Valentine’s Day is here making this holiday a wonderful time to show those you love how much you really care about them. What better way to show them than through words and books. All of the following books are picture books and are perfect for all ages – especially those in love.
Never Too Little to Love, by Jeanne Willis, and uniquely illustrated by Jan Fearnley, is a reissue that was published back in 2005. It was a favorite then, and a favorite now. The original book was much taller and slimmer but the smaller size doesn’t deter one from the abundant joy you’ll receive from reading this book. The story features a tiny mouse who loves someone but you don’t discover whom until the end. He begins his way to express his love by first standing on a thimble, then a matchbox, then a watermelon and more. Each of these items is balancing on top of the other so that he can reach his love. The clever layout of the book has each page becoming shorter and shorter so at last you see who he is trying to reach. The soft watercolors and ink used throughout are a perfect match to the story. You will fall in love with this book!
Max & Milo: The Mixed-Up Message, by Heather and Ethan Long, is a sweet story about a first crush. Max and Milo are brothers and beavers. Max has a crush on Molly and doesn’t know how to show or tell her. Milo tries to help, but only complicates matters. Max soon discovers he doesn’t need some big demonstration, just something simple to show that he cares. The bright pictures are broken down in comic-book panels with dialogue in word balloons. The beavers are so adorable and kids will love this series of books about these two brothers.
Bits & Pieces, by Judy Schachner, is a story about a cat and a family who loves their cat to “bits”. Tink isn’t smart and eats household items like he was a goat. But the family is devoted to him. He wants to go outside but they make sure he stays in where he’s safe. They even get him another baby kitten to help keep him company. But, one day he does escape and becomes lost. Nevertheless, all ends well as some neighbor girls find him and return him to his home. The pictures were done with charcoal pencil, pastels, watercolor and cut paper and reflect the same wonderful imagery as Schachner’s other famous books about “Skippyjon Jones”
I Love You More Than Chocolate, by Laura Marchesani, is a small-sized board book in the shape of a heart. The heart-shaped book has the look of a box of chocolates but each page includes photographs of chocolates. There are flaps to lift that unwrap some of the chocolates pictured. Here’s a book to give your Valentine with a sentiment found at the end.
Hearts, by Thereza Rowe, is a smaller-size book that is full of illustrations. These pictures show love, joy, loss, sadness and determination. There are a few words, but it is the pictures that showcase what this story is all about: how love is lost and then found. It’s a beautiful story and is meant for new readers but truly good for all.
Love is You & Me, by Monica Sheehan, fills every page with the word love and what it means. A playful dog and his little companion, a mouse, contentedly express what love is and the importance of love that can be found everywhere. The rhyming text delivers the uplifting message that reflects the title: “Love is You & Me / Love will catch you / when you fall. / Love! It’s the greatest gift of all.”
Paul Meets Bernadette, by Rosy Lamb, is about love and friendship and how both of those actions work together to change how we view the world. Paul is a goldfish who lives inside a glass bowl. His life is monotonous as he swims in circles all day long. But his life, and how he views things, is about to change when another fish, Bernadette, is dropped into the bowl. She has him look outside their bowl and describe what he sees. When he sees some bananas, she uses her imagination and changes the bananas into a yellow boat. Each page has solitary pictures set in front of soft hues of pastels. The swirls of oil used to paint each full-page spread are glorious.
Mouse and Mole: Secret Valentine, by Wong Herbert Yee, is another of Yee’s wonderful and heart-warming books about these two animals and their special friendship. These books are actually early chapter book readers, but all have great characteristics youngsters can learn from. This story is about how Mouse and Mole discover their special feelings for each other and how they put forth extra effort to show their feelings. The pictures were completed with litho pencil and gouache and are sweetly rendered to emit this great friendship.
Consider Love, by Sandra Boynton, considers many types of love. The author’s antics of animals fill every page. Turkeys, hippos, cats and more are used to showcase “simple love, and love mysterious. / Frivolous love / and love too serious.” The rhyming text and the cartoonish looking animals make this entire concept rich and thought-provoking. The last sentence makes this a perfect book to give to your special love.