Love is an abstract concept that we show with our actions. I hope these sweet picture books spark meaningful conversations about what love is–what it means to you, your children, the world, and in your faith tradition.
Children’s Picture Books About Love
The I Love You Book by Todd Parr
Read about unconditional love shown in Todd Parr’s characteristic colorful style. Your little one’s fingers will want to push and poke the puffy heart cover. It’s a warm-hearted book about love that you are going to read and reread.
I Am Love: A Book of Compassion by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Love is acting with tenderness when you see someone stuck in the rain and you bring them an umbrella. Love is being present, not saying a word when someone needs to talk. “I can hug and hold and say, “Everything will be alright.” Love is comfort.” In fact, love is many things writes Verde — gratitude, taking care of me, creativity, understanding, effort, remembering, and more.
Wherever You Are Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
A sweet letter to a child expresses just how much the parent loves them…”I sent love to follow wherever you go.”
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
Perfect for reading aloud, this book affirms all adoration you feel for the child on your lap both inside and outside.
LOVE from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
If you’re an Eric Carle fan, you’ll want this sweet book showcasing his classic illustrations.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
A heartwarming classic! Big Nutbrown Hare helps Little Nutbrown Hare understand just how much he is loved.
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moose
First of all, this was a favorite bedtime story for my kids because it’s unexpectedly precious! Here’s why… it’s bedtime and a child imagines all sorts of worst scenarios (if he were an ape or stinky skunk or an alligator) and is hoping his mom will reassure him. As a result, the mom offers her son the BEST answers that show how she’d always accept her son any way he is.
I Love You, Cockatoo! by Sarah Aspinall
Cockatoo asks his Mama if she loves him all the time, and he gives her example after example of possibly unlovable behaviors like being grumpy or making a mess or being noisy. After he feels bad for interrupting his dad’s nap and tracking mud through the house, he runs outside to a branch. His family comes for him and they reassure each other of their mutual love.
More Recommended Books
The Awesome Book of Love! by Dallas Clayton
My seven-year-old thinks that everyone should read this book because then they’d all love each other. It’s illustrated in the captivating, whimsical style of Clayton’s previous book, An Awesome Book. “But you know that’s not all that this love is about / sometimes it’s a whisper when you feel you could shout / or just being around when the others have gone or about letting go when you want to hold on / it’s about living life with such strength and emotion and knowing that waves are just part of the ocean…”
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbar M. Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavalle
A mama reassures her daughter that she loves her no matter what, no matter if she gets scared, sad, or angry because the mama will always adore her child “more than a dog loves his tail, more than a whale loves his spout.” It’s wonderful how this book depicts an Inuit mother and child in illustrations that reflect the beauty of the area and culture. Beautiful!
Love Is by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane
Who Loves Me? by David McPhail
While picking blueberries and making pie with Mama, a little raccoon named Walter asks his mama who loves him. The illustrations show their blueberry activities and the text shares all the people in Walter’s life who care for him. “Rufus loves you, especially when you throw the ball for him to fetch.” A reassuring, sturdy board book that can prompt this discussion with your own children about the people in their lives who care about them, too.
Will You Still Love Me If . . .? by Eve Tharlet
We all make mistakes, just like Little Bear. He worries. Will his mama still love him if he tears his clothes, gets a bad grade at school, or was big, ugly, and green? And what about if mama died, would she love him then? Mama tells Little Bear she’ll always love him. No matter what.
Love by Matt de La Pena, illustrated by Loren Long
Each page shows a beautiful illustration and description of the many activities and feelings. “Love, too, is the smell of crashing waves…” Abstract books like this that don’t have a storyline often work well in the classroom as a mentor text for writers and make beautiful gift books for graduation or other occasions.
The Boy Who Loved Everyone by Jane Porter, illustrated by Maisie Paradise Shearring
Essential reading about an important topic that can be confusing to children! Dimitri is a gregarious boy who says, “I love you,” to everyone he meets –even inanimate objects. But people don’t respond back with, “I love you,” and it makes Dimitri feel bad. His mom helps him see that people often show their love in actions instead of saying it. This helps him notice how other people show love in their own ways.
Love Is Everything by Charles Ghinga, illustrated by Jacqueline East
This is a sweet book all about love and hope, good things and nature, kindness and heartfelt poetry.