Best Children's Books About Valentines

The 32 Best Books to Read to Celebrate Valentine's Day

Updated Jan. 27, 2019

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.

Three Little Words book
#1
Three Little Words
Written by Clemency Pearce and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book!! The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and darling, and the story and text are just as sweet! I love the message of this book, and I love that it shows how love and kindness can help overcome other emotions or help you be brave in certain situations. I also love that it talks about how you can help others by using these words, too! Fabulous book.

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

My Heart Is Like a Zoo book
#2
My Heart Is Like a Zoo
Written and illustrated by Michael Hall
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is amazing and I love it so much! The illustrations are incredibly clever (all made out of hearts), and the rhyme scheme and cadence are FANTASTIC. In terms of content, the exposure it gives to a range of emotions in a child-accessible way fraught with silliness and similies is delightful.

"A simple heart shape and bright primary colors become lions, herons, and other zoo animals. Entertaining short sentences about each animal are fun to read, and as kids learn their numbers they can count the hearts that make up each animal, giving this title a little extra longevity." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor The New York Times bestseller My Heart Is Like a Zoo features bright colors, simple sentences, playful animals, and more than 300 hearts for children to count and enjoy. Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick says, "Starting with one simple shape, Michael Hall shows us a nearly infinite number of ways to make a menagerie of love." This board book edition of the award-winning picture book is perfect for little hands and the very youngest readers, who will learn that a heart can be hopeful, silly, happy, rugged, snappy, or lonely. A heart holds every different feeling, and author-artist Michael Hall captures each one with his bold, graphic artwork. An ideal springboard for conversations about emotions, and for introducing concepts, math, and art projects in the classroom and at home. School Library Journal called it an "outstanding choice for one-on-one sharing."

More Than Balloons book
#3
More Than Balloons
Written by Lorna Crozier and illustrated by Rachelle Anne Miller
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Truly such a sweet and lovely book. Love the rhymes, love the message, love the adorable illustrations (especially the hedgehog character!) and I can read it over and over and over again, which is always a major win.

Balloons love the moon, and a tuba loves a tune, but these don't compare to the love we have for you. Award-winning poet Lorna Crozier uses evocative rhyme, complemented by Rachelle Anne Miller's whimsical imagery, to provide babies and toddlers with common concepts that explain just how great love is.

The Runaway Hug book
#4
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.

Catching Kisses book
#5
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.

How Do You Say I Love You? book
#6
How Do You Say I Love You?
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Awesome concept! The rhymes help with guiding you how to pronounce "I love you" in all the different languages, and the illustrations subtly show elements of each different culture that you can talk about your little one as you read through the book.

Learn how to say “I love you” in ten different languages with this heartwarming board book. “I love you” may sound different around the world, but the meaning is the same. From China, to France, to Russia, to Brazil, and beyond, this charming board book features “I love you” in ten different languages. Tapping into the emotions that parents feel for their children, the rhyming text is accompanied by sweet artwork that depicts different cultures around the world.

Hug Machine book
#7
Hug Machine
Written and illustrated by Scott Campbell
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this cute book about hugging! So sweet and a great book to get your little one to give your more hugs. ;) This book is also perfect for any little one that loves pizza, as that's a hug machine's favorite food!

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

Hugs and Kisses book
#8
Hugs and Kisses
Written and illustrated by Judi Abbot
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling illustrator of The Perfect Hug and The Biggest Kiss, comes an adorable board book full of hugs and kisses! This sweet board book features the same cast of adorable animals from The Biggest Kiss and The Perfect Hug by bestselling illustrator Judi Abbot. Only this time, all the friends are in a brand-new story that proves everyone needs hugs AND kisses!

Big Hugs, Little Hugs book
#9
Big Hugs, Little Hugs
Written and illustrated by Felicia Bond
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A joyful board book about family love from the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! Big or small, Furry or not, Here or there, Inside or out, Everyone hugs all over the world. With its loving, simple text and bold, beautiful artwork, this is a perfect board book for baby showers, first birthdays, or a baby’s first first holidays. And it’s not just about hugging! Little ones can learn about opposites and about animals and their habitats in this story too. Mega-selling author and artist Felicia Bond has crafted a charming book filled with animals hugging across the globe that celebrates the universality of love.

A Book of Kisses book
#10
A Book of Kisses
Written by Dave Ross and illustrated by Laura Rader
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

There are all kinds of kisses in the world, for all different occasions: congratulations kisses I'm sorry kisses butterfly kisses good night kisses A kiss is a wonderful way to show someone you care. Show someone you care--share this book and a kiss!

Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
#11
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.

The Best Kind of Kiss book
#12
The Best Kind of Kiss
Written by Margaret Allum and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A child lists many varieties of kisses, ending with a favorite.

Plant a Kiss book
#13
Plant a Kiss
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Little Miss planted a kiss. . . . One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey about life, kindness, and giving from New York Times bestselling team Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H. Reynolds. Now a board book!

Kisses and Cuddles book
#14
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!

1-2-3, You Love Me book
#15
1-2-3, You Love Me
Written and illustrated by Jill Howarth
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Hugga Bugga Love book
#16
Hugga Bugga Love
Written by Diane Ohanesian and illustrated by Gillian Flint
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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 book
#17
These Words I Shaped for You
Written by Megan Merchant and illustrated by Basak Agaoglu
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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.

How Many Hugs? book
#18
How Many Hugs?
Written by Heather Swain and illustrated by Steven Henry
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Here Comes Valentine Cat book
#19
Here Comes Valentine Cat
Written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Cat does not want to send a valentine to anyone until some unexpected gifts from the dog next door make him change his mind"

The Night Before Valentine's Day book
#20
The Night Before Valentine's Day
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Heidi Petach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#21
Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

“You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place. Perfect for that someone special any day of the year!

February Friend book
#22
February Friend
Written by Ron Roy and illustrated by John Steven Gurney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy follow clues to find whoever left a rabbit in their first-grade classroom on Valentine's Day, because they are worried the rabbit will get sick and die of loneliness.

Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers book
#23
Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The whole school is turned upside down when the new cafeteria cook hands out her special Valentines Day cookies. Could she really be Cupid creating a love potion?

Valentine's Day Secret book
#24
Valentine's Day Secret
Written by Carolyn Keene and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Bess and George are fighting - and Nancy's caught in the middle! It's Valentine's Day, but things are not all hearts and flowers for Nancy! While she and her best friends, Bess and George, are making their own stuffed animals at Farmer Fran's Barnyard Buddies, someone slips a mean valentine into Bess' animal's pocket. What's worse than a mean valentine? Bess thinks it came from George! Now the two are in their worst fight ever - and Nancy's caught in the middle! How can she sew Bess and George's friendship - not to mention the Clue Crew - back together?

Where Do Kisses Come From? book
#25
Where Do Kisses Come From?
Written by Maria Fleming and illustrated by Janice Kinnealy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Introduces some of the many reasons why parents kiss their children, including because they smile or because they are sick, and reveals where kisses come from.

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