One of the ways you can make reading fun for your kiddos is to have books that are out and around your house, whether to display or just make more easily accessible, for holidays. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite picks about valentines, love, hugs, kisses, and cuddles! Plus, who ever actually gets tired of reading books about love, kisses, and cuddles?! These picks are books we’ve selected that can become favorites for all year long. Go ahead, grab some of them from your library or bookstore and cuddle up, read, and enjoy! Warning: reading these books with your children may cause increased hugging, cuddling, kissing, and loving. You’re welcome.
The Runaway Hug - -
Huggy Kissy - When you’re an adorable bald baby, your family finds lots of ways to show you how much they love you: Mommy lifts you uppy, Daddy kisses you on the tummy, and everyone wants to snuggle. What’s not to love? With comedy and warmth, Leslie Patricelli offers a universal tribute to love and affection in a board book full of instant appeal for little valentines everywhere. Oh, baby! Leslie Patricelli’s one-haired wonder returns to share the love.
If Animals Said I Love You - If animals said “I love you” like we do…how would they say it? Whale would make bubbles shoot from her spout. Boa would give her hatchlings a hug. Gorilla would snuggle his child to sleep. And across the animal kingdom, every creature would show love in a special way. Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker are back with If Animals Said I Love You, a sweet imagining of love in the animal world.
How Many Hugs? - A charming board book that explores all the ways that animals and multi-legged insects give hugs, How Many Hugs? is perfect as a counting picture book and for reading aloud at bedtime! Centipedes, those crawliest bugs have 300 legs for giving out hugs. That’s 150 on one side to grasp and 150 on the other to clasp. Hugs abound in this celebration of multi-legged animals and insects and their babies! And at the end of the day, human parents can give their little ones as many hugs as they want—with two arms. Charming art and rhyming text make this a perfect companion to All Kinds of Kisses, also by Heather Swain.
Want to see books about hugs?
The Best Kind of Kiss - A child lists many varieties of kisses, ending with a favorite.
If Animals Kissed Good Night - Rhyming text explores what would happen if animals kissed like humans do, from a slow kiss between a sloth and her cub to a mud-happy kiss from a hippo calf to his father.
Hello, Love! - How do animals show their love? By touching trunks, beaks, and noses! Toddlers will delight in adorable pairs of fish, ducklings, elephants, and monkeys as they splash, swim, dance, and swing, all while showing affection. Author-illustrator Taro Miura brings a playfulness and verve to this love-affirming board book, which culminates in the ultimate celebration of love: a child embraced by loving parents.
All Kinds of Kisses - There are all kinds of kisses. Cheep kisses… moo kisses… baa kisses… coo kisses… But the best kiss of all is Mommy’s kiss goodnight. Mamas all across the farm cozy up with their little ones with cuddles and sweet affection. This lulling read-aloud, with animal sounds labeled on every page, will encourage young readers to join in as they are reminded how much they are cherished.
Caveboy Crush - A caveboy-meets-cavegirl tale, with a twist! Neander is a young caveboy. He spends his days doodling on cave walls, chasing mammoth butterflies, and playing with his pet rock, Rock. But one day, he meets Neanne—and he’s CRUSHED! She’s short, she’s hairy, she’s perfect! Neander does everything he can think of to get Neanne’s attention. He picks a bouquet for her from the Field of the Bees. He fetches a conch shell for her from the Waves of Salt. As Neander’s gestures get grander and grander, Neanne remains unimpressed. But then Neander hatches the grandest gesture of all, and it’s Neanne’s turn to do some crushing. From Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler comes this sweet celebration of first love—perfect for Valentine’s Day and read-alouds all year long.
1-2-3, You Love Me - From one bear hug to twelve pretty red roses, 1-2-3, You Love Me will foster lots of hugs, kisses, and affection between parent and child while teaching young ones to count from one to twelve. With charming love-filled illustrations, sturdy pages, and clever rhyming text, this is the perfect gift for baby for Valentine’s Day or any time of year. Sipping on yummy shakes, cuddling puppies, counting the colors in a rainbow, and making music with friends are all ways that children can express their love for their friends and family with Jill Howarth’s delightful board book.
Happy Heart - You are the sun in my sky. You are the apple of my eye. You mean the world to me. You make my heart so happy. Each page of this adorable board book is die-cut in a different shape. With sweet, loving text, bright, happy illustrations from Susie Hammer, and glitter on every page, Happy Heart is perfect to share with someone you love!
