Valentine Books for Little Ones


snuggle puppyWith Valentine’s Day creeping up on us, I thought I’d throw out a few of my favorite Valentine books for the little ones.  These are books that I think parents and grandparents could really enjoy reading a loud, and maybe pair with a few chocolate hearts to sweeten V-day for everyone.

1) Snuggle Puppy (Boynton on Board) by Sandra Boyton.  Love, love this book.  The pictures tell the story of a grown-up dog and a young pup baking cookies together, but it’s the sing-song lyrics that will leave you snuggling long into the night: “Oooh, Snuggle Puppy of mine, everything about you is especially fine.  I love what you are, I love what you do…ooooh, I love you!”  My youngest who has a special appreciation for music must have asked me to read this to her 176 times.  A week.

2) Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book by Karen Katz.  Many of you probably know Karen Katz’s collage-style art, with bright bold colors and kissesdesigns that feel like cuddly baby quilts.  We have several of her books, and she does have a Valentine one, but Counting Kisses was such a treasure with my kids.  Not only did they like to sit and read it, but it is very interactive!  Picture me in my big green chair, trying to catch my toddler long enough to give her five kisses on her bellybutton or ten kisses on her wiggly toes, all while she giggles and squirms and squeals.   What could be more fun than counting baby kisses!

3) Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones.  This book is filled with 101 meditations (poems?  letters?) on God’s love for us.  With rich, often humorous illustrations, it is one of the best devotional books you can buy for kids aged 4-10.  (See my interview with Sally here and my review of the book here.)

4) Peek-a-Boo Board Book by Allan and Janet Ahlberg.  This was a gift from peekaboomy sister-in-law, and it was a hit with both my girls.  First of all, the classic art is not only wistful and tender, but it is filled with fun things to find and point to.  Parents can read the text, which rings like a song (“Here’s a little baby, one, two, three, sits on sister’s lap, what does he see?), or they can just point out the many items drawn around each scene, making it a rich vocabulary builder.  And did I mention, each spread has a hole you can peek through to find out what baby sees?  (Kids love to stick their fingers through!)  But most of all, it shows the toddler in the context of a loving, energetic family, where he is loved and cared for throughout the day.

Do you have any favorite board books your kids’ really love?  We’d love to hear about them!

And for more Valentine’s Day reading, don’t miss our on-going series about sexuality in books for tweens and teens.  You can read Janie’s series on Identity and Revolution, or you can read Emily’s review of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.


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7 Responses to Valentine Books for Little Ones

  1. Emily February 8, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Piggies…love that title! Will have to check it out! Thanks, Betsy.

  2. Emily February 8, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    You’ve named some of my favorites, Connie. Board books are a lot of fun, as long as you don’t worry about them getting eaten! I haven’t found a lot of great Christian board books, but Pat Pingry’s are usually above the rest.

  3. Betsy February 8, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    We love Snuggle Puppy around here, too!

    We also enjoyed Piggies by Audrey Wood–not a Valentine’s book, per se, but a good “snuggle” book with very young ones.

  4. Connie February 7, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Not Valentine’s related, but we have loved Sandra Boynton’s books too – mostly for the “musical” lyrics you note -Barnyard Dance -especially. Another by her, I might have the title wrong here – Red Hat, Greeen Hat, has the funniest, simple plot line that the kids can start “reading” themselves. Another favorite was Jamberry, again for the amazingly lyrical text – author has slipped my mind (Bruce ???). Goodnight Gorilla is a funny, sweet story. Goodnight Moon is lovely as is The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown.

    Some of our favorite board were simply great picture books downsized and somewhat toughened up for toddler hands, so we could keep discovering them if our “first editions” were eaten! My baby turned eleven on Tuesday, so board books haven’t been a part of our reading for awhile, but I have a few of our favorites snugged away.

    I don’t recall coming across anything explicitally Christian that I thought was an amazing board book. I was mostly interested in beautiful language and engaging stories and everything beautiful has its origin in Christ, but wouldn’t it be a wondrous thing to see some beautiful Christian board books for our littlest ones. I haven’t looked for a long time, so perhaps they’re out there now.

  5. Jessalyn February 2, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    We LOVE Snuggle Puppy!!!!! (That is until my now 2 1/2 year old chewed it beyond recognition when he was littler). I would love to hear everyone reading that one and singing the song to see how everyone does it differently. :)

  6. Emily January 29, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Very cool, Megan. Thanks! I’ll have to check that one out!

  7. Megan January 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Oooh! Oooh! Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson is my all-time favorite. Just getting ready to post a review on Literaritea!

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