valentines books for preschoolers: library booklist

January 27, 2012

image from The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett

The key to getting holiday books at the library is to request them early! (Took me about 2 years to learn that lesson.)

So, hopefully, I am early enough in sharing this with you today that you can get a jump on a few of these titles.
fox valentine book

The Best Valentine in the World by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (illustrated by Lilian Obligado)
This was my favorite this year, but it looks like it is out of print. So hopefully, your library has a copy. Lilian Obligado is one of my favorite illustrators, so that may be why I loved it so much, but the story itself is a good one, too--sweet and a little bit old-fashioned. It also doesn't hurt that the foxes are named Ferdinand and Florette which makes me want to adopt some baby fox cubs just so I can name them after the characters in the book. Don't worry, Ben will stop me. This is why I married him.



The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett

I've always loved Bunting and Brett on their own, but combined? They are a superpower. And since learning from Whitney what Jan Brett's shoes look like, I like her books even more than I already did. This is a sweet tale about Mr. and Mrs. Bear who wake up early to celebrate Valentines day together for the first time. (Usually, they are hibernating on Feb. 14.)



Queen of Hearts  by Mary Engelbreit
I can relate to Anne Estelle's quest for the most beautiful valentines box ever. I'm also loving the heart garland she has on the front cover. Maybe we'll make that this week.



The Valentine Express by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
This gives a good preschool-sized dose of the history of Valentines day--not too much, but just enough. Also, it lists some valentine-y cities in the US such as Valentine, Nebraska; Loveland, CO; Lovejoy, GA; Lovelady, TX, etc.

(Side note, one of the kids in the class is named "Vanessa", so that was more than a little bit exciting as we read it together--there are also a Minna, Lindsey, Pip and Tyrone--in case one of those is your name.)

The story part is really sweet. Minna and Pip wonder if grown-ups get Valentines anymore, and decide to make some for their neighbors. They make personalized ones for all the older people on their street and then deliver them via the "Valentine Express"--Pip's wagon. I like how it focuses on showing neighbors love and that kids can do big things all on their own. Good inspiration for kids to see.



If You'll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
This is a sweet rhyming book about a little boy who finds ways to show all the people in his life just how much he loves them.



Love, Ruby Valentine  by Laurie Friedman
This was Juliet's favorite. Little Ruby loves Valentines day so much, she spends weeks preparing for it by making cards and gifts for all the people of Heartland. The night before she falls asleep and sleeps through Valentines Day--when she wakes up she is disappointed and thinks she has to wait until next year, but her pet lovebird tells her to give her gifts today. She does and realizes that every day is a good day to tell someone you love them.



The Ballad of Valentine  by Alison Jackson
I always like finding books you can sing--this one is a remake of Oh My Darling Clementine. It's easy to sing and it will make your kids laugh at you. Well, maybe just if you can't sing--which I can't. If you can sing, they will probably stare at you in wonder and amazement. Either way--it's good stuff.



The Very Special Valentine  by Maggie Keen
It's hard to find good toddler friendly books at our library, but this one has flaps and Lucia is into flaps right now. Juliet is still into flaps--do they ever get over flaps? I think I am still into them as well. It's full of forest friends which are good since we are in the "we don't read the words just talk and point at pictures and make animal noises whenever possible" phase with Lucia. Juliet loved this book too--we read the words with her. It also has a lot of shiny things in it--which are exceedingly enticing to my two little magpies.

Here are books we loved in years past:












What valentines books do you suggest to me? There's still time for me to make another library run before they are all gone!

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