L Is for Love - Introduce your brilliant baby to the ABCs with this colorfully illustrated primer about love and friendship. Valentine’s Day is a time to reflect on the themes of love and friendship, and what better way to introduce toddlers to these concepts than with a new ABC volume from artist Greg Paprocki. The book’s 26 fully illustrated pages take aim just like Cupid’s arrow at lovebirds, sweethearts, BFFs, and secret admirers. Part of the BabyLit Alphabet Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. In addition to illustrating several Curious George books, he’s provided illustrations for a number of books for Gibbs Smith, including A Is for Atom, S Is for Santa, B Is for Boo, and The Big Book of Superheroes. He began his career as an advertising art director after studying fine art and graphic design at the University of Nebraska.
Maze Book: Follow My Heart - Follow My Heart is a seasonal maze adventure in the Follow Me series featuring cute animal characters, Valentine-themed scenes, and finger trails. Follow each animal through the adorable, illustrated scenes on a journey to find their perfect match in this fun-size maze book. Children will love exploring the paths with their fingertips to trace the grooved mazes from hole to hole. There is lots to see and spot on every page along with animal couples such as bees, penguins, bunnies, and bears. The tracing element is great for developing fine motor skills and the search-and-find activity throughout will help with spacial awareness. A great book for little hands to explore and a perfect gift for anyone you love! Also published: Follow Me, Follow Me Around the World, Follow Me Halloween and Follow Me Santa
Princess Ponies 12: An Enchanted Heart - Enter a land of magical ponies in this chapter book series that features illustrations throughout and comes with a collectible charm! The enchanted island of Chevalia, where ponies rule, has finally had its magic restored, thanks to human Pippa and pony Princess Stardust. Her task complete, Pippa has returned to our world . . . but her friends in Chevalia are never far away. It’s Valentine’s Day, and Pippa is so excited to get a surprise visit from her best friend, Princess Stardust. But Stardust needs Pippa’s help. . . Troublemaker Divine has cast a spell, and the ponies of Chevalia have forgotten how to love and started fighting! Together, Pippa and Stardust must search the forests, fields, and volcanoes of Chevalia for a way to break the curse. Can they remind the ponies how to be kind before Valentine’s Day is ruined? Pippa’s adventures in magical Chevalia are brought to life with delightful illustrations, and the book includes a special collectible charm. Collect all of the books in the Princess Ponies series: A Magical Friend A Dream Come True The Special Secret A Unicorn Adventure! An Amazing Rescue Best Friends Forever! A Special Surprise A Singing Star The Lucky Horseshoe The Pumpkin Ghost Season’s Galloping
How to Charm A Llama - If you want to charm a llama, you need this book! This llama-themed touch-and-feel book is perfect for young children, with a funny rhyme that explains how to correctly charm a llama! Children will love watching the color change as they interact with the two-way sequins on every spread.
The Itsy Bitsy Sweetheart - An adorable Valentine’s Day twist on the popular nursery rhyme “The Itsy Bitsy Spider!” The itsy bitsy sweetheart was loveable and kind, Drawing new cards for his friends and Valentines! Out came the markers, paints, and sticky glue, The itsy bitsy sweetheart had lots of work to do! The itsy bitsy sweetheart spreads holiday cheer as she makes Valentine’s Day cards for her family and friends! Little ones will love this sweet twist on the classic nursery rhyme “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
Mirabel's Missing Valentines - Poor shy Mirabel trembles at the thought of Valentine’s Day. Yet the little mouse crafts her cards with a heart on every one. As she nervously hurries to school, she doesn’t notice the valentines falling out of her bag! But with a little holiday kindness, the lost valentines make their way back to her . . . and bring joy into the lives of all who found them, too. This wonderful tale of overcoming insecurity will make its way to children’s hearts.
Sealed with a Kiss - What’s a seal to do when she’s new to the zoo? Make new friends, of course! But when the other animals aren’t so friendly, a wise sparrow inspires them to surprise Seal with a special treat. Full of heart and humor, this story of friendship and forgiveness from bestselling author Beth Ferry and illustrator Olivier Tallec will have little ones giggling along, and it makes for a fun Valentine’s Day gift!
I Love You Night and Day - A message of unconditional love through the seasons is wrapped in a warm and exuberant board book—perfect for baby showers, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and love all year round! I love you strong, I love you small, Together, we have it all. I love you wild, I love you loud, I shout it out and I feel proud. When you love someone, you want the whole world to know. Through good times and bad, rain or shine, love is unconditional. Share this beautiful board book for story time, bedtime, or anytime—with someone you love!
Penguin in Love - Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s beloved character Penguin searches for his match in Penguin in Love—a charming picture book that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. When Penguin finds a lost mitten on the ice one day, he wonders who it belongs to—after all, every mitten has a mate! To unravel the mystery, he embarks on the biggest adventure of his life. Is love waiting for Penguin at the end of this incredible journey? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating love in its many forms.
