As Valentine’s Day approaches, are you looking for children’s books about Valentine’s Day? Is reading to your kids on your Valentine activities list? We have been reading a variety of both fiction and non-fiction Valentine’s books. My kids love the fiction stories, but I confess to having a soft spot for some of the non-fiction Valentine’s books that have been teaching my kids – and me! – some of the history related to this holiday. Read on for my review of nine different books about Valentine’s day for kids.
Valentine’s Day Is by Gail Gibbons
I am a big fan of Gail Gibbons’s work, and this book is no exception. Valentine’s Day Is. . . provides a wonderful history and background on the Valentine’s holiday in a way that will be more accessible to young readers than the also fabulous book by Clyde Robert Bulla reviewed below. This book covers the origin of the holiday as an ancient Roman celebration, the history behind the holiday’s name, and the reason we send poems and hearts on Valentine’s Day. According to this book, Valentine’s Day is many things, but most importantly it is a day of giving and saying “I love you” to those we care about.
The Story of Valentine’s Day by Clyde Robert Bulla
History buffs will enjoy this book describing the history of Valentine’s Day. Readers will learn about the holiday’s origins as a Roman holiday called Lupercalia and its transformation into Valentine’s Day after the Christian religion came to Rome. The book tells of the many transformations the holiday has undergone and how traditions have changed over time and from place to place to become the holiday we celebrate today. The last few pages of the book provide examples for how to make a pinprick valentine and an acrostic valentine. There is also a recipe for making Valentine cookies. The great amount of detail in this book make it a fascinated read, but also make it a more appropriate book for elementary students than preschoolers.
Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane deGroat
Gilbert is busy writing Valentine poems for all of his classmates. He writes something nice for all of his classmates except Lewis and Margaret. He is still mad that Lewis tweaked his nose and Margaret made fun of his glasses. So he decides to write mean Valentine’s messages to them. But knowing that they won’t be happy to receive the mean messages, Gilbert decides to sign Lewis’s card from Margaret and Margaret’s card from Lewis! Lewis and Margaret are initially upset with each other when they read the mean Valentine’s, but it doesn’t take them long to figure out that the cards were actually sent by Gilbert. Suddenly, nobody wants to be Gilbert’s friend. He realizes what a mistake it was to be so mean to his classmates, and he eventually find a way to repair the damage he has caused.
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
One day, it begins to rain hearts. Cornelia catches several, and then assuming Valentine’s must be nearing, decides to use them to make Valentine cards. She creates unique and special cards for her friends, and mails them off to the happy recipients.
The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll
Clayton and Desmond are best friends. The day before Valentine’s Day, their teacher asked her students to make Valentine cards. Clayton and Desmond decide to work together to create a wonderful Valentine for their teacher. Clayton cut a large, red heart and Desmond added small, pink hearts. But when they finished, neither was satisfied and they each blamed the other for ruining the Valentine card. The two friends begin to fight, and eventually decide to make their own Valentines at home instead of working together. Their families, however, encourage them to try working together again, believing the boys will create a better Valentine if they work together. The next day, Clayton and Desmond agree to work together again. And this time they create the biggest, best Valentine their teacher has ever seen!
The Night before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing
Set to the same rhythm as the famous Christmas story beginning “‘Twas the night before Christmas,” this book tells the story of how the children at one school celebrated Valentine’s day. We see them prepare their Valentine cards, enjoy a Valentine party at school, and receive a Valentine surprise from their principal dressed as Cupid. But is the Valentine’s surprise inside the box their principal has just left them?
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
From the author and illustrator team that brought us “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” comes this delightful Valentine’s tale featuring the same mouse we already know and love. This is a simple and sweet story in which Mouse is excited to be making Valentine’s for all his friends. On each page we learn why Mouse loves each of his friends. And at the end of the story, Mouse’s friends all show up to wish him a happy Valentine’s Day. Regular readers of Laura Numeroff’s work will recognize many of Mouse’s friends from her other books. The simplicity of this story and the simple message of loving the unique qualities about your friends makes this a perfect Valentine’s story to share with toddlers and preschoolers.
If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant
This is a heart warming tale of a little boy who makes Valentine’s for all the special pets, people, and stuffed animals in his life. Each page features a Valentine poem from the boy to the special recipient. His poems all begin “If you’ll be my valentine. . .” and then he shares something nice he’ll do for the recipient. The boy’s sweetness and thoughtfulness shine through in this delightful, rhyming book that will be enjoyed by young readers of a variety of ages.
Where Is Baby’s Valentine? by Karen Katz
This simple, lift-the-flap book will delight babies and toddlers as they help baby try to find her special valentine. With textured pages and the interactivity inherent in lift-the-flap books, this book is a Valentine’s delight for young children and parents alike.
More Valentine’s Day learning resources
More Valentine posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Valentine Montessori activities
- Valentine sensory bin
- Heart suncatcher
- Marbleized hearts
- Find the hearts Valentine’s sensory bin
- Valentine’s Printables Pack
- Valentine Bingo
- Valentine I Spy game
- Valentine Do-a-Dot Printables