In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month’s toddler book picks are about love — some are just for fun and snuggling up; others are great learning tools for the little guys; all are great books for toddlers and even babies.
6 Great Books for Toddlers and Babies About Love
I’m an unabashed fan of Jez Alborough. I love almost everything he has written and illustrated. Hug resonates with children of all ages. It conveys to young children that words contain the message – one word in a large font throughout the book – HUG. The illustrations are wonderful and heartfelt, and in my experience, children are easily engaged, pointing to the word and ‘reading.’ Be sure to check out all of Jez Alborough books.
Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton is a fun rhyming book. It’s based on a song with the same title, which is available on Boynton’s CD set, Philadelphia Chickens. Sunggle Puppy’s parent sings a song telling the puppy how much he loves him. The illustrations are silly and fun — classic Boynton — and will engage any young child.
Karen Katz, an author illustrator, has found her niche with board books conveying the love of a parent for a child. Where Is Baby’s Valentine? is a lift the flap book — always fun for babies and toddlers – that shows the love between a young child and her mama.
Tucker’s Valentine, written and illustrated by Leslie McGuirk, continues the tale of Tucker the little white dog. In this story, Tucker’s owner tells him about Valentine’s Day and love. Tucker loves lots of things, including the couch, his toy, and laundry on the floor. The story evolves with cupid ‘stalking’ Tucker. It’s a great book for toddlers with colorful illustrations and, of course, the beloved Tucker.
Sally Huss is a prolific children’s author and illustrator, and Everything has a Heart is her newest “happy book” published last month. This is a rhyming book that shows your little one and you that hearts and love are found everywhere, including in lockets and artichokes! I thought the story had many teachable moments and think you and your child will love to snuggle up with this lovely little book for Valentine’s Day.
I’m a Clifford the Big Red Dog fan, and I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t love him. Norman Bridwell was a prolific author and illustrator who sadly passed away in December 2014. Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day, published in 2009, gives Clifford fans a picture of him when he was a puppy, smaller than Elizabeth, his owner. The book is a fun story with colorful, engaging pictures. The story is a bit longer than the other books I’ve recommended, but Clifford’s adventures are always exciting, and this story is a wonderful way to introduce your child to an iconic children’s book series.
Denise Worthington is Lou’s Mom. She’s a retired reading teacher and children’s book author who spends her time serving on local boards, entertaining at the lake, and running for political office.