by Carrie Anne
Can you feel it in the air? No not cold germs or frost bite. I’m talking about love. February is all about love in our house and yes, Valentine’s Day plays a big part in that. We’ve been busy drawing hearts and writing love letters this month, then reading Valentine books about love, all sorts of love. Here are a few to share with your little loves.
What do You Love?
published by Harcourt
written by Jonathan London, illustrated by Karen Lee Schmidt
boardbook, Valentine books
This fun read-aloud rhyming boardbook asks the simple question “What do you love?” A mamma and baby pup joyfully answer throughout the book. They spend from morning until night time doing the things they love together, including spending time with each other. The illustrates are fun and colourful, taking-up the whole page. The copy is simple and large for easy reading. Kids will enjoy reading this rhyme and perhaps it will inspire you to spend an afternoon together doing what you love with your little one.
My Furry Valentine
published by Blue Apple Books
written/illustrated by Deborah Zemke
picture book, Valentine books (age 4+)
This delightful rhyme asks the question How do you say, ‘Be my Valentine’? and the animals answer: we say it in spots, wing to wing. The simple illustrations show animals exchanging love with their mates. Although the poem references animals and their unique characteristics (fire flies ask in lights) the words could easily be transferred to how we celebrate our own love. Deborah includes fun flaps and folds and cutouts to add to the secret valentine fun, and of course, a cute use of word and illustrative play. This was a new release sent to me by Raincoast Books.
Olive My Love
published by Harcourt
written by Vivian Walsh, illustrated by J.Otto Seibold
picture book, Valentine books (3-8)
From the creative team behind Olive, the Other Reindeer (a wonderful Christmas story), Olive is taken on another journey. Her friend and flying dog Dexter (like cupid) drops a large heart at her front door. Olive, worried that Dexter dropped his heart by accident, of course, decides to return it to him. She fills a sack with fresh biscuits and heads out. Along the way, she befriends a squirrel named Handler and then, a spider named Weaver. Together the three friends work their way back to Dexter’s house only to find out that Dexter wanted to give Olive his heart, to keep. The friends then end their adventure with a wonderful picnic of bonbons, biscuits, nut chews and fly wings. This is a wonderful story about the love found in friendship. You can’t help but love Olive’s warm and open character.
Slugs in Love
published by Marshall Cavendish
written by Susan Pearson, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
picture book, Valentine books (age 4-7)
Margaret loves Herbie but she’s too shy to tell him herself. One day while in the garden Margaret’s mind filled with thoughts of Herbie so she wrote him a love poem. Herbie found the poem and wanted to meet Margaret, so he wrote her a poem back but Margaret never found it. Margaret keeps writing notes and Herbie continues to respond only having his notes washed away or moved. Eventually, the two connect and stay together. This is one of my seven-year-old’s favourite books. She loves the cute little poems the two slugs send back and forth to each other.
Yuck, a Love Story
published by Stoddart Kids
written by Don Gillmor, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
picture book, Valentine books (age 4-10)
Austin Grouper is a boy with a dog a best friend and a bike. His life is full. Then a little girl named Amy move in next door. Yuck, is Austin’s response. In typical boy style, Austin thinks everything about Amy is, of course, yucky. But still every day, he visits her. Then, for her birthday he wrestles the moon from the sky to give her. The wonderful interaction between Amy and Austin is wonderful and so true; parent and children alike will enjoy their conversations. I love how Austin decides he doesn’t like Amy for no real reason but ends up being her friend in the end. Some friendships sneak up on you like that.
published by Atheneum Books
written/illustrated by Sam Lloyd
picture book, Valentine books (age 3-6)
Emily loves Mr. Pusskins. She plays games with him, brushes him, praises him and reads him a special story each night but Mr. Pusskins is bored and wants more. Then, one night he leaves through the cat flap in search for something new. At first, he enjoys his naughty life without Emily, yeowling at the moon and playing in the trash, but soon things change and he starts to feel lonely. Just when he thinks there’s no hope to return to his old life, Emily finds him and takes him home.
Mr. Pusskins is a new cat. Both Mr. Pusskins and Emily realize how lucky they are to have each other. My kids are partial to cat stories because of the love they have for their own cats. Although Mr. Pusskins is a story about a cat, the actual story about appreciating the love and friendship around you is one both kids and parents would enjoy.
Carrie Anne is our contributing writer, a blogger to many , a mom to 3, and of course lover of great books. You can read more at her blog Another Day, Another Thought ….Or Two
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