Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Classic Kidlit Romances for Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, I'm celebrating some of my favorite couples from children's literature-- the ones I grew up reading and swooning over! Here are my top three couples that formed my young romantic ideals:


Betsy Ray and Joe Willard
Heaven to Betsy, by Maud Hart Lovelace

From the moment fourteen-year-old Betsy walks into Willard's Emporium and meets Joe, a brooding blond eating and apple and reading The Three Musketeers, we know she’s found her soulmate. He reads, he writes, he likes her hair straight... sigh! A series of misunderstandings keeps them apart over the years, but their journey to true love is delightful. Bonus points for a real-life connection: Joe is based on Delos Lovelace, Maud’s husband!

Photo from the Maud Hart Lovelace Society



Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe
Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery

"Carrots!" Ahh, the epically bad choice of teasing a girl to get her attention. But honestly, is there anything sweeter than Gilbert’s unending devotion to Anne, even when she tries her best to squelch him? The guy puts up with a lot. And then once they finally get their differences ironed out and get married, they have a whole boatload of adorable kids! The 1980s CBC miniseries with Jonathan Crombie doesn't hurt Gilbert’s image, either.

Yeah, um... he's okay.



Meg Murry and Calvin O'Keefe
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

Meg and Calvin forever! I love that Calvin sees the beauty in Meg that nobody else seems to recognize. I love that he's the nice, popular guy who doesn't hesitate to hang out with the "weird" kids (i.e. Meg and her genius little brother, Charles Wallace). He's the answer to every awkward junior high school girl's prayer. And who among us didn't identify with Meg when we first read this series?


Bookworm confession: my husband and I strongly considered Calvin as a baby name when we were expecting our son. The husband was thinking Calvin & Hobbes, but I was ALL about Calvin O'Keefe, of course!


So which great couples of children's literature did YOU swoon over when you were a kid?

4 comments:

  1. Oh, Meg and Calvin! I think when I first read the book, I didn't notice it as much since I wasn't quite as into romance as I am now (LOL), but going back now and reading it as an adult, the innocent romance between them is so sweet. :)

    You know, to this day, "A Wrinkle In Time" is still one of my favorite books, ever. :) Thanks for posting and reminding me that it's also a good book to read on Valentine's Day!

    Happy Valentimes Day to you!! <3

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  2. This is the second Valentine's post I've seen featuring Anne! She is a keeper for sure. In fact, I think I'm going to go see if her movie is on Netflix right now... Happy Valentine's :)

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  3. I'm currently reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet and because of the animal names whose translations involve joy the name Joy just shot up on my list of favorite names.

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  4. Moonphased, thank you for visiting me here!! :D Since you love A Wrinkle in Time, you should totally read When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead. It was the 2010 Newbery winner, and it's an amazing homage to A Wrinkle in Time.

    Katie, oh my goodness, I haven't watched that miniseries in ages, but now I want to! I mean, in addition to Jonathan Crombie, Megan Follows was such a perfect Anne. Really, the whole cast... and the scenery... swoon! Okay, how fun is this-- I just found Megan Follows' audition for Anne on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBA1udq8ZNQ

    Wonderlandchick, A Swiftly Tilting Planet is my favorite L'Engle! Not so much romance, but just a gorgeous, layered story. I love the rune.

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