I was going to write more about WWII related books, but then last night, JoAnn and I got to talking about holiday theme picture books. We both agreed that nothing says "insert holiday here" better than a big stack of themed picture books. This led to JoAnn rushing off to do research on Valentine's books. He are some that I like.
Where's My Hug by James Mayhew
Not a Valentine's story, but it goes with the theme of expressions of love that we celebrate that day. Beautiful illustrations tell the story of a little boy who thinks he's too old for a hug before school, and what happens to that hug he refused to accept.
Love, Ruby Valentine by Laurie B. Friedman
Ruby Valentine, of course, loves Valentine's Day. This is the story of what happens when she misses her favorite holiday. The story is told in sweet rhyming passages. I love picture books that rhyme!
I Love Words by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
This picture book isn't a story book. It is a book that uses conversation heart candy to explore language. It is a fun book to explore.
Bloom!: A Little Book About Finding Love by Maria van Lieshout
Bloom is a little pig who is in love with the idea of love. In this love themed book, Bloom learns a little bit about what love truly is.
The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll & The Broom Handle and Who Was in It by Carl Sandburg
This little classic is loved by many and hated by a few. It certainly tickles many children's funny bones so I recommend it to add a bit of humor to the Valentine's season.
The Great Valentine's Day Balloon Race by Adrienne Adams
My girlfriend loves bunny's so books featuring bunny characters always catch my eye. In this cute tale, two bunny friends build a hot air balloon and enter a race. As an added bonus, you get to learn a bit about hot air balloons and physics in general from this inspirational story.
Cranberry Valentine by Harry Devlin
An old, rusty sailor starts getting a ton of Valentine's. Instead of being happy or flattered, he is a bit scared. I think many of us understand shying away from abundant expressions of love. Sweet illustrations and a charming, old-fashioned story make this book a winner.
Valentine by Carol Carrick
Caring for a newborn lamb helps a little girl deal with being separated from her hard working mom on Valentine's day. A great story for animal lovers.
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
When it starts raining hearts, Cornelia Augusta decides to make special Valentines for everyone she knows.
Valentine's Day by Anne F. Rockwell
A longer picture book about a class spending Valentine's Day thinking about their friend and classmate who is now in Japan. The book shows typical classroom Valentine's Day activities and also has the theme of loving friendship. My kids are homeschooled and enjoy picture books depicting classroom life so that they can see what it is like.
Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George by H. A. Rey
Its Valentine's Day, and as is typical, Curious George's curiosity gets him into trouble. There is a lot of Valentine's fun and humor in this story.
Ruby Valentine Saves the Day by Laurie B. Friedman
Another volume about Valentine's lover Ruby. In this book, she works hard to create a Valentine's celebration that everyone can enjoy.
The Best Thing About Valentines by Eleanor Hudson
Another cute rhyming story about all the great things about Valentine's Day.
A Valentine for Norman Noggs by Valiska Gregory
Norman Noggs is a hamster who is in love with the new girl in town. He sets out to win her heart and learns a thing or two about love in the process.
The Best Valentine in the World by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Ferdinand is a very organized fox. When he sets out to celebrate Valentine's Day with his love, Florette, he learns a bit about jumping to conclusions, the nature of individuality, and love in the process. In our family, we hate story lines with misunderstandings and a lack of clear communication. This sweet story, teaching about the value of clear communication and taking the time to listen, is a winner.
Arthur's Heart Mix-up by Marc Brown
Arthur has made a heart project for the science fair and is devastated when he finds it broken. As he works to fix the project, he also learns a lot about friendship.
The Duchess of Whimsy by Randall de Sève
A love story with gorgeous illustrations and a hilarious plot. One of my favorites!
Lilly's Chocolate Heart by Keven Henkes
Lilly loves her chocolate heart, but will she be able to save it forever? Perfect for the candy loving child (or adult!)
Sophie and Rose by Kathryn Lasky
The tale of a deep love between a girl and her doll. A unique and relate-able story about love.
Will You Be My Valenswine by Teresa Bateman
The title alone is enough to get me to pull this one off the shelf. Polly Piglet is off on a search for the perfect Valenswine!
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
This may be the best Valentine's read on this list. Mr. Hatch is lonely but excited to get an extra special Valentine. When he finds out that it was only a mistake, his community sets out to show him just how much he is loved.