Best Children's Books About Valentines

The 37 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.

Emma book
#1
Emma
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Step into the drama filled world of Jane Austin’s Emma: A BabyLit Emotions Primer. Your little one will learn about the meddling Emma Woodhouse, who takes it upon herself to become the village matchmaker, creating all sorts of feelings in others. Her friend’s emotions include Mr. Elton being angry, Miss Taylor becoming happy, while Jane Fairfax is tired.

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 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

The Runaway Hug book
#3
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.

More Than Balloons book
#4
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.

My Heart Is Like a Zoo book
#5
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."

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.

Hugs and Kisses book
#7
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!

Love Monster and the Perfect Present book
#8
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.

A Book of Kisses book
#9
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!

Catching Kisses book
#10
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.

Hug Machine book
#11
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.

Big Hugs, Little Hugs book
#12
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.

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!

In My Heart book
#14
In My Heart
Written and illustrated by Jo Witek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A young girl explores what different emotions feel like, such as happiness which makes her want to twirl, or sadness which feels as heavy as an elephant.

The Best Kind of Kiss book
#15
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.

Kisses and Cuddles book
#16
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!

Romeo and Juliet book
#17
Romeo and Juliet
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get swept away by Little Master Shakespeare’s tale of two star-crossed lovers in Romeo & Juliet: A BabyLit® Counting Primer. Count friends, kisses, love letters, and roses in this charming retelling of Shakespeare’s famous story of young love. Since parting from such a lovely little book will certainly bring feelings of sweet sorrow, you may find yourself re-reading 'till it be 'morrow!

Love Is book
#18
Love Is
Written by Diane Adams and illustrated by Claire Keane
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Perfect for Valentine's Day—or any tender moment—this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned.

I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home book
#19
I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home
Written by Kathryn Cristaldi and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

1-2-3, You Love Me book
#20
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.

If Animals Kissed Good Night book
#21
If Animals Kissed Good Night
Written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Snuggle Puppy book
#22
Snuggle Puppy
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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!]

Hugga Bugga Love book
#23
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.

Penguin in Love book
#24
Penguin in Love
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

These Words I Shaped for You book
#25
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.

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