Valentines Day is almost here! We’ve gathered together 25 of the cutest kids books around that celebrate love in all its forms. Featuring an adorable cast of hedgehogs, robots, pirates, giraffes, garden gnomes and more, these books are a fun way to celebrate love this Valentines Day.
If you’d like to purchase any of these books, we’d highly recommend seeking out your local independent bookstore. Your business helps ensure the survival of these vital cultural institutions during this difficult time.
1. Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
A beautiful tale celebrating the invisible, protective, omnipresent love love between parents and children.
From this award-winning creative duo comes a stunning celebration of the joy and comfort that love can bring—wherever we roam in the big, wild world.
No matter what challenges children may face, they can always rely on the love umbrella above them.
2. How Mamas Love Their Babies by Juniper Fitzgerald, Illustrated by Elise Peterson
Mamas work in different ways to take care of their babies, but everything they do is because of love.
Illustrating the myriad ways that mothers provide for their children—piloting airplanes, washing floors, or dancing at a strip club—this book is the first to depict a sex-worker parent. It provides an expanded notion of working mothers and challenges the idea that only some jobs result in good parenting. We’re reminded that, while every mama’s work looks different, every mama works to make their baby’s world better.
3. I’m Programmed to Love You by Elias Barks, Illustrated by Gemma Román
A mother robot lovingly explains all the ways her built-in features help her love her adorable robot child.
From hologram projector eyes to extending arms filled with books, this mom robot has a built-in feature or contraption for every parenting need. This delightful homage to innate parental love shows that a mother’s love for their child has many applications, and it’s always automatic.
4. I Love You More Than Plunder by Kyle Sullivan, Illustrated by Nicole Miles
A pirate dad explains to his daughter that he loves her more than anything—even the most exciting and valuable aspects of his incredible job.
All the sunken treasure in the ocean is worth nothing compared to a father’s love for his daughter. Featuring a kraken, merpeople, King Neptune and a shark who loves to wrestle, this swashbuckling board book celebrates the fathoms-deep bond between a parent or guardian and their child.
5. I Believe In You by Elias Barks, Illustrated by George Bletsis
A Loch Ness Monster parent reassures their child that they believe in them—no matter who else may have their doubts.
Set in a magical imagining of Scotland’s Loch Ness, I Believe in You is an ode to a loving adult’s unconditional acceptance of their young one. Featuring appearances from unbelievably fun paranormal characters including a unicorn, grey alien, Sasquatch, and ghost, I Believe in You is a fun and heartwarming celebration of the unwavering bond—and belief—shared between a parent or guardian and their child.
6. A Kiss for Giraffe by Judith Koppens, Illustrated by Suzanne Diederen
Giraffe and Piggy are best friends. Piggy wants to give Giraffe a kiss, but Giraffe is too tall. What will Piggy do?
An endearing and simple story about friendship. For toddlers ages 30 months and up, with a focus on the child’s emotions.
7. A Kiss for You by Guido Van Genechten
A sweet celebration of babies and kisses. For little ones of all ages.
8. I Love You, Grandpa and I Love You, Grandma by Ruth Wielockx
Two exceptionally cute, lovely books to read with a grandparent!
9. While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin, Illustrated by Polly Dunbar
From the team behind the bestselling The Hug, a heart-warming picture book that shows us ways to be affectionate while social distancing.
Hedgehog and Tortoise were the best of friends.
They wanted to give each other a great, big hug.
But they weren’t allowed to touch.
“Don’t worry,” said Owl. “There are lots of ways to show someone you love them.”
So the two friends wave to each other, blow kisses, sing songs, dance around and write letters. And even though they can’t hug and they can’t touch, they both know that they are loved.
A gorgeous, uplifting, inspiring picture book that makes social distancing fun!
10. Bear in Love by Sam Loman
Bear loves Squirrel. He brings her all kinds of presents, but he’s too shy to knock on her door. Squirrel does not know who her secret admirer is. Will Squirrel ever know how Bear feels?
A sweet story about being in love and not having the courage to speak up.
11. My Hugging Rules by David Kirk
A huggable kitty learns that getting hugs is good, but giving them can make you into a whole new cat.
Please, no pinchy, prickly, swishy, swoopy or too tight hugs! An adorable but picky cat has strict rules about how her friends can hug her. But, when she needs a hug, she discovers that her very particular rules need to be tossed aside for – NEW RULES!
12. The Hug by Eoin McLaughlin, Illustrated by Polly Dunbar
In this clever flipbook, both a hedgehog and a tortoise are looking for a hug. They ask all the other animals they come across but for some reason, no one will hug them. Until a wise owl explains: Hedgehog is too spiky; Tortoise is too bony.
And that’s when they find each other! A beautiful, heartwarming picture book with all the universal appeal of Guess How Much I Love You.
13. Hugs by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Thea and her little brother Tate need a hug — but sometimes, only a Mommy Hug will do.
When Thea gets mad at mommy, she and her little brother go for a walk around the block.
They meet a snail, a skunk, a porcupine, and a gorilla, and get a hug from each one — but the hugs are slimy, smelly, pokey, and way too hard! It’s not until they get back to mommy that Tate and Thea get a really good hug.
