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.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
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.