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. Jessica Milo says:

    by Jessica Milo
    214 words

    Etta loved her best friend, Poppy.

    One day, as they roamed the forest, Etta overheard a squirrel squeaking, “I got my squirrelfriend the greatest Valentine’s Day gift!”

    And that got Etta thinking: Poppy deserves a Valentine’s Day gift! I will find her the best one.

    She tried catching the fluffiest dandelion wisp in the air. But she couldn’t jump high enough. Her chipmunk legs were too tiny.

    She tried lifting the smoothest rock from the river. But she couldn’t grasp it. Her chipmunk hands were too tiny.

    She tried picking the bumpiest pinecone from a tree branch. But she couldn’t reach it. Her chipmunk arms were too tiny.

    Etta was just too tiny.

    She slumped, defeated.

    That’s when she noticed something on the tree.
    Someone had carved “I LOVE YOU.”

    And that got Etta thinking: I know what the best gift is!

    On Valentine’s Day, Etta proudly recited a poem she wrote:

    Poppy, you’re the nicest opossum.
    You’re my best friend, and I think you’re awesome!
    I love to sunbathe on top of your head,
    And your warm underbelly makes the coziest bed!

    Poppy gave the biggest smile and hugged Etta. “Wow! This is the best gift ever! Thank you, Etta!”

    And Etta – although she was tiny – had the biggest smile too.

  2. angelajkidd says:

    Three Hearts
    by A. Kidd
    214 words

    Starfish wants to make a Valentine, but she doesn’t have a heart. “What does one look like?” She draws a shimmering star in the sand.

    “Sea Lily, how do you make a Valentine?”
    Lily trims seaweed into an intricate flower.

    Jelly Fish floats by.
    “How do you make a Valentine?” asks Starfish.
    He paints a ray of light on sea glass.

    Octopus crawls along the ocean floor.
    “Oh please show us how to make a Valentine,” says Starfish. “Surely you know. You have three hearts.”

    Octopus holds up a string of shells. “I’m happy to give you each a Valentine, but in return, I hope you’ll share yours with me.”

    They eagerly agree.

    First Octopus looks at Starfish. “Have you ever seen a starry night?”

    “No,” she says.

    “Even so, your Valentine makes my hearts sparkle.”

    Then he turns toward Sea Lily. “Have you ever seen a flower garden?”

    She shakes her head.

    “Your Valentine makes my hearts bloom.”

    Finally he points to Jellyfish. “Have you seen a sunbeam?”

    “No,” Jellyfish says.

    “Your Valentine makes my hearts shine.”

    “But our Valentines don’t look anything like yours,” says Starfish.

    “I’ve never seen my own hearts,” says Octopus. “I just know how they make me feel.”

    The sea creatures beam.
    “My heart feels loved,” says Starfish.

  3. Kim says:

    I Whale Always Love You.
    By Kimberly Horch
    129 words

    ba Dum ba Dum ba Dum ba Dum
    Blue whales have the mightiest hearts in the sea.
    If I was a whale would you feel love from me?
    I know I don’t show it,
    I’m going to blow it,
    I love you down deep where you prob’ly can’t see.

    ba Dum ba Dum ba Dum ba Dum
    My flipper in yours would be such jubilee,
    I’m wishing like Willy to fin’lly be free.
    Then swimming along,
    With one voice in song,
    Migrating in concert how happy we’d be.

    ba DUM ba DUM ba DUM ba DUM
    Heart thumping loudly to echo my plea,
    there’s no time to blubber—I’ll do it bravely!
    With currents of pride
    to you I’ll confide,
    “I love you” and hope you whale surely agree.

  4. terriehellardbrown says:

    Isabella’s Valentine
    by Terrie Hellard-Brown
    Word count: 203 words

    In Isabella’s classroom, everyone decorated valentines for next week’s party.
    Isabella asked, “Miss Chin, I loved the words on red paper you gave us at Chinese New Year. Can you teach me? “I want to give my neighbor Mrs. Hsu a special valentine with Chinese words on it. She is all alone.”
    “During recess?” Miss Chin suggested.
    The bell rang. Students ran outside. Miss Chin got paper, brushes, dried ink, and water.
    She showed Isabella how to hold a brush. She swirled her wet brush in the dry ink and made the first stroke. Isabella copied her.
    “’Love’ (‘ai’) has ten strokes. Be patient. Imitate me.”
    Miss Chin’s strokes looked like graceful feathers on the page. Isabella’s looked like angry eyebrows.
    I can’t give Mrs. Hsu an angry eyebrow valentine!
    Patience. She tried again.
    “One, two, three, four, five. What’s next?”
    Miss Chin showed her.
    I can do this!
    Isabella patiently practiced each day. Soon, angry eyebrows began looking like dancing feathers. On Valentine’s Day Isabella tried again, but on red paper. She counted to ten. She did it!

    Miss Chin smiled. Isabella beamed. Beautiful! Isabella glued it to the Valentine. She couldn’t wait to give it to Mrs. Hsu that afternoon.

    • Jessica Milo says:

      Hi Susanna! Thanks for commenting on this. I was trying to figure out how to delete this one. I thought my first comment/entry didn’t go through so I commented the same story again. Now I see my first comment of this entry did in fact publish – my mistake! Feel free to delete this second comment as it is the same story Thanks so much!

  5. Carissa Brown says:

    Dear Moon
    By Carissa Brown
    Word Count: 214

    I’d like to ask the moon to be my Valentine.

    But there is one problem. Bashful Moon is nowhere to be found. I know what to do. Glitter-glue and construction paper become a heart. It’s a masterpiece, a work of art! I tape it in the window. I guess I know how to make the moon swoon because in a couple of nights, I see him peeking out! I grab my crayons and write a mushy love note. I tape that in the window too. In a few more nights, half of that shy guy has come out from hiding. He is getting brave. My scissors go snippity-snip in the flower bed. With all of my might, I launch the rainbow bouquet up towards the clouds. After a few more days, almost the entire moon is proudly lighting up the night. It is probably OK to pop the question now.

    “Hey Moon!,” I yell from my window, “Will you be my Valentine?”

    I have to wait a few more sleeps before the big day. As the sun goes down on February 14th, I twiddle my thumbs. The sky grows darker. Much to my delight, the whole entire moon makes his spectacular appearance.

    I asked the moon to be my Valentine, and he said YES.

  6. kurtzmom548513 says:

    Julie Kurtz
    Word Count:213

    A Nose for Love

    Rabbit woke up from a sound sleep.
    Oh no! Did he miss it?
    He hopped into the snowy woods.
    “Hey Bird! Is it Valentine’s Day yet?”,
    “ Bunny woke up for his valentine! So tweet!
    No Snugglebunny, it’s tomorrow!”
    Whew! He was so proud that he woke up on time.
    Now to find the perfect present!
    Her favorite treat besides him of course
    But where could he find one?
    He bounced to a garden and burrowed under the snow!
    Maybe one got left here, but no!
    He hopped to the grocery store parking lot and looked cute.
    Maybe someone would throw him one.
    Still no luck!
    Hopping sadly towards home,
    Boink! He slammed into something!
    He looked up and saw one
    Just hanging in the middle of a ball of snow.
    He pulled it out and hopped away
    “YOWWWWWW! “
    Rabbit whipped around and realized he had taken a nose.
    “So sorry! I was so happy to find the perfect gift that
    I didn’t realize it was part of your face.”
    “Well it was and who would want a nose as a gift?”
    “For a bunny it’s the ideal treat but I’ll put it back right now!
    Wait! Find me another nose and we’ll both be happy!
    And that’s exactly what Rabbit did!

