Cover image for Roses are pink, your feet really stink
Roses are pink, your feet really stink
De Groat, Diane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow Junior Books, [1996]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
On Valentine's Day, Gilbert brings a tin of homemade cookies and his original nice or nasty poems to school.
Reading Level:
AD 590 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 19592.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.2 2 Quiz: 17801 Guided reading level: L.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

On Order



When Gilbert writes two not-so-nice valentines to his classmates, his prank quickly turns into pandemonium. But there's always time for a change of heart on Valentine's Day.

Author Notes

Diane deGroat received a BFA in commercial art from the Pratt Institute in 1969. She designed the first basic reading series for Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, before becoming a free-lancer in 1972. She has worked on advertising, editorial, and design projects, but her main focus has been children's book illustration.

She is the illustrator of more than 130 children's books and has worked with Eve Bunting, Lois Lowry, Johanna Hurwitz, and Dr. Ruth. She is also the author-illustrator of the Gilbert and Friends series and the Annie Pitts series. Her picture book Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink was an IRA-CBC Children's Choice and State Children's Book Award winner in Arkansas and North Carolina.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-8. Gilbert, a chipmunkish critter, has to write valentine poems for each of his classmates because his teacher says that Valentine's Day is about liking each other. He enjoys writing the cards for his friends, but for two mean kids in his class, Lewis and Margaret, he writes the worst cards he can ("Roses are red, you wet your bed, I think that you have rocks in your head" ). After the initial uproar, the hostility is finally turned around with good humor and with lots of nonsense and forgiveness. The rabbit, skunk, bear, and porcupine characters display droll, very human classroom behavior. Kids will enjoy all the rhymes, and they'll want to make up their own playful parodies, both mushy and mean. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following teacher's orders, Gilbert, a fuzzy-looking woodland creature, inscribes Valentines for his classmates, devising "nice" rhymes for each. But his bonhomie disappears when he comes to Lewis, who tweaked Gilbert's nose, and Margaret, who teased him about his glasses. As the clever, kid-obliging title attests, Gilbert does not make nice on their cards; to escape the consequences, he signs Margaret's name to Lewis's Valentine and vice versa. Of course, when neither receives a card signed with Gilbert's name, the identity of the prankster is clear. In a predictable resolution to this sweet if minor tale, Gilbert does the right thing and composes friendly Valentines to the two, who apologize for having hurt his feelings. The winning touch here is de Groat's (Annie Pitts, Swamp Monster) characteristically buoyant watercolor art, which features an amiable crew of assorted animals, many festively clad in Valentine's Day-appropriate reds and pinks. Ages 5-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Gilbert is writing Valentine's Day poems for each of his classmates when he remembers that Lewis once tweaked his nose and that Margaret made fun of his glasses. So he writes hurtful rhymes and signs their names to the cards. On Valentine's Day Gilbert gets very friendly cards from everyone, but Lewis and Margaret are angry and call each other names. When they discover Gilbert's prank, no one sits with Gilbert at lunch or plays with him at recess. His friend Patty gives him a chance to explain and apologize. Likewise, Lewis and Margaret apologize for hurting his feelings. In class, Gilbert makes two new cards and writes two new poems and gives them to Lewis and Margaret. Jason Harris narrates Diane de Groat's gentle story (HarperCollins, 1996) and voices the male characters, while Peter Pamela Rose reads both Patty's and Margaret's parts. Careful pacing allows listeners to follow the story in the book; page-turn signals are optional. Subtle sound effects and music complement the narration. This holiday story will ring true with young listeners who will want to make up rhymes of their own.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.