February 8, 2010

Wild Hearts

Aren't these absolutely adorable?!? I was having such fun making them for E's class valentine swap. Every year I buy those flimsy little punch-out valentines with the Disney princesses on them, but no longer! I might use up every scrap of construction paper in the house (doubtful), my hand might cramp up (likely), and my husband might think I'm crazy (very likely), but I am making our valentines this year, and they are going to be these fabulous animal heart valentines!

Now before you think I'm an artistic genius, let me share with you the inspiration for this tangram-type artwork:

My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

My Heart Is Like a Zoo
I ♥ this book! Each page contains Hall's amazing animal creations, completely constructed out of different sized hearts. Accompanying the pictures is an equally adorable poem, describing how his heart is like a zoo: "silly as a seal, rugged as a moose, happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice".

The book is clever on so many levels. The illustrations stretch a child's perception by using cut-outs and negative space to help create the animals. Each picture presents an opportunity for counting the hearts. The poem exposes children to clever rhymes, new vocabulary, interesting animals, and a variety of described emotions. There's just so much packed into such a simple design!

Inspired? Let's create our own:

The Lion:

the body

the chin

the face

the nose

the cheesy clever slogan

The Bunny:

the shapes

the body

the back legs

the front legs

the ears and tail

the nose and eyes

another corny quaint slogan

Try these, get other ideas from Michael Hall's designs, or create your own! Regardless, they're bound to look better than those Walmart-bought spiderman valentines!

I'm linking up to:


  1. Too cute! These look awesome- way better than the Disney princesses. I mean really, how many of those does a girl need? :)

  2. I am so PROUD of you girl! You are so correct- homemade valentines are way better than the store bought kind!

    Oh, and I NEED this book...

  3. Really cute! Great layout of pictures here too!

  4. Um, WOW. What else can I say... I'm still buying the lame-o ones (no Princesses for this guy, how about Scooby-Doo?). I would love to make those for my class, but honestly, even with your directions, I'm not sure how successful I'd be.

  5. Adorable! Thanks for the great instructions too.

  6. Too cute!! Gives me an idea of what to do with all these hearts I've cut out for our color recognition game of "Heart Hunting." Thanks for sharing!

  7. That is so neat and they turned out adorably.

  8. These are so cute! I love the Lion thank you for the great instructions.

  9. Wow. That's a really great idea. I wish John didn't have 15 kids in his class. It makes something like this so hard. Maybe I'll get up the energy anyway. I'd love to see more animal ideas.

  10. These. Are. Amazing. I think we might be twin sisters separated at birth... :) Our blogs are so similar--the books, the crafts, the obsessive children's book-inspired valentines! I love it.

    So glad you found my blog because now I have found yours.

  11. Oh, these little heart animals are adorable ... I tried my hand at crafty valentines this year, too ... I am kind of "stuck" on OWLS right now ...


    Love your blog!

  12. Love these. It's been a little while since I was on your blog. Too late for Valentine's day, but I want to try the lion with my two year old. He's at the stage of cutting where all he does is those little snips, so we'll see how he does.

  13. I loved this book too! My sons made homemade valentines this year. In my 1st grader's class, he was the ONLY ONE to hand out anything homemade. I thought that was too bad.

    Great valentines!

  14. So cute! Thank thank you!

  15. Oh I just love this book!! Thank you for telling us about it! I went to check out the website and there is the cutest video! It's really a treat to watch!!
    Here is the link:


  16. I just discovered this book in the Fall and love it too! Next year we'll have to use this to inspire an art project!
    Michael Hall is a creative genius! I've checked out other works by him and it is all wonderful! I will have to check out the video mentioned by Love and Lollipops!

  17. I love this idea and did an I'll "owl-ways" love you with the Owl for my library story time group.


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