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Holiday / Seasonal Reads > Valentine's Day

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
I LOVE holiday picture books. And I *heart* Valentine's Day! Anyone have favorite books that center around Valentine's Day and/or themes of love (not necessarily romantic love, but even love for friends/family/pets/etc)? Picture books, especially, but even collections, poetry, etc. I want to start looking early so I can get some from the library (with luck!) before they are all checked-out. Thank you! :-)


message 3: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 21, 2009 08:24AM) (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Thanks, Chandra! Yes, you are so right about Dahlia and Sophie and Rose--what could be sweeter than the love between a girl and her doll?!

And, wow, congratulations on the upcoming wedding, haha! ;-> That's darling.

Luann, I will check those out. Thanks!



message 4: by Emily (new)

Emily | 59 comments If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant is a great one! I'm not usually one for sappy or sentimental books, but this book is just too cute :)


message 6: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
April Ann, my husband's cat looks just like Dolores! I've got to check that one out!!! :-D And, Emily, I like Cynthia Rylant so I'll check out your suggestion, too.

Thanks, and keep 'em comin'!


message 7: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Just wanted to revive this now that we're closer to Valentine's Day in case anyone new has something to share. I've checked out about ten Valentine's Day titles from the library, so I'll post back later if any of them (not already mentioned here) are remarkably good! :-)


message 8: by Maria (new)

Maria My all time favorite Valentine's book to read to my students is Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch. It's a lovely story of community and reaching out to others.


message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (librarymom12) This isn't a specifically Valentine Book, but a picture book I found recently about love, being lonely and finding a mate. Plus I just love the title. It's called "Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story." I highly recommend it.


message 10: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Oh, wow! That sounds so cute, Rachel. Thanks! Abigail and Maria, thank you for yours, too. They sound great!


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
I just read Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch and I loved it. Thanks, Maria!

I also read A Valentine for Norman Noggs which I also thought was wonderful.


message 12: by Arctic (new)

Arctic there's a children's book that I always loved as a kid called The Best Valentine in the World, though it appears others on goodreads weren't as impressed. Still, I'd recommend it if you're looking for something themed for your child.


message 13: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Just wanted to post and bring this thread current. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions from last year! I have a stack of Valentine's Day books out from the library and look forward to delving into them soon--and posting reviews here of the gems. Hope some of you will do the same! :-) It doesn't even have to be a book specifically about Valentine's Day but maybe one about love or a cherished friendship, for example, I Love You, Stinky Face


message 14: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Just read a relatively new Valentine's Day picture book Slugs in Love
A really cute Valentine's story with an unusual cast of characters--SLUGS! I thought this was an absolutely adorable story about a smitten girl slug who writes Valentines poems (in slime!) for the slug she loves from across a crowded room--er, garden! He is struck by her lovely sentiments but he doesn't know which slug she is (there are so many in the garden1) so writes her a valentine back but, oh dear, he writes it on the garden hoe and the farmer moves it before she ever sees it! Undaunted, she continues to declare her love in various poems around the garden, and he does the same--will they ever find one another??? Totally adorable and I think this would be a hit with a variety of kids--especially those who might not go for the typical Valentine's Day read--the slime helps coat what is really a very sweet love story :-)


message 15: by Luann (new)

Luann (AZbookgal) | 44 comments Very fun, Kathryn! I love the cover picture. Thanks for sharing!


message 17: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz | 151 comments For older children around grades 3-5 there are two Geronimo Stilton books with Valentine's Day as a backdrop.

Valentine's Day Disaster
Geronimo's Valentine

For younger children there are quite a few to choose from the Clifford the Big Red Dog series:
Clifford's First Valentine's Day

Max and Ruby have a cute one:
Valentine's Day Fun!

And Dora is a board book lift the flap story:
Dora's Valentine Adventure

Valentine's Day Disaster (Geronimo Stilton 23) by Geronimo Stilton Geronimo's Valentine (Geronimo Stilton 36) by Geronimo Stilton Clifford's First Valentine's Day (Clifford) by Norman Bridwell Valentine's Day Fun! (Max and Ruby) by Penguin Group USA Dora's Valentine Adventure (Dora the Explorer) by Christine Ricci


message 18: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Thanks for the suggestions, Svetlana and Eastofoz! :-)


message 19: by Katie (new)

Katie (Rosepixie) | 15 comments One of the most challenging things I've found about Valentine's books is that there are very few that appeal to kids who aren't into "mushy" stuff and aren't really reading on their own yet. This is mostly the boys under age 5 or so category, but I've met plenty of girls who fit this description too. One of the few books I've found that really works for them, but also for a Valentine's day storytime or gift is Arthur's Heart Mix-Up. It's funny and not mushy at all!


message 20: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 27, 2010 11:37AM) (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Great point, Katie!



