Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. In our household, we typically exchange a gift between the adults (well, most years…), but since the toddler arrived on the scene, we’ve put together a small gift for her, too. After all, Valentine’s Day celebrates love and affection of all kinds, right?
On Thursday, I’ll be sharing some favorite picture book recommendations for Valentine’s Day. Today, I want to share a few Valentine’s Day picks for the littlest readers. The board books below grace my own bookshelf, so they’re kid-tested for your convenience.
How Do I Love You? by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church (Scholastic, 2009)
Inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous ‘How Do I Love Thee?‘ poem, this book compares love to a singing bird, dancing snowflakes, and “each shining star.” The curly-haired toddler and her snuggly friend suggest not only a parent-child love, but also the love between a child and his or her favorite toy.
Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram (Candlewick, 1994)
This one is a classic, but for good reason. Little Nutbrown Hare and his daddy outdo each other with comparisons of each other’s love. A sleepy Little Hare thinks he has the final say when he declares, “I love you right up to the moon.” But nothing surpasses a daddy’s love, as your child will learn with the end of this story.
In Grandma’s Arms by Jayne C. Shelton, illustrated by Karen Katz (Scholastic, 2001)
“In Grandama’s arms/ In our Storybook Chair/We can do anything– /We can go anywhere.” So begins this story of a little girl whose storytime in her grandmother’s rocker takes her through her wild imaginings. Karen Katz is one of my all-time favorite author/illustrators, and this book is the perfect gift from grandparent to grandchild.
This story has lots of wonderful action verbs – leap, flop, munch, skip- that provide fun, energy-burning daytime reading. But the rhythm and sleepy-soft ending also make it the perfect pick for bedtime, naptime, or just some quiet cuddling.
Counting Kisses by Karen Katz (Simon and Schuster, 2003)
Each member of the takes a turn trying to lull this fussy baby into sleep by kissing each part of her squirming body, from her ten teeny toes to the top of her (finally!) dreaming head. Perfect for little ones who are learning body parts and numbers. This last pick is actually my own personal selection for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day gift this year.
There you have it! My personal favorites from my own shelf. Kid tested…Mommy approved.
Chime in! Do you give books as Valentine’s Day gifts? Are there any favorite board books that I’ve missed?