Preschool Reads: Valentine’s Day

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There just aren’t a ton of great Valentine’s books out there. I tried to find a good mix that focused on the basics of the holiday: love, hearts and sending cards! Here are a few that we enjoyed. What are your favorites?

If You’ll Be My Valentine, written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka (2005).

A little boy makes Valentines for his family, friends, even his teddy bear, in this cute rhyming tale.

Mama, Do You Love Me?, written by Barbara M. Joose, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (1992).

What better time for a tale of unconditional parental love than Valentine’s Day? This is one of my favorite reads year round – so reassuring to all kids that even if Mama is mad, she still loves you!

My Heart is Like a Zoo, written and illustrated by Michael Hall (2009).

A simple book that compares the emotions of the heart to animals – but OH SO fun to find all the hearts in the illustrations. Would be a great tie-in with a craft project.

A Secret Valentine, written and illustrated by Catherine Stock (1991).

A girl and her mother make and send Valentine’s Day cards to family and to her elderly neighbor. In return, on Valentine’s Day, she gets many cards back – including one from a secret Valentine.

Valentine’s Day, written by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell (2000).

Ms. Madoff’s class makes Valentine’s Day cards for a classmate who has moved to Japan. While they create, they remember all the fun things they did with Michiko.

Note: I tried and failed to find a Valentine’s Day book that featured a Latino/a child. If you know of one, please let me know!

Preschool Reads: Valentine’s Day

Toddler Reads: Halloween

Halloween is sneaking up on us! Here are few suggestions of seasonally appropriate, non-scary reads for toddlers.

My First Halloween written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola (1992).
This was in heavy rotation last year, when I secretly thought of it as “My Second Halloween”. That’s because it does a great job of introducing the basic concepts of Halloween to a kid who is old enough to notice that something different is going on. Costumes, pumpkins, trick-or-treating, Tomie dePaola has got you covered.

A Very Brave Witch written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Harry Bliss (2006).
Did you know that witches are scared of people? This is the tale of one very brave little witch who befriends a witch-costumed human girl on Halloween. Halloween fun and a lesson in not being scared of those who are different than you in one.

Bats at the Library written and illustrated by Brian Lies (2008).
Only Halloween themed, in the sense that bats are associated with Halloween, but still great fun. When a window at the library is left open one night, the bats enjoy a Night at the Library, complete with book chat, story times, photocopier shenanigans and all the fun that the library has to offer.

Room on the Broom written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (2001).
A fun rhyming tale about a witch’s flight. She loses her hat, then her bow, then her wand, each found by a helpful animal who asks if there is room on her broom for them. When the overloaded broom breaks, with a dragon on the hunt, it looks like all hope is lost, but luckily her new animal friends come to the rescue.

One Halloween Night written and illustrated by Mark Teague (1999).
Three friends set off trick-or-treating, but everything goes wrong. Wendell’s scientist costume has been died pink, Mona has to dress up as a fairy princess, Floyd has to bring his little sister along. When a gaggle of witches start to tease the four trick-or-treaters, they find that they have special powers on this special night. Mark Teague’s great illustrations have made this a hit in our house since Frances’ first Halloween!

Toddler Reads are aimed at children 0-3. All of these books have been Frances-approved.

Toddler Reads: Halloween