Valentine's Day Books for Preschoolers: 6 of My Favorites

When teaching preschool and then staying at home with my boys, I looked forward to when February rolled around so I could pull my beloved collection of Valentine's Day books off the shelf. While clearly there's not as many books for this holiday as there are for Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, I definitely had some favorites I loved reading to the kids each year. Here are 6 Valentine's Day books for preschoolers that should become the heart of your collection:

1. The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

This is the quintessential book for Valentine's Day. It tells the tale of little Cornelia Augusta who goes outside to find it raining hearts. She catches some and then goes about making valentines for each of her friends. She's so kind and thoughtful, creating  a truly unique valentine for each friend because each friend is truly unique. It's a short, simple story that perfectly captures the spirit of the day.

2. Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

This is another marvelous book in the beloved If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series. Mouse thinks about his good buddies -- Pig, Moose, Cat -- and how special they are. He wants to make a valentine for each one because they mean so much to him. Mouse gets a big surprise from his friends at the end of the book that will surely delight kids. This book is short, sweet, and marvelous for celebrating the magic of friendship.

3. Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat

This book is always a favorite but too long and involved for those 4 and younger. It appeals to kids in pre-k and kindergarten who can relate to Gilbert, the main character, and his problems at the class Valentine's Day party. This book is better suited for a parent reading it to a youngster one-on-one and not a teacher reading it to an entire class. That's because there are parts that need to get explained and discussed.

Gilbert doesn't want to write nice valentines for two classmates because they were mean to him. This is a wonderful jumping off point for a discussion about hurt feelings and forgiveness. Kids learn that it's better to talk about problems and not keep them bottled up inside.

4. Clifford's First Valentine's Day by Norman Bridwell

Reading a Clifford book is like wearing a pair of slippers -- comfortable, relaxing, and cozy. This one is especially fun because we travel back in time when Clifford was a puppy, celebrating his first Valentine's Day with Emily Elizabeth. Little Clifford gets into a predicament when he slides down the mail chute at the post office. The love between Emily Elizabeth and her dog gets celebrated.

5. Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George!

I grew up listening to the Curious George books so it was always fun to read them to my students and sons. This one tells  about George's adventures as he throws a Valentine's Day party for his friends. Since most kids have never been to such a party, they find it fascinating. Curious George is their guide to this new world.

6. Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown

When my sons were 4, 5, and 6, they adored the Arthur series and, luckily, there were plenty of Arthur books to keep them entertained. This book is not suited for kids 4 and under because it's long and involved. Because the plots center on Arthur and his class Valentine's Day party, it's better for school-age children. Kids will get more out of it when reading it with parents at home. They can discuss the feelings involved when Arthur has a crush on a girl, gets teased by his friends, and pretends to be sick so he doesn't have to go to school.

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