Written by Cara Ward


Celebrate Love & Reading

Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with the people you love and there’s no better way to do so than by snuggling up and reading a book together. As an added bonus, here at the CLA, we know that reading with kids is a great way to build the literacy skills they’ll need later in life to live independent, fulfilling lives (parenting win!).

In the spirit of  the holiday and fostering a love of reading, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite lovey-dovey children’s books that celebrate love, family, friendship, kindness, and sharing.


1. Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney

Ages: 1-3 years

In Llama Llama I Love You, a little llama shows his friends and family how much he loves them with heart-shaped cards and lots of hugs. With short and sweet rhymes, this picture book is bound to be a llama fun for your babies and toddlers this V-Day.




 2. Froggy’s First Kiss by Jonathan London

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 3-5 years

This sweet story revolves around Froggy’s first big crush on the lovely Frogilina and his attempt to make her an extra special Valentine. This book will keep your little ones giggling with delight from start to finish with a heart-warming, funny take on having your first crush.




3. Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 4-8 years

Right from the title, kids will love this book. In it, the main character Gilbert decides to write Valentines to all his classmates, but writes silly prank ones to the students who have been mean to him. He quickly learns how powerful words are and how they can hurt people’s feelings, but manages to turn things around with the help of a friend and an honest apology. This Valentine’s Day read will prompt lots of laughs, as well as discussions on kindness and forgiveness.



4. Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 6-9 years

Who doesn’t love a good mystery especially when it’s all about finding a secret Valentine’s Day admirer? This chapter book is perfect for beginning readers as they can sleuth with Nate, who hates all things mushy, to find whoever left his dog a valentine.




5. Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime by Barbara Park

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 6-9 years

Everyone’s favorite kindergartner, Junie B. Jones is so excited to see all the “Valentimes” she gets but is surprised when she sees a mushy gushy card from a secret admirer. Who could it be? You and your young readers will definitely want to get to the bottom of this Valentine’s Day mystery with her!





6. My Fuzzy Valentine by Naomi Kleinberg

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 1-3 years

Sometimes the best way to show a little one about love, is by letting them feel it for themselves and that’s what this touch and feel book featuring everyone’s favorite little red monster does. Babies and toddlers will love this interactive picture book and will want to continue reading it even after Valentine’s Day has passed.




7. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 3-7 years

When mundane, typical, reserved Mr. Hatch receives an anonymous package with a card saying “Somebody Loves You”, he is so excited he starts spicing up his life with brownie baking, picnic hosting, and reading to local kids. When the truth comes out about his mystery Valentine, it turns out to be the biggest surprise of his life. This book has a powerful message about kindness and how the smallest deed can make the biggest difference – it’s a must read this upcoming V-Day.



8. The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll

Ages: 3-6 years

This story is about two mice wanting to make a Valentine for their teacher and even though they fight, they finally realize that if they come together they can make the biggest Valentine ever. This book will get your child so excited to make Valentine cards of their own, and it actually comes with foil stickers to help get them started.



9. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 4-8 years

The Mouse from If you give a Mouse a Cookie is back making special Valentines for all of his friends about why he loves them. Your child will love seeing Mouse on a new adventure and you will love all the sweet sentiments Mouse puts in his cards. This book will really fill your heart up and bring you back to the basics of Valentine’s Day: expressing your love to those close to you.




10. The I LOVE YOU book by Todd Parr

chicago-literacy-alliance-valentines-day-readingAges: 4-6 years

Todd Parr’s best selling book celebrates the special love shared between parents and children. From heartfelt lines (“I love you when you need hugs”) to more light hearted ones (“I love you when you hide my keys”), he encompasses the unconditional bond shared between parents and littles.This book is all about reminding children how much they are loved by their parents and what better day to do that than the day of love, Valentine’s Day.