The Night Before Valentine's Day - All the kids are getting ready for the sweetest holiday of the year! Join in on all of the card-making fun, and then come along to school the next morning for a day of parties and games!
Meena Meets Her Match - Graduates of the Ramona Quimby series will adore Meena Zee as she navigates the triumphs and challenges of family, friendship, and personal secrets in this charming middle grade debut. Meena’s life is full of color. She wears vibrant clothes, eats every shade of the rainbow, and plucks eye-catching trash from the neighborhood recycling bins. But when Meena’s best friend, Sofía, stops playing with her at recess and she experiences an unexpected and scary incident at breakfast, nothing can fight off the gray. That’s when Meena comes up with a plan to create the BEST and most COLORFUL Valentine’s Day Box in the class. With the help of her cousin, Eli, and her stuffed zebra, Raymond, Meena discovers that the best way to break through the blah is to let her true colors shine.
The Third Wheel - Greg Heffley is not willing to be the odd man out. A dance at Greg’s middle school has everyone scrambling to find a partner, and Greg is determined not to be left by the wayside. So he concocts a desperate plan to find someone—anyone!—to go with on the big night. But Greg’s schemes go hilariously awry, and his only option is to attend the dance with his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, and a female classmate as a “group of friends.” But the night is long, and anything can happen along the way. Who will arrive at the dance triumphantly, and who will end up being the third wheel?
Durinda's Dangers - One month after their parents’ disappearance, the third-grade Huit octuplets deal with a malfunctioning refrigerator and try to win the love of the only boy in their class at Valentine’s Day, while Dorinda discovers her special power and gift. Simultaneous.
Want to see books about school?
Snuggle Puppy - A great big hug in book form, Snuggle Puppy is a year-round valentine from parent to child. It is bright, chunky, a pleasure to hold, and has a die-cut cover that reveals a glimpse of the joy inside before it’s even opened. Best of all, it’s packed, of course, with pure Boynton: her inimitable language, her inimitable illustrations, her inimitable sense of fun. OOO, Snuggle Puppy of mine! Everything about you is especially fine. I love what you are. I love what you do. Fuzzy little Snuggle Puppy, I love you. Featuring a sweet and cuddly doggie cast and rhyming verse, Snuggle Puppy is the perfect bedtime book to read last, because of an ending that kids will want again and again: I started with OOO. . . . Now we’ll end like this: [BIG SMOOCH!]
Peter Rabbit, I Love You - Say “I love you” with this rhyming board book with a peekaboo mirror! This lovely book features classic Beatrix Potter characters, including Peter Rabbit, accompanied by sweet rhyming text. Celebrating all the lovable and adorable things little ones do, and ending with a mirror surprise, this book is perfect for reading with the little bunny you love the most.
I Heart You - Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles. With her spare, lyrical text, Meg Fleming captures the exuberance, the affection, and the tender push-and-pull of life with a child. And illustrator Sarah Jane Wright’s evocative illustrations infuse the story with generous helpings of warmth and love.
I Love You, Mommy - A wonderful new Peter Rabbit book with a heart-warming rhyme that celebrates moms everywhere. This heart-warming book is the perfect way to tell Mom “I love you” on Mother’s Day—or on any other day of the year! With a little help from Peter Rabbit himself, a beautiful rhyme, contemporary design and gorgeous illustrations capture the charm of Beatrix Potter’s drawings, ensuring the book will appeal to Beatrix Potter fans old and new.
Want to see books about parental behavior?
I Love You, Elephant! - With the turn of each page, young readers share the love Monkey feels for his friends! “I love you!” is the refrain on each spread of this joyful story. Readers will delight in seeing new faces appear and then change when the page is turned, thanks to the magical Venetian blind element built into the book. This sweet novelty board book is great fun to read aloud, and the perfect addition to our Changing Faces series.
ABCs of Kindness - Learning the importance of kindness is as easy as A-B-C with this sweet board book.
A is for all of us be everyone’s friend.
B is for believing things will turn out well in the end.
C is for being caring in everything you do.
D is for dear ones who mean the world to you. Learn your ABCs while learning to be kind to everyone you meet with this irresistibly illustrated board book that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Love the World - A celebration of love, respect, peace, and unity by bestselling author and illustrator Todd Parr. Love your grin. Love your skin. Love the bees. Love the trees. Love giving a hand. Love taking a stand. LOVE YOURSELF. LOVE THE WORLD! What the world needs now is love—and who better than Todd Parr to share a message of kindness, charity, and acceptance. Touching upon themes including self-esteem, environmentalism, and respect for others, Todd uses his signature silly and accessible style to encourage readers to show love for themselves and all the people, places, and things they encounter.