  7. Anne C. Bromley says:

    RABBIT [heart] REBECCA
    by Anne Bromley (214 words)

    Rabbit and Rebecca were friends.
    Every day before dusk, Rebecca walked from her trailer up the hill
    to meet Rabbit near the wooden fence. She brought a treat from her box garden.
    She shared her day – the bread she baked; the new dance she’s learning;
    the Valentine text her grandson sent.
    Rabbit nodded, munching on fresh kale.
    Coyote waited in the bushes.
    “Your turn.” Rebecca winked.
    Rabbit shared his night – feasting on delectable roots with tasty twigs for dessert.
    “And what is Valentine’s Day?”
    Rebecca smiled. “It’s all-about-love day.” She sighed. “My husband never forgot.”
    “And when is this special day?” asked Rabbit.
    “Tomorrow. Goodness! It’s almost sunset. I’d better head home.”
    Rabbit nodded. “See you soon.”
    He saw the perfect Valentine gift draping the wooden fence.
    Coyote watched. But Rabbit had a plan.
    He jumped, pulled down a large sprig of bougainvillea, and raced into his hutch.
    Before sunrise, Rabbit hopped down the hill in a zig-zag pattern until he reached
    Rebecca’s trailer. His heart racing.
    He thumped on the doorstep.
    “Who’s there?”
    Rabbit thumped again.
    “Of course!” Rebecca laughed. “It’s you!”
    Rabbit set the ruby-red bougainvillea on her slippers. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
    “O, brave friend! You have traveled a dangerous path to bring me this gift!”
    Rabbit bowed, bubbling with pride.

  8. Jany Campana says:

    By Jany Campana
    Word Count: 87

    “This wand doesn’t work!”
    Weeblee pointed it at the clouds again.
    “All I need is a tiny heart.”
    Weeblee sank to his knees.
    He stayed outside until after dark.
    “Weeblee. What’s wrong?”
    “Mom. I tried a Valentine’s spell for you. But I’m not strong enough.”
    “It looks perfect to me.”
    Weeblee looked up. In the sky he watched an endless supply of sparkly hearts, shimmery stars and zooming comets.
    As Weeblee hugged his mom, his heart puffed with pride.

  9. Daniella Kaufman says:

    By Daniella Kaufman
    WC: 208

    The third-grade class all write their names
    and doodle heart designs
    on baggies colored red and pink
    which hold their valentines.

    They peek into each other’s bags
    and chat about the treats.
    Today they’ll exchange cards, but more
    importantly eat sweets.

    Millie glances nervously
    at snacks her classmates bought.
    She made cute cards with special notes,
    but cards were ALL she brought.

    Twenty unique valentines
    specifically addressed,
    she’d worked so hard creating them
    she’d missed what kids like best.

    One by one, the class delivers
    mail to each other.
    Candy wrappers crinkle as they
    swap with one another.

    Millie’s cards are tossed aside
    for lacking sugar loot,
    and her (once beaming) confidence
    dwindles…dims… goes mute.

    But then a nearby classmate shouts,
    “Oops! This card fell behind.
    No candy? Hmm… this one is from…
    Millie!! You’re so kind!”

    The whole third-grade then drops their treats
    to shuffle through their piles,
    and as they read what Millie wrote,
    the room fills with sweet smiles.

    “She likes the way I heart my i’s.”
    “She noticed when I shared.”
    “Millie saw I learned to draw!
    I thought nobody cared.”

    Millie shines as her friends say
    they never would have guessed,
    that candy’s nice, but feeling proud
    is what they all like best.

  10. Kate Thompson (Children’s Author) (@writes_kate) says:

    The Valentine’s Cake
    Kate Thompson
    (213 words)

    “Today,” said Miss Rabbit, “you’ll each get to make,
    a yummy, fantabulous Valentine’s cake.”

    Anteater frowned, “But Miss, who are they for?”
    “For someone you’ve chosen who makes your heart soar.”

    Anteater pondered, while whisks whizzed and whirled.
    A someone who’s special, who lights up my world…?

    “Eureka!” he cried. “I know just who to choose!”
    And grinning, he mixed up a brown cakey ooze.

    The ovens all roared as the cakes baked and browned,
    til “Quick!” said Miss Rabbit. “Come gather around!”

    Anteater’s tummy flipped, what would he see?
    He hardly dared look, but then… Wow! Could it be?!

    His cake was magnificent, tall, round and wide.
    The flips turned to flutters, his chest swelled with pride.

    “Such wonderful cakes,” said Miss Rabbit with glee,
    “they’ll make someone happy, but who will that be?”

    Anteater watched as his friends leapt away,
    excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day…

    … a fruitcake for Gran Bear, a loafcake for Miss,
    and baby Racoon got a cupcake and kiss.

    Then Anteater followed, his cake carried high,
    to the someone he’d chosen who made his heart fly.

    “Excuse me,” he whispered, “I wanted to say,
    how special you are. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

    The ants scurried out as the cake touched the floor,
    and anteater feasted on someone’s galore.

  11. Vanessa Konoval (@vanessakaybooks) says:

    Gene’s Forbidden Valentine
    By Vanessa Konoval
    Word count: 214 words

    The school bus exhaust still hung in the ice-dry afternoon air. Mom would be looking for me at home soon.

    …She’ll stop me if she realizes…

    So, I went.

    Up the steep, slick quarter mile to Grandpop’s house.

    It wasn’t far, but we hadn’t visited since Grandpop and Mom got screaming at each other over some stupid thing on Christmas, our first Christmas without Grandmom. That was almost eight weeks ago.

    My breath was a frozen fog inside my wool scarf. I blinked chill from my eyes.

    Then I reached the house.

    I rang the doorbell.


    …What if he doesn’t want to see me?…

    I rang again.

    The door opened.

    “Gene?” Grandpop looked baffled. “What—?”

    Then his eyes flicked down to the Valentine’s Day card in my hand. His heavy gray eyebrows scrunched together.

    “Get in here,” he muttered. “Warm up. Your mom’s gotta be worried sick.”

    A half hour later, I waited in my mom’s car while they talked inside.

    Then, they came out. I saw them hug good-bye. Grandpop kissed her on the cheek.

    “…Mom?” I said when she got into the car. “Are you mad?”

    “Oh, Genie. Listen. I am VERY proud of you.” She wiped her eyes and adjusted the rearview mirror. “And you are VERY grounded.”

  12. Sarah Meade says:

    The Best Part
    By Sarah Meade
    Word Count: 213

    Addy and Liv love Valentine’s Day.
    They wear sparkly sweaters,
    read sweet stories,
    and count conversation hearts.
    The best part?
    Grandma comes over!
    “What should we do first?” Grandma asks.
    “Make valentines!” Liv cries.
    Addy claps.
    They use markers and stickers.
    Scribble, sketch, stick-stick-stick!
    The best part?
    “I did it all by myself!” Liv exclaims.
    But Addy needs some help.
    “Cookie time!” Grandma says.
    “Yay!” Liv cheers.
    Addy claps.
    They crack eggs.
    “I did it all by myself!” Liv exclaims.
    But Addy needs some help.
    Measure, pour, stir-stir-stir!
    The best part?
    “Gift time!” Grandma says.
    “Yay!” Liv cheers.
    Addy claps.
    They tear open the pretty paper.
    “Valentine’s puzzles!”
    They dump out the pieces.
    Soon Liv’s puppy puzzle is complete.
    She shouts, “I did it all by myself!”
    Addy looks at her pile of pieces and bites her lip.
    “Need help, Addy?” Grandma asks.
    “Cookies are ready!” Grandma and Liv go check them.
    Addy peeks at the cute kitty on her puzzle box.
    She sniffles,
    takes a breath,
    and picks up a piece.
    She pushes it into place.
    Addy fits another.
    And another.
    When Grandma and Liv return . . .
    Addy grins. “I did it!”
    “All by yourself!” Liv cheers.
    Grandma and Liv clap.
    Addy laughs.
    The best part?
    Their big happy hug!

