Best Children's Books About Love

Our Favorite 92+ Books to Read With Your Kids About Love

Updated Apr. 8, 2019

Love. We're not sure if there's been any subject about which more has been written (based purely on observation—no statistics here) and we think that's pretty awesome. The world could use a little more love. If you're looking for some truly fantastic books about all kinds of love to read with your munchkins, here are some truly great ones for you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Kisses and Cuddles book
#26
Kisses and Cuddles
Written and illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A little penguin loves to do many things during his fun day, but nothing beats getting kisses and cuddles from his mama! Follow a little penguin as he spends his day doing everything he loves--such as eating pancakes, playing with his toys, drinking hot chocolate, spotting rainbows, and more. But what does he love the most? Kisses and cuddles from his mama!

I've Loved You Since Forever book
#27
I've Loved You Since Forever
Written by Hoda Kotb and illustrated by Suzie Mason
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lyrical text and illustrations of baby animals and their mothers show the love of a parent.

I Love You Stinky Face book
#28
I Love You Stinky Face
Written by Lisa McCourt and illustrated by Cyd Moore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A vividly illustrated bedtime story that shows how the unconditional love of a mother can be tested through the relentless questions of her little boy. "But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face?" Mothers love their children and this unconditional love is truly tested in I Love You, Stinky Face. Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore beautifully weave a reassuring tale of the love and affection of a parent. The imaginative son turns himself into a meat-eating dinosaur, a swamp creature and much, much more before being satisfied with the fact that no matter how stinky he is or how slimy of a creature he could possibly be, he is loved and nothing will change that.

Time for a Hug book
#29
Time for a Hug
Written by Phillis Gershator and illustrated by David Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! Not only does it go through morning and bedtime routines and talk about what fun things you might get to do throughout the day, this book is also great for kiddos who are counting or learning to tell time, as it counts the hours through the day. Plus, this book emphasizes that it's always a good time for a hug. :) This is such a sweet, heart-warming book, and the illustrations match perfectly.

A little rabbit receives hugs around the clock.

Made for Me book
#30
Made for Me
Written by Zack Bush and illustrated by Gregorio De Lauretis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me. From a child's first uttered "Dada" to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, "You are the one made just for me," Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together--forever.

Mama Seeton's Whistle book
#31
Mama Seeton's Whistle
Written by Jerry Spinelli and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is the sweetest book about a mother's love for her children! I love the sweet text and that the tradition of whistling was passed down to her children. The illustrations are lovely, too!

Without even thinking about it,Mama Seeton puckered her lips and whistled.It was not a loud whistle.Or a fancy whistle. Just a simple two-note whistle. When Mama Seeton whistles, her children run home for chocolate cake, hugs, kisses, and shared memories. But as time passes, they travel farther and farther away from the familiar sound. Can mama's whistle be heard all over the world, and bring her children home one more time? Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli's sweet lyrical text and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham's charming illustrations show the timeless love between a mother and her children.

The Rag Coat book
#32
The Rag Coat
Written and illustrated by Lauren A. Mills
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Thoughts from Grammy

This is a beautiful book. It tells a simple, truthful story hitting on the difficult topics of grief and poverty. The sensitive language and muted illustrations convey respect. I love the natural way this story teaches lessons on love and respect, generosity, community, and kindness.

With paintings that capture all the beauty of Appalachia in authentic detail, this tender story about a resourceful mountain girl's special coat will touchreaders with its affirming message of love and friendship.

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#33
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E. B White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can't trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can't even make a sound. And since he can't trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena's affection--he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

Penguin and Pinecone book
#34
Penguin and Pinecone
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

"When you give love, it grows." Such a cute board book with a fun story and illustrations that fully add to it. When penguin discovers a pinecone he's not exactly sure what it is. His grandpa tells him that pinecones belong in the forest and so after making a scarf for his new friend, penguin makes the long journey to take his pinecone somewhere warmer.

Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon introduces readers to a beloved character in Penguin and Pinecone--a picture book about friendship that will warm your heart! When curious little Penguin finds a lost pinecone in the snow, their friendship grows into something extraordinary! But Grandpa reminds Penguin that pinecones can't live in the snow--they belong in the warm forest far away. Can Penguin help Pinecone get home? And can they stay friends, even if they're miles apart? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon's spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating friendships lost and found, and overcoming the odds to be with the one you love.

The Runaway Hug book
#35
The Runaway Hug
Written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Freya Blackwood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is such a sweet bedtime book! I love the idea that there's just one hug left, so you have to give it back. :) I also love the final illustrations showing the whole family, all the kids in bed. Also, this didn't bother me at all, but one thing to note in case you'd like to know is that there are a few illustrations where both the mother and daughter are getting dressed and are just wearing underwear (though a full shirt on in both cases).

"Mommy," said Lucy. "Can I have a hug before I go to bed?" When Mommy jokes that she only has one hug left, Lucy decides she must keep Mommy's last hug safe. As Lucy shares the hug with everyone in her large and loving family, she is always careful to get it back . . . until the canine member of the family refuses to play along! Highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling picture-book creators Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood collaborate for the first time on this charming story, which celebrates the imaginative powers of children and the extraordinary love to be found in ordinary bedtime routines.

Charlotte and the Rock book
#36
Charlotte and the Rock
Written by Stephen W. Martin and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

An unexpected friendship forms between a girl and her pet rock in this charming story that’s perfect for fans of What Pet Should I Get? Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he?

