Children’s Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

While Valentine’s Day is still a month away, I wanted to share these book recommendations and valentine activities with you now. Valentine’s Day offers some warmth and cheer at a time when winter can feel like it is dragging on. It is also a time to encourage kids to celebrate friends and loved ones. I do not mind extending the celebration a bit.

My Funny Valentine by Harriet Ziefert and Emily Bolam. This lift-the-flap book follows a valentine as it travels from sender to recipient. My kids think the talking valentine is, as the title claims, funny. My Funny Valentine is a nice introduction to sending letters. Another good Valentine’s Day book for two-year-olds is What is Valentine’s Day? by Harriet Ziefert and Claire Schumacher. Ages 1+

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond. “One day it started raining hearts, and Cornelia Augusta caught one,” this story begins. Cornelia uses the hearts to make thoughtful valentines for each of her animal friends. The Day it Rained Hearts was originally titled Four Valentines in a RainstormAges 3+

Secret Valentine by Catherine Stock. In Secret Valentine, a young girl makes homemade valentines for her family and for her lonely neighbor. On Valentine’s Day, the girl receives valentines, including one secret valentine, in return. Valentine’s Day, says the young girl’s mother, is a day to tell people that you love them. Ages 3+

Valentine’s Day by Anne and Lizzy Rockwell. The students in Mrs. Madoff’s class make valentines for a special friend Michiko. Each student makes a thoughtful card for Michiko based on some memory they have of playing with her. For example, Nicholas’s valentine says, “I want you to be my valentine because you always let me take a turn on the slide, and you never push or shove.” In return, Michiko sends the kids each an origami valentine from Japan. Ages 3+

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli and Paul Yalowitz. A story about a man named Mr. Hatch who kept to himself, until, one Valentine’s Day, when he received a present and a note that said, “Somebody loves you.” Ages 4+

Books to share with your children:

Here are four books to remind your children that you love them. All would make great gifts, either purchased or borrowed from the library.

The I LOVE YOU Book by Todd Parr. With bold, playful illustrations, The I LOVE YOU Book assures kids that they are loved just the way they are: “I love you when you are… silly… sad… brave… scared… when you give me kisses and when you need kisses…” Ages 1+

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse and Barbara Lavellee. A beautifully illustrated conversation between an Inuit mother and daughter. The daughter asks “Mama, do you love me?” and then tests the limits of her mother’s love (e.g. What if I broke our eggs?, threw water at our lamp?, ran away?, turned into a polar bear?). The mother reassures the daughter that she will always love her. Ages 2+

Whereever You Are: My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. A sentimental message for children but also a very important one. Whereever You Are conveys to children that as they grow and venture out into the world, their parents will always love them. Ages 3+

On the Day You Were Born: A Photo Journal by Debra Frasier. A photo journal inspired by Debra Frasier’s book, On the Day You Were Born. With this photo journal, you add photos and information to create a beautiful story of your child’s birth. This photo journal is a wonderful way to show your child that he is special. Ages 1+

Five Valentine’s activities:

I was a bit astounded by the number of truly wonderful Valentine’s art projects and activities I discovered around the web. Here are five of my favorites. For more Valentine’s activities, check out: Pinterest: Valentine’s Day

1)  A Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt (5 Orange Potatoes). A great idea for getting the kids outside during the winter: take a walk in search of heart shapes. I suspect this activity may work better in warmer climates, but we are going to give it a shot and see what hearts we discover up here in the northwoods.

2)  Potato Print Valentines (Twig and Toadstool). Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to try potato printing. Shanti of Twig and Toadstool provides fantastic instructions for cutting a heart-shaped potato stamp and creating beautiful paint and glitter prints.

3)  Photo Valentines (A Day that is Dessert). These valentines are sweet and authentic. Lecia of A Day that is Dessert took photos of her kids with their friends and had her kids take time to reflect on why they appreciate each friend.

4)  Molded Birdseed Hearts (The Magic Onions). It is fun to remember the birds on Valentine’s Day. Last year, we made cranberry jelly served in hollowed out oranges. This year, I would like to try making these molded birdseed hearts.

5)  Handmade Heart Doilies (Martha Stewart). These handmade heart doilies are lovely and look like a fun way for the kids to help decorate our table for Valentine’s Day. Inspired both by these heart doilies and these Coffee Filter Snowflakes (from Jean of The Artful Parent), we will be creating some cut paper Valentine’s art. The plan is to cut various heart shapes out of coffee filters and then die the coffee filters red, orange and pink with liquid water colors. I am kind of excited about this. I will post pictures.