    2022 Valentiny Writing Contest

  13. Sarah Meade says:

    By Sarah Meade
    Word Count: 214

    When Radney Rat broke up with Vivian Vole on February 13th–
    right before her Valentine’s party–
    Vivian vented to her best friend, Morley Mouse.
    “I’m done with love! The party’s canceled!
    No conversation hearts!
    No pink balloons!
    No valentines whatsoever!”
    Morley blinked.
    “Absolutely no ooey-gooey or mushy-gushy.” Vivian sighed.
    Morley patted her paw. “We could still celebrate . . . SOMETHING.”
    He pointed to her calendar.
    V-day was scribbled on February 14th.
    “V-day?” Vivian mused.
    Morley nodded. “Your favorite letter.”
    “Morley, you’re a genius!” Vivian cried.
    Morley’s ears turned pink with pride.
    They called their friends.
    No ooey-gooey. No mushy-gushy.
    But V things were VERY encouraged!
    Morley chopped vegetables.
    Vivian placed violets in vases.
    They donned new vests.
    Would their friends come to a V-day party on Valentine’s Day?
    They came!
    And they delivered:
    A violin.
    Vacuum cleaners!
    Vanilla ice cream.
    Vampire books.
    A Venus flytrap!
    And a Velveeta volcano!
    Guests played volleyball and watched videos.
    “Wow,” said Vivian. “This is better than a Valentine’s party! Thanks, Morley.”
    Morley’s cheeks turned as pink as his ears with pride . . . and something sweeter.
    He smiled. “My favorite V thing is . . . you!”
    Vivian beamed at her best friend.
    “Strike a pose!” someone called.
    “Let’s dance!” Vivian pulled Morley’s paw.
    Vivian, Morley, and all their friends vogued.
    “Happy V-day!”

    2022 Valentiny Writing Contest

  14. muskoshe says:

    The Special Valentine Card
    Sherry Roberts
    Word Count: 211

    Today was an important day for Rufus.
    He would be giving a Valentine to someone he loved with all his heart.
    Going outside, Rufus looked for inspiration for the gift.
    On the ground was a piece of bark that had fallen off their tree.
    Picking it up, Rufus held it to the sun and studied it.
    He decided this would work.
    Back in his room, Rufus got to work.
    All his supplies surrounded him as he sat at the art table.
    Cutting and drawing, he wanted to get it just right.
    Red glitter flew, hoping to make the gift shine in the sunshine.
    Rufus thought hard about what message he wanted to say.
    He took his brightest color pen and began to write.
    He didn’t want to mess this part up.
    The words had to be perfect but not silly like you usually see.
    When Rufus finished his gift, he ran to find his Mom.
    “Mom,” he called. “I need you to take me someplace.”
    Mom took Rufus to deliver his gift.
    Rufus said, “This is for you, Granddad. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
    Rufus set his Valentine at Granddad’s gravestone.
    The bright, glittery bark card read:
    I still miss you but wanted you to know,
    you are my Valentine this Valentine’s Day.

  15. anchance says:

    Cutting is Hard
    By Ashley Chance
    Word Count: 214

    “Brianne!” Ms. Lisa called with a smile. It was her turn to sit at the table and cut. “Coming,” Brianne said. She shuffled to the table with dread in her eyes. Cutting with scissors was hard, and it hurt her hand. Brianne picked up the green scissors and grabbed the red heart from the table. She was excited to make a valentine for mommy and daddy but had trouble getting started on the curved line. “Thumbs up,” Ms. Lisa told her as she adjusted Brianne’s grip on the handles. Slowly, with her tongue sticking out in full concentration, she began to cut the heart. Red shards of paper fell to the table. The heart began to take shape. “I’m doing it!” Brianne exclaimed! “Great work, Brie!” Ms. Lisa encouraged. With a few more snips, the valentine was free. Brianne held up the jagged, red heart. “I made it for my mommy!” Brianne proclaimed. Ms. Lisa patted her on the arm. “Your parents are going to love it. I am so proud of your hard work!” she said. Brianne smiled at her red valentine. She was proud of herself, too. “Maybe the scissors aren’t so bad after all,” Brianne thought as she stood up from the table, beaming with accomplishment and ready for Valentine’s Day!

  16. jennaejo says:

    Hammie’s Valentine Surprise
    By Jenna Elyse Johnson
    Word Count: 213 Words

    “Will you be my Valentine?” Jenna asked Hammie as she tied a hand-made bandana around his neck.

    Hammie stood tall, tail wagging as he admired his reflection.

    “You betcha!”

    But Hammie didn’t have a gift for Jenna. He was a rotten Valentine!

    “I must give my Jenna a Valentine surprise…”

    He looked around… and spotted his prized possession.

    “It’s perfect!”

    He proudly presented it to Jenna.

    “BLECH ANTS!!”


    The stick was ruined.

    Determined to succeed, Hammie got a new idea.

    “She will LOVE my ball.”

    He proudly presented it to Jenna.

    “You want to play? FETCH!”


    Hammie was not giving up.


    “My bone is just the thing!”

    He proudly presented it to Jenna.


    Slobber plastered Jenna.

    “I better change.”

    Hammie’s cheeks reddened.

    He stared out the window, trying to ignore his reflection and shame.

    “OH. MY. DOG!”


    Into the play-room.

    Just one item.

    Into the mud.

    Now he had the perfect Valentine surprise for Jenna!

    Her own bandana adorned with paw-prints and a nose-print.

    He proudly presented it to Jenna.

    “You made this for me? I’m so proud of you, Hammie! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

    Hammie stood tall, tail wagging.

    “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

  17. Elizabeth LaGrange Muster says:

    Pinky’s Message
    By Elizabeth Muster
    WC 210

    Pinky wasn’t like the other conversation hearts in the box. In fact, she was starting to wonder if she was a conversation heart at all. All the others had a message – she didn’t.

    When Blue squealed, “CALL ME!” Pinky didn’t say a word.
    “Come on. Why won’t you talk?”
    Pinky just shrugged. She liked calm and quiet. Blue and the others were loud.

    When Yellow offered HUGS, Pinky shook her head.
    “We could be friends,” Yellow said.
    Pinky couldn’t explain why, but she wanted her space.

    Pinky scooted to the opposite cardboard corner, drawing pictures in the sugar dust
    until Purple stepped in the middle of her art.
    “BE MINE!” Purple said.
    Pinky didn’t know what to do. She definitely did not want to be around pushy Purple.
    “BE MINE!” Purple said again. “Come on, Pinky. You don’t want to be alone on Valentine’s Day, do you?”

    “ENOUGH,” said Pinky.
    Pinky’s voice startled Purple. It even surprised Pinky herself.
    “What did you say to me?” asked Purple.
    “ENOUGH,” repeated Pinky with power.
    Purple stomped away.

