Valentine's Day is celebrated each year on Feb. 14 and though babies and toddlers have no idea what the holiday really means, it's never too early to start sharing books with them about loving others. While for many the February holiday means chocolate, romantic dinners and finding that special someone, love is an emotion people of all ages can and do feel. Love between siblings, parents and children and even among friends is something to be celebrated, even once Valentine's Day has passed.
Here are some books perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy while sitting on the lap of someone they love or on their own. Many of them are sturdy board books so caregivers don't have to worry about ripped pages or torn covers. Some of these books are classics and others may become personal favorites. Valentine's Day is just another opportunity to share the love of reading with those smallest members of the family.
"Where Is Baby's Valentine?" by Karen Katz (Little Simon, Dec. 2006) This lift-the-flap book will have readers searching for baby's very own valentine in a variety of locations. There are special surprises to be found throughout the book.
"Max's Valentine" by Rosemary Wells (Viking Juvenile, Dec. 2003) Max and Ruby are together again in this story about the special relationship between these rabbit siblings. Ruby uses all the candy when making her cards and Max gets very upset.
"Valentine Mice!" by Bethany Roberts and Doug Cushman (HMH Books, Jan. 2011) Rhyming text accompany the illustrations of the mice making and delivering valentines to all of their forest friends.
"Mouse's First Valentine" by Lauren Thompson and Buket Erdogan (Little Simon, Jan. 2004) Little Mouse wonders what his big sister could be doing; she has gathered all sorts of items from around the house and is carefully cutting and pasting. Before long, he discovers she has made something special just for him.
"Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine" by Sarah Weeks and Fumi Kosaka (HarperFestival, Dec. 2005) Animals of all sorts express their love for one another on the pages of this book. Using rhyming text, the last word of each rhyme is omitted, allowing children to guess what the animal is before turning the page.
"Love, Pooh" by A.A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard (Dutton Juvenile, Dec. 2003) Using lines of text expressing their heartfelt emotions for one another, the characters of the Hundred Acre Wood each member of their little group know how important they are.
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