It’s fun to celebrate holidays and Christian holy days.
St. Valentine’s Day is a fun secular holiday and a great religious history lesson.
I like to gather books to read each month for the major holiday(s). It’s good to have themes.
The books on this list are fun, silly, lovey-dovey, and historical!
Our Favorite Valentine Books:
A Charlie Brown Valentine
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang in this retelling of a beloved Valentine’s Day TV special!
Charlie Brown is excited about Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect excuse to finally talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl! He’s ready to wear his heart on his sleeve…and so are Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and Linus. Will the Peanuts gang find love once and for all? With Snoopy’s help, anything is possible!
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen
Even when little dinosaurs are naughty, it’s important to remind them that no matter what they do, they are always loved. In this book, readers will laugh aloud as parents cope with the typical antics of childhood, but in the end, hugs and kisses show your little one how much you care.
Snuggle Puppy! by Sandra Boynton
I used to sing this to my son when he was a baby!
A great big hug in book form, Snuggle Puppy is a year-round valentine from parent to child. It is bright, chunky, a pleasure to hold, and has a die-cut cover that reveals a glimpse of the joy inside before it’s even opened. Best of all, it’s packed, of course, with pure Boynton: her inimitable language, her inimitable illustrations, her inimitable sense of fun.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
“Guess how much I love you,” says Little Nutbrown Hare. Little Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare, who can reach farther and hop higher, loves him back just as much. Well then, Little Nutbrown Hare loves him right up to the moon, but that’s just halfway to Big Nutbrown Hare’s love for him.
Love Is by Diane Adams
This story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose! by Lucille Colandro
Our favorite lady is back and hungry for Valentine’s Day treats!
That lovely old lady has returned just in time for Valentine’s Day. Now she’s swallowing items to make a very special gift for her valentine!
With rhyming text and hilarious illustrations, this wacky version of the classic song will appeal to young readers as they follow the Old Lady on a wild Valentine’s Day adventure.
We never get tired of these fun rhymes!
Cranberry Valentine by Wende Devlin
“Suffering codfish! Somebody’s after me,” Mr. Whiskers groans. And somebody is.
It all starts on a gray February day in Cranberryport, when Mr. Whiskers admits to Maggie and Grandmother that he has never, ever, received a valentine. Then two days later, a big lacy valentine arrives for him, full of cupids, lovebirds, hearts and flowers.
“How sweet,” says Maggie.
“Revolting,” says Mr. Whiskers.
The next day three more fancy valentines arrive for Mr. Whiskers, and he begins to get worried…particularly when he hears that a lady in green has been asking for him all over town.
Then more valentines arrive and Mr. Whiskers is terrified! Should he hide or leave town?
Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat
Gilbert is all set to write fifteen friendly valentine cards to his classmates. But how can he write a nice poem for the boy who tweaked his nose, or the girl who made fun of his glasses? Instead, Gilbert writes two not-so-nice valentines…and signs the wrong name on both!
When his classmates read his poems, their feelings are hurt, and Gilbert’s prank quickly turns into pandemonium. But with the help of a friend and an honest apology, there’s always time for a change of heart on Valentine’s Day.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
This follows Mouse as he makes valentines for all of his friends. Each Valentine is made to represent what he loves most about each of his friends, such as Pig “because she’s a good dancer” and Bunny “because she’s the best at hide-and-seek.”
Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Little Miss planted a kiss…
The Secret of Love by Sarah Burg
Accompanied by charming spare pencil drawings accentuated by bursts of red color, this wordless picture book follows two best friends as they, unable to share the special heart-shaped flower they’ve found, find a creative solution that celebrates their friendship!
The I LOVE YOU Book by Todd Parr
I love you when you give me kisses.
I love you when you need hugs…
Most of all, I love you just the way you are.
The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson
Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Valentine. I have written forty letters, but you’ve never read a line.
