I’m here, I’m here! The first 3 days of this week were spent passing around the winter ick (and doing lots of laundry) and then yesterday was spent digging ourselves out of our first major snowstorm this year.
I’m so happy to see Friday come.
I’m totally cheating today, because I haven’t blogged all week and what I’m offering today is a compilation of some past posts. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing some tried-and-true books from our own Valentine collection.
They’re not the newest titles, or even the most celebrated. But they’re well-loved in our house.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
Hello, little friend! It’s one of the most recognizable mice in children’s literature! Numeroff tells such sweet, simple stories, and this one is no different. Mouse wants to make Valentine’s for each of his friends, but rather than just make simple generic cards, he makes each an extra-special Valentine that celebrates each individual’s personality. What an awesome message for kids!
And because Mouse has such good friends, he receives valentines, too. Very appropriate ones that take his personality into consideration.
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore
While not strictly a Valentine’s Day book, it somehow seems appropriate to the season. This is a “classic” first published in 1997. We received it as a gift when my son was born, and while I had seen it many times before, I had never actually read it until that time. It’s a story of a child’s wild imaginings, and a mother’s reassurance.
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
If you have been living in a cave (ha! dinosaurs…cave…??) and not yet discoverd Yolen and Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs… series, then this is required reading. Continuing with their theme of dinosaur antics, the duo crafts a story of dinosaurs who behave like young dinosaurs do- kicking the back of the seat, refusing to nap, throwing sand. But just like your own little “dinosaur”, these dinosaurs also have special ways of letting their parents know how much they love them. Added bonus for the dinosaur lovers in your family? Teague’s illustrations are modeled after real prehistoric creatures; you can find the names written discreetly on each page.
Yummiest Love by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Laura J. Byrant
The everyday joys (and frustrations) this doting daddy experiences with his young son will ring true with parents everywhere. From belly laughs and never-ending questions, to picky eating and cuddles, this daddy bear knows that “You keep changing and growing and that will never stop. All I can do is hang on for the ride.”
Old Bear and His Cub by Olivier Dunrea
Old Bear (complete with scruffy white eyebrows) knows that sometimes what his Little Cub needs is tough love, which includes reminding him to eat his porridge, tie his scarf, and not climb too high on the rocks. But when Old Bear becomes sick with a winter cold, it’s up to Little Cub make things better.
If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka
Valentine’s Day celebrates love of all sorts! Follow this young boy as he creates valentines for everyone from his puppy, to his Grandma, to his favorite stuffed toy. Each little verse represents a specific relationship and the over-abundance of love little ones have to share.
Love, Splat by Rob Scotton
Splat has a very special valentine for his classmate, Kitten, whom he likes “more than ice cream and fish sticks.” But when he gets to school, Splat begins to lose his nerve. His dilemma is not helped when Spike announces that he too likes Kitten…and his valentine is bigger and better than Splat’s. This Valentine’s Day story is hysterical pick for slightly older readers, but still has that quintessential “awww” factor. (Hint: Make sure your listeners can see the pictures for this one.)
I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
My 2yo is constant motion. Climbing furniture, running laps around the house, leaping from the stairs. But he will bring this book, ask to sit on my lap, and listen to each page, start to finish. It’s the only book that he’ll do that for. He loves the silliness, the naming of body parts, and the hugs and tickles that come as we read. Which makes it a pretty special book, even if it’s just special for us.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. And happy Friday. Hoping to be back with more regularity soon!