Celebrate all the different kinds of love this Valentine’s Day with one of these books for young readers. Below are recently released books that help celebrate love. Books are listed by suggested age, youngest to oldest. Synopses are in blue and provided by publishers.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, CORDUROY! by Don Freeman and Jody Wheeler, Viking Books for Young Readers, Nov. 21, 2023, Board Book, $7.99 (ages 0-3)
Corduroy is getting excited to host a Valentine’s Day party for his friends. But first, there’s lots of work to do. He has to make cards, bake cookies, and decorate. He’s so excited to celebrate his love for his friends! —Synopsis provided by Viking Books for Young Readers
Everyone’s favorite bear gets a brand-new story in Happy Valentine’s Day, Corduroy! A simple story paired with sweet, iconic illustrations make this a fun read. Heavy board construction should stand up to heavy use.
A WORLD OF LOVE, by Aimee Elizabeth Reid and Christopher Lyles, Nancy Paulsen Books, Jan. 2, 2024, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 3-6)
Animal parents shower their little ones with love in so many unique ways. Doves coo and dolphins whistle, while penguins huddle with their chicks for warmth and mountain goats shield their kids’ falls. Readers are invited to explore animal behavior around the globe and celebrate the universal nature of a caregiver’s love. —Synopsis provided by Nancy Paulsen Books
Rhythmic prose is paired with beautifully crafted collage illustrations make this a good choice for any day of the year.
IS THIS LOVE? (Marley), by Bob Marley, Cedella Marley, Alea Marley, Chronicle Books, Nov. 21, 2023, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 3-5)
Relive the magic of Bob Marley’s most beloved songs in this newest picture book adaptation!
Is this love?
Is this love that I’m feeling?
This adaptation of one of Bob Marley’s best-loved songs is a tale of an older child’s love for a younger sibling.
From the moment she sees her baby sister, big sister knows just what she’s going to do: love her and treat her right, every day and every night. Playing together, watching over her, standing by her through thick and thin . . . big sister does it all because, yes, this is love that she’s feeling. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
Adapted by Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s eldest child, and illustrated by Alea Marley, Is This Love? is an ode to family bonds. Vibrant illustrations show all kinds of familial love in a warm and comforting way.
LOVE IS MY FAVORITE COLOR, by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillon, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Jan. 2, 2024, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Love Is My Favorite Color is about all the things that are bright and loving in the world and fill our lives with joy. From caring to hoping to peace to sharing, there are many ways to find joy in the everyday. Celebrate the things that make life wonderful and each day special. —Synopsis provided by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Rhythmic text celebrates a child’s favorites: “Hope is my favorite weather. After it rains, it makes the sun shine. Truth is my favorite story. I treasure yours and mine.” Jewel-toned colors bring beautiful illustrations to life.
LAWRENCE & SOPHIA, by Doreen Cronin and Brian Cronin, Rocky Pond Books, Oct. 17, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (Ages 4-8)
Lawrence stays close to home because “out there” is too big and loud. Sophia stays high up in the tree branches because “down there” is too dark and dangerous. When they meet and become friends, they find ways to enjoy each other’s company without leaving their own safe spots . . . until a storm comes, and both are so worried about the other that they are finally able to take a huge, scary leap into the unknown. Together they feel brave, and the future is suddenly a lot more interesting. —Synopsis provided by Rocky Pond Books
Lawrence & Sophia celebrates the bond of friendship as two sweet friends learn to care more about each other than themselves.
RA PU ZEL AND THE STINKY TOFU, by Ying Chang Compestine and Crystal Kung, Rocky Pond Books, Jan. 2, 2024, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 5-8)
The story of Rapunzel where she’s being locked in a tower by a witch is a good one—but it’s not totally the truth.
The real story is about a young princess in China named Ra Pu Zel who doesn’t want to talk to princes or look proper. What Pu Zel wants is to cook and eat in peace, her long hair neatly braided to keep it out of her food. And when she gets tired of everyone telling her what to do, she locks herself in a tower with her dog Bao. Although princes from everywhere try to convince her to come down, it’s not until a young chef arrives with an intriguing food to share that Ra Pu Zel finally has a reason. —Synopsis provided by Rocky Pond Books
This charming take on a favorite fairy tale is great fun. The vibrant illustrations are full of movement and emotion.
FLUBBY DOES NOT LIKE VALENTINE’S DAY, by J. E. Morris, Penguin Workshop, Dec. 26, 2023, Paperback, $5.99 (Ages 5-7)
Flubby, the cute but aloof cat, is not a fan of Valentine’s Day! Kami wants to give Flubby a gift for Valentine’s Day. But cats can’t read cards, and flowers make Flubby sneeze! Can Kami find the perfect present for her pal? —Synopsis provided by Penguin Workshop
A girl learns that sometimes a simple hug conveys more emotion than gifts in Flubby Does Not Like Valentine’s Day. Simple text and comic-like panels make this a good choice for emerging readers.
WHAT IS THE STORY OF ROMEO AND JULIET? by Max Bisantz, Who HQ, David Malan, Penguin Workshop, Dec. 26, 2023, Paperback, $7.99 (ages 8-12)
Discover the origins of one of literature’s most famous couples, Romeo and Juliet, and their creator, William Shakespeare, in this addition to the What Is the Story Of? series.
In 1597, Shakespeare debuted his newest play, a tragedy about a young Italian couple whose families were sworn enemies. Romeo and Juliet quickly became one of the most famous couples in literary history, and this play became one of Shakespeare’s most performed shows. But did you know that much of Romeo and Juliet’s story was adapted from tales by other writers? Learn all about how William Shakespeare’s dynamic and romantic teenage duo sprouted from the Italian story of The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet in 1562 and grew into adaptions like West Side Story and even Gnomeo & Juliet in this nonfiction book for young readers. —Synopsis provided by Penguin Workshop
This fun new addition to the What Is the Story Of? series combines history, literature, music, dance and art to give readers a broad overview of Romeo and Juliet’s lasting legacy. With chapters divided by topic and lots of illustrations, this is an accessible book for all levels of readers.
HOW TO LOVE: A GUIDE TO FEELINGS & RELATIONSHIPS FOR EVERYONE, by Alex Norris, Walker Books US, Nov. 14, 2023, Hardcover, $17.99 (Ages 9 and up)
Isn’t it wonderful when love strikes? We connect with someone beautiful and interesting and suddenly—feelings. But what to do when that first crush levels you? When sparks fly and then fizzle? Or when love just . . . hurts? Aimed at both young people who are just starting out in their love lives and those with more experience seeking a fresh perspective, How to Love is a unique full-color guide to relationships of all shapes and sizes by a popular web comic creator. Chatty and confessional, humorous and heartfelt, and inclusive of all genders and sexualities, this graphic handbook pairs a classic Q&A format with Alex Norris’s bright, accessible, and unmistakably clever meta comic style. Certain to resonate with teens and adults, this one-of-a-kind guide offers valuable insights on everything from first love to self-love and love ever after. —Synopsis provided by Walker Books
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