I became interested in the best valentine books for babies and toddlers 3 years ago when I had my son. Before becoming a mother, Valentine’s Day had been all about my husband, but now we try to include him in our celebrations and are working to create new valentine traditions. What better tradition than to introduce the best valentine books for babies and toddlers? In addition to adding new toddler valentine books to his collection, we get him some of the best toddler gifts, too.
Each Valentine’s Day, I add to our growing collection of the best valentine books for toddlers. Now that my son is a toddler, I have focused on building the best valentine books for toddlers. I’ve developed a system where we borrow the best or most highly recommended valentine books for toddlers from our local libraries and then if we really love something, we purchase it. Currently, we have 27 of the best valentine books for toddler in our collection.
Before we dive into the list of the 27 best valentine books for toddlers, I wanted to share with you some information that you can share with your child on the history of Valentine’s Day. It's a tradition with my son, before and during reading books, to share information. When we read valentine books, I tell him about what Valentine’s Day is and why we celebrate it. If I'm being honest, some of the history of Valentine’s Day is too heavy for a child, but it may be a fun trivia fact that will come in handy one day on Jeopardy.
What is Valentine’s Day and How Did it Come to be Celebrated?
Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide on February 14th and is a day to celebrate love in all its forms. On Valentine’s Day, people exchange many different types of gifts, but gifts of candy, teddy bears and flowers are very common.
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Saint Valentine or Saint Valentines
There is confusion about how Valentine’s Day came to be. Some people think that Valentine’s Day celebrates a priest named Valentine. Actually, there is some doubt on whether it celebrates just one priest or more than one priest with the same name. There are many stories about the thoughtful and kind acts performed by Valentine or the different Valentines.
In one story about Valentine, it is said that he was willing to break the law for what he believed. When a Roman emperor, Emperor Claudius II, would not allow single soldiers to marry the young women they were courting, because he thought it made them weaker, Valentine married them anyway.
Emperor Claudius II had Valentine put in jail for disobeying him and unfortunately, he was eventually killed on February 14th. Valentine was later recognized as a saint by the Christian church because of what he did for love and then Valentine's Day was established to honor him.
Another story about Valentine gives a different reason for why he is celebrated. It says that Valentine was jailed because he was a Christian and would not give up his religion. Emperor Claudius ordered Valentine to pray to Roman gods while he was in jail and when he refused he was killed on February 14th.
Valentine’s Day came from Ancient Rome?
Some others believe that Valentine's Day is a leftover tradition from a festival that occurred in ancient Rome over 2,000 years ago. The festival was held on February 15th and was called Lupercalia. It was held to celebrate Lupercus. Lupercus was a god that Romans thought protected them from wolves.
In this festival, people danced, sang and played games. Some historians and researchers think that over several years the tradition of Lupercalia, which was now being called Valentine’s Day, spread when many people in ancient Rome became Christians. Those who moved to new countries took the tradition with them too.
The tradition of Valentine’s Day started to change slightly based on the country in which it was being celebrated. In some countries like Austria, Hungary and Germany, Valentine's Day was more of a religious celebration and boys had to pick the name of a saint and then try to live like that saint for the rest of the year.
Changes in Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day was originally celebrated with dancing, music, poetry, and flowers. As people learned to read and write, Valentine’s Day started to include letters. The oldest recorded paper valentine was written in 1415. People called these love letters valentines.
It took a long time for Valentine’s Day to catch on in America because the country was still new and people were still trying to figure things out. Americans did receive valentines from friends who lived in England as early as the 1700s.
What are the Symbols of Valentine’s Day?
Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated with the colors red, pink and white. There are also several symbols that are used in the celebration of Valentine’s Day. They include hearts, flowers, cupid, birds and candy.
I hope you learned several new things about Valentine’s Day that can hopefully bring you big money in your next trivia challenge and that you can share with your toddler, as it is appropriate about where Valentine’s Day may have originated from.
Now, let’s take a look at the 23 best Valentine books for toddlers in no particular order.
Best Valentine's Book for Toddlers
1. The Day It Rained Hearts
What would you do if it started raining hearts? Cornelia Augusta had a great idea. Read this delightful book to help your toddler learn about creativity and thoughtfulness. As an additional activity, your child could make hearts for four special people in his/her life.
