Valentine’s Day will soon be here. So why not get into the spirit with books about kindness, friendship, and love. Showing these tender traits will not only make others feel better, but it will also help you feel happier as well. The following books showcase these actions and can result in a positive feedback loop encouraging others to share as well. The first three are board books good for ages two through four. The rest are picture books and good for ages three through eight unless otherwise indicated.
I Love You, Little Monster!, by Sandra Magsamen, is an adorable small-sized board book with a cute blue monster on the cover. His horns actually protrude from the book with a velvety green feel. Each page has a different little monster and on the opposite side of this open page is a proclamation of how much they are loved. The final page holds a mirror so readers can see themselves. Best for ages two through four.
Puppy Finds the Perfect Hug: A Tiny Tab Book, by Jannie Ho, is another smallish board book for tiny hands. Every page has a tab to pull as Puppy goes looking for a perfect hug. She comes up with rabbits, ducks and even an owl until she finally discovers the perfect hug.
Kisses, Kisses, Head to Toe!: A Lift-the-Flap and Mirror Book, by Karen Katz, reads like a peek-a-boo game as you might show your toddler. Every page features a flap to discover where the parent will show their love for their baby. The last page showcases a mirror so baby can see themselves in this brightly colored book.
The Cookie Maker of Marvin Road, by Sue Lawson and wonderfully painted with mixed media by Liz Anelli, is a perfect book that shows the results when kindness is demonstrated. Benedict is a kind older gentleman who lives with his cat, Audrey Mae. When he says hello to a young boy, the boy tells him he’s excited for a visit from the tooth fairy. Benedict sets to work baking some special treats to give to the boy in celebration. But Benedict doesn’t stop there and continues baking for the neighborhood as he sees the need. Watch what happens when Benedict seems to become ill. The illustrations fill each page, and the sentences are short, but the storyline is easy to decipher making this a perfect celebration of service and love.
Holidays & Celebrations: A Shine-A -Light Book, by Carron Brown and cleverly illustrated by Ipek Konak, showcases holidays celebrated around the world. When you hold up a page in the light, you’ll see some hidden pictures that add to the celebration. Some of the holidays listed include Valentine’s Day in America and La Tomatina festival in Spain.
Love You By Heart, by Peter H. Reynolds, is a small size book with a sweet message celebrating unconditional love. I love everything about you. Your triumphs and joys. Fumbles and falls. I’ll take it all! The two simply drawn hearts symbolize the power of love. I especially like his message to the reader at the back of the book: Unconditional love is rare. Cherish and savor it. How lucky are we to love and be loved! Take the time today and reach out and share your love in some unexpected way! Check out his other popular books that have a similar simple formatsuch as Be You and Say Something.
Walrus Song, by Janet Lawler and gloriously painted using charcoal and acrylic paint by Timothy Basil Ering, is a rhyming tribute in brief format to this remarkable beast living the coldest regions on earth. The glorious illustrations fill the page and give much information in its brevity. The onomatopoeia and singsong rhythm make this a perfect read-out-loud. You’ll desire to learn more about walruses which, happily, you find at the back of the book.
Winter Lullaby, by Dianne White and beautifully illustrated digitally by Ramona Kaulitzki, is a wondrous ode to winter. The rhyming tale gives homage to animals who hibernate during this cold season. Mama Bear guides Small Bear to seek refuge from the winter scene. But while they travel to their den, they see other smaller animals readying or slumbering in their small hovels: Mouse, Chipmunk, Skunk and more. Badger will settle-soon, not yet-tucked inside her chambered sett. Most of the pictures are full, open-page illustrations with hues of gold, brown and white. This is a perfect read aloud for bedtime.
Where Snow Angels Go, by Maggie O’Farrell and exquisitely painted with ink and watercolor by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, is a longer read for a picture book. However, this story with the elegant pictures makes for a delightful bedtime book. When Sylvie is woken up by a sound in her room, she sees something extraordinary. She soon discovers that she sees her snow angel she made in the snow. What takes place between her and her angel will delight and likely become a favorite story to read often.