Our kids could all use a little extra love ― and perhaps a little less screen time ― during these wintry pandemic months. These books are great for exploring love in many forms, whether that’s self-love, a first crush, or the emotional bonds that define families.
We’ve selected books, for kids of all ages, that would make thoughtful Valentine’s presents. Give the gift of love (or borrow one of these new titles from your local library), so your child or teen can get lost in a heartwarming story.
Click through the slideshow below, to see all the books featured:
My Baby Loves Valentine’s Day
Poetic writing, by Jabari Asim, and enticing pictures, by Tara Nichol Whittaker (who also illustrated Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade’s upcoming children’s book, Shady Baby), make this a mesmerizing book for babies and toddlers. Tiny bibliophiles will discover some of the joys of love ― think ″hearts made of paper and lace” or “kisses and a loving embrace.” Buy the book here.
Some Other Now
Sometimes love can be complicated and messy. This binge-worthy young-adult novel, by Canadian author Sarah Everett, explores the relationships between 17-year-old Jessi and the two brothers who live next door ― as well as their dying mother, who has always filled a huge gap in Jessi’s life. Heartbreaking and beautifully written, this book is sure to be a hit with teens. Buy the book here.
My Family, Your Family!
There’s no love like family love. My Family, Your Family! celebrates the beautiful diversity in what a family can look like and includes representations of LGBTQ parents, single parents and blended families. This board book, by Kathryn Cole and Cornelia Li, is suitable for babies and toddlers, ages three and under. Buy the book here.
I Am Smart, I Am Blessed, I Can Do Anything!
Ayaan pushes through a tough day and is reminded, with the help of his mom and friends, to believe in himself. Based on a sweet viral video of a little boy doing his affirmations on the walk to school, this is a book on self love for all ages (yes, including grown-ups!). Watch an interview with the book’s authors, Alissa Holder and Zulekha Holder-Young, and then buy the book here.
Dear Black Girls
A love letter to Black girls everywhere, the beautiful poetry and illustrations in this book are a celebration of Black girl magic. Written by Black educator, poet, feminist and Montrealer Shanice Nicole, it’s geared toward kids aged 8-12, who need a little reminder to love themselves big. Buy the book here.
I Am Loved
A story that will resonate for Inuit children temporarily living with foster parents, and help them feel less afraid and alone, as they navigate the unknown. The main character, Pakak, comes to realize how loved he is, by family both near and far. The book was written by foster parents Kevin and Mary Qamaniq-Mason, and is rich in cultural elements that will feel familiar and reassuring to Inuit children. Recommended for kids aged 5-7. Buy the book here.
If I Tell You The Truth
Rupi Kaur fans ― this one is for you! Author Jasmin Kaur illustrates the powerful love between mother and daughter, with words and images. From Punjab to Canada, “If I Tell You The Truth” takes us on a journey to healing from trauma. For ages 13 and up. Buy the book here.
A new baby is a literal expression of love and cause for celebration. No matter how much a family blends and expands, big-sister-to-be Malaika gets over her initial fears and soon discovers there will always be enough love to go around in a family. This is a joyful read, by Nadia L. Hohn, for kids aged 8-12. Pre-order the book here.
I Will Always Love You...No Matter What!
There’s nothing quite like the love of a grandma. Author Lee Murray co-wrote this heartwarming book with her granddaughter, Kori. Their joy and love is palpable on every page. For ages 2 and up. Buy the book here.
Bunbun & Bonbon: Hoppy Go Lucky
While a Rabbit and a talking piece of candy may seem like an unlikely match, this duo’s mutual love of dancing and donuts shows that best friends come in all different shapes and sizes. This easy-to-read graphic novel, by Jess Keating, is ideal for early readers from ages 7 to 10. Buy the book here.
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