Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, with Saint Patrick’s Day and Easter not far behind! I’m having some trouble being in the mod for holidays with the current state of our union, but I am trying to keep a semblance of rhythm for Sola, so she feels somewhat grounded during these times. This is our list of recommended picture books for Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out our other recommended book lists.
All Kinds of Kisses – There are all kinds of kisses. Cheep kisses… moo kisses… baa kisses… coo kisses… But the best kiss of all is Mommy’s kiss goodnight. Mamas all across the farm cozy up with their little ones with cuddles and sweet affection. This lulling read-aloud, with animal sounds labeled on every page, will encourage young readers to join in as they are reminded how much they are cherished.
Arthur’s Great Big Valentine A minor squabble with his best friend, Norman, has left Arthur all alone this wintry Valentine’s Day. Although Violet generously offers to join him, she is distracted by the arrival of her friend, Wilma, who has brought invitations to a big Valentine’s party. Arthur declines because Norman will be there. But Norman’s little brother, Tony, saves the day, and the two best friends are reunited. Wilma’s party is a special celebration of fun and friendship.
The Ballad of Valentine – Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Valentine. I have written forty letters, but you’ve never read a line. Set to the tune of the song “Clementine,” Alison Jackson tells the sweet tale of Valentine and her beau. Valentine goes about her day, doing chores around her mountain cabin, while her secret admirer is hard at work trying to ask her an important question. He tries many ways to contact her, including Morse code and smoke signals, but he can never complete his message. Will he ever be able to reach his beloved Valentine?
Cranberry Valentine – “Suffering codfish! Somebody’s after me,” Mr. Whiskers groans. And somebody is. It all starts on a gray February day in Cranberryport, when Mr. Whiskers admits to Maggie and Grandmother that he has never, ever, received a valentine. Then two days later, a big lacy valentine arrives for him, full of cupids, lovebirds, hearts and flowers. “How sweet,” says Maggie. “Revolting,” says Mr. Whiskers. The next day three more fancy valentines arrive for Mr. Whiskers, and he begins to get worried…particularly when he hears that a lady in green has been asking for him all over town. Then more valentines arrive and Mr. Whiskers is terrified! Should he hide or leave town? How Mr. Whiskers solves the mystery of his secret admirer and enjoys a Happy Valentine’s Day after all makes this another appealing story in the much loved Cranberryport series. Originally printed in 1986, this tale is back for all to enjoy along with Grandmother’s delicious recipe for Cranberry Upside-Down Cake!
Day It Rained Hearts One day it rains hearts, and Cornelia Augusta catches them. Each heart is special in its own way, and Cornelia Augusta knows exactly who to send them to.
Groggle’s Monster Valentine – Groggle has been up all night making a Valentine’s Day card. This isn’t just any Valentine, though, and it has to be perfect—it’s for Snarlina, his beast friend in the whole wide world. Searching in the dark forest, he finds just the right heart-shaped leaves. He collects some bog slime and squirts everything he wants to say in bold, gooey letters. Groggle’s creation looks horribly good. But there’s just one problem—gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp! He has a monster appetite! Groggle tries again, this time writing poem after poem to make sure he has some extras just in case. He picks skunk flowers, carefully ties on snake bows, and sprinkles shiny beetle glitter. He decorates each card with care. But . . . gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp! Groggle’s monster impulses foil his efforts and he’s run out of time. Will Groggle ever be able to give his toothsome, stomping, monstrous friend Snarlina a Valentine?
Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter! – It’s Valentine’s Day, and Little Critter’s class is celebrating! They’re decorating the classroom with hearts, eating cupcakes, and making Valentine’s Day mailboxes. Little Critter is making an extra special card for an extra special valentine. Who will it be? Pull back the flaps and discover all the fun Valentine’s Day surprises.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! – Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he celebrates Valentine’s Day with all the friends he loves.
Heart to Heart – From beloved Caldecott Honor artist Lois Ehlert comes a clever and funny valentine celebrating love and friendship. Readers of all ages will go bananas for this pun-filled and sweet story filled with rebuses and love. Alphabet letters and bold, graphic images of fruits and vegetables come together in this endearing and playful book that is perfect for sharing.
Here Comes Valentine Cat – Cat does NOT like Valentine’s Day. It’s much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentine—especially not his new neighbor, Dog. Dog refuses to respect the fence: He keeps tossing over old bones and hitting Cat in the head! But just as Cat’s about to send Dog an angry “valentine” telling him exactly what he can do with his bones, Dog throws a ball over the fence. What is Dog playing at? Cat is in for a hilarious—and heartwarming—surprise in this story about being perhaps too quick to judge.