Daniel Loves You - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! Daniel says “I love you” in this shaped board book based on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood! Join Daniel Tiger for a ride around the neighborhood as he says “I love you” to his family, friends, neighbors…and to you! This sweet, simple board book is filled with hearts, hugs, and “Ugga Muggas!” © 2018 The Fred Rogers Company
Want to see books about kindness?
Hugga Bugga Love - A little boy has had enough of his mom giving him hugs, kisses, and cuddles. She calls it “hugga bugga love,” and it’s a special love that the son eventually accepts because he learns his mom’s hugga buggas show him how much she loves him. Please, Mama! No more kisses. I get kisses all day through! I need some space! And it’s MY face. One hug and kiss will do! Mom loves kissing, hugging, and cuddling her precious little boy. She calls it hugga bugga love—but he has had enough! From lunchtime to playtime to bath time to nighttime, there’s no escaping her hugga bugga love. He isn’t even safe just pulling off his socks! But he learns to accept his mom’s affection, because he realizes that he’s hers and she’s all his, and her hugga buggas show him how much she loves him.
These Words I Shaped for You - A loving, lyrical ode to the bond shared between mother and child in the tradition of You Are My I Love You and On the Night You Were Born. Before you were born, you fit into the round fullness of my belly and when I dreamt I sent words like love to keep you safe. And when I first touched your tiny hand to mine, I drew a heart inside your palm for you to hold. There is no love more beautiful, more pure, than the deep-rooted love shared between parent and child. Told with vivid, poetic language, and accompanied by Basak Agaoglu’s adorable, child-friendly art, Megan Merchant infuses genuine warmth and compassion in this celebration of a mother’s heartfelt affection for her child. Whether it’s Mother’s day, Valentine’s Day, graduation, or just an ordinary day, this is the perfect book to share with the people in our lives we cherish most.
Llama Llama I Love You - With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama board books introduce Llama Llama to babies and toddlers before they’re ready for longer full-length stories. And their small size and durable pages are perfect for little hands. In Llama Llama I Love You, little llama shows his friends and family how much he loves them with heart-shaped cards and lots of hugs. What could be sweeter than Llama Llama on Valentine’s Day?
Love, Mama - With a heartwarming story and tender illustrations, Jeanette Bradley’s debut picture book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and any day when a child needs a reminder of the strength of a mother’s love.
Want to see books about mother and child?
I Love You, Little Pookie - From the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton, here is I Love You, Little Pookie, a sweet and simple board book that offers a declaration of unwavering love from Mom to her wonderful child. I Love You, Little Pookie is an affectionate and heartfelt celebration—for Valentine’s Day and every day—enlivened with those funny and captivating Boynton drawings. And Pookie’s Mom wisely knows that the best way to say I love you is simply to say it: Through the days, through the nights, come rain or come shine, I love you, little Pookie. You’ll always be mine.
I Love You, Mommy - An adorable, heartfelt padded board book for mothers and children, just in time for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day! A heartwarming story of a baby bear who loves doing things with her Mommy, like having fun at breakfast time, playing in the backyard, enjoying yummy snacks, and watching clouds together. This beautifully illustrated padded board book is the perfect gift for mom’s birthday or for Mother’s Day!
Love - This delightful book explores the joys of unconditional love between a parent and child. Beautifully illustrated pages and a gentle story make this perfect for sharing and creating special memories together.
You Are Loved - Perfect for baby showers, gender reveal parties, and first birthdays, this edition extends the sentiments in the bestseller On the Night You Were Born and tells children they are loved. With space and prompts for writing personal messages in the book, this volume is sure to be a special keepsake.
Bunny My Honey - Bunny knows how to do lots of special rabbity things, like running and hopping, digging, and thumping his great big feet. But when he runs too far one day and gets lost deep in the woods, there’s only one thing he wants: an adoring Mommy Rabbit to cuddle him and put her twitchy nose on his. The incomparable Anita Jeram, illustrator of the all-time classic series about the Nutbrown Hares and many other beloved tales, offers a sweetly reassuring read-aloud for the youngest of children.
I Love Kisses - I love kisses. I’ll bet that you do too! Wake up sleepyhead kisses Raspberry jam and bread kisses… There are lots of kinds of kisses in the world, and they all say something different. Award-winning author Sheryl McFarlane’s new book celebrates the best part about kisses; while each one is unique, they all say “I love you!”
The Littlest Valentine - Emma may be the littlest in the Valentine family, but she knows that she has what it takes to help the family business get ready for the holiday. But Emma just can’t seem to do things the right way like the bigger members of her family, no matter how hard she tries. Will Emma find a way to help her family on Valentine’s Day, or is the littlest Valentine just too little?