Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I know there are people who don't like it, but they're getting a (handmade) valentine from me anyway. A lot of people do, just like in grade school: I don't think of Valentine's Day as only a romantic holiday. As Clyde Bulla writes in The Story of Valentine's Day (newly illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas; HarperCollins, 1999), "It is a day to give small gifts of love and friendship to someone special." This small book would make a perfect valentine (hint)--there's even a heart-shaped bookplate inside. Also a brief and very readable history of Valentine's Day, beginning with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia; and of valentines themselves. Back matter includes instructions for making old-fashioned "pinprick" valentines, examples of acrostic valentines, and a recipe for Valentine Cookies. I really like the new illustrations by Susan Estelle Kwas, too (especially the Cupid on the cover). Leo and Milly really liked the idea of celebrating Lupercalia, but I think we'll stick to making valentines over here! Maybe we'll have to make one for Lupercus.