Top 11 Children's Books for Valentine's Day

Celebrate The Holiday With The Kid-Friendly Options

These Valentine's books are good read-alouds, provide positive reinforcement for sharing and being kind to one another and have engaging illustrations that complement the text. The list includes picture books, pop-up books, a book for a beginning reader and a chapter book. Here's a quick look at each of them.

01
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Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch - picture book cover
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, a Valentine's Day Picture Book. Simon and Schuster

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, by Eileen Spinelli, is a modest picture book with a terrific message about loving kindness and caring for others. Even very young children will relate to Mr. Hatch and how thrilled he is to receive a mysterious Valentine's Day treat (Who sent it?) and how it changes his behavior, making him much more outgoing and friendly. They will also feel sad with him when he finds out the gift was not really meant for him. Best of all, they will rejoice at the ending.

02
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The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart

The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart - picture book cover
The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart. Little, Brown and Company

The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart is one of a series of picture books by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, with illustrations by Christine Davenier. The main character, Gerry, is a little girl who likes to dress up like a fairy princess. This story is about Valentine's Day.  After all of the fun of making very fancy Valentine's Day cards for her classmates, Gerry leaves them at home. What happens when Gerry finds out and how she still provides Valentines for each of her classmates makes for a very positive and satisfying story.

03
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Here Comes Valentine Cat

Here Comes Valentine Cat - picture book cover
Here Comes Valentine Cat. Penguin Young Readers Group

Here Comes Valentine Cat features the same lovable, but grouchy and sometime devious, cat first featured in author Deborah Underwood's Here Comes Easter Cat. The text is composed of questions and comments by the unseen narrator to which the cat replies with handmade signs featuring words or pictures. The artwork by Claudia Rueda, created with ink and colored pencil on white paper, keeps the focus on the cat and his signs.

In Here Comes Valentine Cat, we have a cat who doesn't like Valentine's Day and is increasingly irritated by his new neighbor next door, a dog who throws bones and a ball over the fence hitting the cat. The cat is about ready to send a mean Valentine's Day card to the dog.

However, the narrator and a nice Valentine's Day card from the dog help the cat to realize the dog is lonely and wants to be friends.

04
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Guess How Much I Love You

Guess How Much I Love You - boxed gift edition
Candlewick Press

This gift edition would be a great gift for an older brother to give to a younger brother, as well as a good gift from a parent to a child or from a grateful child, teen or adult to a father, grandfather or other caring adult.

While the box that contains the book is only about 4" x 4½," the book is not what you might expect. Rather than a small version of a traditional pop-up book, this pop-up folds out to create a two-sided panorama that is about 30" inches long and, as you can see from this inside view of Guess How Much I Love You? would look great displayed on a bookshelf. When set up on display, it measures about 42" wide, quite a surprise considering the tiny box that holds it.

05
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Snowy Valentine

Cover art for Snowy Valentine children's picture book
HarperCollins

Snowy Valentine is a sweet story and a good picture book for ages 3-6. Jasper Bunny loves his wife Lilly so much that he wants to get her a very special Valentine's Day gift.  The problem is that he doesn't know what to get her. In search of ideas, he leaves their home and, despite the snow and cold, walks down to the neighboring valley to get ideas from some of their animal neighbors.  After a discouraging afternoon, Jasper is startled to learn that he has, without even knowing it, created the perfect gift for Lilly. Snowy Valentine is the first picture book by author and illustrator David Petersen.  

06
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Guess How Much I Love You: The Pop-Up Edition

Guess How Much I Love You The Pop-Up Edition
Candlewick Press

The pop-up edition of Guess How Much I Love You, the popular picture book by Sam McBratney, with its captivating illustrations by Anita Jeram, is perfect for Valentine's Day. This story of the love between parent and child has become a classic since it was first published more than a decade ago and the pop-up edition is a delight. It would make a good Valentine's Day gift for both children and adults. Candlewick Press published the pop-up edition in 2011.

07
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Love, Splat

Cover art of Love, Splat a children's Valentine's Day picture book about Splat the Cat
HarperCollins

Splat, the lovable fluffy black cat with the skinny legs, is back. Splat was first introduced in Rob Scotten's picture book Splat the Cat. In Love, Splat, Splat has a crush on a Kitten, a pretty fluffy white kitten who is in his class. He makes her a Valentine despite the fact that every time she saw him, Kitten "pulled his ears and poked his belly, tied his tail and called him smelly." Shyness, insecurity, and a rival confront Splat, but he conquers them all and finds out, to his delight, the real reason Kitten keeps bothering him. Throughout his adventures, Splat is accompanied by his mouse friend Seymour.

08
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You're Lovable to Me

Cover art oof children's picture book You're Lovable to Me by Kat Yeh
Random House

With a rhythmic text and whimsical illustrations, You're Lovable to Me celebrates the love between parent and child that transcends behavior and time and enables a mother rabbit to tell each of her six bunnies that, no matter what, "You're lovable to me."  Later, she hears the same words from her own father who stresses that even though she is an adult, "When a papa loves a bunny, that's the way it will always be."

Kit Weh's gentle story and Sue Anderson's lively ink and colored pencil illustrations in soft and strong pastels reflect a "big day" and "hard night" in a houseful of love.

09
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Too Many Valentines

This Level 1, Ready-To-Read book is part of the Robin Hill School series. It was written by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Mike Gordon. The story centers on class preparations for Valentine's Day and one little boy, Neil, who says, "I get too many Valentines. I do not want any more." How the class honors his feelings and still includes him in the celebration makes an entertaining story.

10
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Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine

This children's Valentine's Day book is from the Nate the Great detective series for beginning readers by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Nate the Great starts out with one case, finding out who gave his dog a Valentine, and then, his friend Annie asks him to help her find a missing Valentine. This entertaining story, with lots of illustrations by Marc Simont, is both a good read-aloud for 4-8 year olds and a good book for beginning readers, grades 2-3.

11
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Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

This amusing picture book was written and illustrated by Diane de Groat. While I am not always a big fan of books in which children are portrayed by a group of animals, I am willing to make an exception for a story like this one that deals with kindness and teasing. Teasing and hurt feelings are common among elementary school children. The author does a nice job of showing the consequences of both unkindness and kindness when exchanging Valentine's Day cards.