Fun fact: Valentine’s Day is all about birds in books.The first recorded association between St. Valentine’s Day and romantic love is found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem The Parliament of Fowls – according to Chaucer, February the 14th is the day on which birds choose their mates.
We don’t want to read too much into this connection but in homage to the great poet, we’ve been doing some literary matchmaking of our own. We’ve dreamed up the perfect Penguin present pairings for the special someone in your life – and not a chocolate or a red rose in sight…
150 years after the story of Alice falling down the rabbit hole was first told, what better way to spend a February afternoon than by holding your own Mad Hatter’s tea party with this Whittard of Chelsea china teapot?
For those with dreams of winning the Booker, screenwriter and producer John Yorke’s storytelling guide will be the perfect antidote to stave off any future bouts of writer’s block. And really, who wouldn’t want a typewriter necklace?
If you’re planning to keep it classic this Valentine’s Day, we’ve the perfect love story collection to get your heart a-flutter. Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has brought together short stories that explore every type of relationship in Love Hurts, featuring contributions from Marcus Zuzak, Philip Pullman and Gayle Forman. We suggest pairing it with these similarly adorned Paperchase notebooks, so that your beloved can write a story of their own.
There are some who say that Valentine’s Day and domestic psychological thrillers aren’t the most natural of bedfellows. We say, nonsense! The heart wants what it wants – and if it wants crime fiction, we won’t be the ones to stand in its way. For the partner who loves to feel a little unsettled, try an intriguing tale of sleep-induced amnesia paired with this cushion… and a sinister smile.
Show the small, or not quite so small people your love through the poetry of Eric Carle’s most famous creature, and ensure they’re don’t go hungry with these illustrated lunchboxes.
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt this year, it’s that the best way to show someone you love them is with many, many, tortoises. Make like Mr Hoppy and give the reptilian love story, along with an illustrated tortoise brooch by Nic Allen, to the one you love.
Beards. Some people love them. Some people hate them. Regardless of your stance on bristles, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man with a hairy face is in need of grooming products. If your significant other is embracing their facial fuzz, give them a copy of Stephen Collins The Gigantic Beard that was Evil…. and a bottle of Fellows premium beard oil to help them keep their moustaches in check.
We all fell in love with Don Tillman and his lobster Tuesdays in The Rosie Project last February – and this Valentine’s Day he’s back and embarking on a whole new adventure. Get in the mood by treating that special someone to The Rosie Effect and a (seafood-free) crustacean feast in the form of this delicious biscuit from Eat my Cake.
It won’t come as a surprise that we are fond of all things adorned with our black and white namesake, and the art of excellent design. And we rather suspect that there might be a few other lovers out there with a soft spot for sphenisciformes. Take it from us, there’s no better gift for an artistically inclined bookworm than Penguin by Design and a new case to keep their crayons in.
Italy, land of Popes, pasta, poetry and love: the perfect destination for a romantic weekend for two. If you can’t quite stretch to international travel this weekend, there are other ways to conjure up a Latin ambience. For a Valentine’s gift with a twist, pair the story of the land known as lo stivale with this lemon print tote bag by Jenny Sibthorp.