Love is in the air... and in these children's books for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day in sight, 'tis the season for celebrating love. Just last week I received a box of books that do exactly that, books I plan — for the most part — to share with Bubby and Mac when I see them this weekend.

Alas, as time is of the essence for those looking to share sweet tales with sweet kiddos, I'm going to share these books from Candlewick (which I received free for review) with you before my grandsons even get a peek at the pages. Yes, you are that special to me.

Without Bubby and Mac previewing these stories, I can't yet tell you which are favorites of the boys, but I can tell you this: I've no doubt they're going to love them all. Well, except the two for older readers, of course.

The children you love will likely find one or two to love, too. Take a look (click on the book covers for more info; they are not affiliate links):

Dinosaur Kisses Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein ($15.99 hardcover) Ages 2-5. This is the one I have no doubt Mac will adore, considering his love and affection for all things dinosaur. It's the story of Dinah, who hatches out of her egg and is ready for some loving — after she first stomps and chomps a bit. She sees a kiss and sets out to try it herself. Only, the results don't turn out as expected as she chomps, whomps or eats up nearly all those she intends to kiss. Dino lovers of all ages will love the end, when Dinah meets her match.


Paul Meets BernadettePaul Meets Bernadette by Rosy Lamb ($14 hardcover) Ages 4-7. On a far more gentle note is this tender tale of two fish. Paul goes round and round in his fish bowl until one day Bernadette shows up and shows him there's far more to see beyond the circles he's been spinning. Adults will fall in love with the charming paintings by author/illustrator Rosy Lamb.





HeartsHearts by Thereza Rowe ($12.95 hardcover) Ages 4-8. This is a "toon book" especially for Level 1 readers. Which means it's a perfect first love story for Bubby. In it, Penelope the Fox drops her heart into the sea then encounters a variety of challenges in her pursuit to get it back. Being a first comic for readers, the words are simple, such as "Wait!" and "Whoosh!" and "Let's look here...". Though the words are simple, the story is complex and enjoyable for kids of all ages. Especially nice is the "Tips for Parents and Teachers" in the back, including the "How to read comics with kids" pointers.


Never Too Little To Love by Jeanne Willis ($8.99 hardcover) 3 years and up. This clever little cutaway book is my favorite of the batch. In it, Tiny Too-Little so badly wants a kiss, but the one he'd like to kiss is "way up there." With each page, Tiny's pile of items helping him get within kissing range gets higher and higher and wobblingly higher. The crash and subsequent solution bring a warm fuzzy to the surprising ending.






The Crazy Things Girls Do for Love      One or Two Things I Learned About Love

The Crazy Things Girls Do For Love by Dyan Sheldon ($8.99 paperback) 12 years and up and One or Two Things I Learned About Love by Dyan Sheldon ($15.99 hardcover) 12 years and up. These two books on young love are exactly the type of stories my three teen daughters would have swooned over and devoured in no time.

In the first, three girls — two popular and one not — are on a "green" mission (as in environment, not jealousy) in hopes of winning the attention of "the most drop-dead gorgeous boy imaginable." Bottom line of the witty story: Turns out saving the planet really is more important than impressing a boy.

In the second, the story focuses on Hildy, who thought she'd never find a boyfriend who is more than a boy friend. Then she meets Connor — and learns of the myriad complications surrounding a first love and, especially, a possessive love.

Disclosure: I received these books free for review. I received no compensation for sharing them, though, just warm fuzzies.

Today's question:

This rundown of love stories made me think of Love, American Style. What did you love about that wacky series from the early '70s?