Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and what a perfect time to show others that you care about them. Here are some lovely books that express how we feel about each other. The first book is a picture book and is great for all ages. The rest, except for the last book, are picture books for ages three to seven. The last book is an early chapter book and is good for ages six to eight.
I Haiku You, by Betsy Snyder, incorporates great beauty in simple phrases and poetic descrip-tions of youth in the haiku structure (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables). Snyder is able to blend her exuberant watercolors and her poems with beautiful finesse. This tiny book has the embodiment of loving haikus: “love is in the air / every time our hearts meet up / i get butterflies.”
Splat the Cat: Funny Valentine, based on the creation of Rob Scotton, and illustrated by Joe Merkel, is a newly published book and a paper-back edition with lift-the-flaps on every page. The story continues the popular series about the fun and funny cat, Splat. In this story, he wants to give his teacher something very special for Valentine’s Day. This book would be a perfect gift for a teacher!
An Awesome Book of Love!, by Dallas Clayton, expresses many ways to tell your dear one how much you love them. “In so many ways / over thousands of years / over billions of days / I love you so much / I would scream it from mountains.” The illustrations fill the pages with color and joy helping express this great love!
We Go Together! A Curious Selection of Affectionate Verse, by Calef Brown, comprises 18 heart-warming, endearing poems dealing with friendship. Some of the poems include “Totally”, “Thank You”, “Roller Buddy” and “Because of You”. Brown encompasses the essence of rhymes that always bring a smile to my face. He is one of the best in the rhyming business.
A Kiss Like This, by Mary Murphy, is a lift-the-flap book that features different animals loving and kissing their babies in rhyme. “A giraffe kiss is gentle and tall…” and open the flap and read: “like this!” That is when the parent giraffe kisses her baby. The illustrations are bold and bright!
I Loathe You, by David Slonim, is a fun and funny tongue-in-cheek story that will have your youngsters begging for it to be read over and over. How much does Big Monster really loathe Little Monster? “I loathe you more than chicken pox, more than stinky, sweaty socks.” The painted pictures with acrylic and charcoal create as much humor as the rhyming text.
The Perfect Hug, by Joanna Walsh & Judi Abbot, explores many kinds of hugs: “hugs for wrigglers, and hugs for gigglers. Hugs that are tickly, and hugs that are prickly…” This feel-good book will make a hugger out of anyone who reads it and will likely bring a hug to the listener as well. The rhyming text and vivid colors make a match perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Who Needs Love?, by Elise Primavera, and painted with ink and watercolor by Laura Park, is a story about how two alligators come upon a silver dollar and how their lives change. A witch who desires the dollar is about to deceive them. She grants them wishes in order to get the dollar, but the wish they soon discover, that they truly desire, is love. The pictures lend well to the story and giving it a cartoonish feel.
Bear in Love, by a favorite author of mine, Daniel Pinkwater, and wonderfully painted with mixed media by Will Hillenbrand, exemplifies examples of kindness, consideration and friendship. When a bear wakes up in his cave one day, he goes looking for food. He is surprised to find a carrot on a rock. The next morning he discovers two more carrots and so he leaves this mysterious new friend a treat. He eventually meets his new friend and the story begs to be read aloud. The pastel blends of color and delicate background fit perfectly with the bear’s search for his new friend.
The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart, by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, and illustrated by Christine Davenier, showcases what Valentine’s Day is all about. When Gerry (who loves pretending to be a fairy princess) forgets to take to school her Valentine’s cards that she’d made individually at home, she comes up with a brilliant way to show her friendship. She acts out her valentines for her friends. The pencil-and-ink paintings spread Gerry’s sparkling personality throughout. This book was written by the famed singer-actress Julie Andrews, and her daughter.
Nancy Clancy Secret Admirer, by Jane O’Connor, with delightful drawings sprinkled throughout by Robin Preiss Glasser, has Nancy and her best friend attempting to arrange love between their babysitter and Nancy’s guitar teacher. This is book two in a mystery series that includes excellent vocabulary that children can learn. The easy yet clever storyline will have new chapter-readers enjoying this series clear to the end!