Book List: Spread the Love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what could be better than a book list that’s all about love? No matter your child’s age, we hope you will enjoy these sweet titles.

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

This beautiful book is about the unconditional love a mother has for her child. Written and illustrated with an Alaskan Inuit focus, the child finds a myriad of hypothetical and silly ways she could test her mother’s love.

If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond

Children will enjoy this story, but parents may struggle to finish it with dry eyes. There are moments we all wish our children would stay small, but the joy of watching them grow and become who they are meant to be always seems to win out. With sweet memories behind us and a hopeful future ahead, If I Could Keep You Little reminds us to love the moment we’re in.

Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds

Another book that children will love and parents will adore, Someday looks back on what our child was like as a baby, and lets us imagine and hope for the wonderful possibilities of their future. “Someday I will watch you brushing your child’s hair.” Keep your tissues handy.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

This classic has been loved by children for generations. Corduroy sits on a shelf in a department store until one day, a little girls spots him. Lisa’s mother doesn’t buy Corduroy, but the child returns the following day with her own saved up coins. She brings him home and loves him, missing button and all.

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Having a good friend is a special kind of love we all need in our lives. Frog and Toad may be different in many ways, but they always seem to be there for one another. Follow them through five short tales of friendship, including caring for one another when they are sick and making sure a special letter gets mailed.

Love by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long

There are countless ways to express and feel love. In this book, award-winner author Matt de la Peña narrates to children about the different ways they might feel love throughout their young lives. Through its many forms, love has the ability to heal us, to transform us, and to make us feel safe.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow

Loving ourselves is just as important as (or perhaps even more important than) loving others. Molly Lou stands out in a crowd, and she has learned to celebrate the parts of her that make her unique. When faced with bullying, she realizes this can be a hard mindset to maintain, but the helpful words of her grandmother help her find her way through.

I Carry Your Heart with Me by E. E. Cummings, illustrated by Mati McDonough

A gorgeously illustrated version of the classic Cummings poem, this book appeals to all ages. When we love someone deeply, they follow us around wherever we go, and there is nothing quite like the bond between a parent a child.

Fanny’s Dream by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner

When we are small, the stories we hear sometimes lead us to create wishful fairytale endings for our lives. Fanny wants to marry a prince, but her fairy godmother doesn’t arrive and she finds herself on a different path. As she grows older, she realizes that love isn’t always what we expect it to be, and that it’s often what has been with us all along.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

[Necessary spoilers] This book is incredible, but is definitely for older children (upper elementary or middle school). Jess and Leslie are two children who buck traditional stereotypes and are both in need of a friend when they find each other. Their bond is quick and strong, and they invent an imaginary world in which they spend much time together. If you never read this book as a child, know that it is one of those novels that hurts to read, but sticks with you forever. While the beginning of the story explores friendship love, a tragic death takes the plot toward exploring the love and support of a family processing grief.

We wish you a Valentine’s Day full of love, happiness, and maybe even a good book or two.