Best Picture Books to Share with Your Kids on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to snuggle with your kids and read some books about love!
Our team of teachers and librarians at Best Kids’ Books selected a group of picture books about the bonds of love, compassion, kindness and friendship. We hope you enjoy them!
Kids’ Books on Love, Kindness and Compassion
This book, published in 2005, was one of the very first children’s books to depict same-sex parents. Based on the true story of pengins Roy and Silo at a zoo in New York, it tells an adorable tale of partners and parenting. Male pengins are the ones to sit on the egg in nature, and in this case two male penguins mated together and showed signs of wanting to sit on an egg. Luckily the zookeeper had the solution of gifting them an egg! We love this matter-of-fact way to validate the idea of same-sex parents for children with minimal or no first-hand experience themselves. A sweet Valentine’s gift.
With simple illustrations and text, this book relays the sentiment that a child is part of a parent’s heart — as the child grows, a parent’s heart grows. This beautiful book — which is perfect to read to your child on Valentine’s Day, for the both of you — helps to find the words to tell a child just how much he or she is loved.
Follow along with a bear cub and his dad, as they spend a day together. The cub shows us all the special things his dad does for him, from waking him up to reading stories with him. This book is sure to remind readers of all their memories with their own dads, and children will want to flip through these bright, happy pages again and again.
We love this book and are absolutely taken by the gorgeous illustrations. The simple text and straightforward style creates a matter-of-fact approach that appeals to children and does a good job of explaining what can be a daunting topic — that everything changes, everything goes away, except love. A great gift for Valentines’ Day, as well as a keeper for every day.
Although there are many books about mothers and children, this one is special because of its unique setting in Alaska and its Inuit characters. In the story, the daughter asks her mother if she loves her, and her mother compares her love to the world around them, saying, for example, that she loves her more than the whale loves its spout. The charming text and beautiful depictions of Alaska make this book a joy to read. An endearing pick for moms to read to their little ones on Valentine’s Day.
“So if you decide to be different one day, no worries…I’d know you anyway.” Nancy Tillman touches our hearts again with this simple rhyming story about the power of love supporting us no matter what we choose. A Valentine’s Day home run.
Gaston is a little bulldog who tries his best to fit in with his poodle family. But when his family meets a family of bulldogs in the park — a family that’s all bulldogs with one poodle — they realize there’s been a mix-up and decide to switch. But, as they come to realize, family isn’t really about how you look — it’s about how you feel. Readers will love this sweet story about love, family and dogs. And the bright, fun illustrations by Christian Robinson single-handedly set this book apart.
A mother’s love for her child is timeless….”I’ve loved you since before birds flew over rainbows…” This story of love between mothers and their babes will have you squeezing your little ones in tight. And it is especially appropriate for those who were chosen through adoption. A lovely gift for an adoptive parent on Valentine’s Day.
Mirandy and Brother Wind
This one chokes us up every time. In this story about friendship and loyalty, based on the author’s grandparents’ own love story, Mirandy first sets out to find a way to capture Brother Wind to help her win the cake walk, a dance contest. She finds herself defending her friend and allowing him his proper place next to her at the dance, win or not. A heart wrenching love story for Valentine’s Day bedtime reading.
Little Nutbrown Hare is bursting with love for Big Nutbrown Hare. Can he be outloved? Not if he can help it. This sweet story will fill up your love cup. Perfect to read with your toddler this Valentine’s Day.
“The stars belong in the deep night sky, and the moon belongs there too, and the winds belong in each place they blow by, and I belong here with you.” This breathtaking book offers a touching and powerful message that will be just as impactful when it is read later in life as when it is read to a new baby. Great Valentine’s Day gift for a new mother or father. A keeper.
This uplifting story features a character who does not choose to be only one thing, and is encouraged to be exactly who they are, not necessarily a girl or a boy, a fish or a bird. A unique book that presents a worthy message. Perfect entrance to express your unconditional love to your little one on Valentine’s Day or any day.
We see all kinds of fatherly love in this sweet story, along with cute and cuddly illustrations. This adorable book shows us how fathers care for their young across the animal kingdom, from the seahorses that carry their babies in their pouches, to the fox that keeps his cubs safe in their den. Children will love to see and to learn about all these animals, making this book both heartwarming and educational.
Sunday dinners are an event at grannie’s filled with family, food and love. Little Jay Jay loves his grannie, and Sunday dinners are a special time for the two of them. A sweet one. Lovely gift for grandmothers to give their grandchild on Valentine’s Day.
Based on the author’s own experience adopting a baby girl from China, this sweet story is sure to touch your heart. The book follows along as a woman flies to China, meets her new daughter, and takes her home, all while wondering what her new daughter will be like and dreaming of their new life together. Realistic, soft watercolor illustrations help bring the story to life.
With sweet and simple text and cute illustrations, this book shows us all the ways a dad shows his love. We see a dog that plays with his puppy, a cow that kisses his calf, and more. Kids and dads will love sharing this book together, as it will remind them of all the special things that dads do. A sweet selection for Valentine’s Day.
This ultra simple book is filled with rich, gorgeous paintings of children demonstrating ways of showing kindness. A feel-good book to encourage connection and conversation.
Many different families are shown in this vibrant board book, doing different activities that showcase love. This one is a gem. It is an inclusive book that reminds us that families may look differently, but they all center on love.
This heartwarming, true story of a single mother’s love for her adopted daughter is told through the journey of a red blanket — which initially brings the daughter comfort on her journey from China to America, and then serves as a reminder of the mother and daughter’s special bond. A lovely gift for adoptive parents — or any parents — on Valentine’s Day.
Who could love an Ox? Gazelle may be beautiful, but she has some faults. Exchanging love letters with Ox may be the best way for Gazelle to learn what real beauty is. A great choice for a Valentine’s Day read aloud.
Koala Lou’s mother often says, “Koala Lou, I DO love you.” As sweet little Koala Lou grows up, it is those words she longs to hear the most. But when her plan to win to the Bush Olympics in order to gain more of her mother’s love fails, she obtains something even greater…the realization that she always has it — no matter what.
You won’t be able to resist this adorable book, which shows a bear and his cub playing, learning and laughing together. The little bear cub tells us all the reasons he loves his daddy, like that he’s always there to lift him up or protect him. Fathers and children will love to share this book together again and again, making it the perfect addition to any family library.
Have a picture book you love? Feel free to suggest a book to our staff and we will check it out!
For more book ideas, see our curations on: