This is both a list of books that make great Valentine’s Day gifts Valentine’s Day love note to some of my favorite picture books, new and old. Warm fuzzies everywhere.
This year, I am sharing the love by giving books to my children’s teachers and librarians on Valentine’s Day.
Worm Loves Worm
by J. J. Austrian, Illustrated by Mike Curato
Jane Yolen called it “a word perfect (and picture perfect) picture book, and I couldn’t agree more. Worm Loves Worm is a simple story, with simple text, about simple invertebrates, that boils down all the complexities that adults attach to words like marriage to the simple point that love is love.
In Mike Curato’s own words:
“In Worm Loves Worm, no matter the opinions and criticisms of others, Worm and Worm hold fast to what is most important to them: each other… People will love who they love. This is what makes us human. This book is a celebration of love.”
Valentine: Yes, Worm and Worm, it really is that simple. Love you both.
Be a Friend
by Salina Yoon
Be A Friend is a sweet story about a little boy named Dennis who only communicates through mime. He feels isolated and alone until a classmate, Joy, reaches out to him and they become friends. Salina Yoon’s illustrations are charming and the simple text lets the visual storyline of acceptance and love shine through.
Valentine: [Gestures unwrapping a gift of Be A Friend] [Hugs self] [Smiles]
Stella Brings the Family
by Miriam B. Schiffer, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
Stella Brings the Family is set on Mother’s Day, but the message of a child’s love for her family is perfect for Valentine’s. Stella is a little girl with two dads, who is told to invite her mother to a school Mother’s Day party. Unlike the adults in charge of party planning, Stella realizes that her family is really made up of all of the adults who love and support her every day.
Valentine: Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! Really, ALL of you!
I Love You, Stinky Face
An oldie-but-goodie, I Love You Stinky Face is one of my favorite bedtime read-aloud books. The text and illustrations work together to create a comforting, yet silly, reassurance of love and complete acceptance of the child by the mother. The child main character is dressed in gender-neutral clothing and is never identified with a gendered pronoun.
Valentine: I made you this Valentine out of bugs and slime. I love you, my little swamp monster.