cover image The Mystery of the Love List

The Mystery of the Love List

Sarah Glenn Marsh, illus. by Ishaa Lobo. Viking, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-35221-2

During a Valentine’s Day art assignment, lonely, mystery-loving Pippa, the only porcupine in her animalian class, finds herself following clues to discover a secret admirer in this sprightly friendship tale. Pippa is not enthused when Mr. Tod tasks everyone with making a “love list”: “a list of things that take up room in your heart.” But when another classmate’s love list gets tangled in her quills, and Pippa’s name is among its entries, she learns that “somewhere in these halls, she has a best-friend-in-waiting!” Her humorous sleuthing methods don’t deliver great results—until she looks at the photos she’s taken and finally sees what observant readers will have known all along. Marsh weaves sweet and silly notes into a mini mystery with a happy reveal. Debut illustrator Lobo also has an eye for fun, serving up a welcoming forest school and a menagerie of friendly-looking pupils; Pippa’s flowing quills and stylish “Beastly Boys” band T-shirt are among the memorable details. Ages 3–7. (Dec.)