Hug Time – Jules the kitten (also known in the MUTTS cartoons as “Shtinky Puddin'”) knows that hugs can make the world a better place. So he makes a “Hug To-Do List”–with the endangered species of the world at the top–and travels the globe to show all of the animals that someone cares. From Africa to the North Pole to his own back yard, Jules proves a hug is the simplest–but kindest–gift we can give. With its gently environmental theme, this joyous story about sharing love is an ideal gift year-round.
I Like You – Here is the book that Romeo would have given Juliet, Charlie Brown would have given Snoopy, and you can give to some very special friend. This special book expresses the true meaning of friendship in a long list of ways with charming accompanying illustrations.
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings – Sometimes my heart feels like a big yellow star, shiny and bright. I smile from ear to ear and twirl around so fast, I feel as if I could take off into the sky. This is when my heart is happy. Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness . . . our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, toddlers will be empowered by this new vocabulary and able to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions. With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this unique feelings book is gorgeously packaged.
I Spy Little Hearts – Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day–search-and-find fun from bestselling author/illustrator team Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick! Filled with fun photos from the original I Spy series, this sweet new I Spy Little book comes with a holographic foil cover! Preschoolers can search for hearts galore, as well as other intriguing toys and trinkets! Picture clues and rhyming riddles guide the youngest readers through twelve delightful puzzles.
Love Is – Perfect for any fond gift or tender moment, this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned.
Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar – “You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place. Perfect for that someone special on Valentine’s Day—or any day.
Mr. Goat’s Valentine – After reading in the newspaper that it’s Valentine’s Day, Mr. Goat sets out in search of very special gifts for his first love. But just what would a goat choose as the perfect gifts to show how he feels? Readers will be in for a surprise at Mr. Goat’s nontraditional selections. From acclaimed children’s author Eve Bunting comes a sweet holiday tale sure to warm hearts on Valentine’s Day and every day of the year.
Mouse’s First Valentine – Early one morning Mouse follows his sister around the house. She’s making something red and lacy and very pretty. What will it be?
Mouse and Mole, Secret Valentine Rosy-cheeked Mouse and shy Mole share their secret valentines and feel butterflies in their bellies in this seventh installment in the award-winning Mouse and Mole series.
Plant a Kiss – Little Miss planted a kiss . . . One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey aboutlife, kindness, and giving.
Slugs in Love – Marylou loves everything about Herbie—how his slime trail glistens in the dark, how he can stretch himself thin to squeeze inside the cellar window, and how he always finds the juiciest tomatoes. But Marylou is a shy slug. How can she get Herbie to notice her? Find out how Marylou woos her beloved in this must-have love story that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Snowy Valentine – Step out into a snowy Valentine’s Day with Jasper the bunny as he searches the forest valley for a special gift for his loved one.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch – One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you,” the note says. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
Tucker’s Valentine – There are many things Tucker loves, like his dog food, his Frisbee, his spot on the couch, and bubbles from a jar. But today is Valentine’s Day, and Cupid is determined that this year Tucker will fall in love with another dog. Could Tucker’s dream pup be his playful friend Spunky or maybe Cupcake, who smells like roasted chicken? Tucker is one busy puppy, and somehow Cupid’s love arrows keep missing their mark. Will Tucker end up with the perfect Valentine after all?
The Valentine Bears – Mr. and Mrs. Bear have never celebrated St. Valentine’s Day because they hibernate during the winter.
Valentine Surprise – It’s only a week until Valentine’s Day, and Lily wants to make the perfect heart-shaped valentine for Mommy. But every time she cuts out a heart, it’s either too pointy, too round, or too skinny. As the days go by, Lily tries again and again, and when Valentine’s Day finally arrives, she has a heart for each day of the week! Which one will be the perfect valentine surprise for Mommy?
Valentines Are for Saying I Love You – Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks has been a perennial best seller since its publication in 2000! Now this sweet follow-up is sure to hit the spot for another holiday, the one on February 14th. Candy hearts, flowers, boxes of chocolate, sure! But most of all, Valentine’s Day is to say “I LOVE YOU,” loud and clear. In this sweet tale, a little girl makes a special valentine for everyone.
When an Elephant Falls in Love – When an elephant falls in love, he does many foolish things. He hides when the elephant-object of his affection is around. He writes dozens of letters that he will never send. And he tries to be healthy, but ends up finishing the cheesecake. This soulful book is at once relatable and revealing, a reminder that love is worth striving for, and that the very best things in life will come to those who wait.
Woof: A Love Story – What’s a dog to do when he falls in love with the cat next door? Bark? Chase his tail? Dig up a “brass bone” and hope that the universal language of music will help him to express his feelings?
Worm Loves Worm – You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm. When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves worm.
What is your favorite Valentines book?