Set to the tune of the song “Clementine,” Alison Jackson tells the sweet tale of Valentine and her beau. Valentine goes about her day, doing chores around her mountain cabin, while her secret admirer is hard at work trying to ask her an important question. He tries many ways to contact her, including Morse code and smoke signals, but he can never complete his message. Will he ever be able to reach his beloved Valentine?
Mr. Goat’s Valentine by Eve Bunting
After reading in the newspaper that it’s Valentine’s Day, Mr. Goat sets out in search of very special gifts for his first love. But just what would a goat choose as the perfect gifts to show how he feels? Readers will be in for a surprise at Mr. Goat’s nontraditional selections.
Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood
Cat does NOT like Valentine’s Day. It’s much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentine—especially not his new neighbor, Dog. Dog refuses to respect the fence: He keeps tossing over old bones and hitting Cat in the head! But just as Cat’s about to send Dog an angry “valentine” telling him exactly what he can do with his bones, Dog throws a ball over the fence. What is Dog playing at? Cat is in for a hilarious—and heartwarming—surprise in this story about being perhaps too quick to judge.
I Love You Already! by Jory John
Bear can’t wait to spend a pleasant day by himself. His persistent next-door neighbor, Duck, wants to take a morning stroll . . . with Bear. He just wants Bear to like him already. . .
A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger
See what happens to an ordinary kid on the most lovey-dovey, yuckiest day of the year-Valentine’s Day!
Cheesy cards, allergy-inducing bouquets, and heart-shaped everything? It’s enough to turn anyone into a monster!
Valensteins by Ethan Long
Something strange is in the air on this dark, cold night.
The members of Fright Club are always ready to scare, but tonight Fran K. Stein has something else on his mind. He’s busy making something, and the other monsters want to know what it is.
Could it be a mask with fangs? A big pink nose? Or maybe a paper butt? No . . . it’s a Valentine!
That means one thing . . . EEEEK!! Is Fran in love? What could be scarier than falling in love?!?
The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber
Leon has a crush. A let-her-cut-in-line-at-the-water-fountain kind of crush. And he’s got the perfect valentine. But this valentine has no intention of getting caught up in any romantic conspiracy. “Love is yucky, kid! Valentine’s Day is all about CANDY!” the card yells at Leon, before leaping out the window and running away, leaving Leon to chase it across town, collecting kids along the way. Saying “I love you” has never been so yucky or so sweet.
Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio
Mortimer is looking for love. And he’s looking everywhere! He’s worked out at the gym (if only his arm wouldn’t keep falling off). He’s tried ballroom dancing lessons (but the ladies found him to be a bit stiff). He’s even been on stalemate.com. How’s a guy supposed to find a ghoul? When it seems all hope has died, could the girl of Mortimer’s dreams be just one horrifying shriek away?
Froggy’s First Kiss by Jonathan London
He can’t even think straight when she’s around. When Frogilina smiles at him through the monkey bars, Froggy falls smack on his head-bonk! So with Valentine’s Day just a week away, Froggy gets busy making an extra-special valentine. The fifth book about the irrepressible Froggy, this is sure to keep children giggling with delight.
Henry in Love by Peter McCarty
Henry is a bit of a dreamer and not much of a talker. Then there’s Chloe, who says what she thinks and knows how to turn a spectacular cartwheel.
If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
Charming prose and captivatingly sweet art create an adorable tableau of loving wishes from one little boy to all the members of his family.
The Valentine Express by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Minna, an appealing rabbit character, comes up with a great Valentine’s Day project which involves enlisting her little brother to do kind things for their neighbors.
Love and Kisses by Sarah Wilson
This little love story proves that a kiss is not just a kiss. It is a bountiful fount of surprises, spreading love far and wide and growing sweeter as it goes! What better message to give someone you love than one of such joy and happy affection?
What Color Is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla
This sweet, heartwarming story asks one simple question: What color is a kiss? Sassy and intrepid Monica loves to paint and sees her world in every color of the rainbow, but this question nags at her. She paints and paints, hoping to discover the answer. With the help of her mother, Monica discovers that kisses and love come in all colors.
