It's almost Valentine's Day! As your world turns various shades of posy pink and radiant red, why not celebrate by sharing some heart-filled books with your little ones? Here are our top ten favorite books about love -- the huggy kind, the kissy kind, the self-love kind, and -- my personal favorite -- the love is love is love kind. Enjoy!
Worm Loves Worm, by J.J. Austrian, illustrated by Mike Curato: What happens when two worms fall in love and want to get married? Which worm will wear the dress and which will wear the tuxedo? On second thought, if worm loves worm -- why should anything else matter? This fabulous story is without a doubt Happily Ever Elephants' favorite book about love.
Love Is, by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane: A little girl learns what it means to love as she cares for a duckling, hugs him closely, and then learns to let go. A tender beauty.
XO, OX: A Love Story, by Adam Rex, illustrated by Scott Campbell: An awkward ox falls in love with a gorgeous (albeit conceited) gazelle, and he takes to writing her one love letter after another. Though his overtures are sharply rebuffed, the ox nevertheless persists and eventually causes the gazelle to have a change of heart.
When an Elephant Falls in Love, by Davide Cali, illustrated by Alice Lotti: When an elephant falls in love, he experiences many of the same emotions as the rest of us: he's giddy with joy and weak with anticipation. He's left feeling equal parts shy and bold, and sometimes a little bit foolish too. There's nothing like first love!
I Heart You, by Meg Fleming, illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright: A beautiful tribute to the incomparable connection between a parent and child, this is a lyrical and tender exploration of the ways in which a parent's love can both encourage and reassure. A perfect gift for expecting parents!
What do You Love About You, by Karen Lechelt: We are all individuals, and as each and every one of us has our own unique attributes, we all have something to celebrate! This book is a perfect reminder that each of us is special in our own way, and it encourages kids to ask themselves "what do I love about me?!"
Hug Machine, by Scott Campbell: The title says it all -- no one can resist the hug machine! He's really good at hugging. So good, in fact, that you will be amazed at all the little things we never think to hug but really enjoy a good dose of affection. Pure joy!
Hedgehugs, by Steve Wilson, illustrated by Lucy Tapper: Hoarce and Hattie do everything together. Well, almost everything. Hard as they try, the hedgehogs just can't find a way to hug - their sharp spikes always get in the way! The two set off on a mission to figure out how to hug - and it will undoubtedly make your little ones giggle with glee.
All Kinds of Kisses, by Heather Swain, illustrated by Steven Henry: How do giraffes kiss? What about hummingbirds? If your little ones love hitting you up for smooches, they will love reading this book with you -- and trying to imitate the animals' actions.
Love Monster, by Rachel Bright: Poor googly-eyed love monster just can't find a way to fit in with all the cuddly folks of Cutesville. This causes Love Monster to set out on a journey in search of someone to love him just the way he is. Reminding even the most jaded that love happens when you least expect it, this book is sure to leave you with a smile... and an open heart.