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24 best Valentine's Day books for kids

These reads will teach your little one about love.
Illustration of a mom and daughter reading a book about valentines day, Caveboy Crush by Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler, Love Is, by Diane Adams and Claire Keane, Love, Z, by Jessie Sima and You Loves Ewe!, by Cece Bell
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images / Amazon
/ Source: TODAY

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Want to send a love note to your littlest valentine? Start with a sweet book.

These picture books about love aren't all hearts and flowers and chocolate. They might be a ray of light when she's surrounded by darkness. Or as drippy and sweet as the jelly side a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

No matter what flavor of love you want to share, here are the best Valentine's Day books for kids that are sure to please your little valentine.

Bestselling Valentine's Day books for kids

1. "You Are My Happy," by Hoda Kotb

Hoda's book inspired by Haley Joy is all about gratitude for the things that make us happy, and most especially our little ones.

2. I Need a Hug, by Aaron Blabey

Porcupine can't catch a break in his search for a hug, until he finds a snake in need of a kiss.

3. Hello, Love, by Taro Miura

How do animals greet each other? You might want to make like a fish with your toddler and touch noses.

4. Love, Z, by Jessie Sima

Robot Z finds a message in a bottle that sends him on a quest to find out what love means in "Love, Z," a heartwarming new book from Jessie Sima.

More Valentine's Day books for kids

1. "Llama Llama I Love You," by Anna Dewdney

Introduce your soon-to-be tiny reader to the beloved character, Llama Llama, with this bestselling board book. Llama shows his friends and family how much he loves them in the heartwarming tale.

2. "I Love You to the Moon and Back," by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes

There's nothing like the love that you and your little one share. This story of a bear and cub is the perfect celebration of that special bond.

3. "Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool," by James Dean and Kimberly Dean

Pete doesn't think Valentine's Day is cool — until he realizes how many friends he has to celebrate with. Kids will learn about love and gratitude as Pete makes cards for all his friends, including the bus driver, the crossing guard and the librarian.

4. "Me & Mama," by Cozbi A. Cabrera

This 2021 Caldecott Honor picture book is an ode to mom from a child's point of view.

5. "Like the Moon Loves the Sky," by Hena Khan and Saffa Khan

A mother lovingly distills her hopes and dreams for a child's life.

6. "Porcupine Cupid," by Jason June and Lori Richmond

When Porcupine uses his quills as cupid's arrows, he brings the other animals together — to confront his poking problem.

7. “Because You're Mine," by Nancy Tillman

The new title from the “Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You” author tells children there's nothing the world can do to stop a parent's love.

8. "I Love You More Than," by Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans

In this fatherly love story from Taye Diggs, dad might not be with his child as often as he likes, but his love fills the distance between them.

9. "Caveboy Crush," by Beth Ferry and Joseph Kuefler

When Neander finds someone short, hairy and perfect, he must find a way to impress his crush. Turns out crushing things is strangely ineffective.

10. "You Loves Ewe!" by Cece Bell

This sweet follow-up to the hilarious "I Yam a Donkey" finds Yam besotted with Ewe and Donkey as confused as you might be by that scenario.

11. Love, by Matt de la Peña and Loren Long

“Love” celebrates love even in times of difficulty and darkness, and made waves for its imagery, including a child huddling under a piano while parents fight. But Matt de la Peña believes we shouldn’t shield children from darkness.

“I’m just so moved by the truth and reality that I felt like the poem was empty until I acknowledged that adversity exists in this world, and as a matter of fact, if we acknowledge the adversity or even elements of darkness, I feel like love can be even more powerful,” de la Peña told TODAY.

12. My Heart, by Corinna Luyken

Corinna Luyken's “My Heart” is a visual poem that acknowledges the times when a child's heart is cloudy or broken or a whisper but ends with a sunny sense of ownership of those feelings. Hunt for hidden hearts on each page.

13. "Besos for Baby," by Jen Arena and Blanca Gomez

This rhyming board book will inspire dozens of besos for the baby in your life.

14. The Littlest Things Give the Loveliest Hugs, by Mark Sperring and Maddie Frost

The sweet, rhyming text celebrates all the little creatures (like yours) that are “ever so clever at giving a hug.”

15. If Animals Said I Love You, by Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker

Another sweet board book imagines all the ways animals might say “I love you” like we do.

16. A Hug Is for Holding Me, by Lisa Wheeler and Lisk Feng

A look around the natural world shows all kinds of hugs that feel like home.

17. “Love, Mama,” by Jeanette Bradley

Saying goodbye to Mama is tough, but a letter makes all the difference in this comforting tale of love that can cross any distance.

18. I Love You Already, by Jory John and Benji Davies

Duck just wants cranky Bear to like him. It may surprise them both that he already does.

19. “Love Is,” by Diane Adams and Claire Keane

A little girl takes in a duckling and learns what love is — from noisy midnight feedings to sensing when the time is right to fly the nest. It might resonate as much with parents as their kids.

20. The I Love You Book, by Todd Parr

The bright colors appeal to the littlest readers with an appealing message about loving little ones just as they are.

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