The day of celebrating love will soon be here, and what better way of showing your love for your little ones than through books? Here are some wonderful, fun and loving examples for Valentine’s Day. All of these books are good for ages 2 through 7, except for the first four books, which are good for newborns to toddlers.
Stacking Shapes, by Salina Yoon, cleverly incorporates four stackable board books to teach basic concepts such as shapes and colors. Each book fits into a peg, helping teach placement. The first book is a brightly shaped red heart that will surely entice, entertain and teach your little one.
Kisses, by Barney Saltzberg, is a touch-and-feel rhyming book with animals kissing their counterparts’ noses, heads and more. The cover features a soft, glittery red heart and as well as pull-tabs, flaps and miniature letter flaps of the alphabet located at the end. That’s where you’ll find more surprises inside — including a hidden squeak.
My Valentine, by Brandy Cooke, and illustrated by Annie Wilkinson, is a smallish board book in the shape of a heart with red, glossy pages. The story is about a fox choosing to whom he should give his valentine treats. This short story is sweet, with many vocabulary words to teach synonyms of what kinds of friends he has.
Peek-A-Love, also by Salina Yoon, features page-sized flaps with die-cut hearts to showcase the objects of an animal’s affection. But guess who’s behind the last page? The colors and simple illustrations are a perfect match to hold your baby’s attention!
Guess How Much I Love You?, by Sam McBratney, and illustrated by Anita Jeram, extends four stories from the classic tale. These small board books are packaged in a slipcase and features When I’m Big, Let’s Play in the Snow, A Surprise for the Nutbrown Hares and Colors Everywhere.
A String of Hearts, by Laura Malone Elliott, and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, is a simple story of friendship and appreciation. Sam wants to make a valentine for someone special but he doesn’t know how. Mary Ann helps him even though she’d like to be the recipient. When it comes time for Sam to deliver his special valentine during school, it doesn’t work out as he’d hoped. But he reaches into his pocket to find Mary Ann’s sweet and thoughtful card procuring his deep gratitude for someone who cares. The brightly painted anthropomorphic animals that make up all of the characters are a nice variety of different types and sizes which conveys a nice portrayal of human characteristics.
Gifts from the Heart, by Victoria Osteen, and illustrated by Diane Palmisciano, showcases the rare and unique gifts we all have within us. A medieval town is preparing a party for their king and is looking for gifts to buy him. But the young protagonists remind all that their God-given talents are the most precious gifts of all. The detail and imagery of the watercolors keep this rhyming tale engaging.
And I Love You, by Ruth Krauss, and illustrated by Steven Kellogg, is a most creative and imaginative picture book full of glorious illusions that will surely propel your little one to far off places. Kellogg has recreated a story that was first written in 1987 with another illustrator. But this story is filled with the imagery that begins with a dazzling sunrise on the inside covers and the journey begins. A cat and her kitten begin through a double-page forest that seems to come alive with every wisp of each branch and grassy mulch. Every page is covered from top to bottom with the illustration. The pictures are breathtaking and will likely take you back to revisit this again and again.
The Ring Went Zing! A Story That Ends With a Kiss, by Sean Taylor, and illustrated by Jill Barton, is a lively, exhilarating cumulative tale about a frog who falls in love with a chicken and buys her a golden ring. But this catchy, fun story moves swiftly along when he drops the ring and begins to chase it. Along the way, others join in the fray to catch the ring. The pencil and watercolor details to the many different animals are hilarious and the rhyming text just joins in the fun. The surprise ending will only lead to many more reads of this story, which begs to be read aloud!
Count My Kisses, Little One, by Ruthie May, and illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie, is a counting book as an adorable little girl plays with her toy animals. The illustrations are simply painted with a white background making it easy for a youngster to count the objects portrayed by the number as you count up from 1 to 10.
Tucker’s Valentine, by Leslie McGuirk, is a cute board book about Tucker, the dog, who loves what all dogs love: his food, his Frisbee and his spot on the couch. But Cupid has other ideas when he wants Tucker to fall in love with another dog. But will that happen? This is a nice way to explain to youngsters about this wonderful holiday.