I’m sure of that. Thank you all for your patience. I’m so sorry for the delay!

[For those trying to post, you must click on the Blog Post Title to get on the blog post page and access the comments]

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Valentinies rock

And so do YOU!

Whether your characters are filled with pride and joy, puffed up with pride, or in danger of pride going before a fall, the time has come for . . .

The 7th Annual Valentiny Writing Contest

~ for children’s writers ~

The Contest:  since writing for children is all about “big emotion for little people” (I forget who said that, but someone did so I put it in quotes!) and Valentines Day is all about emotion, write a Valentines story appropriate for children (children here defined as ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels proud!  They can be proud in a good way or a bad way. They can be proud of themselves for asking someone to be their Valentine, or they can be proud of how they asked. They can be proud of a Valentine they make, or a Valentine celebration they plan. They can be proud of giving something up, or proud of asking someone they’re not sure about for some reason in order to be nice. They can be proud of their performance in a Valentines Day play or concert or parade. . . sky’s the limit!  Just make sure it is clearly Valentine-centered! Think beyond the obvious!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone proud (can be the main character but doesn’t have to be) and is 214 words (get it? 2/14 for Valentines Day 😊 ) You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.)  If you are so inclined, you are welcome to enter more than one entry – just remember you’ll be competing against yourself 😊  No illustration notes please!

Post your story in the comment section below between right now this very second and Sunday February 13th by 11:59 PM EDT.  There will be no regularly scheduled posts for the duration of the contest (Tuesday Debut, Would You Read It, or PPBF), so the post and all of your entries will stay up for everyone to enjoy.  If you have difficulty with the comments, which unfortunately sometimes happens, you may email your entry to me and I’ll post it for you. [Also, a small note: I have a serious family situation at the moment. I didn’t want to cancel the contest at the last minute, but please be patient with me if it takes me a while to post emailed entries and update the link list etc. I will do my best, but apologies in advance for delays.]

The Judging: my lovely assistants and I will narrow down the entrants to 6-12 top choices depending on number and quality of entries (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with the narrowing, so we’ll see) which will be posted here and voted on for a winner on Friday February 18th (or possibly a day or two later if the judges need extra time.)   The winner will be announced Monday February 21st depending on judging and voting time needed.  The dates of the judging/voting/winner announcements are subject to finagling depending on how much time the judges actually end up needing!

Judging criteria will include:

  1. Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
  2. Creativity in using pride, and success in making us feel the pride (whether it’s good pride or bad)!
  3. Valentine’s Day appropriateness – this is a VALENTINE story and Valentine’s Day must be central to it!
  4. Quality of story – we will look for basic story elements and a true story arc
  5. Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it, PROOFREADING!
  6. Originality – surprise us with something new and different! 😊
  7. How well you followed the Submission Guidelines – agents and editors expect professionalism. This is a chance to practice making sure you read and follow specified guidelines.

The Prizes:  As always, we are so fortunate to have an abundance of wonderful prizes donated by our very generous friends in the kidlit community! Just look at all these goodies!

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Read & Critique from agent Mary Cummings of Great River Literary, “an agency devoted exclusively to representing authors and author/illustrators of books for children and teens. Strong relationships with editors have resulted in a rapidly growing list of sales of board and picture books, chapter books and novels to such publishing houses as Knopf; Philomel; Viking; Nancy Paulsen/Penguin; Balzer & Bray; Walker; Little, Brown; Henry Holt; Holiday House; Feiwel & Friends; FSG; Running Press; WorthyKids; Abrams; Random House; Wiseman S & S; Chronicle; Candlewick; HarperCollins and many others.”

⭐️ 1/2 Hour Zoom Picture Book Manuscript Critique or Mentoring Session with author Lynne Marie!

Author Lynne Marie

Lynne Marie is the accomplished author of Hedgehog Goes to Kindergarten – art by Anne Kennedy (Scholastic 2011), Hedgehog’s 100th Day of School – art by Lorna Hussey (Scholastic 2017), The Star of the Christmas Play — art by Lorna Hussey (Beaming Books 2018), Moldilocks and the 3 Scares — art by David Rodriguez Lorenzo (Sterling 2019 and Scholastic 2019),  Let’s Eat! Mealtime Around the World — art by Parwinder Singh (Beaming Books 2019) and The Three Little Pigs And The Rocket Project — art by Wendy Fedan (Mac and Cheese Press 2022) and American Pie — art by Dea Lenihan (Dancing Flamingo Press, April 12, 2022)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Penny Parker Klostermann, talented author of THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT (Random House 2015) and A COOKED-UP FAIRY TALE (Random House 2017)

⭐️ 30 Minute Zoom Ask Me Anything with Keila Dawson, author of THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican Publishing 2016), NO VOICE TOO SMALL (Charlesbridge 2020), and OPENING THE ROAD: VICTOR HUGO GREEN AND HIS GREEN BOOK (Beaming Books, 2021)

⭐️ Access to author/editor Alayne Kay Christian‘s webinars! Alayne is the author of BUTTERFLY KISSES FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA (Blue Whale Press, 2008), SIENNA THE COWGIRL FAIRY: COWBOY TROUBLE (Blue Whale Press 2021), THE WEED THAT WOKE CHRISTMAS (Blue Whale Press, 2020), and AN OLD MAN AND HIS PENGUIN (Blue Whale Press, 2020)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (fiction) from Melissa Stoller, author of SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH (Spork 2018), READY, SET, GORILLA! (Spork 2018), THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION (chapter books) (Spork 2017), SADIE’S SHABAT STORIES (Spork, 2020) and PLANTING FRIENDSHIP: PEACE, SALAAM, SHALOM

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Rebecca Gardyn Levington author of BRAINSTORM! (Sleeping Bear Press, Summer 2022), I WILL ALWAYS BE…(HarperCollins, Spring 2024) and a contributor to the delightful anthology HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING (Pomelo Books, October 2020)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique (nonrhyming) from Rebecca Kraft Rector, author of SQUISH SQUASH SQUISHED (Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Random House, 2021), LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD EDITOR (Aladdin, September 2022), and TRIA AND THE GREAT STAR RESCUE (Delacorte/Random House)

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique and Query Letter Critique from Jessica Stremer author of the forthcoming GREAT CARRIER REEF (Holiday House, 2023)

Author Jessica Stremer

⭐️ Picture Book Manuscript Critique from Cathy Ballou Mealey author of WHEN A TREE GROWS (Union Square Kids, 2019), SLOTH AND SQUIRREL IN A PICKLE (Kids Can Press, 2021), and the forthcoming MAKE MORE S’MORES (Sleeping Bear Press, 2023)

⭐️ Personalized Signed Copy of THE KING CAKE BABY by Keila Dawson

⭐️ Personalized Signed Copy of PLANTING FRIENDSHIP: PEACE, SALAAM, SHALOM by Melissa Berger Stoller

⭐️ Personalized Signed Copy of IT’S A MUFFULETTA! IT’S A WHATA? (Sprok 2021) by Patricia Saunders

Please join me in thanking these very generous authors and other writing professionals for contributing their books and writing expertise as prizes by visiting their websites and blogs, considering their books and services for birthday, holiday or other gift purchases, rating and/or reviewing their books on GoodReads, Amazon, B&N, or anywhere else if you like them, recommending them for school and library visits, and supporting them in any other way you can dream up! 😊

Now! Put your heart into it and proudly post your entries!

I can’t wait to read your stories!!!

Eager Readers: Check out the comment section for all the fabulous entries! 😊

ENTRIES (all entries are linked) [will be linked tomorrow – sorry for delay]