More delightful books to read around Valentine’s Day:

Pinterest: Valentine’s Day

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31 Responses to Children’s Books to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

  1. Just came across your blog today, and I already love your booklists! I’d love it if you’d join us at Booknificent Thursdays on Mommynificent.com anytime you have a review to share!
    Thanks,
    Tina

  2. Kiley says:

    I am sharing your wonderful list on my blog tomorrow (2/7/13). I love this site and use it often for my 3 kids! Thank you! Kiley

  3. Yvonne says:

    Thank you for such a great list of books. I read just read Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch and The Day it Rained Hearts to my nephew and he loved them! I would also recommend Willamena the Rescue Mouse. It’s a fairly new book. He loved that one as well, especially the video of her. It’s a true story of a mouse that was rescued from a snake. The video helped him relate to it because he was able to see her. So adorable. Here’s the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsCoPcGQqUc . Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. What a great list you made for Valentines Day. I found Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch at a used book sale and have been waiting for the right time to read to my kids. I think Valentine’s Day will be perfect. Thank you! I love the craft ideas — I think we will try the molded birdseed hearts too. Our birds are spoiled in our backyard!

  5. Ali B. says:

    Mama, Do You Love Me? is my favorite children’s book for toddlers. I read it countless times to my kids (still do read it to my six year old) and they loved it. The story is so reassuring.

  6. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing the great craft ideas! Like so many other commenters, I absolutely love The Day it Rained Hearts. I used to have a co-worker who had made a cute flannelboard story to go with it.

  7. Do North says:

    Great list. I’d add to it “Someone Loves You Mr. Hatch”, by Eileen Spinelli

    • Amy says:

      It’s on the list! “Someone Loves You Mr. Hatch” is a good one. After wading through lots of plotless Valentine’s books, it was great to discover a book with a true, creative plot.

  8. Zoe says:

    Thanks for sharing these in good time – always helps with ordering books from the library!

  9. What a generous blog! Thank you for this list – I love THE DAY IT RAINED HEARTS too. I just forwarded a link to your blog to my friend who still has little ones at home, and I will be sharing it with teachers too. So much to learn! a.

  10. Jennifer Jones Won’t Leave Me Alone is pretty cute. So’s Froggy’s First Kiss and Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. Oh, and My Penguin Osbert In Love. So fun.

    Totally agree with Mama, Do You Love Me? as an excellent gift idea. Don’t know The Day it Rained Hearts. Will have to look it up!

  11. Darshana says:

    Thanks for posting this list, all these books are new to me. I just read Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s new book “Plant a Kiss”, perfect for V-day. Short on words but big on meaning.

  12. Jen says:

    What great books! In Japan, Valentine’s Day is about girls giving chocolate to boys, which isn’t my favourite day, so I am excited to have a list of books to share my traditions with my kids. I love the activities too, can’t wait to do potato stamping.
    Off to order Valentine’s Day, having a Japanese character is a really good thing for our mixed family.

    • Amy says:

      That’s so interesting, Jen. When I posted this, I was wondering how people (including readers) from around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day. I thought the holiday was somehow created by Hallmark and was wondering how widely it is celebrated.

    • Amy says:

      I like Valentine’s Day by Anne Rockwell. I chose that book to read to a group of kindergarteners last year.

  13. Anonymous says:

    LOVE books… I’m going to get The Day It Rained Hearts for my ‘lil girl and do some fun activities with it. Thanks so much sharing at Sharing Saturday and giving us some inspiration for this next holiday coming up :) Hope you have a great week.

    ~MiaB
    http://www.mamamiasheart2heart.com

  14. lauriesibley says:

    “The Day it Rained Hearts” is one of my favorite Valentine’s books! Another one I love (though not explicitly V-day, more about parent-child love) is “I Love You with All My Heart” by Noris Kern. And smart to share this list early so we can reserve them at our libraries! ;o)

    • Amy says:

      I think The Day it Rained Hearts may be my favorite on this list. And, yes, go reserve these books now! There are a lot of bad Valentine’s Day books out there that it would be sad to be stuck reading.

  15. What a great list of books! So happy to have found your website!

  16. So happy to find your website and this great list of books!

  17. Great list! I tweeted your post and shared it on my FB page!
    Marcia :)

  18. Mary says:

    Someone asked me the other day about good Valentine’s Day titles and I came up completely empty. Now I’ve got some great suggestions, thanks to your list! Love the craft ideas too.

  19. What a great list. And thanks so much for the link love on your lovely blog :-)
    Blessings and magic,
    Donni

  20. mercuryval says:

    Thanks for the suggestions :-)

  21. Thanks for another lovely book list. Also looking forward to the next installment of not-to-be-missed picture books.

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