Snowy Valentine by David Petersen
Step out into a snowy Valentine’s Day with Jasper the bunny as he searches the forest valley for a special gift for his loved one.
The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting
Mr. and Mrs. Bear have never celebrated St. Valentine’s Day because they hibernate during the winter.
Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein
For newly hatched dinosaur Dinah, the world is an exciting place. There is so much to see and do. She tries this — STOMP! And she tries that — CHOMP! Then she sees a kiss and knows just what she wants to try next. Who can she kiss? And after a few disastrous attempts, can she figure out how to give someone a kiss without whomping, chomping, or stomping them first?
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
One day it rains hearts, and Cornelia Augusta catches them. She realizes that the hearts are perfect for making valentines. Each heart is special in its own way, and Cornelia Augusta knows exactly who to send them to: her animal friends.
The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll
When Mrs. Mousely asks her class to make valentines, Clayton and Desmond decide to make one together and give it to their teacher as a surprise. But things don’t go as planned. First Clayton puts too much glitter on the card. Then Desmond puts on too many hearts. Soon the friends are arguing and they rip the card in half. “I’m going to make my own valentine!” they both say and go home in a huff.
But then Desmond and Clayton realize that by working together they can make the biggest, best valentine ever!
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
Perhaps not a traditional Valentine’s book, but it’s one of our favorites!
Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.
Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool by Kimberly and James Dean
At first, Pete thinks Valentine’s Day isn’t cool…until he realizes all the special cats there are in his life. Once Pete the Cat realizes how much fun Valentine’s Day can be, he decides to make Valentine cards for his family and friends. But what happens when he realizes he’s forgotten to make a card for a very important cat?
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
Love Monster is a slightly hairy monster trying to fit in with the cuddly residents of Cutesville. But as it turns out, it’s hard to fit in with the cute and the fluffy when you’re a googly-eyed monster. And so, Love Monster sets out to find someone who will love him just the way he is. His journey is not easy―he looks high, low, and even middle-ish. But as he soon finds out, in the blink of a googly eye, love can find you when you least expect it.
This whole series is cute!
Groggle’s Monster Valentine by Diana Murray
Groggle has been up all night making a Valentine’s Day card. This isn’t just any Valentine, though, and it has to be perfect—it’s for Snarlina, his beast friend in the whole wide world.
Searching in the dark forest, he finds just the right heart-shaped leaves. He collects some bog slime and squirts everything he wants to say in bold, gooey letters. Groggle’s creation looks horribly good. But there’s just one problem—gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp! He has a monster appetite!
Groggle tries again, this time writing poem after poem to make sure he has some extras just in case. He picks skunk flowers, carefully ties on snake bows, and sprinkles shiny beetle glitter. He decorates each card with care. But . . . gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp! Groggle’s monster impulses foil his efforts and he’s run out of time.
Slugs in Love by Susan Pearson
Marylou loves everything about Herbie—how his slime trail glistens in the dark, how he can stretch himself thin to squeeze inside the cellar window, and how he always finds the juiciest tomatoes. But Marylou is a shy slug. How can she get Herbie to notice her? Find out how Marylou woos her beloved in this must-have love story that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.
This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins
This book is not a valentine. It doesn’t have lacey edges or sugary hearts. But it is full of lucky rocks, secret hiding spots, and gumball machine treasures. This is a book about waiting in line and wishing for cinnamon buns. About recognizing that if you care so much about someone not thinking you care, maybe you really do. But wait—isn’t that exactly what love is about? Maybe this book is sort of a valentine after all. A testament to handmade, wacky, bashful, honest love—sure to win over the hearts of all readers—this offering from debut picture book author Carter Higgins and children’s book veteran Lucy Ruth Cummins is the perfect gift to celebrate every relationship, from parent to child, sibling to sibling, partner to partner, crush to crush.
Ollie’s Valentine by Olivier Dunrea
Looking for a valentine. Gossie, Gertie, Peedie, and BooBoo all have valentines, but Ollie wonders who will be his. His search leads him to a special valentine of his very own—a surprise for Ollie!
