Valentine’s Day clearly is over commercialized with romantic love but many of this year’s children’s books focus on friendship and familial love — at least I’m including them in the Valentine’s Day roundup because I think any expression of love is a nice tie-in with the holiday. Especially for kids.
Beautiful Valentine’s Day Books for Kids, 2018
This is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Two good friends, a boy and a girl, want it to be clear. That their gifts to each other are tokens of a good friendship — NOT Valentines gifts. Readers must notice the illustrations to find the gifts; gifts like a ring from a grocery store machine, a picture, a paper airplane, and a frog from science class. It’s about a friendship that doesn’t need to be celebrated on just one day because they are friends all the days.
Click, Clack, Moo I Love You! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Little Duck welcomes the animals to the Valentine’s Day Dance. At first, all the animals stick with their own groups. Until Little Fox arrives. Should the animals be afraid? Little Duck welcomes Little Fox, too and they start dancing. Now the pigs dance with the chickens. The chickens dance with the sheep. And they all dance until the cows come home. A fun, sparkly book about the richness of friendships with others who aren’t in our “group”.
Love You: A Pop-Up Book by David A. Carter
Whoa is this 2018 pop-up Valentine’s Day book amazing! I’m sure I can’t do it justice with my description but I’ll give it a go. Each two-page spread tells the reader a sweet message such as “you are blossoms in the sky” plus “(eye symbol) love you”. But what makes this book stand out are the exquisite pop-ups that are colorful, geometrical, delicate, and exquisite. Gift this to your favorite adult or child! (I posted a quick video of the interior on Instagram here.)
The Wolf Who Wanted to Fall in Love by Orianne Lallemand, illustrated by Eleonore Thuillier
I love with the illustrations of this lonely wolf who sets out to find his own someone special to love. Mr. Owl tells wolf you don’t find love, you just fall in love. Wolf practices falling but nothing happens. On the advice of other animal friends, he tries to make himself more attractive, memorizes love poems, and picks a bouquet of flowers. Just when he gives up — BLAM! — you’ll never guess what happens…
Love by Matt de La Pena, illustrated by Loren Long
Each page shows a beautiful illustration and description of the many activities and feelings that love can be. “Love, too, is the smell of crashing waves…” or “And it’s love in each deep crease of your grandfather’s face as he lowers himself onto an overturned bucket to fish.” Books like this that don’t have a storyline often work well in the classroom for mentor text and make beautiful gift books for graduation or other occasions.
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 loves 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.
100 Things I Love to Do with You by Amy Schwartz
Reading this I thought that this book would be an idea book, too — of things to do with your special child-adult or friend time. It lists fun things like “feel the breeze” and “pop corn” and “pogo stick“. It’s not a story, just a whimsical list of 100 fun things to do with a loved one.
This book list is just from 2018. Find the best of all Valentine’s Day Books on this post.