Celebrating a day of love sharing a love of books with the little ones in your life? Absolutely! Books are an easy answer to filling in your love-themed gift basket, an alternative to plastic toys and candy, and won’t end up in the trash in a week. Just a few reasons we love books as gifts.

As a former early literacy program director and mom of four, I’ve hand-picked our absolute favorite board books and picture books for celebrating love and kindness with babies, toddlers, and little kids. Check them out below!

But first a quick story… Our oldest child’s preschool teacher had the children make a card and bring their favorite book for a Valentine’s book exchange. Taking the place of individual exchanging of valentine cards, the parent crew was in full support. During the party, children passed the books in a circle until the music stopped. The children then spent nearly an hour talking sharing what they loved most about the book they brought or what they looked forward to with their new book. As an unapologetic children’s literature-obsessed mama and former teacher myself, I loved the idea. Five years later, we still read our book! Thanks, Leona!.

Sharing the love of books and children’s literature with my own babies, swoon.

We have brought this tradition home in a sense and each year gift our children a ‘new to them’ book. Sometimes one they have asked for, sometimes one I’ve picked up from a little free library, and always one that we will read over and over again.

And so, if you want to join us this February 14th and gift a new book, we have just a few of our very favorites for babies, toddlers, and little kids below. All are now available in the store.

QUICK BOOK SUMMARIES

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. A silly story of taco-loving dragons that is loved by toddlers, preschoolers, and the big kids too.

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek. So many feelings can fill our hearts, from happiness and sadness to bravery and anger and how they make us feel are so different. This sweet story explores the ways we feel all of our feelings giving kids the words to connect those feelings and share them.

Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin. A sweet and magical story that follows little ones as their nighttime comfort items come to life in dreamland adventures. The illustrations are so delightful and the cadence is melodic and perfect to snuggle up and read before bed.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddle. A story of three worried little owls to awake to find their mother is missing but arcs with her return to their nest after a night of hunting for food for them. Our grown-ups always come back.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. A modern classic that every child should read and re-read and re-read. Taylor’s tower comes crashing down and animal friends present their opinions and big emotions about how to handle it going forward. In the end, the rabbit that sits, listens, and allows Taylor to process his feelings and then rebuild is exactly what Taylor needed!

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin. Beautiful illustrations that feel like they are from long ago but also so modern. This adorable book explores how little ones may tackle the world that focuses on how they will impact the world and grow.

You Are Light by Aaron Becker. A beautifully designed and illustrated board book perfect for babies and toddlers with minimal words and a smooth and soothing cadence.

Toot and Puddle: You are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie. A beautifully story about favorite characters Toot & Puddle as one friend is struggling with big sad feelings and his friends rally around to give him support, love, and sometimes space so he can work through his blue days.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. A sweet story of an imaginary friend seeking to find his human. Once they connect they embark on unimaginable adventures together with bright and imagination-igniting illustrations this feel-good story of finding a friend, even an imaginary one, will warm your family’s hearts. A #1 New York Times bestseller and Caldecott Award winner we aren’t the only ones in love with this story.

Happy Reading and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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