You can never go wrong with a good picture book. Even though the boys are getting older, they still enjoy being read to and reading to us. Being a public speaking teacher, I can attest that reading aloud is one of the best ways to practice towards becoming a confident presenter. Things sound different when they are read out loud. You can change the tone of a book and make it silly, or serious, loud, or quiet. I still remember our pediatrician telling us when A was a newborn to just read to him. And I did. I read and read and read, especially when the days got long. A always sat patiently (he could sit with me while I read for hours), however, J used to wiggle and get down off the couch and play with toys. I would just keep reading. And then one day he started whenever I finished a book, he would get up from what he was playing with and go get me another book to read. Now I keep a collection of books on a side table in our living room that I swap through various books throughout the year. I also have seasonal books I bring down as well, and that includes Valentine’s Day! Each year I’ll buy one or two new to add to the collection, and bring out our standards as well. Here are some of our Valentine’s favorites, and the two I’m adding to our collection this year.

First, The Biggest Valentine Ever which is a great story about collaboration and connection on group work. We like to make Valentine’s popcorn together after reading it.

The Day it Rained Hearts is a sweet story about a little girl who mails Valentine’s to each of her friends, (who are animals), and they all return the favor. This is a great one to pair with a die-cut heart activity like this one.

My Heart is Like a Zoo contains wonderful rhymes about a variety of animals, and is one of the boys’ favorites to read aloud. Pick up these to make a craft after you read it!

There is a Bird on your Head isn’t technically a Valentine’s book, but it does have love birds, and Elephant and Piggie series (along with pretty much everything by Mo Willems) are always a favorite. If you haven’t watched (and participated) Mo Willems Lunch Doodles, I highly recommend it. It was one of the bright spots during the lockdown we had in our state last Spring.

Love is, a book about a little girl who finds a duckling and cares for it until it is old enough to go out on its own. This is one of our new books this year, and I absolutely adore it. The illustrations are excellent and it is a wonderful story about compassion and parenthood. If you want to pair it with a sweet gift this little duckling is precious.

Swing. Many of Michael Hall’s books are great for teaching different grammar rules in unconventional ways. This one does that and more. It may not seem at first like a Valentines book, but trust me! As with all of his books the illustrations are bold and bright, keeping attention of kiddos and adults alike. Since Michael Hall books have a “cut out paper style graphic” to them, a cut out craft would be fun to pair.

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