One of our family traditions is collecting holiday themed books that we bring out to read throughout the year.  I try to add a new book to our collection each year for an extra treat, just to keep our collection fresh.  Without fail, my children rush to read them again each time the books make a return. Today I will share a few of our favorites for Valentine’s Day.

I Love You, Stinky Face written by Lisa McCourt and illustrated by Cyd Moore.I Love You, Stinky Face book cover

This is a sweet and funny story that you can read any time of year.  As a mother puts her little boy to bed, he questions just how much she loves him.  The little boy imagines a series of increasingly goofy scenarios like, “But, Mama! But, Mama! What if I were a big scary ape? Would you still love me then?”  Mama responds with silly, but loving reassurances each time.  Colorful and playful illustrations bring the little boy’s imagination to life on each page.  This book leaves both the reader and child smiling, and you will probably find yourself telling your little one, “I love you, Stinky Face!” even when you aren’t reading.  I Love You, Stinky Face is published by Cartwheel and recommended for ages 4-8.

The 12 Days of Valentine’s written by Jenna Lettice and illustrated by Colleen Madden.

The 12 Days of Valentine’s follows the model of the traditional 12 Days of Christmas carol.  Each of the 12 days bring about a Valentine themed “sweet thing,” and as the book counts down, each page concludes with the line, “a warm, fuzzy hug meant just for me.” The bright and colorful illustrations for each day in the story will engage the reader, and children will enjoy looking over all of the fun activities portrayed on each page. This is a great format to introduce or reinforce counting skills through reading for younger readers. My children are older now, but still enjoy making me “sing” the lyrics; taking special pleasure with how out of breath I am by the 12th day.  The 12 Days of Valentine’s is published by Random House Books for Young Readers and is recommended for ages 3-7.

The Littlest Valentine written by Brandi Dougherty and illustrated by Michelle Lisa Todd.

The Littlest Valentine Book Cover

The Littlest Valentine tells the story of a little girl named Emma Valentine.  Emma is the youngest member of the Valentine family.  Valentine’s Day is her family’s favorite holiday; they even own a gift shop that sells Valentine’s Day gifts and treats.  Emma is especially excited this year because it is her first year joining the family business.  Disappointment enters when she realizes she is too small to help blow up balloons, her Valentine’s Day cards are too small to sell, and her chocolate treats are a little too tiny.  Emma’s day only begins to improve when she finds a lost puppy.  Taking the puppy in, getting him cleaned up and full of treats gives Emma a great idea and soon she is selling her own special product in the family store.  The Littlest Valentine is a sweet story of a little girl overcoming obstacles to find independence and self-confidence in her own creativity.  The Littlest Valentine is published by Cartwheel Books and is recommended for ages 3-5.

Jennifer is a graduate of Fresno State University. She spent a number of years working for non-profits before becoming a full-time stay-at-home mother. She currently lives in Central California with her husband, two children, and two codependent cats.