Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to curl up with a book and snuggle with a little one. Here are a few love worthy books to enjoy with your baby or toddler.
My Art Book of Love by Shana Gozansky , 2018
(Ages 0 and up)
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney; illustrated by Anita Jeram, 1994
(Ages 0 – 4)
We received the pop up edition during my baby shower and even though it made me cry almost every time I read it, it was by far one of my favorite books to read with my children. It is such a tender and sweet story about the love between a parent and a child.
Little Nutbrown Hare is preparing for bed and tries to express how much he loves his father by physical measurements. “I love you as high as I can hop.” In a playful back and forth game, father and son continue trying to explain how much they love each other. As Little Nutbrown Hare drifts off to sleep and mutters, “I love you all the way to the moon”. Big Nutbrown Hare waits until he is asleep and whispers, “I love you to the moon and back”. The soft water color illustrations and heartwarming story make this a perfect book to read with a loved one before bedtime.
The I Love You Book by Todd Parr, 2009
(Ages 2 – 6)
Todd Parr is one of my favorite authors and illustrators for young children. His signature artwork is bright and bold and very child friendly. His books are well known for their universal themes and for helping to build children’s confidence.
The I Love You Book is a standout because it reinforces the message to children that they will be loved no matter what. The simple text and colorful illustrations capture moments that will be familiar to many children. “I love you when you are silly./ I love you when you are sad. / I love you when you are scared. / I love you when you are brave.” Children will leave this book feeling reassured that the people in their lives will love them no matter what.
Parr always ends his books with a letter to the reader with a positive message. In this book, he writes, “We all need to be loved. There’s enough love for everyone to share. Remember to always love yourself!” An important message to all to not only love others, but also love the unique person you are. A perfect story to share with any child.
Where is Baby’s Valentine? by Karen Katz, 2007
(Ages 0 – 2)
Most babies love any book with flaps and the addition of shiny and glittery materials makes this one a winner. This series is always popular and the Valentine’s edition is no exception. You cannot go wrong with a Karen Katz book!
Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, 2015
(Ages 0 – 3)
The combination of several endearing idioms and Eric Carle’s beautiful illustrations makes for a winning Valentine’s Day book for toddlers. Unlike the original The Very Hungry Caterpillar book, there is no real story here. It is simply an expression of love. Each page features short, simple text such as, “You are the apple of my eye” making this a nice quick read for babies and toddlers. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature and it is hard to resist this cute little book.
Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney, 2014
You really can’t go wrong from any book from the Llama Llama picture book or board book series. Children always seem to love them. Rhyming text and adorable illustrations bring this Valentine’s Day tale alive. Join Little Llama as he shares Valentines and hugs with friends and family.
Hugs & Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle, 2018
(Ages 0 – 4)
Eric Carle brings back his classic character, the Grouchy Ladybug, to remind toddlers that even the grouchiest of us can be cheered up with hugs and kisses.
The simple text made up mostly of verbs is perfect for inviting young children to act out while reading along. Eric Carle’s signature collage illustrations are as engaging as ever making this an excellent choice for Valentine’s Day or all year long.
My own cranky toddler adores this book and delights in blowing kisses to the grouchy ladybug in the end.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff; illustrated by Felicia Bond, 2009
(Ages 0 – 3)
Mouse, from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (1985) is back and making Valentines for his friends. Each Valentine Mouse creates, reflects something he loves about each friend. The book ends with all of his friends bringing Mouse his own perfect Valentine, a cookie, of course. A simple and sweet story celebrating everyone’s uniqueness.
My Fuzzy Valentine by Naomi Kleinberg; illustrated by Louis Womble, 2005
(Ages 0 – 3)
Elmo receives a mysterious Valentine and asks many of the Sesame Street residents who sent it. In each picture, Elmo is covered in fuzzy material making it fun for toddlers to feel as they follow the story. At the end, Elmo discovers that his mother sent the Valentine creating a perfect moment for a hug.
Ladybug Girl Loves by David Soman and Jacky Davis, 2010
(Ages 2 – 4)
This simple board book based on the Ladybug Girl series shares the many things Lulu loves from exploring her backyard, to traveling with her family, to visiting the beach and playing with her friends. Ladybug Girl is a beloved character that inspires children to share the things that they love to do.