I have always loved to read themed books with my daughters before fun holidays. It teaches them about the holiday--and gives me an educational gift alternative to sweets and toys as gifts! These are my five, favorite, children’s Valentine’s Day books.
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
While not necessarily Valentine’s Day themed, this was one of the first books that I purchased for my girls as babies. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by learning to count through kisses? Reading this book was one of our favorite ways to wind down a bit at the end of the day or before naptime.
I adore Cynthia Rylant--and was so happy to find this book when sorting through our book basket this week! My girls loved following along as the little boy in the story made Valentine’s for his family, friends and pets. It’s a great book to encourage your little ones to express their emotions and creativity toward those they love. We always read this book before making homemade Valentine's Day cards!
This one is for elementary aged readers--but, it is one of my favorites. Junie B. Jones books have been ever present in my house since my oldest discovered them long ago! We have an entire set of dog-eared books that the girls have read again and again. The girls had fun reading about Junie B. and her Valentine’s Day secret admirer--even the third and fourth times they read the book! This is a great book for new, independent readers--but, we often read it as a shared, read-aloud story over the week before Valentine's Day.
My girls always wanted to measure how much they loved me or their dad. My youngest gave up a few years ago and simply began saying, “I love you most”. It’s hard to out-measure that! This book is available in several age appropriate formats, from board books and pop ups to family library ready hardcover.
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse by Laura Numeroff
My oldest daughter seemed to miss out on the cute little "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" mouse--but, my younger girls loved these books. I am sure that we borrowed this book every February from the local library for years!
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The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting with illustrations from Jan Brett
Eve Bunting tells a simple story of two loving bears creating the perfect Valentine’s Day for one another--even in the midst of hibernation. Bunting’s story is beautifully illustrated by the amazing Jan Brett--one of my all time favorite children's book author/illustrators.
Llama llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney
Okay. This Mama got sucked into Llama llama books when I was first teaching our two younger girls to read--and we had to read any and every book of the series from Llama Llama Red Pajama. I love the messages sent by this book and its bright, fun illustrations.
Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George
I'm not sure if I like the story so much--or if I just simply found myself feeling a little nostalgic. I loved Curious George as a child--and this book was a fun way to share that love with my girls too. The book is really less about Valentine's Day--and more about Curious George's usual antics--but, it's a fun story to read over the holiday.
I recently unpacked a box of books saved from my childhood--and an original copy of this book from the early 80's..(maybe late 70's) was mixed in. I loved Clifford then--and, now, as a mom, I love the simplicity of these books. There was always a lesson--and there was always love and forgiveness. It's the perfect book for Valentine's Day.
Valentine Love Bug by Mike Berenstain
I don't think any list of favorite children's books is complete without a Berenstain Bears book! My older daughter grew up on Stan & Jan Berenstain Bear stories--while the younger girls saw books with Mike co-authoring and, eventually, authoring. Of all of the Valentine themed, Berenstain Bears stories, I think this one is our family's favorite. We love the values and life lessons of these books!
I love Valentine's Day--especially when the kids get so excited about Valentine's Day activities, crafts, Valentine's Day card boxes and holder--and those, all-important, Valentine's Day cards! Reading these books were some of my favorite Valentine's Day moments with the kids! Enjoy those moments--they go SO fast!
Disclosure: We updated this post this year to reflect new favorites since our original posting in 2003. Remember that we do include affiliate links within our posts--but, we only link to products that we personally use and recommend.