Valentine's Day is one of those winter holidays that almost everyone celebrates without really knowing how Feb. 14 came to be a day to honor love and relationships. Whether one believes the holiday was started as a day to honor a martyred saint or began as a way to celebrate the day bird mates began building nests together, one thing is certain; Valentine's Day is a time to express feelings of friendship and love with those around us.
School-aged children often exchange cards and candy treats as part of a Valentine's Day celebration. Friends and family of children may want to give them a book which centers around the love-filled holiday. Listed below are books written for beginning and independent readers. Of course, these books can be enjoyed by children of all ages both older and younger.
"Valentine's Day Is..." by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, Sept. 2006) This is a great book for readers who are just starting to read on their own. It explains what Valentine's Day is through all the symbols and rituals associated with the special day. The most important thing about the day, though, is loving and being loved.
"The Ballad of Valentine" by Alison Jackson and Tricia Tusa (Puffin, Dec. 2008) Using the tune from the classic folk song "My Darlin' Clementine," this is the story of a lovesick letter writer and the apple of his eye, Valentine. Using various methods he tries to communicate how much he loves her, but she seems to be oblivious. Or is she?
"Valentine Be Mine" by Jacqueline Farmer, Megan Halsey and Sean Addy (Charlesbridge Publishing, Feb. 2013) There is plenty to keep readers of all ages interested between the covers of this book. Full of Valentine's Day trivia, jokes and more, readers can breeze through reading the simple and short sentences or take their time and check out all the tidbits that fill the pages.
"Saint Valentine" by Ann Tompert and Kestutis Kasparavicius (Boyds Mills Press, Nov. 2004) Although there is little information that remains about the third-century Catholic priest named Valentine, it is believed that Feb. 14 is celebrated because of this man. Learn about what life would have been like for Valentine and how he came to be associated with Valentine's Day.
"The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart" by Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton and Christine Davenier (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Jan. 2013) Geraldine spends lots of time making special Valentine's Day cards for all of her school friends. When she gets to class, however, she discovers she brought the wrong folder to school. How will she let each of her friends know how much they mean to her?