  1. The Perfect Present – Sara Kruger
  2. Dr. Basil Discovers His Secret Admirer – Royal Baysinger
  3. Teeny Houdini – Heather Ferranti Kinser
  4. How To Win At Wordle – Anne Lipton
  5. Eva Valentina’s Day – Katie Fischer
  6. Chick Forgot Valentine’s Day – Jess Burbank
  7. The Make-A-Valentine Contest – Hanna Geshelin
  8. Never Too Many Valentines – Lori C. Evans
  9. Proud As A Peacock – Bru Benson
  10. Valentine Farm – Jennifer Lowe
  11. Gary Groundhog Conquers The Shadow Monster – Deborah Foster
  12. Tucker And The Sneezies – Susan E. Schipper
  13. When Dad Is Away – Aileen Stewart
  14. It’s Valentine’s Day, Thomas, The Worm – Maria Lahman
  15. The House On The Corner – Elyse Trevers
  16. Staying In The Lines – Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
  17. Top Of The World – Christine Alemshah
  18. The Canape Caper – Cathy Stenquist
  19. My Icky Sticky Valentine – Chayala Nachum
  20. The Best Card Maker – Stephanie Maksymiw
  21. Dad Gets Weird On Valentine’s Day – Debbie Day
  22. The Valentine Tiff – Sally Yorke-Viney
  23. Glitter & Glue – Janna MacLean
  24. Heart Aflutter – Kelly Clasen
  25. Little Things – Molly Ippolito
  26. Veronica’s Surprise – Janel Caverly
  27. My Quiet Valentine – Amanda Sherlock
  28. Who’s Ana? – Ellie Langford
  29. Prince Of The Pride – Jessica Seitz
  30. Cupid’s Big Day – Marty Bellis
  31. A Match Made In Socks – Laura Heath
  32. Momma’s Smile – Amber Hendricks
  33. The Perfect Valentine – Kimberly Shrack
  34. Miss Frog And Mister Turtle – Sharon McCarthy
  35. The Trees Of The Girl Who Raised Bees – B.J. Genovese
  36. Mailbirds: Valentine’s Day – Reed Ambrose
  37. The Perfect Card – Keely Leim
  38. Valentine’s Day Is For Everyone – Janet Scratchley
  39. Valentine’s In The Jungle – Melissa Rafson Friedman
  40. The Lovesick Groundhog – Debbie Daugherty
  41. Rosas For Senor Perez – Carmen Castillo Gilbert
  42. Get Well Soon, Mrs. Love – Rebekah Hoeft
  43. A Valentine For You – Marty Findley
  44. Cupid, A New Generation – Linda Staszak
  45. A Valentine For Her – Marty Findley
  46. Mr. Sunder’s Valentine’s Day Cookie – Marta Cutler
  47. Valentine Countdown – Marta Cutler
  48. V’s For Valentine – Rachel Bandy
  49. ValenTINY – Jessica Milo
  50. Three Hearts – A. Kidd
  51. I Whale Always Love You – Kimberly Horch
  52. Isabella’s Valentine – Terrie Hellard-Brown
  53. Dear Moon – Carissa Brown
  54. A Nose For Love – Julie Kurtz
  55. Rabbit [heart] Rebecca – Anne Bromley
  56. The Heart Of A Wizard – Jany Campana
  57. Sweet Valentine – Daniella Kaufman
  58. The Valentine’s Cake – Kate Thompson
  59. Gene’s Forbidden Valentine – Vanessa Konoval
  60. The Best Part – Sarah Meade
  61. V-Day! – Sarah Meade
  62. The Special Valentine Card – Sherry Roberts
  63. Cutting Is Hard – Ashley Chance
  64. Hammie’s Valentine Surprise – Jenna Elyse Johnson
  65. Pinky’s Message – Elizabeth Muster
  66. Everyting You Taught Me – Shuba Mohan
  67. It’s A Matter Of Taste – Corine Timmer
  68. Broken Hearts Need Love Too – Stephanie Henson
  69. All Aboard – Debbie Whittam
  70. Dove Letters – Amy LaMae Brewer
  71. My Furry Valentine – Tiffany Hanson
  72. A Squawking Serenade – Tiffany Hanson
  73. Proud That You Are Mine – Tonnye Fletcher
  74. Mother, You Are One In A Million – Elaine D’Alessandro
  75. King Of Love – Sue Ko
  76. Rose’s Creative Valentines – Elaine D’Alessandro
  77. Dear Valentine – Jill Burns
  78. Subterranean Lovesick Blues – Andrea MacDonald
  79. Love, Mama And Me – Karen Olmstead
  80. A Gift For My Mami – Lana Montalban
  81. Baby Bear’s Heart – Lori Himmel
  82. Gumballs – Jill Purtee
  83. Beaming With Pride – Paul Kurtz
  84. Proud As A Peacock – Paul Kurtz
  85. Don’t-Let-The-Dung-Beetle-Make-The-Valentine-Brownies! – Donna Kurtz
  86. Best Valentine’s Day Ever! – Donna Kurtz
  87. To Sarah – Elizabeth Westra
  88. The Heart-Shaped Mitten – Sherri T. Mercer
  89. Love Inside – Kristy Roser Nuttall
  90. Valentine’s Field Trip – Darcee Freier
  91. Heart And Hands – Marjorie David
  92. Flicker’s Valentine – Laura Bost
  93. A Valentine For Birders – Geraldine Oades-Sese
  94. The Floofabims – Sabrina Shah
  95. I Wanted To Say I Love You – Joy Curtis
  96. Percy’s Performance – Allison Strick
  97. Showdown In Smoochalot – Jesse Anna Bornemann
  98. Theo’s Not-So-Perfect Valentine’s Day – Kelsey E. Gross
  99. Mama, Are You Proud Of Me? – Pamela Swanson
  100. Awesome Together – Sarah Hetu
  101. Valentine’s Breakfast For Mom – Patti Ranson
  102. Special Delivery – Emily Keener
  103. Harriet’s Cards – Jessica Reed
  104. Dolley’s Favorite Month – Lincoln Mansch
  105. Llama Love – Laura Bower
  106. Will You Be My Valentine? – Michelle S. Kennedy
  107. Sunshine Valentine – Vashti Verbowski
  108. Shelby’s Heartache – Susannah Lee
  109. Taffy’s Sweet Surprise – Mary Schultz
  110. Where Is Puppito? – Bridget Magee
  111. Princess Candace – Sheila R. Schmotzer
  112. Suzie And Jordan’s Special Day – Shadi Kafi
  113. Valentine Delivery – Part II (sequel to 2021 Valentine Contest Entry) – Katie Brandyberry
  114. A Friend For Valentine’s Day – Daniele Arndt
  115. Hoppy Belated Valentine – Zach Schloss
  116. Remember The Love – Ashley Murray
  117. The Proudest Pencil – Lori Sheroan
  118. My Gummy Love – Lauri C. Meyers
  119. Love ME – Melissa Rutigliano
  120. Love Potions And Laughter – Tiffany Hanson
  121. A Cake-tastrophe – Tiffany Hanson
  122. The Valentine’s Day Invitiational – Lori Keating
  123. Lost But Found – Armineh Manookian
  124. L-O-V-E – Ronda Einbinder
  125. Shakesbear In Love – MaryLee Flannigan
  126. A New Friend – Steve Jankousky
  127. What Kind Of Cupid Am I? – Alayne Kay Christian
  128. My Hero – Dawn Young
  129. Valentine’s Day Dance-Off In Nestville – Lynn Marie Moore
  130. Hidden In These Hallowed Hills – Shuba Mohan
  131. A Rose For Toad – Ashlee MacCallum
  132. I Do NOT Like Rohini Rao – Sandhya Acharya
  133. Untitled – M.M. Sutanto
  134. A Heart Of Gold – Ryan Schneck
  135. Haiku Valentines: Love In 5-7-5 Rhyme – Brenda Whitehead
  136. Kate’s Valentines – Sheila M. Hausbeck
  137. A Nest For Bluegill – Katie Palazzola
  138. A Puzzling Valentine – My Side Of The Phone Call… – Ingrid Boydston
  139. Smelly Kelly – Glenda Roberson
  140. Underneath It All – Carrie Charley Brown
  141. How To Find A Valentine – Bevin Rolfs Spencer
  142. My Daddy’s Valentine – Gayle Krause
  143. Proud Valentine’s Day – Deborah Hunt
  144. A Valentine For Annie B. Bear – Charlotte Dixon
  145. Valentine’s Day Heartache – Cindy Greene
  146. Valentine Shenanigans – Vasilia Graboski
  147. You Make Me So Proud – Erika Romero
  148. I Am Proud To Be Your Friend – Kerry Porter
  149. Love Somebody – Brigid Finucane
  150. Marcus Is Not An Elephant: How A Woolly Mammoth Makes A Friend – Susan Schwartz Twiggs
  151. Purple Lace – Liz Kehrli
  152. Puppy Love – Kathy Halsey
  153. Valentine’s Day Booty – Danielle Sharkan
  154. Wholeheartedly – Catherine Brewer
  155. Valentine Barks – Kathy Crable
  156. Oog Love Rock – Katie Palazzola
  157. C.I.T. (Cupid In Training) – Colleen Murphy
  158. Allie’s Biggest Heart – Julianna Helt
  159. Detective Spot And The Search For A New Cupid – Sophia Moore (age 10)
  160. The Valentine Surprise – Claire Noland
  161. The Purrfect Valentine – Tara Knox Cerven
  162. A Valentine For Mr. Weatherly – Lindsay Moretti
  163. A Proud Mum – Shariffa Keshavje
  164. Valentine’s Day At Sweet Pig’s – Patricia Corcoran
  165. Poppy’s Gift – Melanie Adkins
  166. Go Tell Bully Brady – Mona Pease
  167. Valentine Surprise – Abby Wooldridge
  168. Full Of Heart – Allison Burke
  169. Two Little Valentines – Judy Abelove Shemtob
  170. A Change Of Heart – Michaela Almeida
  171. The Mural – Susanne Whitehouse
  172. The Perfect Friend Chip – Cheryl Simon
  173. Sloth’s Original Valentine – Judy Sobanski
  174. Be My Fred – Lisa Furness
  175. Cupid’s Confidence – Amy Leskowski
  176. The Flower Code – Ashlee Hashman
  177. A Valentine For Jake – Andrew Fairchild
  178. Cardi V – Alicia Meyers
  179. The Heart Of The Matter – Sarah Marhevsky
  180. Bear And Fish – A Love Story – Aly Kenna
  181. Valentine Wins – Sara Petersohn
  182. Sweet Breakfast – JC Kelly
  183. ValenTalent Show – Becky Goodman
  184. Marla’s Mistake – Jessica Watts
  185. The Koi That Should Have Been In The Zodiac – MeiLin Chan
  186. Surprise Valentine’s Day Party – Una Belle Townsend
  187. My First Love – Adolfo Gomez-Herrera

1,776 thoughts on “With Prideful Heart – The 7th Annual Valentiny Contest Is HERE!!!