message 21: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz | 151 comments Chandra I've skimmed through some of the books in the series. If you're familiar with the Magic Tree House series they're similar only a bit more fun and maybe the grade 3-4 student would like them better than the older student, though according to my sister who's an elementary school teacher (she's the one who recommended the series to us) a lot of older kids like this series too. The pictures are in color, the paper quality is much nicer than Magic Tree House and mixed in the text are words that look like pictures which my son anyway loves. The stories centre around a mouse named Geronimo Stilton and like the MTH series they teach something or other about history, general cultural etc all within an adventure story. There is also the cartoon on YouTube if you want to check it out. They have a good website that kids can play around on. My son still prefers MTH --he says the stories are more interesting-- but he's got quite a few in the Geronimo series and he's often asking me for more. What's also better about MTH is the passport book that they have. When kids finish reading a story they can go online to the website answer about 4 questions on the story (it's mcq) and if they get them right they get a passport stamp that they can print up and add to their passport book (which you download and print up). My son absolutely loves this kind of reward system and it incites him to read more. He's not the type of kid that you have to force to read but it's nice to know it's something he enjoys doing so :)

Hope that helps :)



message 22: by Pat Zietlow (new)

Pat Zietlow Miller (PatZietlowMiller) I love "Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch." Thanks for mentioning it. I also like "Mousie Love" by Dori Chaconas. There's a review at http://www.patzietlowmiller.com


message 23: by Kelly (new)

Kelly A few years ago I discovered the book "Legend of the Valentine: An Inspirational Story of Love and Reconciliation" by Katherine Grace Bond. The story is about Marcus, a nine year old African American boy, living in Alabama at the height of the Civil Rights movement. His grandmother teaches him about forgiveness through the true story of St. Valentine. I read this book to a group of first and second graders and they were mesmerized. It also brought up very good questions about that time period and ties in to Black History Month.


message 24: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
I am so excited about these recommendations! I still have a few Valentine's Day books out from the library and will share my reviews soon :-)


message 25: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Two I just read:

Where's My Hug? While not a Valentine's Day theme exactly, it's a sweet, imaginative and humorous story about Jake, who refuses a hug from his mom when she drops him off from school. When he comes home, he wants that hug--only to find out that Mom already gave it to Dad--Jake asks Dad for the hug but Dad gave it to the cat... the cat gave it to a witch... and so on. Oh my! In the end, of course, Jake ends up getting a brand new hug from Mom. The illustrations really help to enhance the story. While the story didn't enchant me quite as much as I'd hoped it would, I am giving it five stars since it features a boy in a "huggy" role, which I think is very important in picture books and not always as present as it needs to be.

Love, Ruby Valentine A good message about expressing love all year 'round, and especially fun for kids who love to make and send valentines.


message 26: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (deborahfreedman) I thought that Henry in Love was sweet, very understated. Also, Bloom, by Maria van Lieshout. And one of my old favorites is The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was in It by Carl Sandburg and Harriet Pincus - it's one of his Rootabaga stories, and a terrifically fun read-aloud.




message 27: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Thanks, Deborah! I wanted to read "Bloom" this year but my library doesn't have it and I ordered a copy used but the company ended up canceling my order so maybe next year! The other books sound neat, too.

I just read
The GREAT VALENTINES DAY BALLOON RACE
When a young bunny and his friend decide they want to participate in the Great Valentine's Day Balloon Race, his parents are at first a bit reluctant. After all, Easter is only a few months away and they have lots of eggs to paint before then! But, he is so enthusiastic that they allow him to follow his bliss and even help him get his balloon ready. (Yay for cool parents!) Also, his friend is a girl bunny and she is very smart (Yay for smart girls!) There's nothing really remarkable about the storytelling or illustrations, but it was enjoyable enough.

Also the much more widely known (and available) Love, Splat I truly enjoyed meeting Splat! The illustrations are adorable and quirky and cuddly and fun--and it features cats, so what's not to love!? The story is nice, too. I am not overly fond of Valentine's stories set in kiddie classrooms but managed to overcome my aversion and enjoy this one. It's pretty typical (boy likes girl, boy thinks girl hates him, but girl actually likes boy, rival boy appears, first boy gets scared, but true love wins in the end) but the illustrations make this version noteworthy. I also appreciated the subtle message that we should like someone for the sake of liking them, not to boost of our own sense of self-importance should they like us back.


message 28: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Jan 12, 2011 03:21PM) (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Just wanted to bring this thread current. If you're like me, you are already thinking ahead to this holiday and trying to get the books in before they fly off the shelves at the library come February. I've got a few on reserve that look really good, including Cranberry Valentine (I loved Cranberry Thanksgiving) and Valentine.


message 29: by Amy (new)

Amy Broadmoore (DelightfulChildrensBooks) | 32 comments I just posted a list of 5 nice Valentine's Day books at www.delightfulchildrensbooks.com. Two of my favorites are:

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond (originally titled Four Valentines in a Rainstorm)

Valentine's Day by Anne F. Rockwell
Valentine's Day by Anne and Lizzy Rockwell


message 30: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones I just read two that I liked a lot - they were about people who didn't expect anyone to love them, and they were just so sweet.

