Best Kids Books About Love

Our Favorite 52 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.

I Wish You More book
#1
I Wish You More
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A delightful book of well-wishes with sentiments appropriate for adults and children! The illustrations add humor and levity to the sweet message, which lightens the tone and adds to the warm fuzzies felt throughout.

A New York Times bestseller! Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life's joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.

Three Little Words book
#2
Three Little Words
Written by Clemency Pearce and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

There are a lot of "I love you" books out there; this is one of the better ones I've encountered. Its illustrations are sweet and detailed, pairing nicely with the simple text. The rhyming text is a big plus in my house, making it extra fun to read aloud. In addition, it goes beyond just expressing love--it sets up a conversation about why feeling loved matters and how we can help the people we love feel safe and happy.

Perfect for Valentine's Day, graduation, birthdays, or anytime a hug is required, this beautiful book lets children know their parents will always be there for them! What are the three little words that make everything better? I Love You! Preschoolers will love snuggling with their families and counting all the ways that the three little words “I love you” can solve most every childhood concern. With warm, cuddly, reassuring illustrations of adorable animal families, this book lets children know that their parents will always be there with lots of hugs and kisses. "Each time the phrase I love you is introduced, Pearce describes it with a different adjective, such as mighty, friendly, or winning, which emphasizes the myriad ways unconditional love can rescue upsetting moments.... The bouncy rhythm makes it fun to read aloud, especially since little ones will easily catch on to the repeated refrain. Great for any time a kiddo needs a boost of confidence."—Booklist

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch book
#3
Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Grammy

This book has such a powerful message about the difference a simple act of kindness can make. There are so many of these small, simple acts in the story and they each affect the receiver in profound ways, but none more profoundly than Mr. Hatch, a lonely old man at the beginning of the story, and someone entirely different at the end. Mr. Hatch's loneliness is relatable to people of all ages; we see ourselves in his shyness and the difficulty he has in reaching out to others. When he receives a gift and a cryptic love note, it gives him confidence and motivates him to connect with the people around him. Empathy is another strong theme in the book. Not only do we feel for Mr. Hatch in his loneliness, but, along with Mr. Hatch, we feel for the newsstand man and the butcher in their difficulties. Reading this story together can facilitate conversations about who we might know that could use a little lift, or maybe some brownies!

One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. "Somebody loves you," the note says. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. "But who," Mr. Hatch wonders, "could that somebody be?" After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!

The Kissing Hand book
#4
The Kissing Hand
Written by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Nancy M. Leak, Ruth E. Harper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home book
#5
I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home
Written by Kathryn Cristaldi and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Such a fun book! The punchy rhymes and creative situations make this an upbeat and very enjoyable take on a sweet story about love. The illustrations are great too!

I will love you till the cows come home from a trip to Mars through skies unknown in a rocket ship made of glass and stone. I will love you till the cows come home. Love knows no bounds in this lyrical, gentle lullaby, a tender tribute to the depths of family love. Filled with warm, funny art, I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home is a perfect read-aloud for curling up with your little one at the end of the day . . . or anytime you want to express just how much you love them.

When a Grandpa Says "I Love You" book
#6
When a Grandpa Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A sweet story about all the ways a grandpa shows that he loves his grandkids through his actions rather than just his words. It's chock full of tender grandpa moments, with sweet illustrations of different animal grandpa/grandchild pairs and would be the perfect gift for any grandpa or grandchild!

Discover all the wonderful ways grandfathers show grandchildren their love in this heartwarming companion to When a Dad Says “I Love You.” Everyone knows grandpas are best at spoiling their grandkids, but it’s just because they love them so much! Whether by attending a tea party or getting an extra scoop of ice cream, there is nothing grandpas won’t do to say “I love you!” From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer A. Bell, a clever and cozy tribute to the special bond between grandfather and grandchild.

If My Love Were a Fire Truck book
#7
If My Love Were a Fire Truck
Written by Luke Reynolds and illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A father’s love for his son goes zoom, swoosh, vroom, boom! in this energetic, adventurous, action-packed board book tribute to fathers and sons. The bond between a father and his son is as powerful as a rocket ship blasting into space, a giant whale splashing across the ocean, and booming, colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. Celebrating that one-of-a-kind relationship between Dad and his favorite little guy, If My Love Were a Fire Truck is a rhyming love song from fathers to sons that will become a cherished part of their lives for many years to come.

Guess How Much I Love You book
#8
Guess How Much I Love You
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.

Wherever You Are book
#9
Wherever You Are
Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This one brings the tears to my eyes! Such a meaningful, beautiful, loving book that is a perfect reminder of love from someone who has passed on or even just lives far away. The illustrations are sweet, and the text talks about all of the things around you that are reminders of love from someone who can't be near.

. . . I wanted you more than you'll ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go. . . . Love is the greatest gift we have to give our children. It's the one thing they can carry with them each and every day. If love could take shape it might look something like these heartfelt words and images from the inimitable Nancy Tillman. Here is a book to share with your loved ones, no matter how near or far, young or old, they are.

Love, Z book
#10
Love, Z
Written and illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Full of adventure, helpers, and lots of different definitions of what love is, this little robot's quest to discover just that leads him unexpectedly back to the familiar and he discovers he knew what love is all along. The illustrations and premise are cute, it has a great ratio of text per page to keep things interesting, and all around it's a sweet read.

From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes the story of a young robot trying to find the meaning of “love.” When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed “Love, Beatrice,” they decide to find out what “love” means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice—and back home again, where love was hiding all along.

When a Dad Says "I Love You" book
#11
When a Dad Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book shows all the ways dads can say it best. Dads know how to do everything. They can help with homework and carry you on their shoulders. They can make pancakes and teach you how to sing songs. These loving actions are just some of the ways dads show how much they care—and no matter how he says it, “I love you” is wonderful to hear! From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer Bell, a sunny, cuddly testament to the bond between father and child.

That's Me Loving You book
#12
That's Me Loving You
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Teagan White
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This book fits perfectly on the shelf next to the classic The Runaway Bunny and is a gift that promises continuous love.aAmy Krouse Rosenthal captures parents' desire to be ever-present in this simple and touching poem offering reassurance of their love. Signs of affection can be found in the natural world around us-from a soft breeze to a shimmering star.

Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love book
#13
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Brooke Dyer, Jane Dyer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This delectable follow-up to the bestselling Cookies and Christmas Cookies defines words that are associated with love. From letting your friend have the last cookie (selfless) to waiting to lick the bowl together (considerate), here is a book for anyone who wants to say I love you. Meanings are illuminated in this different kind of dictionary, which is every bit as heartwarming as the experience of baking cookies with someone you love. Amy Krouse Rosenthal's sweet little lessons, mixed with warm and inviting illustrations by mother-daughter duo Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer, make for a book that will hit the spot!

I've Loved You Since Forever book
#14
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.

Made for Me book
#15
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.

I Love You Stinky Face book
#16
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
#17
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.

Mama Seeton's Whistle book
#18
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
#19
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 Runaway Hug book
#20
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
#21
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?

Famously Phoebe book
#22
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.

Beauty and the Beast book
#23
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.

Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
#24
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.

Catching Kisses book
#25
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.

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