I love finding holiday related picture books to enjoy with my kids and build excitement for the holiday, but Valentine’s Day has been a harder one for me to find themed books that I really love. With my young kids, I didn’t really want books that focused on crushes or romantic love, so I’ve been more selective. Over the course of the last several years I have built up this list I’m happy about and my kids really enjoy. Let me know if I’m missing one of your favorites!
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-Mirabel’s Missing Valentines by Janet Lawler: We were sent this sweet new release from the publisher and have already read it many times! A shy mouse is nervous about handing out her Valentine cards at school. They fall out of a hole in her bag on the way to school and find unexpected but grateful recipients. She’s worried she’ll never get her cards back and the book contains wonderful messages about spreading kindness.
-Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli: This is definitely one of my favorites among this list. It’s a bit longer and more well suited towards about 4 years old and above. It tells the story of a lonely man who keeps his head down and does the same thing every day, until a surprise Valentine shows up. As he wonders who sent it to him, he starts to notice others around him and starts to show love as well.
-Ruby Valentine Saves the Day by Laurie Friedman: A sweet rhyming story about a girl who has grand plans for a perfect Valentine’s Day party. When her plans go awry she learns what really matters most.
–Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright: A story of sharing and friendship based around an endearing little monster.
-Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood: My kids love the different holiday books about this funny cat. The text interacts like a conversation with the cat and it’s a silly and sweet story.
-Will You Be My Valenswine? by Teresa Bateman: A little pig is longing for someone to love her and be her valenswine, until she realizes her mother has been there loving her all along.
–The Night Before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing: In the style of The Night Before Christmas poem, this one shows a classroom of kids preparing for and celebrating Valentine’s Day.
–Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio: As I previously said, I mostly steer away from the Valentine’s Day books about crushes and romantic love for my young kids, but this one is so fun and charming as you watch the zombie try to find his true love! It’s one that my kids want to read over and over again. They also love the sequel Zombie in Love 2+1.
–Love Is by Diane Adams: With darling illustrations and tender text, this one shows a little girl showing love and care to a duckling. Parents will recognize much of their unconditional love reflected in the way the girl cares for the duckling.
–Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney: Can’t miss this sweet classic about a father and child sharing their expressions of love!
–Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: With sparse text and a simple but profound message this book imagines what might happen if you plant a kiss. Kids enjoy the glittery raised texture that is found throughout.
ETA in 2020:
–Lola Dutch I Love You So Much: This is the third book in the Lola Dutch series, but does not require any previous knowledge to enjoy. Very sweet story of a girl finding ways to individually show her friends that she cares about them.