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17 Children's Picture Books for Valentines Day: Love, Friendship, and Gross-out Books

Carolyn loves writing about children's literature, games, the American West, and photography. She has a BA in English Lit.

This curated list of 17 children's picture books for Valentine's Day has a little bit of something for everyone, even grinches who think that Valentine's Day is gross!

This curated list of 17 children's picture books for Valentine's Day has a little bit of something for everyone, even grinches who think that Valentine's Day is gross!

You'd probably expect a curated list of children's picture books about Valentine's Day to be about love and friendship. And you would be right! But there are also some books about being grossed-out about Valentine's Day and using valentines as retribution.

Many of these selections are short enough to be appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, but some will be better suited to elementary school kids. Enjoy this mix of oldies but goodies and recently published stories!

Grumpy Monkey Valentine Gross-Out by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang.

Grumpy Monkey Valentine Gross-Out by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang.

1. Grumpy Monkey's Valentine Gross Out

In Grumpy Monkey's Valentine Gross Out, All the couples kissing, looking into each others eyes, and being lovey-dovey is just GROSS. Will Grumpy Monkey learn that there's more to Valentine's day than romantic love? This book will have kids in stitches. This one's a read aloud that is just the right length for preschoolers.

A Crankenstien Valetine by Samantha Berger and Dan Santat

A Crankenstien Valetine by Samantha Berger and Dan Santat

2. A Crankenstein Valentine

Sometimes, it just takes a special someone, who can appreciate all the little things that you hate about Valentine's Day, to make it a little more bearable. A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger and Dan Santat depicts a Valentine holiday grinch story. Older kids will hoot with laughter at the hilariously grumpy Crankenstein, who doesn't like Valentine's Day, not one little bit. This is a very silly book indeed.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

3. Froggy's First Kiss

Froggy's First Kiss by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz (also in a Spanish edition as El Primer Beso de Froggy). Froggy appears in several other entertaining books of firsts. When Froggy develops a crush at school, his special new friend gives him a kiss on the cheek, and he gets really embarrassed. Will Frogalina be his special valentine after she embarrasses him? Like the other Froggy books, this one is funny, entertaining, and shows sympathy for children and the challenges and fears they face. This book is geared to Kindergarten and up.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

4. The Biggest Valentine Ever

Desmond and Clayton learn the value of working together in The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll. Desmond and Clayton are assigned to work together in their class on a making a Valentine for their teacher, but end up fighting and frustrated. After some time to cool down, they decide that they should try once again to be a team, and they make the biggest valentine ever for their teacher.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

5. Little Blue Truck's Valentine

In Little Blue Truck's Valentine, Little Blue delivers creative valentines to all of his friends on the farm. But he drives home with a little bit of sadness, because he didn't receive any valentines from his friends. But a nice surprise awaits him at the end of the book. This simple plot and colorful story of giving and recieving is a great pick for younger preschoolers.

The Love Letter

The Love Letter

6. The Love Letter

Hedgehog, bunny, and squirrel all accidentally become the recipient of a very special message in The Love Letter by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Lucy Ruth Cummins. It may be a mishap, but when each animal finds the same love letter written by a mystery person, it cheers and brightens their days. This sweet and charming book underscores the power of speaking kind, loving words into people's lives.

Love Grows Everywhere

Love Grows Everywhere

7. Love Grows Everywhere

Love Grows Everywhere by Barry Timms and Tisha Lee is an effusive treatise on the ways people can show love. Love can be planted like a seed and grows miraculously like a garden. Love can be shared in many ways at home and in the community. This book sings the praises of a world filled with loving and kind actions and gestures. The pages are flowing with kindness and smiles. A beautiful addition to Valentine's Day reading.

Love is You and Me

Love is You and Me

8. Love is You and Me

Love is You and Me by Monica Sheehan is a short enough book to read to toddlers but is full of wisdom about healthy love between two friends. Each 2-page spread in the book is a "love is" statement. Love lets you be who you want to be and love is the greatest gift of all.

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Love is My Favorite Thing

Love is My Favorite Thing

9. Love is My Favorite Thing

Whether you're a dog or a person, sometimes you need to hear that you're loved no matter what. Plum the dog learns about unconditional love in Love is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark. Plum loves lots of things that you would expect a dog to love. But some of those things get her into trouble. And when she get's into trouble, her family scolds her. After a day full of mishaps, does her family still love her? I liked this choice because it models the kind of pet ownership that all animals need, and the kind of love that all people need. A GREAT message in this one!

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

10. Lilly's Chocolate Heart

Lilly's Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes features one of my favorite children's book characters, Lilly the mouse. Lilly has one piece of Valentine's chocolate left. It's wrapped in shiny red foil. But where should she put it? There's only one logical answer to that question! This is a very short and sweet book, appropriate for preschoolers and toddlers.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

11. Pete the Cat Valentine's Day is Cool

Pete the Cat Valentine's Day is Cool. Pete the Cat needs a little convincing that Valentine's Day can be cool for boys. But once he's on board, he's really on board! Pete and his friend Calli make Valentines for all of their friends and school helpers like the crossing guard and the bus driver. This is a great book for showing that Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love, but it's a celebration of friendship too.

Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You

12. Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is another sentimental story for bedtime sharing or for a preschool story hour. This story about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare may bring on some misty eyes, so beware if you have a hard time getting through sentimental stories without choking up!

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

13. Will You Be My Friend?

Sam McBratney"s Will You Be My Friend features Little Nut Brown Hare in a quest to make a real friend. When he meets a snow hare from the mountain, they become fast friends and play a game of hide and seek. This charming book shows how easily young children can make friends.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

14. Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!

Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, the author and illustrator who wrote the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

15. Snuggle Puppy!

Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton is a great bedtime book that deserves mention because you will want to share it with your parents so they can read it to their children. This Sandra Boynton favorite has a strong following and is a perfect Valentine pick to give to a child or grandchild.

A You're Adorable

A You're Adorable

16. A You're Adorable

A You're Adorable illustrated by Martha Alexander is an adaptation of the song by the same name from the 1940s into an alphabet book format. It's hard to merely read a book like this if you know the song. This is such a delightful tune, I used to sing it to my children as a lullabye! This book is for younger preschoolers and for parents seeking another book about loving affirmations.

childrens-picture-books-for-valentines-day-love-and-friendship-theme

17. Roses are Pink, You're Feet Really Stink

Roses are Pink, You're Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat is a story for school-aged children. De Groat combines a realistic fiction plot with cute animal characters. Gilbert is assigned to write valentine poems for all the kids in his class, even the two that said and did rotten things in the past. What will he do? Well, the title of the book might give us a clue! I like this book because it shows a protagonist in a situation where he isn't clearly on the side of the right. Gilbert shouldn't have written mean valentines cards to the kids who treated him badly in the past. Were the kids in the story bullies? Why or why not? Does that justify him writing mean poems to them? This is a very interesting book for kids about retribution and reconciliation. Definitely a winning choice for the classroom!

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© 2011 Carolyn Augustine

Comments

Ivona Poyntz from UK on December 08, 2011:

Great list of children's books

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