Cranberry Valentine A complete and charming surprise for me.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch Another charmer - Mr Hatch is so unassuming, but never maudlin.


message 31: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is one of my favorites!


message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy Broadmoore (DelightfulChildrensBooks) | 32 comments For a list of 5 lovely books about Valentine's Day and 4 books to tell kids they are loved, see http://www.delightfulchildrensbooks.com.

(Mr. Hatch lovers, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch made the list.)


message 33: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
I thought Cranberry Valentine was delightful! :-)


message 34: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Jones Oh I hate slugs, but I loved Slugs in Love!! I had forgotten about that one - it was so sweet, the way they left messages for each other!!


message 35: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 191 comments Lots of wonderful suggestions thanks everyone.


message 36: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
I know Valentine's Day is still over a month away, but I wanted to revive this thread now as, if your library is anything like mine, the Valentine's Day picture books go fast and it's good to reserve them ahead of time!

My library got in a few new Valentine's Day titles over the year and I've got them on hold now.

Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George!

and a new Ruby Valentine,

Ruby Valentine Saves the Day


message 37: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Feb 06, 2012 09:09AM) (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
And, my reviews of the three new ones I've read:

The Best Thing About Valentines
3.5 STARS A cute if ultimately unremarkable little book for Valentine's Day. Little bear (I think it's a bear) and his/her dog make lots of valentines and then have fun distributing them to friends near and far and also at school. The illustrations are very cute. The rhyme scheme is a bit uneven. A good choice for the younger picture book set, especially if they are just getting into making valentines.


Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George
3 STARS I'm usually uncomfortable with remakes of classic children's books when the original authors/illustrators are not involved. But, this is one of the few new Valentine's Day books at my library this year so I thought I would check it out.
Now, I must say that I haven't read a Curious George book since I was a kid so I am probably not the best judge of whether this is really in keeping with the spirit of the original books. As a stand-alone, I thought it was just okay. Curious George has a bunch of (human kids) friends over and they make valentines and have a Valentine's Day party. Curious George makes a bit of mischief, of course. I think the most fun aspect of the book is the lift-the-flap format that little ones will probably really enjoy.


Ruby Valentine Saves the Day
4 STARS I liked this one even better than the first book (Love, Ruby Valentine) Here, Ruby Valentine moves to a new house high on the hill about Heartland and she and her pet/friend, Lovebird, plan a wonderful Valentine's Day party and invite all their friends from town. They have the best laid plans--but they failed to consider the weather. When a snowstorm prevents the townsfolk from making it up the hill, a sled and a go-with-the-flow attitude helps Ruby reach town. Will they enjoy a happy Valentine's Day, after all?
I really liked all the details in the illustrations (they are so cute!) and Lovebird is adorable. I could appreciate Ruby's sense of wanting everything to be perfect, her dismay when the best laid plans go awry, and the message that as long as you are with those you love the little messed-up plans don't matter. The rhyme scheme is pretty good, though a bit uneven at times. I did wish there was a bit of a resolution about the littering that was (inadvertently) done, but I know that is being picky.


message 38: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Just reviving the thread since Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I have a few themed books out from the library and hope to review them soon.


message 39: by Susan (last edited Jan 31, 2013 07:26PM) (new)

Susan Bearman | 1 comments You might want to check out Brenda Ferber's new book, The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever. Great fun.


message 40: by Gaye (new)

Gaye Kiel | 1 comments So many good suggestions! My favs are-

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch and Super Fine Valentine (a Little Bill book) by Bill Cosby.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli Super-Fine Valentine by Bill Cosby


message 41: by Anna (new)

Anna Olswanger (olswanger) | 6 comments Michael Hall's My Heart is Like a Zoo is a wonderful Valentine's Day read. Every animal in the book is made from hearts. The book has been out for a couple of years, but my local library dedicated an entire wall's bulletin board to the book in January, and now in February, and is holding a contest with prizes (one of them being the Sticky Zoo sticker kit based on the book).


message 42: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Snowy Valentine was new for me this year (published 2011). Super cute woodland critters abound as a bunny goes searching for the perfect valentine for his wife. This would have been four stars except I did not like one of the scenes (it is a little scary for some kids, I think) and I also could have done without the didactic message tacked on to the end, the adorable gift the bunny ultimately gives his wife conveyed the point perfectly.


message 43: by Janna (new)

Janna (fortunateizzi) | 1 comments This was my favorite Valentine's Day book as a kid: The Best Valentine in the World.

I also loved The Valentine Bears.


message 44: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 3164 comments Mod
Janna wrote: "This was my favorite Valentine's Day book as a kid: The Best Valentine in the World."

That looks great, Janna! I love discovering "classic" (I, too, was a child of the 80s!) picture books like this.


message 45: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Cupido | 2 comments Some great suggestions here.I've just posted my " Top Valentine's Day Picture Books Kids will Love" at http://eileencupido.com


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Books mentioned in this topic

How Spider Saved Valentine's Day (other topics)
Froggy's First Kiss (other topics)
Lilly's Chocolate Heart (other topics)
Happy Valentine's Day, Dolores (other topics)
A Valentine for Norman Noggs (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Jonathan London (other topics)
Kevin Henkes (other topics)
Robert Kraus (other topics)