I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I just don’t think you need a holiday to let the one you love know that you love them. That said, it took on new meaning six years ago when I went into labor with our daughter. Since then, I’ve looked at the day as a reminder of different kinds of love — that between a two people; as a parent; and as a child.
With that in mind, below are some picture books that help celebrate love no matter what time of year.
HAPPY HEART, by Hannah Eliot and Susie Hammer, Little Simon, Dec. 3, 2019, Board Book, $7.99 (ages 0-5)
You are the sun in my sky.
You are the apple of my eye.
You mean the world to me.
You make my heart so happy.
Happy Heart is a simple, yet lovely book of love. Each page is die-cut into a different shape — sun, tree, heart, earth, flower. Each page has texture to it, perfect for exploring little hands. It’s sparkly design immediately caught my almost-6-year-old’s attention. She read it on her own and loved it.
I HEART YOU, by Meg Fleming and Sarah Jane Wright, Little Simon, Dec. 3, 2019, Board Book, $7.99 (ages 0-5)
Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles.
I Heart You features spare, heat-felt text, but it’s Sarah Jane Wright’s lovely illustrations that really carry this book. It’s a lovely book to snuggle a little one with.
ANGELINA LOVES, by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig , Simon Spotlight, Dec. 10, 2019, Board Book, $6.99 (ages 2-6)
Angelina Ballerina loves lots of things! There’s her family and dancing of course—with her ballet class at Miss Lilly’s ballet school. And cartwheeling around the playground with her BFF, Alice.
This is the perfect book for Angelina Ballerina fans, but also for those who are new to the series. It’s a charming book that’s fun to explore as a family and alone.
YOU LOVES EWE! (A YAM AND DONKEY BOOK), by Cece Bell , Clarion Books, Nov. 26, 2019, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 4-7)
A persnickety spud, Yam, introduces the grammar-challenged Donkey to a new friend, Ewe, a lady sheep. The confusion between “ewe” and “you” results in a series of who’s-on-first misunderstandings, even though Yam explains the concept of homonyms to Donkey clearly enough for the youngest of readers to understand.
You Love Ewe! is a companion to I Yam a Donkey by Cece Bell. This almost comic-styled book features bold illustrations and hilarious text that is sure to make your young reader laugh out loud.
WITH ALL MY HEART, by Stephanie Stansbie and Richard Smythe, Silver Dolphin Books, Dec. 3, 2019, Hardcover, $15.99 (ages 3-5)
With All My Heart celebrates the love between a parent and child. Each little section features text paired with shaped die cuts that emphasize key words throughout. This book reminds me of one my favorite picture books, Your Hand In My Hand, by Mark Sperring and Britta Teckentrup It evokes the same loving tenderness and features similar charming illustrations.