    Relieved but shaken, Pinky penned the word across her front in red ink.
    She had had ENOUGH.

    Pinky wore her new message proudly.
    It was calm and quiet but strong…just like Pinky.
    She was ENOUGH.

  18. Shuba Mohan (@mohan_shuba) says:

    Everything You Taught Me
    214 words
    Maya opened the craft drawer quietly.
    Nervously she took out the papers.
    Flattening each sheet, she stacked the tissue paper; crisp white, deep cherry, flamingo pink.
    Her fingers fumbled folding the paper accordion style just like Grandma had shown her.
    She attached a green pipe cleaner in the middle.
    She trimmed the edges into a half circle.
    Carefully fanning out the paper, she gently pulled up on each layer of tissue paper, separating it from the other layers.
    When Momma came downstairs, Maya blurted out, “I don’t want to go see Grandma in the hospital.” Tears formed in her eyes. “But I made her this.”
    Momma gave her a teary-eyed hug. “I know it’s scary thinking about Grandma. It’s okay if you don’t want to go.”
    Maya looked at the vase she was clutching and remembered Grandma smiling when they’d made flowers together every other Valentine’s Day.
    She was scared, but Maya knew she wanted to be brave for Grandma.
    “I’m proud of you,” Momma said holding her hand down the long hospital hallway.
    Maya’s worried eyes grew wide seeing all the tubes that were helping Grandma breathe.
    She concentrated on the vibrant colors in her hand.
    Walking over she lifted her grandmother’s hand in hers. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Grandma. Be brave. I love you.”

  19. Corine Timmer says:

    It’s a Matter of Taste
    Corine Timmer
    149 words

    In a crack
    Of desperate soil
    Between a shimmer
    Of tarmac,
    Carlina the thistle
    Bowed her head.
    Who will pick me,
    She thought.
    I’m dressed in
    Razor-sharp spikes
    And my flower
    Looks like a
    Dead daisy.

    Facing the sun,
    Poppy the Papaver
    Smirked in triumph
    As a swarm of bees
    Admired her beauty.
    Her fragrant red petals
    Waving in the wind.

    Then, a big blue butterfly
    Appeared out of nowhere.

    Carlina looked up.
    Dazzled by his gaze and
    The sunlight, wink-wink,
    Her petals turned
    A blush brown.
    Adonis Blue’s heart
    Skipped a beat.
    He began to sing
    Swirling around her
    As if tying a knot with
    Invisible threads.
    “Be my Valentine.
    Be my Valentine.”

    Poppy jiggled her lush
    Pollen-laden anthers.
    But Adonis Blue
    Didn’t bat an eye.
    He buried his gaze
    Ever deeper into
    Carlina’s florets.

    “Oh well,” Poppy said.
    “I guess bad taste
    Is also a taste.”

  20. Stephanie Lupo Henson says:

    Broken Hearts Need Love Too
    Written by Stephanie Henson 2022
    Word Count 210
    @stepha_henson Twitter

    Valentine’s Day party at school,
    Will surely be super cool!
    So excited to see,
    What kind of treats will be waiting for me.

    But first I must do my thing,
    Make a plan for what I’ll bring.
    Has to be fun and yummy too,
    Have an idea that will definitely do.

    Grab a bowl and mix the batter,
    Stir, scoop, and cut is all that matters.
    Watch the dough take shape on the tray,
    So can’t wait for this special day!

    I made cookies in the shape of a heart,
    Sugar, sprinkles, and one sweet tart.
    Bagged, addressed, and ready to go,
    I hope my friends will love them so.

    Oh no! Disaster has occurred!
    I dropped the bags on the curb!
    Every single hand made heart,
    Has snapped in half, falling apart!

    Have to think real quick
    How can I save this?
    I got it, a note to include –
    Saying “Broken hearts need love too.”

    I’m proud of myself for fixing the mess,
    Even my teacher was very impressed.
    And the kids inhaled all the stash,
    Not caring cookies were broken in half!

    In the end, everything was great.
    My classmates just ate and ate.
    And I have a bag of loot that’s mine.
    I’m a very Happy Valentine!

  21. Nope, Not Pam says:

    Debbie Whittam
    Word Count: 214

    As the gate creaked Marcia pulled up the skirt of her bridesmaid dress and hurried down the path. Valentine’s Day and the first uninvited visitor was bounding towards her, an excitable dalmatian.

    “Marcia, you look gorgeous,” Mrs Champ proclaimed, “Violet will be delighted by your idea, but perhaps I should stay. I can look after them while you finish inside.”

    Marcia almost sighed in relief, she was only ten, and planning a surprise was so hard when dad didn’t know. He thought she didn’t want him to marry Violet, but mum had died so long ago, and he looked so happy now.

    “Dad said that Violet would’ve travelled in a horse drawn sled at home.” Marcia said, as George the germen shepherd appeared, “Do you think she’ll like it?”

    “She’ll love it, go, we’ll get them ready.” Mrs Champ said as another dog arrived, and Marcia hurried inside as Violet appeared.

    “Wow, you look like a Princess.”

    “Thank you, Marcia.”

    “And I’ve got a surprise for you.” At her announcement the bride looked worried, but Marcia pulled open the door, “I couldn’t get horses, but …”

    “Wow, a dog sled, it’s amazing Marcia, all aboard.”

    “Mush doggies,” Marcia called proudly, as the neighbours cheered loudly.

    They couldn’t be late, it was valentine’s wedding day.

  22. Amy LaMae (@AmyLaMaewrites) says:

    Dove Letters
    By Amy LaMae Brewer

    Dearest Dove,
    I’ll fly across the sky for you.
    I’ll take you to the park.
    It is all about the time we spend.
    Sometimes waiting…
    Sometimes fleeting.
    Sometimes we go round and round.

    We watch the sun come up.
    We watch the sun go down.
    Whenever we go out-
    We snack on things we love.
    We listen to our favorite tunes.
    In stormy days and open skies,
    Through and through, you are always there.

    You show me that you care.
    And sometimes we just stare.
    It is all of this and more.
    With all my love,
    Your True Dove

    My True Dove,
    Every new day begins
    Thinking of thoughts of you.
    Wherever near or far we go,
    We walk the highest heights,
    On bridges, cliffs and skyscrapers.

    Sometimes we crouch down low,
    In busy times, the wet- wet rains,
    Or when the dangers dare.

    Hours pass and minutes fly when…
    We take the time to read a book,
    Hike a trail or two,
    Or when we sit side by side.

    It is all about the moments we do,
    That make me wanna shout.
    I am proud to call you friend.
    I am proud to say it loud.

    You are my truest dove.
    And with all my heart I love.
    Yours truly,
    Your Dearest Dove

  23. Tiffany Hanson says:

    My Furry Valentine
    By Tiffany Hanson
    Word Count: 212

    This year for the Valentine’s Day party I wasn’t going to bring in any candy, cards, or carnations. Boring! I was going to bring in something fresh, funny—and furry.
    I painted my Valentine’s box pink, cut a small hole in the top, and slipped my secret inside. I grinned, proud of my plan.
    The next day at school I set my box on the table with the others. I was pleased when the box started to wriggle and writhe, my surprise Valentine squirming inside.
    My teacher walked over to the box then opened the lid. Her eyes widened and her hair stood on end. Then out ran my furry Valentine friend.
    “It’s a rat!” one girl screamed, jumping onto her desk. Soon the classroom was completely a mess.
    As my rat raced along the walls, my classmates started streaming into the halls.
    I smirked, proud of my success. This Valentine’s Day was the best.
    That is, until, the principal came into the room and ran after my rat with a broom!
    I ran to my rat and held on tight. But the principal had me in her sight.
    “Saturday. Detention. You’ll clean up this room and out in the hall.”
    I guess I wasn’t so proud of my plan after all.