  1. savoringeverymoment says:

    By Sara Kruger
    Word Count: 214

    Joy joined her classmates crowded around the Valentine’s Day list.

    Her heart sank when she saw who she was paired with for the homemade-gift exchange: Naomi—the walking rain cloud.

    “Naomi!” Joy said in a rainbow-bright voice. “So, what do you like?”

    Naomi shrugged.

    Joy’s smile slipped. “Well, my favorite things are unicorns and cookies with sprinkles.”

    Naomi furrowed her brow.

    Joy sighed. She wanted to make something Naomi would love, but what?

    She searched for ideas all afternoon.

    In music, Naomi plucked at a mandolin.

    In PE, she was picked last for dodgeball.

    And in art, her project was unrecognizable.

    After school, Joy doodled and mused, but by supper, she was still stumped.

    The next day, while blowing bubbles, she saw Naomi gathering dandelions.

    Inspiration struck.

    Joy sketched, stenciled, glued—and second-guessed. What if Naomi thought her gift was silly? Or worse—ugly?

    The day of the Valentine’s party, Naomi handed Joy several crumpled pages stapled together.

    The Unicorn Who Loved Sprinkles
    By Naomi

    Joy squealed. “I love it!”

    Then she gave Naomi her gift.

    “It’s a vase,” Joy explained, “for your dandelions.”

    Naomi turned it slowly.

    She pulled dandelions and wildflowers from her bag and arranged a bouquet.

    “It’s beautiful. Thank you,” she said, joy brightening her voice like a rainbow.

    Joy beamed with pride.

  2. Royal Baysinger (@RoyalBaysinger) says:

    By Royal Baysinger
    214 words

    “Behold, Boris! In all my cleverness, I have created a device capable of discerning people’s true feelings: The Apple-of-My-Eyeglasses – complete with audio receivers! And just in time for Valentine’s Day, when everyone thinks of those they secretly love and admire!”

    “Careful, Dr. Basil, sir. I don’t think private feelings should be overheard.”

    “Nonsense! These piteous peasants would praise me openly if they were not intimidated by my towering intellect! But today, their fond Valentine thoughts will not be in vain!”

    Dr. Basil strutted past heart-decorated storefronts, scanning townspeople one by one with his eavesdropping eyeglasses. He heard, in perfect clarity, the feelings of their hearts:

    [Oh no, not Dr. Basil!]
    [That guy gives me the creeps.]
    [I wish he’d move away!]

    Every word battered his ego.

    Dr. Basil moped back home. Boris raced after him.

    “Wait, Dr. Basil, sir!”

    “I have examined everyone, Boris…they despise me….”

    “You didn’t examine me.”

    Dejected, Dr. Basil scanned his loyal assistant. He heard, in perfect clarity, the feelings of Boris’s heart:

    [Dr. Basil’s the world’s greatest scientist! I’m proud to call him my friend!]

    Dr. Basil beamed.

    “Very good, Boris. To the laboratory! We have a Good-Luck-Charm Bracelet to devise! St. Patricks Day will soon be here!”

    “Yes, Dr. Basil, sir!”

  3. Heather Kinser says:

    by Heather Ferranti Kinser
    Word Count: 213

    In a vole hole tiny-teeny
    lived a vole they called Houdini.
    She was always disappearing when the neighbors happened by—
    being timid, small, and shy.

    She had heard that Bear was grumpy
    and that Hare was awfully jumpy.
    Otter badgered, Badger bothered, Jaybird jabbered—so they said.
    So the vole stayed home in bed.

    Through the winter, cold and snowy,
    she was never bold or showy.
    All alone, she practiced magic tricks that no one ever saw.
    Then…the world began to thaw.

    Buoyant Badger came to greet her.
    Active Otter tried to meet her.
    Hare and Jaybird thumped the ground and squawked, “We’ve come to pay a call.”
    Friendly neighbors, one and all.

    Bear (who’d once been small and worried
    in a world too loud and hurried)
    knew a kind and gentle word or two could ease a frightened mind.
    So he made a Valentine!

    Hi Houdini. We may seem to be
    a scary bunch of enemies.
    But we are gentle forest friends who want play and share.
    Will you join us?
    Love, the Bear.

    Filled with magic inspiration
    from that heartfelt invitation,
    small Houdini started creeping out, with hat and wand and cape—
    in a daring,

    Yes, Houdini’s tricks amazed the crowd.
    She was brave!
    And they were proud.

  4. Anne Lipton says:

    How to Win at Wordle
    by Anne Lipton
    Word count: 214

    “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Mom hands me her phone. “Instead of a valentine, I made you a custom word puzzle.”

    “Cool! Thanks!” I love games.

    When I was having a hard time learning to spell, Mom brought out her old Scrabble board. “Let’s take it one letter at a time.”

    I like the smooth slip of the Scrabble tiles between my fingers, but word games are tough. I study the rows of boxes on the phone screen.

    “You have six tries to guess the five-letter word,” Mom says.

    Hmm. What word should I guess? Probably one with lots of common letters like vowels. Plus, it’s a Valentine’s Day puzzle, so I key in . . .
    The fourth box flips to yellow.

    “Green means you have the right letter in the right position.” Mom explains. “Yellow means the letter belongs in a different position.”

    Great. I’ll never be crowned champion of this game.
    Wait! That’s it!
    I lay down
    The second and third boxes glow bright green.
    _RO_ _

    I pore (not pour!) over the keyboard for odd letters out, prod my brain, and drop in
    All five boxes light up.
    Woo-hoo! I win! The Gaming Queen reigns supreme!
    But—“Why PROUD?”

    Mom beams at me. “Because LOVE is only four letters.”

  5. katiefischerwrites says:

    Eva Valentina’s Day
    By Katie Fischer
    WC 199

    Valentiny 2022

    On Friday, Mr. Goss said next week would be the class’s Valentine’s Day party.
    Eva Valentina perked up, a party, a DAY, all about her?
    Nobody else had a day.
    But, apparently, she DID.
    Mr. Goss was so nice!

    She walked home with a spring in her step.

    Saturday, Eva Valentina pondered her party.
    It was a big honor. She should show her thanks.

    All day Sunday, Eva Valentina scribbled, taped, glued, snipped, folded, and taped some more.

    On Monday she was ready.
    She strode into class, head high. The room burst with color and sparkly hearts.
    “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Mr. Goss said.
    “Thanks,” Eva Valentina replied, “maybe next month we’ll have a Mr. Goss day.”
    Mr. Goss paused, “Oh, I’m sorry if I confused you, but Valentine’s Day is a regular holiday like Earth Day or St Patrick’s day…”

    The big warm feeling inside her chest suddenly felt cold.

    “Oh no,” Eva Valentina whispered, “but I made thank you cards for everyone.”
    Mr. Goss smiled. “Perfect!” He whispered back, “We ALL give each other cards on Valentine’s Day.”

    She puffed her cheeks; it might not be her special day…
    But she definitely had made the most special cards.

  6. Jess Burbank (@jburbank) says:

    Chick Forgot Valentine’s Day
    by Jess Burbank
    Word Count: 214

    Chick woke up to, “Surprise!” He’d received many notes,
    From mother and father, the pigs and the goats.
    Duck sent him a worm treat; it came on a tray!
    He was feeling so loved on this Valentine’s Day.

    Then Chick pecked and preened like he did every morning.
    When Duck rambled by him without any warning.
    “Hey Duck, you look gloomy. You feelin’ ok?”
    “Fine,” Duck said, sadly, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Chick’s face went red. His whole body went hot.
    He‘d meant to send Duck a card, but he forgot.
    Duck was so hurt that Chick didn’t send one.
    Actually, Chick failed to send ANY friend one.

    So Chick went to work, he grabbed paper and scissors,
    markers and glue, even doilies and glitters.
    He cut and he wrote, he glued and he crafted.
    Soon dozens of Valentine’s letters were drafted.

    His first stop was Duck’s place to fix his mistake.
    He found his friend paddling out in the lake.
    “Hi, Duck!” Chick shouted, “Just dropped by to say,
    I’m so glad you’re my friend. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Then Chick’s face went red. His whole body went hot,
    but this time it wasn’t because he forgot.
    He was all warm with pride, Wow! That is appealing!
    He’d made his friend happy, what a fabulous feeling.

  7. Hanna Geshelin (@HGeshelin) says:

    The Make-A-Valentine Contest
    by Hanna Geshelin
    word count: 212

    A Valentine’s contest? I knew it:
    My smart sister Beth would pursue it.
    I just couldn’t win;
    I’m not sharp like my twin,
    But somehow I’d have to get through it.

    My sister was so sure she’d win
    That she almost forgot to begin.
    But I buckled right down
    And worked with a frown,
    And made a great card for my twin.

    Just guess my surprise when Ms. Pruitt,
    Our teacher, said, “Benny, I knew it!
    Though in writing a beginner,
    This time you’re the winner,
    Your poem, love and art–they just do it!”

    I strutted around for a week
    While Bethany acted quite meek,
    For losing was new
    And made her feel blue.
    She saw that she wasn’t unique.

    Though change didn’t come in a blink,
    Bethany started to think.
    My card showed my love,
    And gave her a shove.
    She realized she’d been a real stink.

    She said, “Being best doesn’t matter
    If others’ lives you just shatter.”
    And my heart swelled with pride
    While our mama just sighed
    And served chocolate cake on a platter.

