This week I finally packed up the last of our Christmas stuff. Un-Christmas-ing is one of my least favorite parts of the new year. I always get a little bit sad tucking away all that “merry and bright” that sustained us through the holidays. And it’s definitely something I procrastinate doing almost every year. Right around the time I lug our huge collection of favorite Christmas books away to the closet, I also pull a book switcheroo. Out comes our February book collection. This means we get to start enjoying all of our favorite Valentine’s Books again and our tiny book lovers get so happy!
I love rotating our kids books seasonally because it feels so exciting and new when we pull out a new batch. Part of the fun is simply getting to rediscover so many of our favorites. It’s a great way to cut down on the number of books we have on the shelves while keeping the kids interested and engaged with what we have out. And honestly, it keeps me from getting bored with reading the same books over and over again (because… toddlers!?). For me the best part is seeing their faces light up when the “new” box of books comes out. And knowing we will pile up with a stack of our favorites and dive straight in to enjoying them.
This year we wanted to share 5 of our favorite Valentine’s books for tiny book lovers:
- I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Christaldi. This is one of my favorites to read. It has such a whimsical rhyme and the characters are so creative. Cow that travel to mars, yaks that drive a firetruck, sheep on a cruise ship, frogs that ride bikes and play violins, geese roasting s’mores, and ants eating cake – this book is a playful reminder that love has no limits. The illustrations are endearing and the story is so much fun. We keep this one out on our shelves long past Valentine’s Day.
- I love you Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt. I almost hate to admit that a book with the expression “stinky face” in the title is on this list. But I can’t escape the fact this this one is a major favorite in our house. Our boys seriously love this story. As a boy gets ready for bed, he questions his mama’s love for him through a variety of scenarios. Would she still love him if he was a smelly swamp monster? A meat-eating dinosaur? An alien who eats bugs instead of peanut butter? Yes, of course, the answer is always yes. And while this book gets a ton of giggles and groans – the moral of the story is quite lovely.
- Love Is by Diane Adams. This is the heartwarming story of a girl and a small duckling she saves. Written in gentle rhyme, infused with humor and tenderness, it explores how love develops and what it becomes. And we discover together that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. This is a beautifully illustrated and delightful book that parents will enjoy as much as the kids.
- The Love Letter by Anika Aldamuy Denise.This book tells the tale of an accidental mix-up between friends. Hedgehog, Bunny, and Squirrel each stumble across a love letter they believe was written for them. They each feel so loved to receive such a thoughtful letter. Eventually they are disappointed to learn it was actually written by Mouse to someone else entirely. But he quickly reminds them of how they felt when they thought the letter was for them. Ultimately, they all realize how powerful kind loving words can be and how much they each value the other’s friendship.
- This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins. The main character of this book declares over and over that his gestures of friendship are “not” a Valentine. Yet we see the tender thoughtfulness of every day acts of affection he shares with his friend. No grand Valentine’s Day gestures here. This book is an everyday celebration of special friendships. It focuses on the real value and meaning of things like kindness and sincerity.
What are your favorite Valentine’s book? Come and join the conversation! Share yours in the comments below.