2. I Love you Stinky Face
A cute story of a mother's unchanging love for her scary ape, smelly skunk and one-eyed monster, to mention a few. Want to keep the fun going? Brainstorm ideas of creatures your toddler would like to become and then tell them all the ways you would still love them.
3. Snuggle Puppy
Get your best singing voice ready to share a little love song with your toddler. My song loves to try to sing along with me. He especially love the last part of the song when we whisper and then get loud again. Get ready to put on your own show.
4. Kisses and Cuddles
This story is a perfect way to remind mothers just how important kisses and cuddles are in the eyes of their toddlers. This book is also guaranteed to bring a few additional hugs and kisses and who would mind those.
5. The Hug Book
Want to find out the best time for a hug? The hug book has got you covered. Learn about the joys of a great hug shared between loved ones and friends.
6. Hug Me
Who knew rabbits liked hugs! Apparently, they do and Hug Me takes you on a journey of the best hugs. This book also answers the question "How many hugs are enough?"
7. Daddy Loves You So Much
There are so many Mom love books, so whenever I encounter one for daddy, I'm quick to grab it. My husband loves to read this book that I purchased for him on Father's Day to my son. Get prepared to take your toddler on a precious reminder of all the ways that daddy shows his love no matter what may happen.
8. Kiss Me
Your little one can't get enough of your kisses and this little bear will help you figure out that kisses are perfect all the time and for every reason.
9. I Will Always Love You
This book on love will help your toddler to see that they are loved by their entire family: sisters, brothers, aunts, grandparents and more. I Will Always Love You is a great read aloud from any member of the family .
10. I Prayed For You
I cannot help but tear up whenever I read this book to my son. Just as the name suggests, it helps to put into words how thankful parents, especially mothers to God for their greatest blessing.
11. Mommy Loves You So Much
Take a look into a mother's love with Mommy Loves You So Much. This book is even more precious because it is told through the eyes of some of your child's favorite animals.
12. I Love You Even When
I Love you Even When is a great introduction into the concept of unconditional love for your toddler. Help your little one understand that when they make poor decisions and even though you may be disappointed, you still love them.
13. You Are My I Love You
This is easily one of my personal favorites on this list. Maryann Cusimano Love beautifully wrote a heartfelt summary of all the ways a parent and child are different and the one reason that supersedes those differences, love.
14. Love You Forever
Be ready to cry with this beautiful story of a mother's love for her child, as he journeys to adulthood. I highly suggest reading it alone first and letting the emotions wash over you before attempting to read it to your toddler. I still tear up every time I read this one to my son. it's definitely another one of our favorites overall and truly earned it's place on this list of the best valentine books for toddlers.
15. I Love you This Much
Want to teach your toddler some of the best ways to show their love? Who better to teach then than a panda? In I Love You This Much, prepare to be awed by the creativity of panda in his displays of love.
16. I Love You Because You're You
This best valentine book for toddlers is another powerful and a little silly reminder of a mother's unchanging love for her child. Told from the viewpoint of foxes, your toddler is sure to perk up and listen to these furry friends.
17. I Love You To The Moon and Back
This "beary" sweet book is a parent's best answer to the question, how much do you love me? Prepare to read this one over and over to your toddler because of the touching illustrations and heart tugging words.
18. You Are My Wonders
You Are My Wonders is a must for teachers who want to explain to their students the bond between a teacher and student. This book would be a great read aloud to start the year and during intervals of the school year to build the feeling of family and love in a classroom.
19. You Are my Wish
Get ready to melt grandma's heart with this book exploring the love between a grandparent and their grandchild. I gave this book as a gift to my mother in law, so that she could read it to my son. She teared up and they still read it frequently together.
20. Keep Love in Your Heart, Little One
Big (parent) and Small (child) have a heart-warming conversation one night when Big thinks Small is asleep. I received this book from a sweet former student and her mom at my baby shower. It quickly became one of my favorites to read to my son and now he will frequently select it for "night night time" reading.
21. Today is Valentine's Day
Introduce your toddler to all the fun that is Valentine's Day and what he or she will have to look forward to when they start attending school. Want to keep the fun going after the book? Make some cards together and surprise loved ones.
22. Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Love
This cool cat gives some of the best love quotes from greats like Plato, Mahatma Ghandi and Picasso mixed in with a few of his own. Each quotes helps to explain what love is and why it is important in our lives.
23. The Valentine's Bears
This funny book tells the story of Mrs. Bear and Mr. Bear. Mrs. Bear is tired of missing Valentine's Day while they hibernate, so she makes a plan to wake up early and celebrate this special day with Mr. Bear. Will things go as planned? Read to find out. You won't be disappointed.
24. Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink
I highly recommend this valentine book for toddlers. Gilbert learns an important lesson about the power of words and actions on Valentine's Day while making cards for his class. This book is a good way to teach your toddler about kindness and what it means to be a friend.
25. A Book of Hearts
I am thoroughly impressed with this valentine book for kids. A Book of Hearts is an excellent way to explain to kids about the different ways love can be shown. With examples such as golden hearts, brave hearts, jealous hearts and sensitive hearts, children will learn about their emotions. They can then be guided in deciding which type of heart they want to have and share with others. I'm delighted I found this valentine book for kids and think it is a great addition to our valentine and love book collection.
Best Non Fiction Valentine's Day for Toddlers
The language arts teacher in me cannot resist including some non fiction entries into the best valentine books for toddlers. As your toddler starts to develop a love for reading, it's important that they are exposed to many different genres of writing. These non fiction valentine books for toddlers give enough details and pictures to help your toddler understand where Valentine's Day came from and how it is celebrated.
26. Valentine's Day By Mari C. Schuh
Learn how Valentine's Day started and how it is celebrated today in the book that is perfect for younger readers.
27. Valentine's Day by Elaine Landau
Valentine's Day: Candy, Love and Hearts gives a detailed account of all things valentine, from cards, how Valentine's Day came to be, Valentine's Day weddings, craft projects and more. Use the crafts and activities to extend the fun with your toddler, once you finish reading the book.
28. Valentine's Day by Alice K Flanagan
Have an inquisitive toddler who asks a lot of questions? Give them all the answers they're looking for in Valentine's Day. Read about why we started to celebrate Valentine's Day, where the day's name came from, how the holiday found its way to America and ideas of things to do to celebrate Valentine's Day.
More of the Best Valentine Books for Toddlers
As I was creating my list of the best valentine books for toddlers, I decided to check in with some other moms to get their thoughts and some additional book suggestions that I may not have heard of. They did not disappoint. With their help, I was able to assemble more of the best valentine books for toddlers that will be enjoyed in your home.
Here are 16 of the best valentine books for toddlers from Cendu at Cenzerely Yours. We both agreed on The Day It Rained Hearts, but I love her 15 other suggestions and will be adding them to my own son's collection. Check out her suggestions at Valentine's Day Short Story & Books.
Since I had received such excellent suggestions from Cendu, I decided to try to find some more suggestions of the best valentine books for toddlers and I was successful. Kaeleigh from The Faithful Help Meet has 15 suggestions of the best valentine books for toddlers.
This time, I noticed a few more agreed upon selections of the best valentine books for toddlers, namely The Day it Rained Hearts and Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. Kaeleigh and Cendu also had some books in common like Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! and Llama Llama I Love You. Here are her suggestions of the Cutest Kids Valentine's Day Books.
Next, I checked in with Erin from xoxoerinsmith. Again, we had some overlap with our choices of the best valentine books for toddlers like I Love You to the Moon and Back and Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. Erin also agreed with Cendu's and Kaeleigh's choices of Llama Llama I Love You and Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse, but Erin also had some suggestions I had never heard of. Here are her 20 best valentine books for toddlers at Valentines day Book for Kids .
It is easy to get caught up in the chocolate, candy and other gifts, but now you can share with your toddler that Valentine's Day is about the brave acts of a priest or priests and is a way that we can celebrate love by sharing acts of kindness with those we care about.
Now you also have a thorough collection of the best valentine books for toddlers to teach your toddler about Valentine's Day and all the different types of love that we celebrate on February 14th.
Another huge tradition in our house is birthdays. I have tried to be very creative in the themes and activities we've used to celebrate my son's first, second and third birthday. Trying to find ideas? Use my past experiences as inspiration.
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