Yes, it is already nearing Valentine’s Day and, thus, time for us to talk about Valentine’s books for kids. I know, I know — I’ve also barely come to terms with the fact that it’s the beginning of 2022. Take a deep breath, exhale, and get ready to feel the love.
Dearest reader, I love you. Though I’m not a big fan of the holiday, it seems fitting that I get to talk about books and love. There are few things I love more than sharing books, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.
As a former elementary school teacher, I can get behind the kid version of this holiday. Kids truly got this one right. Valentine’s Day is about sweets, arts and crafts, and everybody in the class giving and receiving punny cards.
Furthermore, Valentine’s Day in the kid world is broader than in the world of disenchanted grownups. For kids, V-Day is about all kinds of love. While adults are mostly caught up in romantic love and all of its complications, kids are thinking bigger. They’re showing love to their friends, their caregivers, and all the other people in their lives who make the world better by being in it.
So let’s look at some Valentine’s books for kids that capture childlike wisdom of the Valentine’s season. For this list, we’re considering books that are specifically about Valentine’s Day, as well as others that encourage love and appreciation. Enjoy!
Great Valentine’s Books for Kids to Celebrate February 14th
The 12 Days of Valentine’s by Jenna Lettice & Colleen Madden
Set to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” this book counts down to Valentine’s Day with a series of themed gifts. From hugs to sparkles, this story covers all the Valentine’s Day basics.
Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney
In this installment from the Llamaverse, our favorite camelid is celebrating the day of love. Naturally, this board book uses a simple rhyming pattern to detail llama’s adventures. It’s a great introduction to the holiday for your little one.
Love from the Crayons by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
Similarly, this entry from the world of The Day the Crayons Quit uses rhyme effectively to enhance the crayons’ descriptions of love. Each color adds their own unique perspective of what love is. Most importantly, the crayons make space for love to come in many colors, shapes, and sizes.
I Love You Like No Otter by Rose Rossner & Sydney Hanson
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good pun. This sweet little book is chock full of them, along with cute rhymes about animals and their babies. Surely, this one will be a favorite to read and reread.
Love Counts by Jo Parker & Matt Kaufenberg
Despite not being specifically about Valentine’s Day, this counting book is perfect for the holiday. Starting with waving ten fingers at healthcare workers, Parker details ways to show love everyday. (Yes, this title was published since the pandemic began.) The message that small acts of love matter in big ways will resonate with readers of all ages.
More Books That Capture the Valentine’s Day Spirit
One Love by Bob Marley, Cedella Marley, & Vanessa Newton
Based on the popular song by Bob Marley, One Love is a celebration of community and the power of unity. Marley’s lyrics and Newton’s illustrations show us a world where all are connected as one. It’s an inspiring and encouraging read.
Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield & Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Hands down, this will always be my favorite book to read aloud. The rhythm of the poetry and the familiar scenes just feel so authentic and personal. Greenfield’s main character leaps off the page as she shares the multitude of things she loves. Finally, the book ends with a reminder of who we should love most.
Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke & Paul Howard
This is a cozy read with a gentle rhyme scheme and rich illustrations. Jay Jay is helping his Grannie with the family’s big Sunday meal. The food and the people overflow with love, perfectly capturing the familiar African American tradition of Sunday dinner.
Homemade Love by bell hooks & Shane W. Evans
Above all, the late bell hooks is known for brilliant works of feminism and liberation. However, hooks’s work centered love — fierce love for ourselves and others. In this beautiful board book, hooks uses her gift for words to tell the simple story of a child who loves and is loved fiercely. Undoubtedly, your kiddos will want to read this one again and again.
For more Valentine’s books for kids, check out these 18 Children’s Books About Love.
I hope you found some tempting titles on this list. More importantly, I hope that I reminded you that YOU are loved. I know it can be hard to feel loved and loving during these challenging times. Nevertheless, this is the time we need it most. Love yourself fiercely. Receive love recklessly. You deserve it.