“All You Need is Love”

Valentine's Day Books

Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate not just love, but also kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration.  So, we’ve not only included books about the holiday itself, but several others that just seem to fit. Really, all you need is love … and a few good books!

Click Clack MooClick Clack Moo: I Love You! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin

Little Duck and her farm friends prepare for a big dance to celebrate Valentine’s Day. What will happen when an unexpected guest arrives? This is the latest in the Click Clack Moo books by Cronin and Lewin.


How Do I Love Thee? By Jennifer Adams, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous sonnet is reimagined in this lovely picture book. Browning’s love poem is adapted to become a celebration of friendship among three diverse friends as they enjoy nature in a variety of settings. The mixed-media illustrations are imaginative and child friendly, bringing the poem to life. Browning’s original sonnet is included in the backmatter as well as a brief bio. This is really a quite lovely book.

A Hug is for Holding Me by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Lisk Feng

A father and daughter discover all the things a hug can be while taking a nature walk. A bird’s nest, a cocoon, and a seashell all provide hugs in their own way. The artwork, which has a retro look, is a perfect complement to the minimal text.

I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi, illus. by Kristyna Litten

Through a series of fantastical scenarios, love is expressed in immeasurable ways. The text is rhyming and lyrical and the illustrations whimsical. It’s a very sweet book, perfect for bedtime.

The Itsy Bitsy Sweetheart by Jeffrey Burton, illus. by Sanja Rescek

This toddler book puts a Valentine’s Day twist on the classic nursery rhyme, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Little Darling’s Book of Love by Algy Craig Hall

Little Darling shares the smell, taste, sound, and feeling of love with his friends.

The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs by Mark Sperring, illus. by Maddie Frost

This story about hugs and snuggles from a variety of animals and their babies is adorable and perfect for Valentine’s Day. The large scale, brightly colored illustrations accompany a text full of rhythm and rhyme. It makes for a great read-aloud as well as one for sharing at bedtime.

Love by Stacy McAnulty, illus. by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

This book takes a fun look at the many ways love is expressed. Perfect for the holiday!

Love from Sesame Street by Sesame Street, illus. by Ernie Kwiat

Children will be delighted as Sesame Street characters share what love means to them.

Love, Z by Jessie Sima

A young robot tries to find the meaning of love. The story is sweet, and the illustrations are cheerful and warm.

Mirabel’s Missing Valentine by Janet Lawler, illus. by Olivia Chin Mueller

Mirabel makes Valentines for her friends at school but loses them one by one on her way to school. Those who find them rush to return them, and all ends well for the shy little mouse.

My Art Book of Love by Shana Gozansky

This beautifully done book is illustrated with over thirty classic works of fine art. Headings such as “Love is …” and “Love looks like …” introduce different sections of the book. Various works of art are then paired with short descriptions that relate to the section heading. It’s a great way to introduce children to the concept of love as well as the various works of art and artists.

Pop-Up Peekaboo! I Love You by Clare Lloyd, illus. by Sonny Flynn

Find out who’s sending Smiley Sheep presents in this lift-the-flap toddler book.

Robot in Love by T.L. McBeth

This is another story about a robot who falls in love with, of all things … a bright and shiny toaster! The stylized artwork and palette of red, pink, gray and white suit the story well.

This is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins, illus. by Lucy Ruth Cummins

A little boy shows someone he cares through a series of “gifts” that are not to be construed as Valentines! The illustrations look like childlike crayon drawings which are appropriate for the classroom setting.

What is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack, illus. by April Harrison

This book is the author’s last as she passed away in 2017. Patricia McKissack was an award-winning African-American author of many books for children, including the prestigious Newbery and Coretta Scott King awards. The illustrator is a renowned artist as well, having works in many museums and galleries. This is a heartwarming Valentine’s Day story about giving even when you don’t have a lot to give.

A World of Kindness by the editors and illustrators of Pajama Press

Through a series of questions, this book asks children how they will show kindness and consideration for others. Each page reveals a unique piece of artwork by several different illustrators. This book should spark several discussions.


Written by Cecilia Horn and Terri Diebel

Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian at the Covington Branch. Both hold Master of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences.

“Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” by Eugene Field.”

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