    ‘Cause my Valentine’s card, the school’s best,
    Showed my twin sister how she was blessed.
    It made me feel great
    And helped her go straight.
    We both won, and that’s not a jest.

  8. loricevans says:

    I like how you capture the feeling of the new kid from somewhere else who doesn’t know quite know what is going on. I’m glad it all works out in the end for Eva.

  9. loricevans says:

    Never Too Many Valentines
    Lori C Evans
    Word count 205

    Snip, cut, doodle, draw.
    I made a valentine for ma.
    Snip, cut, doodle, draw.
    I made a valentine for pa.

    And then I snipped some for my brothers,
    And both grandpas and grandmothers.
    I saw their smiles begin to spread
    And then I knew what lay ahead.

    Snip, cut, doodle, dot.
    I scribbled one for our dog Spot.
    And then our cat, and then our snake.
    I drew one for my best friend, Jake.

    My aunt, my uncle, cousin Sue,
    My cousins Rob and Gina, too.
    My doctor, dentist, school bus driver.
    The soccer coach, let’s not deprive her.

    Snip, fold, doodle, paste,
    I made more valentines with haste.
    One for each house on our street,
    That’s fifteen more, no easy feat.

    For class I needed twenty-four,
    But wait — the teacher — that’s one more.
    Each happy face gave me a kick.
    I had to write some more real quick!

    Doodle, paste, cut and bend.
    I didn’t want to miss one friend.
    I made some extras, just in case
    I spied a sad and lonely face.

    On Valentine’s Day I felt so proud,
    To know I’d spread love to a crowd.
    And next year when it comes again,
    I hope to make this much times ten!

    (PS it’s exactly 214 words if you count the title/name/word count info – 😍)

    Thank you, once again, Susanna Hill, for putting together a fabulous contest. I hope you are getting lots of love and hugs to carry you through your family situation and that when you have a chance to read the entries you also feel extra hugged!

  10. readmybook2002 says:

    Proud As A Peacock
    Bru Benson
    Word Count: 91

    Rainbow paper
    Tear here
    Tear there.
    Cut cut
    Paste paste
    Scissors careful
    Snip snip
    Watchful eyes
    Behind me

    Heart shape red
    Fanny funny
    Upside down
    Paste Paste
    Don’t eat.
    Sprinkle sparkle
    On the ends
    Crayon color
    inside only

    Cut white
    on red
    in middle
    sides don’t match.

    Almost done
    Name on back
    first time
    Using scissors
    by myself.
    A mom valentine
    from me to you
    proud as a


    Snip snip
    paper of blue
    Cut cut
    Tear tear
    Colors everywhere.
    A proud peacock
    almost done
    For you.

  11. Jennifer Lowe (@JenZLowe) says:

    By Jennifer Lowe
    211 Words

    Cora paces Valentine Farm.

    She’d followed Grammy’s instructions to a T.

    Weeded the pesky ovals and squares.
    Fertilized the hearts with oodles of love.
    And shielded them from snow, wind, and rain…
    while allowing the perfect amount of sun.

    And yet…

    Her homegrown hearts are wibbly. Wobbly. Certainly not the right shades of crimson.
    NOTHING like the perfectly plump shapes Grammy used to grow.

    Cora’s heart wilts. There will be no Valentine’s love to share this year.
    “I’m sorry, Grammy. I failed you.”

    Cora harvests the misshapen hearts… and stashes them in a heap for the garbage truck.

    Valentine’s morning, Cora paces outside Grammy’s room. How to tell Grammy she’s a heart-farming flop?

    “Cora, dear?”

    Cora inches open Grammy’s door, head hanging low.

    “Might you have something to do with this?” Grammy winks, nodding toward the television.

    “It’s a Valentine’s Day marvel,” says the newscaster. “After that wind storm, folks awoke to HEARTS spread around town. Perfectly aerodynamic, in rare shades of rouge and fuchsia, our town is indeed covered in love. Back to you in the studio!”

    Cora runs to the window. Hearts decorate rooftops and trees.

    Her funny-looking,
    oddly colored,
    perfect-in-a-windstorm hearts.

    “Cora, my heart-farming all-star,” says Grammy with a gleam. “You should be very proud.”

    Cora’s heart blooms.

  12. Deborah Foster says:

    213 Words

    Gary Groundhog’s fur shook, but not from the cold.
    When he peeked from his hole, his eyes spotted the most beautiful creature.
    He gulped, gathering his courage to say “Hello”.
    Waddling over, he was about to speak..
    Gary turned and noticed a crowd gathered around!
    Then a giant dark monster appeared!
    Gary dashed back down his hole.
    “Six more weeks of winter, folks!”
    Gary froze. He thought about the monster hurting his beloved.
    “I’ll save you!” he shouted.
    Gary shook off his jitters and popped from his hole!
    The crowd was gone.
    But there she stood.
    She was dressed in white. Her pink scarf billowed in the breeze.
    She wore matching gloves on her twiggy arms.
    She had the cutest carrot nose!
    Gary waddled towards her when suddenly the dark monster appeared!
    The hair on Gary’s back rose – so did the monsters!
    Gary stood tall – so did the monster!
    He threw up his claws – so did the monster!
    Gary jumped back…
    But so did the monster!
    Gary waved…
    So did his shadow.
    Gary turned to the snowy creature, “Will you be my date to the Valentine’s Day dance?”
    A cold wind whispered, “Yes”.
    Gary strolled home, proud that he had conquered his fears and made a friend.

  13. seschipper says:

    Tucker and the Sneezies
    By Susan E. Schipper
    WC 214

    Dogs made Tucker sneeze. The second furry, four legged friends approached it would start! Tucker would erupt into sneezes. He would itch, which then made him scratch. This led to teary eyes. He was embarrassed whenever these bouts of sneezies occurred. Mama reminded Tucker it was not his fault this happened and cuddled him. Cuddles didn’t help!

    Tucker told Mama he knew a special day was approaching. Today was February 4th, ten more days until Valentine’s Day. He wouldn’t have friends to share that day with if he couldn’t control his sneezies!

    Tucker needed a plan. He made a list.

    1. Plan a spa Valentine’s party
    2. Invite my best friends
    3. Have stations: Bubble tubs, brushing area, special heart shaped treats

    Invitations were sent!! Preparations were under way!

    Finally, the big day arrived. Tucker’s friends cautiously approached Tucker’s yard. They didn’t want him to have the sneezies. Tucker’s little Poodle tail wagged! “Come in”, he said cheerfully!

    First stop Bubbles, then brushing. Tucker wasn’t sneezing! Tails were wagging. The furry friends were having fun! Bubble baths worked!

    Mama was so proud of her pup. She told Tucker how pleased she was that he didn’t give up.

    It was time to share valentines. Tucker looked at Mama and said, “Love you!” Happy Valentine’s Day!

  14. authoraileenstewart says:

    When Dad Is Away
    Word Count 185

    Patty stared at her Valentine treasures.

    A home-made card and a clay dish made in art class.

    “Watcha doing?” her mom asked.

    “Just waiting. Will Dad get home today?”

    Her mom’s smile faltered. “I don’t know, Peanut. The snow’s coming down pretty hard.”

    Patty hugged her. “Don’t worry mom. Dad will be fine!”

    Mom brushed away a tear. “I just miss him when he has to travel for work.”

    “We should make Dad’s favorite soup,” Patty said.

    Her mom’s smile returned. “What a great idea.”

    Staying busy helps, Patty thought as she chopped carrots.

    “We should make cookies next,” she said.

    Patty and mom cooked, and baked, and giggled all afternoon.

    They giggled so loud, they didn’t hear the front door open.

    “What’s going on in here?” Dad asked.

    “Dad,” Patty shouted.

    “How are my two favorite people?” he asked.

    Patty hugged him with all her might.

    “We’re great now that you’re home!” she said.

    Her mom’s eyes shone. “And thanks to Patty, we have some Valentine surprises for you,” she said.

    “That’s my girl,” he said as he ruffled the hair on Patty’s head.

  15. Maria Lahman says:

    It’s Valentine’s Day, Thomas, the Worm

    Maria Lahman
    word count 211

    Usually, Thomas, the Worm slept through winter in a warm underground hole.
    This winter, a warm spell caused Thomas to burrow to the surface. POP!

    Mole was digging upwards also.
    “Mole, what time of year is it?”
    Mole, holding a red package, grunted, “Winter.” “I’m late,” and off he went.

    Rabbit hopped by carrying a red bag.
    “Rabbit,” Thomas called, “What’s going on”?
    “It’s Feb. 14th,” Rabbit cried. “Don’t be late,” and off he hopped.
    “Late for what?”

    Mouse scurried by squeaking, “for the Valentine’s party at the hollow stump.”
    “Bring a heart to share,” Mouse twittered, flashing a heart-shaped box of candy.

    Thomas had heard about this day but had always been asleep.
    Squirming behind Mouse, Thomas worried. What could he bring?

    Thomas reached the stump.
    Rabbit’s bag had heart-shaped carrot cookies.
    Mole’s package was filled with paper hearts.
    Mouse was passing out red heart candies.
    What could Thomas do?
    He thought and thought, and then he knew!

    Thomas wiggled and squiggled. He formed a curve.
    Thomas jiggled and wriggled. He bent into 2 curves.