  24. Tiffany Hanson (@Tiffany_Hanson7) says:

    A Squawking Serenade
    By Tiffany Hanson
    Word Count: 213

    Every year, it’s the same. All the birds at my park deliver singing Valentines. The cardinals chirp and the chickadees cheep. But me? I’m a goose. And I get left behind because no one wants a honking Valentine.
    Until one year when I saw an elderly man, sitting alone on a park bench. He patted the seat next to him and sighed, as if remembering the person who used to sit with him.
    I started to move but then sat back down. He wouldn’t appreciate my sound.
    My friends did their best to cheer him up with their songs. But he couldn’t hear the bluebirds twittering or the warblers warbling in the trees above.
    I could tell that he was hard of hearing and missing his love.
    This was a job for someone loud—like me. I fluffed up my feathers and puffed out my chest. This goose was going to do her best.
    I waddled over to the man and began to croon. The other birds stopped and stared, but I continued my squawking serenade.
    The man cocked his head and cupped his ear. I honked even louder. When he grinned at me, I couldn’t be prouder.
    I had been a songbird all the while. Proud to deliver a Valentine’s Day smile.

  25. Tonnye Williams Fletcher says:

    by Tonnye Fletcher
    Word Count 161

    I Curve my fingers,
    And point my thumbs
    To make a little heart.
    Lift it up and blow a kiss
    Proud that you are mine.

    I hold up my Pinky,
    My pointer, and thumb
    To say “I LOVE YOU”
    When I can’t say out loud
    How proud I am you’re mine.

    I squeeze your hands three quick times.
    You know it means “I love you.”
    It’s our special signal
    To tell you with my hands
    How proud I am you’re mine.

    I sing it out loud and proud,
    “I love you a bushel and a peck,
    A bushel and a peck
    and a hug around the neck.”
    I’m so proud you’re mine!

    I whisper it in your ear.
    As I twirl my fingers in your thick red hair,
    And you stroke my cheek with gentle hands,
    I’m so proud that you are mine.

    I whisper.
    I sing.
    I squeeze.
    I sign.
    I kiss.
    Proud that you are mine!
    On Valentine’s Day!

  26. Elaine D'Alessandro says:

    Elaine D’Alessandro
    212 words

    I love giving Valentines
    To my mother every year.
    I always make them big and bright
    To bring her lots of cheer.

    Sometimes I make colorful hearts
    And glue them all together.
    But I don’t want to do that now
    I’m craving something better.

    I want it to be thoughtful,
    Something different and unique,
    That no one else has thought of
    Any day of any week.

    Last night I stayed up super late
    To decide what I should do.
    I came up with a great idea
    And designed it through and through.

    I called our local newspaper
    And told them of my plan.
    They said that they would help me
    In any way they can.

    I said I wanted my words large
    And placed on one big page.
    I wanted them in color
    And I told them what to say.

    To my beautiful mother
    On this lovely Valentine’s Day
    You are one in a million
    And that’s all I had to say.

    I couldn’t wait to see the ad
    In the paper from our town.
    But when I saw the announcement
    My smile turned into a frown.

    I forgot to tell them who it’s from.
    How could I not have shared?
    So, my greeting to my mother
    Went to all moms everywhere.

  27. suejeanko says:

    By Sue Ko
    Word Count: 214

    The Queensland Valentine Mating Jubilee was in full swing. Everywhere, male bower birds were building art installations to attract discriminating ladies. But Hugo knew he’d be crowned King of Love again.

    He dove into Frank’s site on the forest floor and attacked. He snuck onto Pablo’s installation and flew off with petals and beetle dung chandeliers.

    Hugo was adjusting the last piece of dung when a lady landed.

    “Nice build!”

    Hugo flexed his wings. “Thanks.”

    “I know you! Rainforest High.”


    “You were the only boy who wasn’t always flashing his tail.”

    Hugo unflexed.

    “And you were artistic.”

    Hugo sank into his feathers.

    “And honest.”

    “Well…it’s been awhile since high school.”

    “You seem just as nice. And this looks amazing! I’m Joy.”

    Hugo hesitated. He wanted so badly to be King of Love!

    “I’m leaving to vote!”

    Hugo saw his reflection in Joy’s beautiful beady eyes.

    “Joy, I’m a fraud!”

    “A fraud?”

    “I stole everything! This love nest isn’t mine!”

    “Wow. I’m glad you told me.”

    “You are?”

    “You’ll have to return the crowns.”

    “I know.”

    “I’m leaving to vote for Pablo.”

    “Oh. Sure.”

    Hugo was turning away when he heard, “Wanna fly me there?”

    Joy cocked her head.

    “Boy, do I!”

    And for the first time, Hugo felt like the King of Love.

  28. Elaine D'Alessandro says:

    Elaine D’Alessandro
    214 words

    Rose couldn’t wait for Monday. Valentine’s Day was her favorite holiday. And this year she planned on making her own cards for her classmates and teacher. She had everything she needed.
    Paper and paint.
    Scissors and stickers.
    Glue and glitter.
    And tons of time.
    On Saturday morning, she jumped out of bed early. She cut out big pink hearts. Wrote classmates’ names with glue on the front. Sprinkled with glitter. Then carefully fastened red rose stickers on the back. When she finished, Rose stood tall, hands on her hips, and gleefully grinned.
    Rose couldn’t wait to make her teacher’s card next. She cut out a huge purple heart. Then a smaller red heart. Glued it on top. Painted Ms. Meade’s name in white across the middle. Spread glue around the edges. Sprinkled it with glitter. Then carefully fastened red rose stickers on the back. “Perfect,” she said.
    On Monday morning, Rose placed her cards in the classroom Valentine Box. After lunch, the students delivered their greetings. Everyone expressed oohs and aahs as they opened them. Then Rose realized, “Oh no, I forgot to sign mine.”
    But Ms. Meade called Rose’s name as she read her card. “I love how you used stickers instead of your name, Rose! Very creative!”
    Rose’s eyes sparkled.

  29. jillburns7 says:

    Dear Valentine
    By Jill Burns
    Word count 211

    Dear Valentine,

    Every afternoon, you and your friends pass my brother and me on the sidewalk.

    You point, pull a face, and everyone laughs at us.

    You tell me I speak strange English.

    You tell me my brother is a bozo.

    You tell me my family is freaky.

    And then you ask, “What planet are you from?”

    Before I can answer, you race off.

    I want you to know I’m proud I’ve learned to speak English, but I hope I never lose my accent.

    I want you to know I’m proud of my brother. He’s the best buddy anyone could ask for.

    I want you to know I’m proud of my family. I love them, and I think you’d like them, too.

    And, I’m proud of the planet I come from. It’s a beautiful country, and I have friends and family who still live there.

    One day, I hope you will see me for who I am.

    Someone who is not so different from you.

    Someone who would like to be your friend.

    Someone who wishes you a happy Valentine’s Day!

    P. S. My mother helped me make these cookies for you. If you’d like, please share them with your family and friends.

    Enjoy your cookies!

    See you on the sidewalk!

  30. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    By Andrea MacDonald
    Word Count: 214

    Phil looked down at his valentine…and began to cry.