Love is You & Me by Monica Sheehan
A sweet celebration of what LOVE is all about!
This adorable book, by best-selling author/illustrator Monica Sheehan, helps us to remember that LOVE— whether between a parent and child, best friends, or even a dog and a mouse—is the greatest gift of ALL.
Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis
Tiny Too-Little loves someone who’s very, very tall, and Tiny wants a kiss. What if he stands on his tiptoes on top of a thimble? What if he stands on his tiptoes on top of a matchbox on top of a thimble? Clever cut-away pages show Tiny’s precarious pile growing higher and higher, while the object of his affection stays just out of reach. When the teetering stack finally falls with a crash, will his hopes be dashed? How can a tiny mouse get the kiss he needs?
Consider Love: Its Moods and Many Ways by Sandra Boynton
From the sentimental to the soulful, this delightful book explores the many and curious modes of love using adorable pictures and pleasing phrases. Also it rhymes. And it makes a fantastically thoughtful gift that anyone will, well, love!
This refreshed edition of Sandra Boynton’s celebrated tribute to affection, devotion, and all things lovely features the original endearing illustrations with an all-new cover—and a whole lotta heart.
Love by Matt de la Peña
“In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.
A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life.”
I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni
There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newbery honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most impartant message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.
My Valentine for Jesus by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
This Valentine holiday book for young children will help parents of children ages 2-5 share the meaning of love. The rhyming text and delightful illustrations tell the story of a child’s love for his family―and his special love for Jesus.
The Story of Valentine’s Day by Clyde Robert Bulla
Everybody knows what Valentine’s Day means: Red and pink hearts, flowers and chocolates, and cards and letters with sweet sayings written on them. But why? Who was St. Valentine, anyway?
Here is a close look at one of our oldest and most mysterious holidays. The ancient legends behind the celebration are revealed – including how Valentine’s Day evolved over the centuries and who wrote the very first valentine.
Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda
How did Valentine’s Day, one of our most popular holidays, begin?
It started in ancient Rome when a kind physician named Valentine took an interest in a young blind girl. With his healing skill and his deep faith he restored her sight. What we now call Valentine’s Day began when he sent the little girl a secret message, which she received after the Christian martyr was executed. For this tale rich in sentiment, master illustrator Robert Sabuda has created exquisite paper mosaics to suggest early Christian art that resonates with both subtlety and power.
The Story of Valentine’s Day by Nancy Skarmeas
In only 200 words, author Skarmeas tells the story of how Valentine’s Day came into being. In simple words that every child can understand, here is the story of the kindly Valentine who cared for the children of Rome, who prayed for a miracle for a blind child, and who is remembered each February 14. Artist Pickett has painted the scenes in bright colors from the schoolroom scenes to those of ancient Rome. This book is unusual in that it briefly explains the history of a holiday to toddlers.
Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert
Every February 14 we exchange cards and flowers as expressions of love. Valentine’s Day is among our most popular holidays, But what do the words “Be my valentine” mean? Who was Valentine? We know he lived in third-century Rome, during the reign of Claudius II. We know that he was a Christian priest. But he lived during a period of military anarchy, when many of Rome’s records were destroyed. The facts of Valentine’s life have been lost to history. What survive, however, are legends. And legends often contain the residue of truth. Ann Tompert beautifully weaves together the most enduing stories of Valentine to create a tapestry of the saint’s life, while Kestutis Kasparivicius’s illustrations take the reader back to ancient Rome. Together, author and illustrator pierce the historical fog that surrounds Saint Valentine to offer a glimpse of the man whose life remains a mystery.
The Story of St. Valentine: More Than Cards and Candied Hearts by Voice of the Martyrs
Read the inspiring tale of Valentinus, the courageous Christian man behind Valentine’s Day who lived in third century Rome. Follow him as he goes against the Roman emperor’s edicts by performing secret marriage ceremonies in the woods and how he refuses to worship Roman gods. See how he faithfully followed Christ, even to his death.
What’s your favorite Valentine book or tradition?
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