    Thomas squirmed and wormed. He touched his nose to toes or toes to his nose.
    Thomas GLOWED pink with pride. He was a valentine!

    “Happy Valentines, Thomas!” the animals cheered.
    “Be mine,” said Thomas.

  16. Elyse Trevers (@ETauthor) says:

    The House on the Corner
    Elyse Trevers
    176 words

    Scary new neighbors lurk in the house on the corner,
    mumble a foreign language,
    barricade their doors and
    shutter their windows.

    Baia, petite and gentle,
    fears them.
    She must pass by the house each day,
    rushes on her way to school,
    crosses the street when walking the dog.

    All the other kids avoid the house,
    whisper and call the neighbors names.

    Then she remembers
    her great-grandma Basha,
    for whom she’s named.
    Slight of stature,
    she came to this country,
    when she was only 14,
    speaking a foreign language.

    Some kind people helped
    Great-Grandma begin a new life.

    Baia bakes heart-shaped cookies,
    using Great-Grandma’s recipe,
    and wraps them up.

    Taking a deep breath,
    she stands tall as she climbs the steps to the house on the corner
    and rings the bell.
    “Welcome to the block.
    Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s a holiday about love and friendship.”

    Friendly new neighbors occupy the house on the corner,
    wave as Baia passes,
    keep their door slightly ajar
    And their windows wide-open.

    Baia befriended the new neighbors. Great-Grandma would have been proud.

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Staying in the Lines
    Elizabeth Meyer zu Heringdorf
    214 words

    For Valentine’s Day,
    David wanted to do something extraordinary for his mother.
    So he snuck into his room and closed the door.
    When his mother went to check on him,
    She found him sitting on his giant drawing pad.
    David smiled and straightened his shoulders.
    “Guess what!” he shouted. “I did something!”
    “What did you do?” asked his mother.
    “I wanted to stop being bad.
    So I drew a circle around me. To stay inside it.
    So I couldn’t do wrong things.
    And it was really boring. But I stayed in the circle.”
    David drew a deep breath and continued.
    “And then I wanted to make you a valentine.
    But the markers were in the bucket there and I couldn’t get them.
    Then I saw the stick next to me,
    and I held it out to the bucket,
    And I got the bucket with the stick!
    And look! I drew a valentine for you here!
    Next to me here! It says MOM.
    And I did everything myself.”
    “Oh sweetie!” his mother said. “How good you’re being!
    And I love the valentine!”
    Then David lay back, kicked his heels and shouted,
    “And the best thing! I stayed in the line of the circle the whole time,
    And I stayed in the lines coloring the valentine!”

  18. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Christine Alemshah
    [WC: 185]

    Shake, shake, shake go my chalky heart-shaped treats.
    PICK ME, says the purple one.
    I pop it into my mouth. Crunch!
    Sweet, but it’s not really grape. They all taste the same.
    Ew, the next one’s orange, my least favorite color.
    GO FISH, it reads. Is that what we’re doing today?
    Daddy answers like he sees inside my brain.
    “Kids… Today’s a special day, a new family tradition.
    I’m taking you to the top of the world.
    The tallest,
    most magnificent,
    most amazing hill,
    I tobogganed with my dad as a kid….”
    Our mini-van door swishes open.
    “There it is!” yells Daddy.
    But when Daddy gets out, he slumps over like a slug.
    “This isn’t what I remember. Sorry, kids. It’s just a lump in the ground.”
    But that’s not what I see, not at all.
    I shake, shake, shake my box, searching for the perfect hearts.
    I shove the best ones I can find — a rainbow of yellow, green, and blue — into Daddy’s hands.
    LUV U
    “Daddy, this is a MOUNTAIN! Come on, sissy, let’s go play!”

  19. cathystenquist says:

    The Canapé Caper
    By Cathy Stenquist
    210 words

    Pedro Porcupine loved to cook. Food was his love language.

    With a pinch of this, a swirl of that and a sprinkle of love, he made the most magnificent treats.

    But when he tried to share them, there was always trouble.

    At school, his friends couldn’t get close enough to reach the cupcakes. Ouch!

    At Squirrel’s birthday party, Pedro tripped, popping all the balloons.
    Nobody felt very hungry after that.

    During the family BBQ, he got tangled in the volleyball net and his canapés went flying.

    On Tuesday, a Valentine’s invitation from Racoon arrived, asking him to bring a snack.
    Pedro was very worried.

    “There must be a better way to deliver my treats,” he thought.

    The next day, while watching his favorite cooking show, “Beat Bobby Flavor,” Pedro knew exactly what he wanted to make.

    “The answer was right here all the time,” he gasped, “I have everything I need. I CAN DO THIS!”

    Gathering the perfect ingredients,
    he sliced,
    he cubed,
    he stacked,
    he twirled.
    he spread and jabbed,
    until every delicious morsel was a work of art.

    Using the quills on his back, Porcupine proudly delivered his charcuterie board to the party without a hitch.

    At last, all his friends could finally feel and taste his love.

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Name: Chayala Nachum
    Title: My Icky Sticky Valentine
    Word Count: 197

    St. Valentine, I hate your guts!
    My hands are covered in paper cuts.
    There’s Magic Marker on my face
    And dried glue crumbs all over the place.
    Mom’s making me write Valentines
    For my whole class—of twenty-nine!
    Can you blame me for being bitter?
    Both my eyes are full of glitter!
    To top it off, surprise, surprise,
    I’m running out of art supplies!
    How much can this poor kid take?
    I’ve still got fifteen more to make!
    No more with all this sissy stuff,
    That’s it, I tell you; I’ve had enough!
    If I must do Valentine’s Day
    I’m gonna do it the proper way!
    Nix the scissors—my teeth are fine
    They’ll give the paper a cool design.
    I’ve got some old gum on my shoe
    It’s just the thing to use for glue.
    Who needs crayons when you’ve got snot?
    That sticky stuff can do a lot!
    Earwax, boogers, drool and spit,
    My body’s an art conduit!
    And for a glitter substitute
    Cookie crumbs will be a hoot!
    Now, this is truly a work of art
    Straight from the nose, ears, mouth, and heart.
    This icky sticky Valentine
    Is one I’m proud to claim as mine!

  21. stephaniemstories says:

    The Best Card Maker
    By Stephanie Maksymiw
    Word count: 142

    I am the best card maker.
    I have everything to make the perfect valentine in my craft box right here.

    Mine will be pretty
    Mine will be bright.
    Mine will be the best.

    “I can’t cut mine into a heart.”
    Here Sarah, take my scissors. I don’t need mine to be a fancy shape.

    “I can’t color mine.”
    Here Carlos, take my crayons. I can just use a pencil to draw on mine.

    “I need frills.”
    Here Laura, take my lace. I don’t need a fancy border on mine.

    “I need sparkle.”
    Here Gary, take my glitter. I don’t need to add anything to mine.

    No frills, no color, no shape.

    Mine is plain.
    Mine is boring.
    Mine is not the best.

    But I’m proud to say I’m still the best card maker…

    because I helped my friends make their cards great.

  22. Debbie Day (@Deborah_Writing) says:

    By Debbie Day
    191 Words

    For Valentine’s Day, Dad’s been EXTRA bizarre.
    As it neared, he was acting unruly.
    While neighbors were watching, he jumped on Mom’s car
    belting out the words, “I love you truly!”

    The very next day, he popped out of a tree
    -it made Mom jump clear to the sky.
    He gave her a rose, but from what I could see,
    Mom had nothing but wrath in her eye.

    After she blew up (as seen by the neighbors),
    Dad impishly tiptoed away.
    Later she thought through his Valentine’s labors
    and guilt settled in the next day.

    So, Mom made a goal: be more patient with Dad,
    and at first, she was doing quite well.
    When he burped “How I love you,” she grimaced a tad
    but then walked away, rather than yell.

    Then came this morning (it’s Valentine’s Day).
    As she slept, Dad brought in a balloon.
    After sucking out helium, I heard him say,
    “Wakey wake!” like a creepy cartoon!

    I thought Mom would lose it – what scene would ensue?
    Would she smack that face grinning above?
    Mother, I’ve never been prouder of you.
    You kissed it instead – now THAT’S love.

  23. syorkeviney says:

    The Valentine Tiff
    by Sally Yorke-Viney
    Word Count 208

    The drawer was stuffed full,
    What a mess! What a jumble!
    Supplies started talking,
    And started to grumble!

    She’s sure to come soon,
    Cause it’s Valentine’s Day!
    So, they jostled and tousled,
    Then started to say!

    “I’m the best!” said red paper.
    “She’ll want me!” said pink yarn.
    “And my colors,” said marker
    “Could brighten a barn!”

    “She’ll cut!” said the scissors
    “She’ll paste!” said the glue
    “I’ll sparkle!” said glitter
    “I know what to do!”

    So, the problem began,
    When each thought they were best!
    So, they jostled and tousled
    And got in a mess.

    “You’ve bent up my corners!”
    “I’m all in a knot!”
    “I’m dripping!” “I’m snipping”
    They fought and they fought!

    Then doily peaked out
    In her small lacey voice,
    “You’re mistaken if you
    Think you have any choice!”

    “I know that you each
    Think that you are supreme!
    But let’s work for her,
    On her Valentine Dream!”

    Then they looked at each other
    And nodded and smiled
    “Doily’s right they agreed!”
    “We must help our child!”