    “To Alice,” it read. Would he ever be able to give it to her? Would she even remember him??

    Three years in a row, he had failed to emerge on Groundhog Day to see his shadow. Or Alice. He recalled hearing noises above the ground, before falling into a six-week super snooze.

    Phil sighed. A whole day named after rodents like him, and he still couldn’t get out of bed in time. Worse, he had slept through Valentine’s Day!

    This year, he would finally make things right.

    It was February 1st. That night, Phil set 35 alarms. He left lights on in every chamber. He cranked the tunes and blasted Petflix. And then he waited.

    But his eyelids grew heavy and soon he was fast asleep.

    Nine hours later, a sweet little voice called down the hole.



    Alice frowned, ready to walk away.

    Phil stirred. Could it be..? Nah, just a dream.

    Wait. There it was again.

    “I miss you, Punxsutawney Phil!”


    Phil sprung out of bed like a jackknife. He grabbed his red paper heart, catapulted through the burrow, and placed it into her hands.

    “I love it!” Alice shouted.

    Phil beamed.

    And from that day onward, he never cried again.

  31. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Love, Mama and Me
    by Karen Olmstead

    Last year, Mama and I made valentines for my whole class. Mama taught me how to cut out hearts, flowers, and funny animals. It was a lot of work. Sometimes, I wanted to quit.

    “What if no one likes homemade?”

    Mama said everyone would love them, and she was right. Mama said, “Valentines make people smile.”

    But my Mama died. At first, I asked Daddy questions. But he cried. So I stopped.

    “Valentines are important!” I thought to myself! Now what?

    Where was Mama’s box of arts and crafts? I looked EVERYWHERE; Mama’s room, all kitchen cupboards,every closet. I even looked in the bathroom. Finally, I looked under my bed and laughed. Mama knew I’d keep looking.

    I went to work. I cut, pasted, colored, wrote messages. I remembered favorite colors, favorite animals, and toys.

    Everyone loved my valentines.

    “Hey, did you see mine!”

    “You knew I love kitties?”

    “Purple Power!”

    “Your valentine is the BEST!

    Everyone giggled and laughed including me. My teacher said I have a fine future as a talented artist. I beamed.

    My favorite was the one I gave Daddy. I wrote “Love, Mama and Me.”

  32. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    A Gift For My Mami. By Lana Montalban. Word count: 213.

    I was looking at a magazine and saw an ad for flowers.
    I know what I’ll give my Mami for Valentine’s Day: 12 red roses!
    But they’re so expensive…

    I know! I’ll pull weeds for the neighbor.
    “Hi Mrs. Greenday! Can I help you clear the weeds in your garden?”
    “Thank you, sweetie! Here’s a sweet apple for you.”
    I’m too shy to tell her I need money, not apples.
    I help with the lawn anyway.

    I know! I’ll help Tío clean his garage!
    “Tío, do you need a hand?”
    “Of course, I can always use help. Thank you.”
    “I’ll give you some ice-cream from the fridge.”
    I don’t say anything. After all, I love ice-cream.

    I know! I’ll walk Abuela’s dog!
    “Abuela, can I walk Pepito for you?”
    “Of course. Here’s the leash. I’ll cook something in the meantime.”
    She makes delicious tamales. My favorite.
    I can’t ask her for money.

    Now what? I have no money to buy roses!
    I know! I’ll MAKE a bouquet for my Mami!
    With scissors and glue, I cut red roses from photos in magazines.
    Then I write: “Happy Valentine’s. I love you Mami.”

    Anyone can buy a Valentine’s gift, but I MADE an amazing one!
    I’m so proud of myself!
    And my tummy is full!

  33. Lori Himmel says:

    by Lori Himmel
    184 words

    Baby Bear snuggles deep in Mama’s fur.
    Her warmth wraps Baby Bear like a blanket.
    Light creeps in through a crack in the cave
    Mama yawns, stretches,
    and Baby Bear rolls out of the way, giving her space.
    He knows what day it is.

    They awake from their slumber
    for just for a few moments
    Love surrounds them
    even more than yesterday,
    if it is even possible.

    The light shines through a bit brighter,
    bouncing off the walls of the cave
    giving the bears a bolt of sunlight
    Baby Bear coos.
    He paws the rock rubble, up, down
    but it doesn’t look right.

    Baby Bear grumbles.
    He tries again.
    Paws the rock rubble,
    left side, then the right
    That’s right!
    A shape that means love.

    Mama first pawed a heart shape in the rock rubble
    when Baby Bear was born
    Left side, then the right
    in a shape that means love.

    Baby Bear gently paws at Mama’s back.
    Mama nuzzles her nose on Baby’s chest.
    Mama beams like the sun, eyes sparkling
    for her Baby Bear knows how to show love
    on Valentine’s Day.

  34. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    by Jill Purtee
    130 words

    A gumball machine
    spit out trinkets and gum.
    And I had my eye on a ring.
    A red ruby stone.
    It is perfect I thought
    ‘cuz it sparkled
    and shouted out bling!

    That gumball machine
    finally spit out the ring
    after swallowing
    dime after dime.
    At recess I asked her
    to sit next to me.
    She said “yes”—
    Added, “It’s about time.”

    “Will you be my Valentine?”
    I finally asked.
    I was sweating,
    and shaking,
    but proud.
    She whispered,
    “of course”
    then she blushed
    and I gushed.
    Then my head
    floated up in a cloud.

    My heart finally slowed.
    The ruby ring glowed.
    She sighed
    with a little ho-hum.
    “The ring is real nice,
    but it’s you that I like.
    I’d been fine
    with a big wad of gum.”

  35. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Beaming With Pride
    by Paul Kurtz
    213 words

    Abelard Caterpillar beams with pride, wriggling beside Heloise through the zoo’s insect-house.

    “The perfect couple,” giggles Bella Beetle.

    “Soulmates, definitely,” sighs Laura Lacewing.

    Abelard gives Heloise a tiny flower. “I love you, darling.”

    Her eyelashes flutter. “I love you more.”

    Hanging side-by-side, they spin cocoons.

    “I have something very special to ask after we metamorphosize,” Abelard says.

    “That’s nice, dear.” Heloise yawns. “Nite-nite.”

    Morphing, Abelard dreams of the blissful future he and Heloise will share—sipping the sweetest nectars; gliding in the moonlight; the miracle of squiggly baby caterpillars.

    Finally, Abelard rips away his silken sack.

    “Wow—I’ve got wings!”

    The calendar by the insect-house door reads February 14.

    “Valentine’s Day—how perfect.”

    “Hi there, big boy,” coos a lady-moth. “Care to share some nectar?”

    “Uh—no thanks. I’m waiting for someone.”

    Heloise emerges.

    Abelard kneels. “My darling, I love you more than ever! Will you—”

    “Who’s that?”

    A he-male moth flutters his huge, silvery wings.

    “Excuse me,” Heloise says.

    She goes to him. After chatting a moment, they flit off.

    Abelard’s heart feels like a boulder crushed it.

    “My life is over!”

    A bevy of lovely lady-moths flutter their eyelashes and wings at him.

    “Hmm—” Beaming, Abelard flits toward them. “Maybe things didn’t turn out badly after all. . .”

  36. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Proud as a Peacock
    by Paul Kurtz
    211 words

    In the backyard, pride fills Dev’s heart as he writes the words “FOR SHALENE” on the card he decorated with red-candy hearts and flowers.

    “It’s my best card ever. Now Shalene will go to the Valentine’s Day dance with me.”



