12 Heart-Warming Books to Read for Valentine’s Day

If the love of your kids’ lives is between the pages of books, publishers have you covered this Valentine’s Day. There are books about hugs, friendship and loving yourself perfect for kids and lining the bookshelves this winter. Here are a few of our favorites.

You Are My Sunshine by Sandra Magsamen

Best for ages: 1-3

Using the lyrics of the well-known song of the same name, the finger puppet book is attractive to babies and toddlers. The illustrations skew a little younger and help introduce even the smallest readers to the holiday. The board book is shaped like a heart, adding a fun design element to lap-reading.

Love (Peek-a-Boo Art) by Amy Guglielmo and Julie Appel

Best for ages: 2-4

Want to raise an art lover? Your little ones can get a first look of famous art pieces filled with love and cuddles. Each page has a peek-through reveal with additional information about each featured artwork. Artists include Keith Haring, Mary Cassatt, Diego Rivera and Henri Matisse.

If You’re Groovy and You Know it, Hug a Friend! by Eric Litwin & Tom Lichtenheld

Best for ages: 3-5

From the author of the first four Pete the Cat books, here comes the latest in the Groovy Joe series. With the repetition of the classic children’s song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” these new lyrics and pictures tell the story of a groovy day, filled with book reading, seed planting and friend hugging. Groovy Joe’s latest book was released late last summer, but falls into the Valentine’s category as friends in preschool and older are looking for ways to be groovy.

You Are My Magical Unicorn by Joyce Wan

Best for ages: 3-5

Love is the focus as the rhyme can quickly be turned into a mantra for youngsters to memorize. Full of uplifting words and self-esteem, the colorful unicorn will have readers flipping the pages. Great for babies and toddlers, this board book includes a tactile cover.

A Hug is for Holding Me by Lisa Wheeler & Lisk Feng

Best for ages: 3-5

On a trip through nature finding hugs, a pair learns about how nature keeps birds, butterflies, flowers and sea creatures safe with hugs. Written and illustrated for readers as young as 3, small children can learn about how a hug can make them feel safe.

My Heart by Corinna Lyuken

Best for ages: 4-8

As much as the lyrical words lead the story, the imaginative illustrations show how big and important a heart can be when it is planted, given away or broken, and how small it can feel when it is sad. While helping kids learn the emotions of the heart, the story is great for early readers and guides the lessons of emotions.

Love, Z by Jessie Sima

Best for ages: 4-8

Robot Z finds a treasure: a letter in a bottle signed, “Love, Beatrice.” Being a robot, Z doesn’t understand what love is, so he sets out on a quest to learn about love. His search for Beatrice is the exact kind of adventure an elementary schooler would love to take, talking to “experts” and learning along the way. Bright and engaging, readers and Z learn the many ways to show and feel love.

We Love You, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

Best for ages: 3-5

If your family is a big fan of Mr Panda, then here’s another book to add to the laugh-out-loud series. Mr Panda is offering free hugs to all his friends. There’s only one problem … everyone’s hugging each other! Will Mr Panda get some love, too?

Our Little Love Bug by Sandra Magsamen

Best for ages: 4-8

A “heart-felt book,” the quaint story is accented by felt appendages for each bug. Little ones can feel each foot and wing as the story is read. Perfect for smallest readers, and the story reminds little bugs how much they are loved.

How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Guglielmo & Jacqueline Tourville with Giselle Potter

Best for ages: 4-8

Like many on the autism spectrum, Temple Grandin was sensitive to touch as a kid. So hugs were out of the question. The book deftly tells the story of how Grandin saw that hugs could be comforting, and she set about to find a way to be happy in one.

This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins

Bet for ages: 5-9

When pals know each other so well, maybe one knows that the other hates pink and loves yellow, or likes cars and not trucks. With adorable illustrations by Lucy Ruth Cummings, this book is about feelings kids have when their friends are best friends, and deserve MORE than a Valentine.

True Colors by Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly

Best for ages: 5-11

Using the lyrics of the song made famous by Cyndi Lauper in 1985, the book beautifully illustrates how kids can feel small in the world and the importance of lifting them up. It is also a lovely example of the importance of letting the different colors of personality shine through. And we dare you to try not to sing along.

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