    So, they got organized
    And they quieted down
    And looked for the moment
    When she’d be around!

    And they heard her call out
    “I’ll need all my supplies!”
    “Cause this Valentines heart
    Is my mommy’s surprise!”

  24. Janna MacLean (@JannaMacLean1) says:

    By Janna MacLean
    WC 179

    Today’s the day! It’s Valentine’s Day! Glue hears Glitter’s gleeful shouts.
    Glue wanted nothing to do with it, he was stuck being his usual cranky cylinder self but that didn’t stop Glitter loving him. Without him, she’d be scattered about, her sparkly bits here and shiny bits there, she needed him.
    Glue believed Valentine’s Day was pure silliness and questioned Glitter on why it should be celebrated.
    Glitter explained all her favourite gooey parts, from secret admirers, rhyming poems, and heart-shaped everything.
    Glue responded in various grunts and shrugs.
    Without Glitter, he would be a dried-up smudge on paper. No one would even know he was there but maybe Glue liked it that way.

    [Children crafting]

    Once the chairs were up, and the lights were down, Glitter dropped a small heart-shaped note into the bin labeled GLUE STICKS.

    It read:
    Roses are Red
    Violets are blue
    How did I get so lucky
    to be stuck here with you.

    Glue surprised himself by spilling truth, that maybe Valentine’s Day wasn’t so bad after all, and Glitter couldn’t have been prouder.

  25. Kelly Clasen says:

    Heart Aflutter
    By Kelly Clasen
    Word count: 212

    Fat snowflakes drift down
    through a heavy slate sky.
    Rosie peers out the window,
    releases a belly-deep sigh.

    For it is Valentine’s Day,
    and no bus will be stopping.
    There’ll be no party. No candy.
    No silly-sweet card swapping.

    Feeling as gray as the sky,
    Rosie pulls on warm gear
    to explore this wonderland,
    the biggest snow of the year.

    She trudges through drifts
    nearly up to her knees,
    uphill and back down,
    and before long she sees
    a one-word ode to the day
    spelled out in the snow
    for not a soul to read,
    no classmates to show.

    Her tummy starts rumbling;
    she longs for Mom’s eggs.
    Rosie enters the garage
    on cold-numbed, tired legs.
    Before her, on the floor,
    sits a bag full of seed,
    and Rosie has an idea—
    a flight of fancy, indeed.

    She ventures back into the white,
    retraces steps, packs them tight.

    Now down from the pines
    and out of the hollow,
    the cardinals lead,
    and the chickadees follow.
    Crows caw out their greeting;
    sparrows answer in tweeting.
    Rosie’s heart’s swiftly beating
    and thrilling with pride
    at nature’s splendor alive
    on the snowy hillside.

    In scarlet, brown, and ink
    are the birds who took wing,
    spelling out L-O-V-E for the girl
    whose gift made them sing!

  26. Molly Ippolito says:

    By: Molly Ippolito
    Word Count: 208

    I still hear the little whispers…
    She looks so sick!
    Why is her Grandma…bald?
    I know it’s Grandparent’s Day, but should she really be here if she can’t walk?
    I want to erase those little memories.
    But, they’re imprinted in my brain like fossils from an ancient time.

    Mrs. Hanson’s voice cuts through my memory.
    “…and I want you to invite the person you’re most proud of to our Valentine party!”

    On the walk home, I think of Gram.
    Despite how frail and sick she felt, Gram always showed up.
    And for that, I love her so much.

    But, I can’t escape my thoughts.
    What if the whispers start again?
    If Gram weren’t so sick I wouldn’t feel so embarrassed.
    Am I really…proud of her?
    My pride feels little. My guilt feels big.
    It feels like Cupid’s arrow pierced straight through my heart.

    I open the back door and to my surprise, there’s Gram!
    I see her wrinkled smile.
    I feel the soft glow in her eyes.
    I hear her tender words.
    “My sweet girl! I love you oh so well!”

    In this little moment my heart fills up, my doubts forgotten.
    And I’m bursting with pride to call Gram mine.
    “Gram! Are you busy this Valentine’s Day?”

  27. Janel Caverly (@JanelCaverly) says:

    By: Janel Caverly
    Word Count: 208

    Veronica popped a chocolate in her mouth – orange surprise!
    Everyone was excited for Valentine’s Day!
    While Veronica’s sister wrote love poems, Veronica watched her Mother beam with pride.
    “I want to write something special too,” Veronica said.
    “Just try,” her sister said.

    Veronica tried another chocolate – cherry surprise!
    When her brother made lacy cards, Veronica heard Grandma boast, “You’re my little Valentine.”
    “I want to make something special too,” Veronica said.
    “Just think,” her brother said.

    Veronica thought she’d try another chocolate – strawberry surprise!
    Then she remembered.
    Last year, her teacher brought a big yummy Valentine’s heart to school. It was a surprise! Cupcakes – covered in frosting.

    Veronica looked for the supplies.
    But no cupcake pan.
    Maybe just cake?
    But the box said BAKE.
    Veronica couldn’t bake without help.
    She wanted this to be a surprise.

    She ate another chocolate – cake surprise!
    That’s it!
    She moved the chocolates together to form letters.
    Not enough.
    She moved the chocolates again.
    “Just right,” she said and covered them in frosting.

    “Surprise! Happy Valentine’s Day!”
    “You mean Happy V day,” her brother said.
    “Happy Veronica Day?” her sister joked.
    “Happy Valentine’s Day,” her mother laughed.
    “Spells YUM to me,” her Grandma said, and Veronica smiled with pride.

  28. amandasherlock says:

    My Quiet Valentine
    Amanda Sherlock
    Word count: 214

    It’s Valentine’s Day. My friends share cards at the playground, but not with Jeff. Jeff is bigger than us, but he can’t talk. He sits in the sandbox and draws circles in the sand with his finger. My friends point and laugh.

    Jeff’s mom looks over at us and the corners of her mouth turn down. I feel a pain in my tummy and curl my chin to my chest to try to make it stop.

    Jeff flaps his hands. My friends flap their hands and laugh louder. The pain in my tummy is a burning fire getting bigger and bigger. My hands form into balls. I don’t like how I feel when we laugh at Jeff, but I don’t say anything. I’m scared my friends won’t like me. Then I might be like Jeff with no friends.

    Frank says, “let’s give Jeff a card that says: ‘Nobody wants to be your valentine’”. Everyone laughs, except me. My body shakes. The fire is too hot. I cannot hold it in anymore.

    “No!” I shout.

    I run over to Jeff’s mom. “Happy Valentines’ Day, Mrs. Thompson.”
    I turn to Jeff. The tummy pain is gone. A better feeling fills up my chest.
    “Jeff, will you be my Valentine?”

    Jeff pats the sand next to him.

  29. Ellie Langford says:

    Who’s Ana?
    By Ellie Langford
    213 Words

    “Kitty, what are you sitting on?”
    Katrina coaxed the kitten into moving and picked up a red envelope.
    “Abuela” was written outside. Inside was a beautiful drawing of a girl giving her grandma a bouquet. It was signed Ana.
    “Oh, no!” said Katrina. “Valentine’s Day is only two days away! Somebody lost this and wants it back.”
    Katrina looked around. Nobody named Ana lived near here.
    “Mom, someone lost a pretty valentine they made for their grandma. It’s signed Ana.
    “What are you going to do with it?”
    “Tomorrow at school, I’ll ask if anybody knows Ana.”
    Before school, Katrina asked if anyone knew someone named Ana. They all said, “No.”
    Katrina rushed into the classroom. On Lily’s desk, she saw the start of a picture that reminded her of the picture in the envelope.
    Katrina whispered, “Lily, meet me at recess.”
    At recess, Katrina handed Lily the envelope.
    “Grandma’s valentine! Oh, thank you! I’m quickly making another one, but it’s not as good.”
    “Why is it signed Ana?”
    “My real name is Liliana; like my grandma’s. Tomorrow, Grandma will say, ‘Ana, eres mi enamorado y te amo mucho.’ – You are my valentine and I love you very much.”
    “I’m proud to be Ana, Grandma’s valentine.”
    Katrina smiled, happy she solved the mystery.

  30. jessicaseitzwrites says:

    By: Jessica Seitz
    Word count: 203

    Leo the Lion’s the prince of the pride.
    Since birth, not one wish of this cub’s been denied.

    To meet other creatures, our prince did not deign,
    Preferring his castle where one day he’d reign.

    On Valentine’s morning, he waited to see
    The cards and the gifts from his subjects-to-be.

    He looked at the kingdom and saw something grim –
    The animals trading their cards without him!

    So certain was Leo of their admiration,
    He pawed at his mane with increasing frustration.

    In anger, he settled to go for a walk
    And stumbled upon an unfortunate hawk.

    Ms. Hawk’s little wing had been caught in a net.
    Concern then made Leo forget his upset.

    He clawed at the net, which he chewed with his teeth
    And helped poor Ms. Hawk to escape underneath.

    Our prince’s heart swelled after she had been freed,
    And Hawk flew around spreading news of his deed.

    When Leo got home, he just roared with delight
    For Valentine’s flowers and cards filled his sight!

    From then on, Prince Leo made cards for new friends
    (For this was his way of now making amends).

    And afterwards, Leo took time to reflect
    How one day he’d be a good king they’d respect.

