Pookie and I have gotten an early start reading Valentine’s Day theme books (it’s one of my favorite holidays). I searched high and low for some quality books about the holiday. I had no idea there were so many out there, so I narrowed my scope to ones that were more age appropriate to my almost-two-year-old. Here are some that we’ve been enjoying so far (in no particular order).
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1. I Love You by Barbi Sido. This is a My Fold Out book.
Why I love it: repetitive language and vibrant, yet simple, pictures…and its durable craftsmanship.
Why Pookie loves it: She loves that the pages fold out and out and out. And she loves that parts of each picture are shiny and smooth to the touch.
2. Disney’s It’s a Small World; I Love You. Each page shows a child from a different country saying “I love you” in their native language.
Why I love it: I want to encourage my daughter to be as multicultural as possible. The pictures and words in this little book are just one small way for her to be exposed to other places and languages.
Why Pookie loves it: I think she likes seeing the different animals on each page (typical from each country), and she likes the foldout book that comes with it showing each character and animal from their respective countries.
3. Lilly’s Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes. When I saw the author, I knew this had to be a good one. And it is.
Why I like it: Though it is a simple storyline (Lilly is trying to find a place to hide her last Valentine chocolate), it provides the opportunity to practice location words such as inside, behind, under, etc…This is very much developmentally appropriate to where my daughter currently is with her language acquisition skills.
Why Pookie loves it: She has recently discovered the yumminess of chocolate, so she is glued to the story watching what will happen to that red chocolate heart. Of course we have to have a piece of chocolate after reading the book or there are tears.
4. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff is a Valentine story with the characters from the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” series.
Why I like it: the story reminds us that each person is unique and has different qualities to love.
Why Pookie likes it: She loves seeing the characters she recognizes from the original series come together all in one book.
5. Ten Little Kisses by Russell Julian is a brand new book on the market, and is currently my daughter’s favorite.
Why I like it: It’s a fun counting book filled with pictures of farm animals and their surroundings.
Why Pookie likes it: The red plastic hearts that stand out from each page offer a tactile counting experience.
6. Mouse’s First Valentine by Lauren Thompson follows Little Mouse as she experiences her first Valentine.
Why I like it: The vocabulary is simple but introduces children to words they may not typically come across such as “ribbon” and “lace.”
Why Pookie likes it: The pictures are GORGEOUS! You can’t help but be drawn in by the saturated colors.
7. Happy Valentine’s Day Curious George! by N. Di Angelo shows how Curious George prepares for and then enjoys a Valentine’s Day party with neighborhood friends.
Why I like it: I’ve always had a soft spot for Curious George…he was one of my childhood favorites. My daughter doesn’t yet really know what Valentine’s Day is all about, and this book does a good job describing it through the details of the pictures (balloons, hearts, boxes of chocolate, cookie decorating, and making cards for friends).
Why Pookie likes it: Most of all, I think she likes the fold out flap surprises on each page.
Well there you have it; our list of Valentine’s Day themed books we are enjoying. As I said, there are many other great ones out there, but I feel like those are better suited for children a bit older than Pookie. If you have a preschooler or kindergartener, you may be interested in titles such as Olivia and the Perfect Valentine; Love, Splat; The Story of Valentine’s Day; The Valentine Express; The Valentine Bears; and Adeline (among many others).