I’m definitely one of those people who feels that Valentine’s Day is kind of a farce. Yet at the same time, I’m a sucker for children’s books about love. But how about we make this whole love thing a year round tradition? And not wrapped up with consumerism?
Here are 7 of our favorite children’s books about love that don’t involve buying flowers or candy, but rather are the everyday types of love that mean so much more.
7 Children’s Books About Love
Love by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long
Publisher’s description: In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
Marian’s review: This is a nice big book with nice vibrant pictures. I like listening to Mommy read it.
Margaret’s review: The publisher’s describe this book as a new classic, and that’s apt. It’s my favorite book about love, and I’m pretty sure it’ll become a classic children’s book, much like Where the Wild Things Are or Guess How Much I Love You. Unlike other love books, this has a bit of story, with sadness and resolution. It’s touching and beautifully told. And the illustrations are frame-worthy, with families of all types.
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
Publisher’s description: This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family . . . and that’s LOVE.
Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what’s most important in each family’s life is the love the family members share.
Marian’s review: Miss Meghan read this during library story time! She’s my favorite librarian. I was so excited that she read a book I have at home. When Mommy took me back home, I immediately found it and brought it to her to read again. If Miss Meghan likes it, it’s the best book ever!
Margaret’s review: Marian really did immediately bring me this book when we got home! I’d only bought the book a few days earlier. It’s a really sweet book with diverse families doing loving, daily things.
Publisher’s description: Love is infinite. Love is giggles. Love is cookies. Explore all the definitions of love with your friends from Sesame Street! In this illustrated picture book, children will delight in seeing their favorite characters share what love means to them. This warm and uplifting story will show children to look for love in new ways in their everyday lives―and will brighten their day!
Marian’s review: When I hear the word love first I think of Mommy and Daddy, then I think of how much I love my fawn, and third I think of Sesame Street. I love Sesame Street! This book is all about that.
Margaret’s review: This book is a must-read for Sesame Street fans. As a Cookie Monster fan myself, his page is my favorite. He love eating cookies, of course.
ABC for Me: ABC Loveby Christiane Engel
Publisher’s description: An endearing twist on learning your ABCs!
ABC Love pairs each letter of the alphabet with a word that teaches young children about important concepts like love, acceptance, affection, values, and warmth. A fun family read with playful, rhyming text, ABC Love makes learning the alphabet interactive and fun for preschool children and older. Its engaging illustrations and text promote togetherness between kids and their family and encourages them to act out each “love list” item, including everything from “dance” for “D”, “hug” for the letter “H”, and to “share” for “S”.
Marian’s review: I like that this board book has lots of pages to turn.
Margaret’s review: A delightful ABC book, with colorful art and diverse characters, celebrating all the ways to show love. I read several love ABCs, and this one is my favorite. We checked this out from the library, and based on its condition, it’s been loved by many little hands. Which must be the best way for a children’s book to be loved.
My Art Book of Love by Shana Gozansky
Publisher’s description: Art, like anything else, is only as meaningful and interesting as it is relatable. For toddlers and preschoolers, connecting their own experiences of love to those they see on the canvas allows them to truly engage with the material. 35 full-page artworks feature love in all its forms, accompanied by a brief and gentle read-aloud text. Each artwork’s title and artist’s name are included as secondary read-aloud text, for true integration of narrative and information.
Jen’s review: I love the idea of this book, and it is a truly gorgeous board book. There are reproductions of ‘real’ artworks and beautiful text that accompanies each piece. This book makes me wish I knew more about art.
Side by Side by Chris Raschka (will be released 11 March, 2019)
Publisher’s description: King and Jester, Boat and Captain, Mountain and Climber… fathers and children are all of these things and more in Chris Raschka’s tribute to this familial pair. Each stanza presents three scenarios in which the father and child’s roles are subtly balanced. The pairs vary between stanzas, coming together in a visit to an ice-cream truck. With minimal text and maximum emotion, the book encapsulates Raschka’s own passion and nostalgia for being a father to his [now-grown] son.
Jen’s review: This is a very sweet book that showcases the relationship between dads and children. I love it because it’s far more common to see mothers in children’s books about love and parental relationships, and it’s nice to see the father relationship in the spotlight here. It’s also a lovely and sweet book without being sickeningly sentimental, which is a problem I have with a lot of children’s books about love. This is just pure and sweet and the artwork is gorgeous.
Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson
Publisher’s description: When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they travel through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panadería, until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make . . .
With lyrical, stirring text and stunning, evocative artwork, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson have crafted a moving ode to family, to dreamers, and to finding hope in the most unexpected places.
Jen’s review: A beautiful and heartwarming book that isn’t explicitly about love (I’m pretty sure the word ‘love’ isn’t used in the book once) but it is about love in every way. You can see the love that Carmela has for her parents in the wishes that she plans on making, and the unique kind of sibling love that is a blend of exasperation, annoyance, acceptance, and trust between Carmela and her brother. This is a stunning book that I think is worthy of all the praise it has received.
What are your favorite children’s books about love?