  31. marty bellis says:

    by Marty Bellis

    Cupid plopped into his chair. What a day!
    His wings ached from the miles he’d flown.
    HIs bow arm throbbed.
    He’d shot a record number of arrows, replenishing his supply over and over again.
    He just hoped he’d spread enough love around the planet to make a difference.
    It was a task dear to his heart, even though it left him exhausted.
    He flipped on the tv just as the news came on.
    The announcer was saying, “Newsflash. A refreshing spirit of cooperation and goodwill seems to have descended on everyone today!
    Bullies in schools across the land were observed handing out Valentines and kindly assisting teachers and classmates.
    Dogs, cats, birds, and mice, were seen playing peacefully together. No hissing, growling, biting, chasing, scratching or snatching!
    Most amazing of all, there were no reports of squabbles among brothers and sisters!
    Toys were shared willingly, without bickering or grumpiness.
    Rather than harsh sounds, laughter was heard. In place of thoughtless behavior, good deeds prevailed.
    Love has definitely taken over our world!”
    The news continued, but Cupid no longer heard.
    He was fast asleep, a proud smile on his face.
    His work was done………
    at least until the effects of those arrows wore off.

  32. Laura Heath says:

    A Match Made in Socks.
    By Laura Heath
    Word Count: 214

    There was nothing inside Olive’s kennel to chew, yet pretty, paper heart garlands dangled outside. Delicious. Unreachable. Not as good as socks. But they had their merits, crunchy and tasty.

    The animal shelter was busy with people looking to find their Valentine’s Day match.

    Tail twitching, Olive stretched her tongue through the bars, reaching for a heart. The humans cooed at the other puppies; the try-hards who were begging on cue. No one, from that two-legged rabble, looked like anyone Olive would want to take on. Olive was picky and those people wore polyester sports socks. Some were even sockless! Tasteless.

    She tried again and grasped the heart in her teeth!.

    ‘Hey look at this one!’ squeaked a voice.

    Olive spotted the socks first. Almost pure cotton, knee length, and with satiny ribbons that would feel fantastic against her teeth. Whiffy, with the right amount of sweat, and a hint of lemon washing powder. Delectable. Olive was in love. She would have to try. Hard.

    Olive put the heart onto the tip of her nose and put her nose through the bars towards the owner of the socks.

    ‘Mum, she’s giving me a heart!’ This is the puppy I want.’

    ‘Success,’ thought Olive, tail wagging proudly, anticipating all the appetizing socks that lay ahead.

  33. amshahen1 says:

    Momma’s Smile
    By Amber Hendricks
    WC: 213

    “There!” Ruby pressed on the final sticker and admired her work. Fourteen red and pink hearts sparkled back at her.
    “What beautiful valentines, Ruby.” Momma smiled but her eyes were drawn and tired. Ruby missed the way Momma’s smile used to light up her entire face. “And what an equally beautiful mess!”
    “Don’t worry, Momma,” said Ruby as an idea sparked to life. “I’ll clean everything up.”
    Ruby carefully gathered her scraps and supplies and took them to her room.
    Choosing her favorite paper, she snipped and stapled.
    Glittered and glued.
    She used all of her very best stickers.
    Sticking out her tongue, Ruby painted each letter with care.
    Finished! She tucked her creation out of sight.
    The next morning, Ruby woke early.
    Tiptoeing to the kitchen, Ruby swept and scrubbed. (Momma’s job was harder than she thought.)
    She arranged cookies on a plate and poured a big glass of OJ. (She only spilled a little.)
    Finally, she taped Momma’s valentine to the fridge. In big bold letters it read I LOVE YOU, MOM.
    Everything was ready just in time.
    “Ruby,” Momma whispered as she wrapped her in a hug. “You did all of this for me?”
    Ruby nodded beaming with pride, and this time when Momma smiled, it lit up the room.

  34. Kimberly Shrack Tritch says:

    The Perfect Valentine
    by Kimberly Shrack
    207 words

    “It’s Valentine’s!”
    said Mrs. Hughes.
    “And so I’d like
    for you to choose
    a person who you
    love real hard
    to make an extra
    special card.”

    Cecilia chose her
    cousin Sal
    and Pablo chose
    his closest pal
    Patricia who
    sat next to Brad,
    who chose Brianne,
    who chose her dad.

    And as for me,
    I chose someone
    who truly cannot
    be outdone.
    The brightest bulb,
    A-plus! First rate!
    The pride of
    P.S. 28.

    The smartest kid
    in all the school.
    The fastest in the
    swimming pool.
    A star in art
    and music class,
    with talent no one
    can surpass.

    The bravest kid
    in the whole grade
    who’s super tough
    and not afraid
    of roller coasters,
    snakes or sharks,
    of monsters, bugs,
    even the dark.

    “Time for lunch!”
    Mrs. Hughes said.
    “So take your finished
    cards and spread
    them out to dry
    on that shelf next
    to all our other
    art projects.”

    Before I head on
    out the door,
    I gaze upon
    my card once more.
    It’s perfect as
    I knew it’d be
    because this one’s
    addressed to me.

    “You shouldn’t have!”
    I tell myself
    and place the card
    up on the shelf
    with all the other
    (that just aren’t quite
    as good as mine).

  35. girlscout72091 says:

    Miss Frog and Mister Turtle
    By Sharon McCarthy
    Word Count 214

    Tomorrow was Valentine’s Day, and Miss Frog didn’t have anything to give, so she started to hop to help her think.

    Her best friend, Mister Turtle, shuffled along the road. “What’s up, Miss Frog?”

    “Thinking of what to give for Valentine’s Day.”

    “Oh, really? Who’s your Valentine?”

    “Well, I don’t know? I guess I’ll have to hop twice as much now, to think of that too!”

    “Do you mind if I keep you company, darling?”

    “That would be lovely!”

    Miss Frog hopped all day, and Mister Turtle watched with a mischievous smile.

    “You are thinking awful hard, Miss Frog. Come rest on my shell and tell me your thoughts.”

    “You are too kind, Mister Turtle.”

    Miss Frog stopped hopping and settled on Mister Tuttle’s shell. Yet, she was so tired that she fell asleep.

    The next day was Valentine’s Day, and Miss Frog woke in a frenzy.

    “What’s the matter Miss Frog?”

    “It’s Valentine’s Day, and I don’t have a Valentine or anything to give!”

    Mister Turtle turned his head towards Miss Frog and stared with a mischievous smile.

    “Of course! Mister Turtle, will you be my Valentine? So sorry, I have nothing to give.”

    “Miss Frog, no need to be so proud! You know that your friendship is the best gift for me!”

  36. Barbara Genovese says:

    The Trees of the Girl Who Raised Bees by B.J. Genovese
    Word count 206

    I wanted to do something special one year –
    a thing that would give me a grin ear to ear.
    A thing that would make me feel ever so proud
    but the kind of a proud that’s not spoken out loud.

    I took all the money I earned raising bees
    and bought 14 saplings of conifer trees.
    I asked my Aunt Gina to drive me to town
    to the part of our town always with a sad frown.

    It was Valentine’s Day, on my birthday of 10.
    And I did what I’d dreamed of, and written in pen:
    I planted, I watered, I stood them up tall
    with a stick on each side so that they wouldn’t fall.
    I tied them with ribbons, and a note you could see:
    “I’m new to your ‘hood, would you take care of me?”

    And every so often, I’d check on their growth
    and they’d check on me – for grown tall had we both.

    I now bring my children to see 14 trees
    and proud I stand with them and say it was me
    who planted these babies – oh so long ago
    and we gaze and we wonder at how a thing grows.

  37. Reed Ambrose says:

    Mailbirds: Valentine’s Day

    “I love delivering the mail
    on Valentine’s,” chirped Abby Quail,
    “Of all the holidays you send
    a card or letter to a friend,
    it’s Valentine’s–”

    “You wish would end!”
    her manager, C. E. Owl, grinned,
    “I’ll make you wish today was done!
    Deliver every last one!!”

    “That Owl’s too proud of work to love
    another bird,” cooed Cindy Dove,
    assisting Abby with a stack
    of cards and letters for her sack.

    “You look like you could use one more,”
    the Owl flung it to the floor,
    but Abby flashed her wing below
    and grabbed it, “Happy to do so!”

    Her wings set sail across the sky,
    her bag becoming lighter by
    the hour until she had but one,
    the one the Owl had given. Whoosh!

    A storm upended Abby Quail,
    unleashing rain and wind and hail!
    A pitter-patter, ping and pelt!
    Before poor Abby fell, she felt
    the wing of C. E. Owl below.
    He grabbed her after one last blow.

    She roused within the Owl’s roost,
    “I need to finish–”
    “There’s no use,”
    replied the Owl, “You need to rest.
    Besides, you’re at the right address.
    Forgive me, I apologize.
    My pride was bigger than my eyes.
    Because of that, I failed to see
    that final piece was mailed to me.”

  38. KeelyWrites says:

    The Perfect Card
    by Keely Leim
    Word Count: 212

    The Valentine’s card rack is packed with red envelopes. I rotate it, hoping to find a card my sister Salem will love. If she were here, she’d use her hands to sign “Music. Music. Music.” Salem loves musical cards the most.

    I find a musical Toy Story card that says “I love you ‘To Infinity and Beyond!’”

    I find a card with a droopy-eyed dog holding a goofy guitar and singing, “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.”

