Last year for Valentine’s Day, I decided to start a new tradition with my two boys. Each night in February, I taped a construction paper heart to their bedroom doors, with a note describing something that their Dad and I love about each of them. The boys loved the surprise of finding a new heart each morning and reading what positive thing I’d written about them (or, in the case of my then-2-year-old, hearing it read to him by his older brother). It was such a hit that we decided to do it again this year. In addition to being a fun holiday countdown, it’s also a simple way to start our mornings on a positive note. Win-win!
Since Valentine’s Day is a celebration of all things love, we’ve also switched up our nightly bedtime story routine to include books with love as a central theme. This year, our to-read pile features books that celebrate love in all its forms—from the ways that we show love to others, to the ways that we love ourselves. If you’re looking for some lovely new reads to add to your library this Valentine’s Day, these picks are perfect for the occasion.
You Can Never Run Out of Love
Full of fun and relatable scenarios, this sweet story by Helen Docherty reaffirms the unconditional and everlasting nature of love. Through the colourful illustrations of Ali Pye, readers will see the characters run out of everything from cookies to socks—but when it comes to love, you’ll always have more to give. It’s a lovely message for little ones, but may be particularly helpful for those who are preparing to welcome a younger sibling to the family. Recommended for ages 2 and up.
Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar are sure to enjoy this book, featuring Eric Carle’s signature illustrations and one of his most beloved characters. With its bright colours and simple text, it’s a great read-aloud for parents who want to remind their little ones just how much they’re loved. Recommended for ages 3 to 5.
$12 | Available at Amazon.ca
In a tender story about a little girl who raises a baby duckling, Diane Adams reminds us that sometimes love means letting go, even when it’s hard to say goodbye. The gorgeous illustrations by Claire Keane take us through the pair’s journey from late-night feedings to leaving the nest. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself a little misty-eyed by the end! Recommended for ages 3 to 6.
$23 | Available at Indigo.ca
I Am Love: A Book of Compassion
“Love is everywhere!” proclaims Susan Verde, in her author’s message for I Am Love. Beautifully illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, I Am Love is an exploration of the way we feel love within ourselves, and share it with those around us. The book also explores themes of compassion and empathy, and shows little ones how leading with love can have a positive impact on the world around them. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
$19 | Available at Amazon.ca
In this heartwarming story by Jessie Sima, a young robot named Z sets out on an epic quest to discover the meaning of love. Along the way, Z meets lots of new people and finds out that everyone’s idea of love is a little bit different. Ultimately, Z realizes that they’ve known what it feels like to be loved all along. A perfect bedtime story! Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
$24 | Available at Indigo.ca
I’ll Love You Till The Cows Come Home
We’ve all heard the saying “till the cows come home,” but where did they go, exactly? Turns out, they’ve been on a trip to Mars! But they’re not the only animals who’ve been busy—Kathryn Cristaldi’s playful story about lasting love also includes adventurous yaks, sheep, wolves, frogs, and more! With whimsical illustrations by Kristyna Litten, this book is sure to become a family favourite. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
$21 | Available at Amazon.ca
Love From The Crayons
While love is often represented by a pink or red heart, the truth is that it can be any colour of the rainbow! Sometimes it’s grey and strong, like a hippo. Sometimes it’s yellow and warm, like the sun. Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers’ latest crayon adventure celebrates the many colours—and characteristics—of love. The book’s childlike illustrations may inspire your kiddo to create a love-themed masterpiece of their own. Recommended for ages 5 to 8.
$14 | Available at Indigo.ca
Listening With My Heart
When Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock on her way to school, she takes it as a sign. The rock reminds her to put her heart into things, to spread kindness and love, and most importantly, to love herself. With vibrant illustrations by Ying Hui Tan, Gabi Garcia’s story is a gentle lesson in self-compassion, and reassures kids that even when they make a mistake or have a bad day, they are still deserving of kindness and love. Recommended for ages 6 to 10.
$12.50 | Available at Amazon.ca