With Valentine’s Day coming up, I know that my children are going to get more than enough candy and sugar from their grandmothers, aunts, friends and teachers (it happens every year!), which is why I try to give them books as gifts instead. It’s not like I really need all of those Hershey’s Kisses in my kitchen cabinets (the temptation!), and there’s only so many sugar cookies you can eat after your children too, right? So with books, my children get to read stories about new experiences while I get to keep my waistline at bay. It’s a win-win situation for all of us.
And plus, there’s no better gift to give than the gift of reading.
This year I went to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore to check out some of the latest titles in the children’s department about Valentine’s Day and the lessons kids can learn about love. I was surprised and delighted to see so many new books that can teach my children about not only love, but the different emotions that we feel in both our heads and our hearts. And what was so great about some of the books I picked out was that they were wonderfully illustrated, which would help keep my preschooler’s attention, and easy enough that my kindergartner would be able to practice her reading skills, too.
Check out some of my favorites right here:
The Best Valentine’s Day Books for Kids 1 of 8
Love Monster by Rachel Bright 2 of 8
This is perhaps my favorite book of the year. Love Monster may not be as cute and fluffy as you'd expect, but it is a heartwarming story about a monster who feels unloved so he goes out in search of love. Warning: this googly-eyed monster might make you feel a little emotional (at least it did for me!), so definitely keep a box of tissues handy when reading this book with your kids.
How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan 3 of 8
This one just tugs at my heartstrings. Even though my children don't have an active grandfather in their lives, I bought this book anyway. How to Babysit a Grandpa is a great way to teach children how to babysit their grandparents when they come to visit. It reads like an adorable instruction manual catered to kids! It's such a clever twist on babysitting, and I'm sure your loved ones will enjoy reading this one just as much.
Huggy Kissy by Leslie Patricelli 4 of 8
My children are HUGE Leslie Patricielli fans, as her books were the first ones I introduced them to. Simple, sweet and poignant our curious diapered baby (who appears in every Leslie Patricielli book) teaches kids what love means through a baby's eyes — i.e. "huggy, huggy, kissy, kissy, and squeezy, squeezy." Sometimes the simplest messages have the best stories behind them.
I Love You, Valentine! by Cindy Bracken 5 of 8
This is a great rhyming book for young toddlers! My 3-year-old son especially loved I Love You, Valentine!, as it was a cute, simple book that held his attention. I especially loved that it was easy enough for my 6-year-old kindergartner to practice reading with. A win-win for both!
My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall 6 of 8
This is my children's new favorite saying in our house now. My Heart Is Like a Zoo teaches us that hearts can be hopeful, happy, silly, goofy, lost, and sometimes full of joy. (But basically all of the above!). This book helps teach children that they have emotions both in their hearts and heads, and an easy way to express them is through facial expressions and attitudes.
How Do Lions Say I Love You? by Diane Muldrow 7 of 8
This is an incredibly adorable book that teaches our little one not only how lions say "I love you," but giraffes, swans, hens (cluck, cluck!) and so many other animals. Who knew there were so many ways you can say those three simple words without really saying them?
The Biggest Kiss by Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbot 8 of 8
The biggest kisses can sometimes come from the smallest of creatures! Written and illustrated mostly for toddlers, this book is all "about KISSES both big and small ... but who has the best kiss of all?" The text isn't lengthy, which also makes for a fun, quick read right before bedtime!
Photos via Instagram/Amazon
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