I Valentine’s Day!
What’s not to love about celebrating the best emotion in the world with all your favorite people?
I particularly look forward to reading lovey dovey picture books with the kiddos before bed. It hypes up this special day and shares important messages about what really matters. Here are ten of our favorite Valentine day books.
1. How Do You Hug a Porcupine? By: Laurie Isop
In this book, a little boy is hugging all the animals. But, he can’t figure out how to hug a porcupine. This charming, rhythmic book uses clever text and inventive solutions to teach kids about showing love to everyone — even the prickly sort.
2. XO, OX: A Love Story By: Adam Rex
Epistolary stories are my favorite! I mean, who doesn’t love a good letter? This is a cute tale told in love letters between a hopelessly romantic ox and a famous gazelle who is waaaay out of his league. Will he win her over? See for yourself!
3. My Heart is Like a Zoo By: Michael Hall
The art in this picture book takes my breath away. It’s brilliant! Each illustration is created entirely from hearts in vibrant, spectacular graphics. The equally precious text is a metaphoric rhyme that compares animal characteristics to the feelings and expressions of love. This is one we were happy to read over and over!
4. The Biggest Kiss By: Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbot
I love a sweet book about kisses — especially one with stunning animal illustrations and lyrical text. (I’m noticing a theme, here…)
5. How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? By: Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
We love ALL these dinosaur books. The expressions on the dinosaurs are perfection. I particularly love this book because it perfectly captures the unconditional love parents feel for their children.
6. Henry in Love By: Peter McCarty
This book has illustrations that would easily look like expensive children’s art if you mounted them on the wall. It has such spare, but striking pictures with thoughtful, expressive characters. McCarty manages to say so much with the mere tilt of an ear or twitch of a mouth. It’s also such a lovable story about a little bunny who makes a big sacrifice for love.
7. Hug Machine By: Scott Campbell
I’m opposed to the idea that every book with a boy as the main character has to be about being rough and tough. So, this book is a win for me! A tender little guy spends his day giving – and receiving – hugs. The beautiful watercolor illustrations are captivating, but the story is funny and quirky enough to appeal to its intended audience.
8. Love Monster By: Rachel Bright
It’s an unfortunate truth that sometimes you don’t fit in. Love doesn’t come easily to everyone. Yet, this adorable monster refuses to give up in his quest for affection and acceptance. It’s a simple story with a big, heartwarming message.
9. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch By: Eileen Spinelli
My young readers didn’t have the patience for this long-ish story, but it’s still worth reading for yourself if you’d like a case of the Valentine feels. It’s about a reclusive, lonely man who comes to find the power of love in an unexpected way.
10. Queen of Hearts By: Mary Engelbreit
Confession: I love Mary Engelbreit. I could spend all day enjoying the intricate designs she creates in each image. This is book highlights the creativity of beloved Ann Estelle with a heartwarming ending, typical of this brilliant author/illustrator.