It’s not everyday you get to wake up to Valentine cards for blobfish.
In my time as an author (and throughout my life as a reader!), I’ve seen firsthand the generosity of booksellers, teachers, and librarians. You’d think I’d be used to it by now! But no, they never cease to amaze me!
When Kenny Brechner from DDG Booksellers got in touch with me about his Valentine’s Day for Blobfish contest, I was overjoyed. As I mention in PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH, my dear friend Mr. Blobby (his official name) was recently voted the world’s ugliest animal. How horrible! It was always my hope that young readers would learn about these strange creatures, and develop a caring attitude and empathy toward them. We share the earth with them, after all, and caring about them is the first step to sharing spaces and taking care of them. It was my hope that kids saw that the diversity of these creatures mattered, despite how weird and bizarre they are.
But Kenny and his incredible team of teachers and librarians took it a step further. With their contest, they urged school kids to write Valentine cards for the blobfish, to cheer him up after his unfortunate ‘ugly’ title! And wow, did they ever deliver. Several schools in the region participated, and Kenny received hundreds of cards!
As Kenny emailed me the first scanned copies of the some of the handmade valentines, I started to realize just how much these kids cared. They cared about the blobfish, but they also deeply cared that he received their valentines, so he would know just how loved he was (despite his less-than-perfect exterior). Of course, the amazing Kenny reassured the kids he would he personally wade out into the ocean and read Mr. Blobfish every one.
I wish I could include them all, but here is a peek! Fair warning, if you’re a sap like I am, you may cry!
Not only are the cards adorable (because, hello, those hand drawn blobfish!), but to me, they show a level of empathy that is heart wrenching. They are so accepting of the blobfish, and are adamant he see how beautiful he is, inside and out. Some point out he is perfectly suited for his environment. Some point out his “awesome” slime. One even says she wants to become a marine biologist, so that she can make sure everyone knows he’s the cutest animal in the world.
I mean, really.
As an author, the coolest feeling ever is seeing readers experience something new with one of my books. And thanks to Kenny and the rest of the awesome people at DDG Books, and in schools of Farmington, ME, I not only got to see kids interact with my book, but I also received an incredible, important reminder—these young readers have so much heart, and they are eager to show it.
Authors are often told they inspire kids, but to us, the truth is the other way around. Readers inspire us, and I can’t thank Kenny and his team enough for giving the lowly blobfish a chance to shine. I’m in awe of the love readers have shown for dear Mr. Blobby, and humbled that I got to witness it.
Thank you so much to everyone!
To check out a full album of these incredible valentines, you can go here! To read some lovely blobfish poetry (submitted online by fifth grade classes, no less!) visit the comments here. To view the contest winners and read a great wrap-up, visit here! To see my personal valentine for blobfish, inspired by all the great reader cards, click the quick video below!
Have a wonderful day, valentines!