    Finally at the top of the rack I see a bunch of big eyes and orange beaks peeking down at me from a barnyard card. When I open it, “The Chicken Dance” song blares through the store. I smile.

    I picture helping Salem open it. I see her close her eyes and flap her arms and clap her hands and dance wildly with joy. And I picture dancing with her.

    Not everyone understands happiness like Salem’s. Sometimes people laugh when she moves like that. Maybe they don’t have that kind of joy deep inside—the kind that spills over the edges.

    Even though Salem won’t be able to read my words, I pull out her favorite colored marker and write:
    Dear Salem,
    Happy Valentine’s Day!
    I’m proud to be your chicken-dancing brother.
    Love, Silas

  39. Janet Scratchley says:

    Valentine’s Day is for Everyone 185 words
    Janet Scratchley

    Valentine’s Day is coming. Everyone is making hearts and cards and special treats.

    Everyone except me.

    My body doesn’t work the way I want it to so I can’t make those Valentines.

    At least not the way they do it.

    They call it cerebral palsy. I can’t control the way my body moves and it’s hard for me to talk.

    But inside I’m just like you. I like to have fun with my friends.

    II want to make a valentine for my best friend, Ellis. I can do it a different way.

    I have special scissors to cut out a big pink heart.

    I have a cuff on my hand to hold a red marker.

    I sprinkle glitter and it goes everywhere! (Just like everyone else!d.)

    When I give Ellis her Valentine, her smile lights up her face and she hugs me.

    She says, “Thank you, Marissa! I love it!”

    She hangs it up for everyone to see.

    I may do things a little differently, but I can make a Valentine for my friend.

    I can make her feel special.

    I can be ME!

  40. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    ENTRY POSTED FOR Melissa Rafson Friedman

    Valentine’s in the Jungle (214 words)

    February 10:
    The jungle is getting ready for Valentine’s Day. Everyone is pulling names to give surprise gifts. I plunge my yellow beak in the coconut shell and pull out…Sandy Sloth’s name. She’s always sleeping and rarely leaves her treehouse. What do you give someone like that?”
    February 11:
    My brother pulled Glinda Gecko. He’s giving her crickets and flies. She’ll gobble them up! Would Sandy like insects? …Nah too crawly.
    February 12:
    My sister pulled Casey Capybara. She’s giving him a raft to float on because he loves water. Would Sandy like a raft?…Nah too wet.
    February 13:
    Us toucans love tag! Maybe play a game? …Nah, too fast.
    What would a sloth enjoy?
    I hear parrots and macaws singing— I got it!
    February 14:
    I fly to Sandy’s treehouse, so she doesn’t have to come down. I sing her a peaceful song to lull her to sleep. A smile slowly stretches across her face. Her eyes widen with surprise!
    “I love music!” Sandy exclaims. “Best Valentine surprise yet!”
    My feathers perk up with pride for solving this dilemma. Who knew giving a Valentine would make me feel good too! I’m glad I didn’t give up, but WHEW, I’m tired! I’ll just keep Sandy company and take a little snooze too. ZZZ!

  41. authordebradaugherty says:

    by Debra Daugherty
    214 Words

    Every February 2nd, Groundhog played a game. Pop out of his burrow, see his shadow, pop back in for six more weeks of winter. If no shadow, stay up and enjoy an early Spring.

    This year, Groundhog had a new plan. “I’m going to stay up, shadow or not, and spend Valentine’s Day with Ginny.”

    He met Ginny Groundhog last Fall before hibernating. He was instantly smitten, but too timid to tell her how he felt.

    On the appointed day, Groundhog climbed out of his home. “Today I tell Ginny I love her.”

    Groundhog gathered raspberries and clover and sat on a log by Ginny’s burrow. With pride in his voice, he said, “I will not be shy. I will impress Ginny with my gifts, and she will be my girlfriend.”

    The lovesick groundhog waited all day, but Ginny never showed. “I must have just missed her.”

    Groundhog burrowed in some leaves and fell asleep. Six weeks later, a noise woke him. “It’s Ginny!”

    He shouted down the hole, “I love you. Will you be my girlfriend?”

    “Yes, I would love to be your girlfriend,” a soft voice answered.

    Groundhog’s eyes popped when a bunny hopped out of the burrow.

    The bunny munched on the clover in Groundhog’s paws. “I thought you’d never ask.”

  42. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Carmen Castillo Gilbert, PhD
    (196 words)

    Valentina helped her Mami at their flower shop. She snipped dead leaves off stems, tied cintas on vases, and when they made deliveries, she walked the orders to their customers’ puertas.

    Today was Valentine’s Day. Her favorite holiday! Valentina glanced out the shop window. She saw Señor Pérez, their neighbor, looking sad. People said that when they welcomed him to their street, he growled. And when a kid’s bola rolled into his yard, he yelled. And when perritos ran up to him wagging their tails, he didn’t even pet them! He often stood by his window and scowled at the world.

    What could she do to cheer him up today? Bing! Great idea!

    Valentina pulled rosas out of a bucket and tied cintas around them. When she was done, she nodded and smiled.

    She raced next door. Straightening her shoulders and holding her head high, she rang the doorbell. Señor Pérez opened his puerta.

    “Rosas for you, from me, Señor Pérez.” she said.
    At tear rolled down his face.
    “Rosas are my favorite flowers,” he said.
    The corners of his mouth turned up for the first time in a long time and his smile matched Valentina’s.

  43. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Get Well Soon, Mrs. Love
    Rebekah Hoeft
    214 words

    “Mrs. Love shouldn’t miss our party AND presents,” Ingrid said indignanty.

    Omar agreed. “We worked hard on her gifts. Could you deliver them?”

    Everyone looked at me, knowing I lived on our teacher’s street. I felt nervous but to cheer her up, I agreed.

    On the way, I practiced the poem I’d written. I knocked, holding out the box of gifts when she tiredly opened the door.

    Shyly I stammered, “…H-h-happy Valentine’s Day.

    Bertha and Bree made a card with pink beads.
    Eve shaped a heart for your birds with some seeds.

    Omar and Oak wrote a Valentine’s joke.
    Ume’s heart sculpture was great (till it broke).
    Rue drew a lovebug so cute and so weird.

    Von’s homemade chocolate has – GASP! – disappeared.
    Anamaria recorded a song.
    Lex penned a letter but spelled your name wrong.
    Elle made a crown with those jewels that stick.
    Neal’s heart is HEAVY with paint smeared on thick.
    Tula thought tulips would be your delight.
    Ingrid felt strongly that roses were right.
    None of us like that you’re out with the flu.
    Each of our presents say we sure love you!

    Mrs. Love beamed. “I’ve never been more happy to be your teacher. Thank you.”

    She waved and I walked away, bursting with pride that we’d made her smile.

  44. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    A Valentine for You
    By Marty Findley
    64 words

    Some pretty paper-
    pink and red
    A strip of lace
    A spool of thread

    Some heart-shaped stickers
    Markers, glue
    To make a Valentine for you!

    The scissors snip
    The glue glops out
    The markers draw
    hearts all about

    A gemstone here
    Some glitter there
    A valentine
    that says, “I care.”

    I write some special
    words inside
    It’s great! My heart is filled with pride!

  45. Linda Staszak says:

    Thanks for doing this Susanna–it’s always so much fun!

    By Linda Staszak
    188 words

    Candies and hearts and roses flew through the air.
    “My glasses are lost,” thundered Papa Cupid. “I need them–it’s Valentine’s Day.”
    “Noooo!” he wailed.
    Sprinkles floated from the kitchen as Mama Cupid handed him his bow and arrows. “You’d better go practice.”
    Cupid scowled and stomped out the door.
    He squinted to see the target, let the first arrow fly and…
    He rubbed his eyes, let another arrow go and…
    Cupid peeked with one eye, then the other and tried again…
    “Oops, sorry,” Cupid muttered, and he trudged home.
    “I guess Valentine’s Day is cancelled,” he moaned.
    Little Candi Cupid tiptoed into the room and fluttered her wings.
    “I can do it,” she whispered.
    Cupid raised an eyebrow.
    “I’ve gone with you for years,” Candi blurted. “I know about your list. I know to take extra arrows for surprises. I’m a good shot, and it IS the family business.”
    Cupid grinned and hugged his daughter.
    “Take this,” he said handing her the official Valentine Bow.
    As a beaming Candi flew off, Papa and Mama Cupid wiped away tears.
    “That’s our daughter,” they sniffled.

  46. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    A Valentine for Her
    By Marty Findley
    Entry #2

    Snip, snip! Glop…, glop…
    P r e s s, p r e s s… There!!
    Best valentine ever!
    I can’t wait to share.

    It makes me smile to think
    I made it on my own.
    “Can we please take it now?”
    I feel I’m really grown.

    Along the way to see her
    I’m bouncing up and down
    So soon we’re there and hurry
    To find her in her gown.

    We walk down the loooong hallway
    With doors on either side
    We find her room at last
    And tiptoe to her side.

    There they are together!
    Mom is smiling wide.
    She looks at me with loving eyes
    And pulls the quilt aside.

    My very own new baby!
    I’m proud that she is mine.
    Wrapped in a loving blanket
    “Here’s your valentine!”

    It’s beautiful,” Mom whispers.
    “Your heart shines there within.”
    I feel all warm and cosy
    And proud inside my skin.