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The Story of Valentine's Day (Trophy Picture Books)
ISBN 0064436268 / 9780064436267 / 0-06-443626-8
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Valentine's Day wasn't always a time for pink cupcakes and mushy greeting cards. Most scholars say this love-focused day leapt gleefully from the Roman holiday Lupercalia, a festival celebrated more than 2,000 years ago to mark the beginning of spring. After Christianity came to Rome, the Church decided to use this day to honor a priest instead. They renamed the holiday St. Valentine's Day, and scooted the date back to February 14. The Story of Valentine's Day, artfully illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas, paints the history of this age-old occasion in a style and presentation that's as straight as a Cupid's arrow. Kids will learn about the mysterious character Valentine, how the tradition of the day spread to other countries, and when the very first valentine was written. If inspired, they can make their own old-fashioned valentines and sugar cookies with the instructions in the back! (Ages 8 and older) [via]