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The Ballad of Valentine

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Valentine. I have written forty letters, but you've never read a line. Set to the tune of the song "Clementine," Alison Jackson tells the sweet tale of Valentine and her beau. Valentine goes about her day, doing chores around her mountain cabin, while her secret admirer is hard at work trying to ask her an important question. He ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published December 28th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  389 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Mariah Roze
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really cute, simple, rhyming picture book. It follows a story of a man that is trying to send a letter to his love but thugs keep happening and getting in the way. My students enjoyed this book and thought it was super cute.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I defy you to not start singing "Darlin' Clementine" as you read this aloud! The words scan perfectly, and the pictures, showing Valentine going about her chores, oblivious to her lover's attempts to woo her, are charming! ...more
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teri
Really cute Valentine's Day book!! Couldn't help but sing the words (to the tune of "Oh My Darlin' Clementine") as I read it! Very clever! ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holiday-a-k
"Clementine" is a favorite tune of ours, not only because it's catchy, but because it was my grandmother's name.

My rating may change when I read this with the kids, but for now, it merits four stars. While reading, we'll pause to enjoy the activity in the pictures.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Loved it! You really feel sorry for this poor guy, who keeps trying to get his valentine delivered. Great for a readaloud.
Music not included - but we figured it out.
Luisa Knight
Aww this was cute - and clever to take the song "Oh, My Darling Clementine" and change it for Valentine's Day.

Ages: 4 - 8


**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I like this idea for a book and it's reasonably well done, but I'm not sure I could do it for storytime unless I sang the whole thing. ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love singing this book to the tune of Clementine. It was great for my music classes. It is also enjoyable with my own children.
Elizabeth S
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-short, f-picture, l-lib
Very cute. The rhythm and the rhyming are very well done.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
A man repeatedly tries to send a valentine to the girl across the valley, but something happens to each letter so that is doesn't get delivered. To the tune of "Darling Clementine". ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very cute Valentine story with two storylines, one more subtle than the other. 💕
Sue Mosher
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book! The clever rhyming words can be read or sung and the pictures tell another whole story, giving you lots to share with children as you look at the book together.
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Favorite elementary read Valentine’s Day book!
Jenny Harris
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Simply the cutest Valentine's book. Written in rhyme with whimsical illustrations. ...more
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iris
February 7
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is written to be read to the tune of "Clementine." It's is absolutely delightful! The singer has a sweetheart named Valentine and he is desperately trying to get a note of love to her. Yet each attempt is thwarted in an unexpected way. Kids will long singing along. Prek - 2nd grade.

From SLJ:
"Jackson has created a lovesick fellow who, despite his best intentions and for reasons out of his control, just can't seem to do anything right. Valentine is a strong character and readers will fee
I'm probably being horribly unfair to this book--after all, it sounded really cute and the illustrations are adorable in a prairie-fun sort of way. But, I found out the song is set to the tune of "My Darlin' Clementine" which is, I am sorry to say, one of the songs that I absolutely cannot stand! I always pretty much despised it, even as a kid. I TRIED not to read this with the song in my head, but it was pretty impossible. Even so, I thought Slugs in Love was more fun and original and along the ...more
Jordan Brown
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-etl-2368
The Ballad of Valentine
Author: Alison Jackson
Illustrator: Tricia Tusa
Reading Level: ages 5-8

Jackson, A (2006). The Ballad of Valentine UK: Puffin Books

The story is based off the old song "Clementine". It details the struggle of a man who tries to send his love interest a valentines; however, each time he sends one, the message is ruined or lost.

It's an entertaining read. The man perseveres, regardless of the mishaps that befall him. he is utterly devoted and tries-and-tries again--a good lesson
May 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Inspired, fresh interpretation of folk song "My Darling Clementine", this sweet book full of lovely illustration will have adults and kids crooning along by the end of the first page. Perfect for Valentine-themed story times.

CIP: An ardent suitor tries various means of communication, from smoke signals to Morse code to skywriting, in order to get his message to his Valentine.

"This inspired treatment of an age-old tale communicates plenty about love."Publishers Weekly

"Without ever being treacly
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This picture book tells the story of a man who wants to ask his sweetheart to be his valentine but his messages keep getting thwarted. The postman can't find her address, the pigeon he trains ends up in Madagascar, and his Morse code message hits a blizzard. The best part about this book is that the reader sings it to the tune of "Oh My Darling, Clementine". The tune helps children remember the words, so they can sing along after hearing the story only a few times. This book makes for a great re ...more
I found this book last year and I loved it so much I used again this year and I think it will become a tradition. This book is just too cute. The story is set to the tune/rhythm of "My Darling Clementine" so I usually sing/read it to the tune and believe me I can't sing a lick, but the kids love it. They love all the mishaps that the guy has trying to get his valentine to his lady love Valentine. I had one little boy who kept flinging his head into his open palms every time there was a mishap wi ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytime-reads
This is a book that is a fun, rhyming story or a song to the tune of "Clementine." I didn't want to subject my audience to more of my singing voice, so I just read this book, about a girl named Valentine and her suitor. Her suitor is one unlucky man - who tries desperately to send her a Valentine, but is thwarted at every turn. The mail train gets derailed, a tornado blows away his smoke signal message and it goes on and on. The rhyme and rhythm of this book make it fun to read out loud and the ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is such a cute book to read around Valentine's Day. It follows a beau as he desperately tries to deliver a sweet letter to his sweetheart professing his love. In fact, he has written forty different letters and unfortunately not a single one of them has ever reached her. My daughter gets a kick out of watching how his message is always interrupted. The story is told in a short, fun rhyme that can be sung to the tune, "Oh My Darling, Clementine". It also includes some really cute illustratio ...more
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-s-books
This is a really cute Valentine book about a man trying to get in touch with Valentine. Despite many failed efforts, he does finally make contact in the end. It is interesting to see all the ways he tries to contact her. My 4 yr old didn't ask questions, but I'm sure he didn't understand what Morse code and the pony express were. The rhyming verse and fun illustrations make this a good story to read aloud. ...more
Emily Levings
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-t-l-2368
Jackson, A. (2002). The Ballad of Valentine. New York: Puffin Books.
The Ballad of Valentine is an adorable story about a man trying to confess his love, but things keep running a muck. I think this would be a great book for children of all ages. For younger children just to listen to, but for older kids it can be a teaching tool about how to write ballads. I personally love to sing, so I think this book would be wonderful to use in a classroom.
Mar 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: edutl-2368
Jackson, A. The Ballad of Valentine New York: Scholastic (1997).

This picture book is about a man who loves a woman named Valentine. He does everything he can to try to share his feelings, including morse code and smoke signals.

The reading level for this book I would say ages 5-8. This is a very cute book to have for Valentine's Day, and students will also enjoy the silliness of the book as the man's ways to get her attention become funnier and funnier.
Cheryl Kays
This story has you read it along with the rhythm of the old song, Clementine. Children will like the sing/song structure of this story and might even help them join in on reading it with you. Great for younger readers. The illustrations are pretty funny and colorful and follow along with the book nicely.
A new favorite! I had never heard of this one until it was recommended to me, and I'm so glad we got it. We sang the whole thing, of course, to the tune of My Darling Clementine, which just added to her enjoyment. The kids loved Tusa's illustrations - the antics of the dog in the background had both of them giggling. ...more
Trisha Daniel
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Ballad of Valentine has to be one of the cutest books I have read yet! I love how determined he was to ask Valentine to be his. He did try every type of way to get his message across but all that he needed was to ask her in person. In person is always much better, it can mean more than any other form of writing but we must not forget the importance of a well written letter.
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