    A peacock leaps from a branch, plucking the card from Dev’s fingers.


    Dev dives at the bird, but its large wings flap. His precious card soars away.

    A shimmering tail-feather floats to the ground at his feet. Sighing, Dev picks it up and walks to Shalene’s house.

    Shalene stands on her porch. A crowd of boys clutching big store-bought cards and boxes of candy surround her.

    Dev’s heart sinks. He turns toward the front gate.

    Shalene waves.

    “Dev, I was waiting for you. Is that beautiful feather for me?”


    Dev rushes up the steps and gives it to her.

    “Thank you, Dev. Will you go to the Valentine Dance with me?”

    “Sure!” Dev’s heart nearly explodes with joy.

    The peacock-feather shimmers in Shalene’s headband as Dev glides her across the dance floor.

    “Your gift is lovely, Dev. But I’d have asked you to the dance without it.”


    “Yes.” Shalene kisses his cheek. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    Dev blushes as red as a Valentine heart. “Thanks—you too!”

  37. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    by Donna Kurtz
    208 words

    Happy Valentine’s Day, mon ami. I am Chef Pierre. Can you watch the kitchen while I buy more flour and spices to make treats for our party? Merci.

    Oh, and remember:


    Au revoir.

    Bonjour. I, Chef D’Artagnan Dung Beetle, Brownie-Maker-Par-Excellence, am here to help.

    Proudly, I will make your Valentine brownies.


    I use my secret ingredient très spécial. Do you want to guess what it is?

    You don’t?

    There’s a fresh, steamy sack in my bike basket. I’ll whip some up.


    Cousine Didi eats my brownies three times a day. She says, “They are très dung-a-lish-us!”

    I’ll be extra-tidy.

    Pretty please?


    I will sing—do you know Frère Jacques?


    I’ll give you a whole box of magnifique Valentine chocolate-covered dung balls.

    I’m holding my breath until I turn BLEU!

    Not working, huh?

    Grand-maman Delphine is coming. She will be s-o-o disappointed.

    I-I’m going to cry!

    Maybe not.


    I am back, mon ami. You did not let the dung beetle make the Valentine brownies, did you?

    Bon! I must leave again. Will you watch the kitchen a little longer?

    He’s gone, good. Hey—nobody said I couldn’t make my dung-a-lish-us Valentine FUDGE!

  38. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Best Valentine’s Day Ever!
    by Donna Kurtz
    212 words

    “Wow!” Radley’s eyes widen at the glowing green caterpillars with long purple spikes and orange mouths mowing down leaves on the hibiscus bush. “Bet you guys morph into something super-cool.”

    Radley teases them into his lunchbox. Collecting branches, he hurries to school.

    “Please Ms. Spencer,” he asks his teacher, “can I raise them in the terrarium to see what they become?”


    Radley brings fresh leaves daily. The caterpillars grow fatter than his thumb. Finally, they form yellow chrysalises.

    “They’re metamorphizing,” Ms. Spencer says.

    Great! I’ll know what they look like soon.

    One morning, his classmates carry in pink envelopes.

    Oh no, Valentine’s Day! I forgot cards.

    The other students crowd around the terrarium.

    Ms. Spencer, smiling, wheels it outside.

    “Radley, look,” she says.
    He moves closer.

    Butterflies sit on branches. Each of their wings has half a red heart, pink edges, and swallowtail-ends that resemble pink-and-red lace.

    Yechh! Barbie-pink butterflies.

    Ms. Spencer uncovers the terrarium. The butterflies rise, fluttering around like flying Valentines. Some land on kids’ arms and shoulders.

    “Thank-you, Radley.” Ms. Spencer takes pictures. “I’m so proud you raised these beautiful Valentine butterflies.”

    “This is the best Valentine’s Day ever!” everyone cheers.

    The girls give Radley all their candy.

    Radley grins—

    Yumm! Now, what can I do next year?

  39. Susanna Leonard Hill says:



    I’m proud I didn’t pull Sarah’s hair
    hanging in front of me right there.
    I’m proud I got my homework done
    so in class I won’t look too dumb.
    I’m proud I helped a little kid
    instead of teasing like I sometimes did.
    I’m proud I didn’t let my lunchtime fruit
    sit in my desk until it began to root.
    I’m proud I didn’t run in the hall
    and make the hall guards emotional.
    I’m proud I didn’t throw spit balls at kids.
    Something I’m afraid I often did.
    This whole day I’ve been so good
    One day is all I could have stood.
    I tell you so you’ll be impressed
    and not think that I’m a pest.
    This is Micah, in case you didn’t know
    I kinda like you so.
    This is to Sarah who’s so fine.
    Will you be my valentine?

  40. Sherri T. Mercer says:

    104 Words
    By Sherri T. Mercer

    On the snow…
    is a lost mitten.
    It’s heart-shaped,
    knitted from red yarn.
    It’s always open.
    And it’s proud to lend a hand.
    It accepts everyone
    and loves to warm and coddle.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re reddish-brown like a leathery leaf
    or the color of a creamy chocolate bar.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re rolling in a chair
    or twirling and spinning alone in your thoughts.
    It doesn’t matter how others see you.
    It welcomes you in…
    There’s plenty of room inside.
    There’s a place for everyone
    The amazing thing about it is…
    It’s a heart.
    It can stretch…
    wide enough for you, too.

  41. Kristy Nuttall says:

    Love Inside
    by Kristy Roser Nuttall
    word count: 214

    Rosebud lives in a house by the sea
    with her dog named Cat and her cat named Flea.

    She’s making cards for her furry crew.
    “It’s Valentine’s Day–they need love too!”

    But someone else will be here soon.
    “My good friend Gwen is coming at noon!”

    Rosebud scurries to find supplies.
    “Gwen needs a valentine card surprise!”

    Her hands grab markers, red as punch.
    She starts to write and writes a bunch.

    She loops some hearts all bright and swirly.
    Draws each one so nice and curly.

    Glitter and glue make the card just right.
    And so do words like “love” and “light.”

    Rosebud licks the envelope shut.
    Grins a grin and hops right up.

    Out the window–she spots Gwen!
    Time to greet her favorite friend.

    Rosebud skips out the door with glee,
    As along comes Cat, and along runs Flea.

    She falls over Cat, and she flies over Flea.
    And splats in a puddle as dark as tea.

    The card flies up, then the card floats down.
    Into the puddle, both bubbly and brown.

    Now Cat howls as Flea meows.
    Rosebud cries, “It’s ruined now!”

    But Gwen grabs the card and squeals, “Yippee!”
    “You really made this card for me?”

    Rosebud smiles, she’s filled with pride.
    The card is wet, but LOVE’s inside.

  42. Darcee Freier says:

    Valentine’s Field Trip by Darcee A. Freier (214 words)

    Sammy loved visiting Gram’s new apartment. Sunny Acres had jigsaw puzzles, movie nights and a dining hall. But Gram was not happy. She missed her old home, friends, and the pretty things she’d given away.

    “I’m making Valentines for all my classmates,” said Sammy. “Our party is Friday.”

    “Umm.” Gram pulled her sweater close.

    “Gram, you like Valentine’s Day,” said Sammy.

    “Here one day’s the same as the next.” Gram sighed. “And I don’t know a soul.”

    Sammy hugged Gram. He remembered missing friends when he moved schools.

    “Gram’s so sad,” Sammy told his classmates. Then he had an idea. “Let’s take Valentine’s on a field trip.” The class made bright posters, crepe paper flowers, and cards galore.

