VALENTINE’S DAY PRESENTS
With 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 designs 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 my 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.