We are Better Together book
#37
We are Better Together
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I was a little lukewarm on this book until I read it 100 times to my toddler (who loves it!) and realized that a) I wasn't getting particularly tired of it and b) it was great for playing "I spy" and he was getting name actual pictures of things he sees in everyday life. The illustration style of drawings over photographs is original and fun and it's now a favorite at our house—plus the message is fabulous!

You can't paint a picture without paint, or make a milkshake without milk. This charming book of teamwork and friendship shows how individual things are so much better, when they all work together! Flour, eggs, butter, and sugar all join together to make a cake; paper, scissors, and tape wrap a beautiful present. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of teamwork in its many forms.

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#38
Best Friends: We Are A Family
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Like peas in a pod, and leaves in a tree, we all belong to a family! Whether they are big, or whether they are small, this charming book shows young readers that there are all kinds of different families to be found in the world around us, from a bunch of balloons, to eggs in a box, and fingers on a hand. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of family in its many forms.

Famously Phoebe book
#39
Famously Phoebe
Written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Phoebe was the shining star of her family. Then someone came along to take her place. For as long as Phoebe can remember, she’s known the clickety click click of a photographer snapping her picture. Thanks to the camera-carrying “paparazzi” (aka Mom and Dad), she’s always been the star of the show . . . until the day a tiny newcomer arrives on set. Will Phoebe learn to share the spotlight and assume the role she was born to play: big sister? This sweet tale of sibling rivalry resolved is perfect for every older brother and sister.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes book
#40
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A global celebration of adorable baby fingers and baby toes, as well as the babies they belong to, is now available in a lap board book edition.

When the World Was Waiting for You book
#41
When the World Was Waiting for You
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What could be more heartwarming than the arrival of a new little one? The bunny family in this charming picture book celebrates all the events surrounding a birth, from readying the baby's crib to the very first visit from friends and family This padded board book edition is a perfect baby shower gift, and the round edges and sturdy pages make it just right for big siblings with little hands.

Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
#42
Love Monster and the Perfect Present
Written and illustrated by Rachel Bright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I thought this book was super cute! The illustrations are fun, and despite the book being about "monsters," they're the nicest monsters I've ever seen. :) I love the message of giving something from the heart that doesn't have to be expensive or flashy.

Everyone in Cutesville is excited for the most special day of the year: Present Day! Love Monster goes on a hunt for the perfect gift for his special someone, but as it turns out, finding the perfect gift is not easy. And the only thing worse than a not-perfect present is no present at all. But Love Monster soon comes up with the idea for the best gift ever—one that comes straight from his furry heart.

Beauty and the Beast book
#43
Beauty and the Beast
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Originally published in 1989, this luminous reissue of an all-time favorite fairy tale will attract an even wider audience with its romantic new jacket and a shortened text. Exquisite illustrations of Beauty and her mysterious suitor, the Beast, are set in a magical castle where animals dressed in period costumes serve them. Woven into glorious tapestries throughout are hidden clues hinting at the Beast’s secrets, setting Brett’s version apart from others.

Catching Kisses book
#44
Catching Kisses
Written by Amy Gibson and illustrated by Maria van Lieshout
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

At any given moment/someone, somewhere is blowing a kiss. And somewhere/someone/is catching it. So begins this journey of the heart, as readers young and old follow a handful of kisses around the United States. From San Francisco to New Orleans to New York City, the text and stylized artwork celebrate all the ways kisses are shared.

The Runaway Bunny Board Book book
#45
The Runaway Bunny Board Book
Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Clement Hurd redrew some of his pictures for this new edition of the profoundly comforting story of a bunny’s imaginary game of hide-and-seek and the lovingly steadfast mother who finds him every time.

You're All My Favorites book
#46
You're All My Favorites
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Three much-loved baby bears begin to wonder if their parents have a favorite. On board pages.

My Heart book
#47
My Heart
Written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the author-illustrator of The Book of Mistakes comes a gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide. Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you. With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.

Hug Machine book
#48
Hug Machine
Written and illustrated by Scott Campbell
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The edgy illustrations totally change the dynamic of this extra sweet topic (hugs!) to make it peppy and energetic, feeling very much like a rambunctious child, rather than the soothingly sweet cadence you might have come to expect from a book all about hugging. I always get hugs from my toddler after reading this one, which is definitely a plus in my book, as well as give out a few myself, making it the perfect opportunity to show a little extra affection. I particularly love the final pages where the little boys' hug energy is given a boost by his mother's hug.

The hug machine is available to hug anyone, any time, whether they are square or long, spikey or soft.

You're Here for a Reason book
#49
You're Here for a Reason
Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Now available in board book, You're Here for a Reason, from national-bestselling and beloved author Nancy Tillman, takes a universal truth and makes it accessible for readers young and old. Not only are we loved, but we also matter. In this tender and timeless read-along book, Tillman reminds us of this message in beautiful illustrations as children and animals interact with acts of kindness. You're here for a reason. If you think you're not I would just say that perhaps you forgot . . . a piece of the world that is precious and dear would surely be missing if you weren't here. If not for your smile and your laugh and your heart this place we call home would be minus a part. Thank goodness you're here! Thank goodness times two! I just can't imagine a world without you. Not only are we loved, but we also matter. Once again, NancyTillman takes a universal truth and makes it accessible forreaders young and old, as children and animals interact withacts of kindness.

You Can Never Run Out of Love book
#50
You Can Never Run Out of Love
Written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Ali Pye
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

You can't measure love in a bucket or cup. You don't have to worry you'll use it all up. Because love's not a game where you have to keep score. Whenever you give some, you'll always have more. When you've run out of everything else you'll still find... You can never run out of love. Find our about all different kinds of love in this gorgeous book by award-winning author Helen Docherty with illustrations from Ali Pye.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.