    On Valentine’s Day, a bus load of children descended upon Sunny Acres. They turned the dining hall red and pink and filled it with flowers.

    They invited everyone to the party, handing out cards. Sammy knocked on Gram’s door. “Close your eyes.” He took Gram’s hand. They walked down the hall. “Now look!” Gram was thunderstruck.

    They played funny games, ate heart-shaped cookies, and drank pink punch.

    Gram told her neighbor, “My Sammy planned this.”

    “Well, ain’t that something,” said Mr. Marks. Everyone agreed.

    Gram hugged Sammy. “You know, it’s not Valentine’s that’s special—it’s you!”

  43. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    By Marjorie David
    Words: 210

    On his way home, Allen paused before Mrs. Murphy’s house.
    Last year it was trimmed and colorful.
    Now, the house and yard looked empty, forgotten.
    He thought, Mrs. Murphy must be very sad.
    Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.
    Maybe, I can make her happy.
    At home, Allen pulled out paper and art supplies.
    He placed two handprints inside a heart above Happy Valentine’s Day. Then rolled the paper and tied it with a red ribbon.
    In the morning, Allen opened Mrs. Murphy’s gate and walked up onto the porch. He placed his Valentine in her mailbox and turned.
    Grass grew over the stone walkway.
    Allen tugged on a tuft of grass. It came out easily. He pulled more and more. On his knees, he worked down the path, piling the grass on the side.
    At the gate, he looked back. The walkway looked awesome, just pulling the grass!
    Back home he gave Mother her Valentine. She hugged him.
    “Mrs. Murphy says thank you for making her happy. I am proud of you! I think our neighborhood’s hearts and hands can be a Valentine gift too.”
    That night, Allen’s body was tired, but his heart puffed-up, and eyes beamed.
    My heart and hands were a Valentine gift.
    His face glowed with joy.

  44. Laura Bost (@Laura8HerWords) says:

    Flicker’s Valentine
    By Laura Bost
    Word Count 214

    Flicker the dragon stomped past the valentines for sale in town.
    “None of these work!” he fumed, but he needed valentines for the valentine party.

    He bought chocolate heart valentines.
    “Agh!” he cried, “They’re melting!”

    He bought paper heart valentines.
    “Agh!” he cried, “They’re burning!”

    “Besides,” growled Flicker patting them out–he was ashamed so he felt angry–“They aren’t dragony enough!

    “The dryad brings heart-shaped willow wreaths, so her valentines are dryad-y.

    “The mermaid brings heart-shaped pearls, so her valentines are mermaid-y.”

    “Nobody wants melty, singed, dragony valentines. Yuck!”

    Just then he spied…
    “Marshmallow hearts?”

    “Oo!” thought Flicker.

    “Is it valentine time?” Flicker gasped rushing into the party.
    “Yes,” said the Dryad. “Did you bring some?”

    “Yup!” grinned Flicker, “Can I borrow a stick?”

    The dryad handed Flicker a slim willow branch from her wreath.

    He pushed the heart-shaped marshmallow onto the tip of the stick.

    Lifted it up and—Fwoosh!
    A beautiful, toasted marshmallow heart.

    “Here,” said Flicker, beaming. “A properly dragony valentine. It’s melty. It’s singed! And I made it just for you.”

    The dryad popped the toasty treat into her mouth.

    “It’s perfect!”

    That year and every year after all the magical creatures looked forward to Flicker’s melty, singed marshmallow valentines.

    And he toasted them up–one by one–with great dragony pride.

  45. Geraldine Oades-Sese, Ph.D. (@G_OadesSese) says:

    Geraldine Oades-Sese
    Word count: 167

    A Valentine for birders
    A greeting from the heart.
    A message to the world about
    How birders do their part.

    Can you just imagine loving every single type?
    Big, small
    Short, tall
    Speedy, slow
    Above, below.

    Can you just imagine understanding different voices?
    Chirps, tweets
    Caws, beeps
    Whistles, hoots
    Trills, toots.

    Can you just imagine helping creatures found in need?
    Young, old
    Weary, cold
    Hungry, alone
    No nest, no home.

    Can you just imagine respecting every place and space?
    Wet, wild
    Murky, mild
    River, sea
    Country, city.

    Birders are a proud and hearty sort…
    Attentive, adventurous
    Confident, courageous
    Wise, willful
    Organized, skillful.

    Birders take pride in the tools of their trade.
    Kindness, caring
    Guidance, sharing
    Curiosity, brilliance
    Hope, resilience.

    A Valentine for birders
    Not a silly idea at all!
    For birders know how to celebrate Love
    With creatures great and small.

    Can you just imagine opening up your heart?
    Lovingly giving
    Gratefully living.

    Become a birder, too!
    Making the world better for me and you.

  46. sabrinashah84 says:

    Thank you for such a great opportunity. Good luck everyone!

    By Sabrina Shah
    PB – 214 Words

    The furless Floofabims.
    Heart-shaped creatures that quarreled so often, Love simply disappeared.

    Nanook can’t live without love. He tinkers together an intergalactic travel-train to hunt the essence of Love.

    Zhoosh – Zing – Zap!

    Planet Earth.

    “Salaam,” greets Yusuf.
    Nanook tip-taps his translator. “Mimbim! Hello!”
    “What are you?” asks Yusuf, eyes wide as the moon.
    “I a Floofabim. Need help! We forget how to love.”
    “Today is Valentine’s day. Can I help?”
    “Please help find essence of Love. I must share it with Floofabim.”

    They snip, glue and flip-flop paper. Nanook proudly embraces the card.
    “Now, we show people we care,” said Yusuf.

    Yusuf’s baby brother coos as he tickles his toes.
    Pedro offers milk as Yusuf waters his roses.
    Jenny thanks Yusuf for being friendly.

    The heart card beats and glows, shimmering with glitter.
    “Love is everywhere, in everything we do!” smiles Yusuf.
    Nanook nods proudly at his new friend. Whoosh! A flock of fur sprouts from his head. “I must share with my planet!”

    Zhoosh – Zing – Zap!

    “We must remember! Important it is to care and love!” calls Nanook.
    The card soars across the sky, sprinkling love-confetti on every Floofabim it sees.

    They become joyful, furry creatures again. And Nanook is proud that his journey to find love saved the heart of his planet.

  47. Susanna Leonard Hill says:


    Valentine Story Title: I wanted to say I love you!

    I wanted to say I love you,
    My heart went,
    Boom! Kaboom!
    I painted you a picture instead.

    I wanted to say I love you,
    My mind went,
    Beep! Beep! Awooga!
    I told you about my favorite things instead.

    I wanted to say I love you,
    My stomach went,
    Flutter! Pop! Flutter! Pop!
    I shared my snack with you instead.

    I wanted to say I love you,
    My hands went,
    I hugged you instead.

    I wanted to say I love you!
    My heat was still going boom! Kaboom!
    I took a deep breath, and my heart went, pat, pat, pat.

    I wanted to say I love you!
    My mind was still going beep! Beep! Awooga!
    I took a deep breath, and my mind went, phew.

    I wanted to say I love you!
    My stomach was still going flutter! Pop! Flutter! Pop!
    I took a deep breath, and my mind went, hum, hum.

    I wanted to say I love you!
    My hands were still going squish!
    I took another breath.
    I put your hand in mine.
    I said, “I love you!”

    You smiled.
    You squeezed my hand.
    You said, “I love you too!”

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