Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I figure it’s a good time to start introducing my son to this tradition. To my surprise, Valentine’s Day books were hard to find in stores. Target was the only store I found some in. However, Amazon’s book prices were considerably cheaper, so I ordered ours and they have arrived! My husband fussed at me because I ordered “too many.” I couldn’t help myself. Besides, our book collection is getting a bit stale. We have hundreds of books, but it seems like we read the same ones over and over. So, adding a little spice to our library is a good thing!
If you follow my blog, you know that I love children’s literature and doing themed activities with kiddos. Reading books about the activities you do together helps children to make connections. It also helps children to make connections with the seasonal changes they see in their environments. You know, the red and pink hearts, lips and flowers that you started seeing all around the day after New Year’s. When babies are out and about and see things that they have read about they make connections, which builds on their cognitive skills. They will very likely begin to talk about the things they are seeing.
When seeking out books that are developmentally appropriate for my toddler, I look for simple, short, large print text, one scene per page, bright, colorful illustrations with high contrast and opportunities for naming, rhyming, counting, sound effects and interaction. Board books are optimal, but some board books are too busy and long with too much text. Books for babies and toddlers need to be short, quick reads. Little ones have lots of big, important things to do, so they can’t dedicate a lot of time to any one thing!
I do understand that actual Valentine’s Day will have little meaning to my almost seventeen months old son. But…I’m very excited to teach and talk to him about hearts, flowers, colors, friends and LOVE! Reading these books with my son daily for the next several weeks is going to help me do just that. Have a look at what we are reading.
LOVE by Eric Carle: By Eric Carle, need I say more?!?! This book features his classic illustrations, lots of opportunities for naming and my son’s favorite…finding the caterpillar on each page. Only negative, it’s hardcover but the pages are paper. You’ll want to be ready to teach babies about being careful with books when reading this one.
Llama Llama I Love You by Anna Dewdney: Short, simple and sweet rhyming board book about making valentines for friends and mama. My son loves all Llama Llama books. They are fun, quick reads with colorful and relatable illustrations.
Snuggle Puppy! by Sandra Boynton: Get ready to sing your heart out. Snuggle puppy’s mama sings him a rhyming song that’s so cute and catchy (“Snuggle puppy of mine! Everything about you is especially fine!). This board book gains and keeps babies’ attention with simple text and familiar illustrations about why Snuggle puppy is loved.
Where is Love, Biscuit? by Alyssa Satin Capucilli: Love this one! It’s an interactive touch-and-feel board book all about love. Biscuit finds a cuddly blanket, crunchy cookies, woolly sweaters and soft pajamas on his adventures to find love. My son enjoys finding “the doggy” on each page. I’ve found my son reading this book independently several times and I LOVE IT!
Where is Baby’s Valentine? by Karen Katz: I would say this one is my son’s favorite. He loves lifting the flaps and saying “baby” in all of Karen Katz’s books. We also find the kitty on each page and make “meow” sounds. This is a great board book for developing vocabulary and spatial concepts of behind, under and in as baby looks for her valentine.
My Fuzzy Valentine by Naomi Kleinberg: My son is totally into “Melmo” right now so I had to get this book. It’s a board book with a fuzzy Elmo on each page that asks common Sesame Street characters if they sent him a valentine. It’s basically a scene from the show in a book. It has more text on a page than I typically recommend, so I leave some words out. It’s great fun reading aloud to your baby in the Sesame Street characters (Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster) voices. You can’t help but do it. My husband and I roll over laughing at each other reading this book to our son. If you have an Elmo lover, may want to give this one a try!
So there you go, six fun and interactive Valentine’s books for babies and toddlers. Reading aloud to babies has unlimited benefits. Check out my posts on Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies and The Benefits of Reading to Babies. Are there any Valentine’s Day books your little ones are sweet on?! Please share!
Tip: Keep books within babies’ reach at all times, read with them everyday and take them to the public library!
Cheers to reading with littles!
Respect, kindness and love begin with babies…we must show them the way!
Note: I purchased each of these books and did not receive any discounts or free products for my review of them. The links embedded in this post may take you directly to Amazon for which I am an affiliate. If you make a purchase through one of those links, I may make a small commission at no cost to you. If you do, thank you!!