14. A Hundred Kisses Before Bedtime by Mack van Gageldonk
Before going to bed, Chick wants to give all the animals a good-night kiss. Meet the crocodile who’s floating in the water, the rooster who’s crowing loud, the horst running in the meadow, and the cutest art ever. From the big lion to the little hedgehog, they all get a sweet kiss from little Chick. Until he gets tired himself…
15. I Love You Like… by Lori Joy Smith
A quirky, adorable book of creative ways to express love
A garden sprite comes across a garden gnome, and falls in love. She takes the gnome on a playful journey through the forest, across the hills, to the beach, and further still. All the while, she expresses how she loves him: like flowers love the sun, like forests love a seed, like balloons love the sky. These inventive similes play on concepts drawn from nature and are paired with quirky, whimsical art full of details to discover—like the troubling moment when the gnome becomes cracked, but is mended with some ingenuity and the help of cheerful forest friends.
Moving progressively through the seasons, from spring to winter, the book is a sweet, bright bedtime story, paced to read aloud. I Love You Like… can help inspire readers to invent their own creative expressions of love as part of a nighttime ritual and will also be relatable to any child who adores a favorite toy.
16. Caillou: Mystery Valentine by Adapted by Anne Paradis and Illustrated by Eric Sévigny
It’s Valentine’s Day. Caillou receives a mystery card. A little investigation leads him to his secret admirer.
It’s Valentine’s Day and Caillou is invited to a party at his best friend Leo’s house. Caillou prepares special Valentine cards for all his friends. When he gets to the party and hands out his cards, he finds a mysterious Valentine addressed to him! It’s not from anyone at the party. A little investigation back home leads him to his secret admirer.
17. I Love You, One to Ten by Caroline Adderson, Illustrated by Christina Leist
In this poem addressed to a young child, author Caroline Adderson outlines the ten things a mother loves about her little one. From his scaly elbows and knees all the way to his twitchy tail, every inch of this little “monster” is itemized and admired. Gentle and humorous illustrations by Christina Leist show how one tired parent decides to participate in a bit of rowdy play at bedtime, with the result being a happily tired child and a mother who is even more in love with her offspring than she was at the beginning of the book. This satisfyingly unconventional bedtime story encourages children and parents to appreciate each other just a little bit more every time they read it.
18. Good Dog Carl’s Valentine by Alexandra Day
In Good Dog Carl’s Valentine Carl and family are getting ready for Valentine’s Day. After making a Valentine for her Mother, Madeline sits down to a well earned snack. Unbeknownst to her, or anyone else in the family, Carl gets into the home made Valentine supplies. As usual the results of Carl’s secret activities are sweet, funny and this time around especially loving – appropriately enough for the Valentine’s season.
19. Love is Love by Fleur Pierets, Illustrated by Fatinha Ramos
Fleur Pierets and Julian P. Boom are two women in love. They live together, eat together, sleep together, and work together. When Fleur asks Julian to marry her, Julian says “Yes!” But in most countries, a man cannot marry a man and a woman cannot marry a woman. There are 195 countries in the world, but they can only get married in 28 of them. They think this is unfair! So they decide to get married in all 28 countries that allow same-sex marriage.
Inspired by a true story, Love Around the World, was the first in this two-volume children’s book series about Julian and Fleur’s adventures. In Love Is Love: The Journey Continues, they pick up where they left off, exploring the marriage traditions of fourteen countries: Argentina, Austria, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
20. Love Around the World by Fleur Pierets, Illustrated by Fatinha Ramos
Fleur and Julian are two women very much in love. When they decide to get married, however, they discover that in most countries, a man cannot marry a man and a woman cannot marry a woman. In fact, out of 195 countries in the world, they can only marry in 26 of them. Fleur and Julian want to make other people aware of that.
They think that love is love—not only between a man and a woman! So Fleur goes down on one knee and asks the love of her life, “Would you like to marry me in all 26 countries?” Julian answers, “Yes!”
Thus begins an incredible trip around the world for our two heroes, Fleur and Julian, who travel to each nation that celebrates marriage equality. In Love Around the World, Fleur and Julian get married in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United States, where they learn about the customs and traditions of each place and make special memories that will last forever.
21. Where the Heart Is by Satoe Tone
Award-winning Japanese artist Satoe Tone’s magical illustrations shine in this story about two cats falling in love.
In this beautifully illustrated, touching story, a couple of cats take an evening walk along the banks of a lake. The black cat wants only to catch a paw-full of the mysterious lights that shine in the water, to give as a gift to his friend the white cat. He fishes and fishes, but while he catches jellyfish and even an octopus, he can’t quite seem to get the lights in his grasp. Can the white cat help to show him that the perfect gift isn’t important, when he’s already captured her heart?
22. Paper Hearts by Sandra Van Doorn
Torn, patched up, crinkled, happy and colourful–a little puppet shows all the ways a paper heart is like a real heart in this beautiful ode to love.
When little puppet wishes he had a heart, he decides to make one out of paper. But can a paper heart be like a real one? Surprisingly, he realizes there are many similarities between the two.
This beautiful ode to love reminds us all that hearts can be given and stolen, swept away, and even stepped on. But even when they are torn or crinkled or patched up, life is wonderful when you have a heart.
23. Hearts by Thereza Rowe
When Achilles Conroy and his brother Troy return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, their white mother presents them with the key to their past: envelopes containing details about their respective birth parents. After Troy disappears, Achilles—always his brother’s keeper—embarks on a harrowing journey in search of Troy, an experience that will change him forever. Heartbreaking, intimate, and at times disturbing, Hold It ’Til It Hurts is a modern-day odyssey through war, adventure, disaster, and love, and explores how people who do not define themselves by race make sense of a world that does.