One simple way to enjoy the celebration of Valentine’s Day with your children is to read aloud stories centered on love and the holiday itself. Here are some books you’re sure to enjoy.
‘Saint Valentine’ by Robert Sabuda
Every holiday tells a story, and Valentine’s Day is no different. Teach your children about its origin with a story like “Saint Valentine,” retold and Illustrated by Robert Sabuda, published by Aladdin.
“Saint Valentine” recounts the tale of the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages, depicting the humble and kind physician who healed a blind girl before being persecuted for practicing Christianity. The story is illustrated with lovely paper mosaics that complement the tale and that shed light on some of the customs we still maintain each Valentine’s Day.
‘The Story of Valentine’s Day’ by Clyde Robert Bulla
“The Story of Valentine’s Day” by Clyde Robert Bulla, illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas and published by HarperCollins, may be a bit harder to find, but I did find a number of used copies available on AbeBooks.com. This all-encompassing Valentine’s Day 101 covers the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, and Saint Valentine, and then provides instructions for holiday crafts and cookies. A perfect primer, “The Story of Valentine’s Day” has a little bit of everything and is worth searching for.
‘Guess How Much I Love You’ by Sam McBratney
“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram and published by Candlewick Press, is an endearing and playful conversation between the sweet Little Nutbrown Hare and the loving Big Nutbrown Hare, as each aims to find the largest expression of love between a parent and child. Adorable illustrations see the pair reaching as far as they can reach and seeing as far as they can see to depict how much they love one another.
A classic since 1995, this is a Valentine’s Day must-read.
‘Me With You’ by Kristy Dempsey
“Me With You” by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Christopher Denise and published by Philomel Books, is an adorably illustrated book that depicts the special bond between a grandfather and granddaughter. It begins, “We’re a pair beyond compare, a rare and special two, in all the ways that I am me and you’re completely you.” From tea parties, to feeling sick, from gardening to needing comfort, this story truly exemplifies the sweetest elements of the love between a grandparent and a grandchild.
‘Corduroy’ by Don Freeman
“Corduroy” by Don Freeman, published by Penguin Group, is a must-have any time of year, but fits with the Valentine’s Day sentiment nicely. “Corduroy is a bear who once lived in the toy department of a big store.” His adventure, while searching the department store to find his missing overall button and the friendship he finds with the young girl who takes him home, is simply heartwarming. Children learn affection and caring even through their relationships with their dolls and toys. “Corduroy” is a tale that is relatable and endearing.
‘The Ballad of Valentine’ by Alison Jackson
This fun and heart-warming read by Alison Jackson, illustrated by Tricia Tusa and published by Dutton Juvenile, shows the lengths a man goes to, to deliver his Valentine a message of love. “In a cabin, in a canyon, near a mountain laced with pine, Lived a girl who was my sweetheart and her name was Valentine,” the story begins. Continuing along to the tune of “Clementine,” kids and adults will just love this funny, simple, and sweet Valentine tale.