Normally, when a new holiday rolls around, I spend way too much money ordering books for my students. This year, given we are virtual, I'm going to order a few of my favorites for Valentine's Day, and use YouTube for the rest (No worries..they're staying on my wish list for next year!!)
Here are some of my favorite read alouds about LOVE! Some of these stories may not be your typical Valentine's Day read alouds, but they will bring love and acceptance into your classroom in a big way.
There are YouTube links for each book if you can't afford to purchase all of the ones that you want at this time (plus, ya know, virtual learning...) ENJOY!
Consider purchasing your read alouds from bookshop.org (75% of their profits proceeds local bookstores) or use indiebound.org to find a local bookstore near you!!!
While We Can't Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar: the sweetest story about a hedgehog and a tortoise who can't show their love to one another physically, but find new ways to express how much they care.
I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi and Kristyna Litten: this sweet story filled with rhyme, helps children to see the BIGNESS of our love for them. Its illustrations take us through the skies, deserts, the sea, and more.
How Do I Love Thee By Jennifer Adams & Christopher Silas Neal: a picture book that takes us through the many seasons and circumstances of life, and the author's commitment to loving the reader through it all!
Love Z, by Jessie Sima: a robot's journey to find out what love is. Along the way, Z learns that love means a lot of different things, to a lot of different beings. All these way to feel love "did not compute" to z, but he eventually finds that he's known love all along.
A Book of Love by Emma Randall: a collection of ways for us to show love for to one another, even when we feel its hard to do!
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse by Laura Numeroff: this classic story helps our kiddos to recognize special qualities in each of our friends. It inspires students to celebrate our friends, and share the special reasons we love them.
Have your students use this read aloud as a prompt to create their very own special Valentine's cards for their loved ones! Check out this FREE resource HERE!
Love Always, Everywhere by Sarah Massini: a simple rhyming story of the different places and ways we can love one another.
Youtube Link for Love Always, Everywhere
Valentine Mice by Bethany Roberts: a simple read aloud full of sight words, blends, and joyous illustrations. The valentine mice have quite the adventure delivering their valentine's cards!
Love by Stacy McAnulty: the illustrations do the talking in this abundantly inclusive read aloud all about love! Absolutely one of my favorites!
Pout Pout Fish Special Valentine by Wes Adams: this story of Mr. Fish shows us that kind acts for others can be a positive mood changer for ourselves!
The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond: another fun classic. This story of Cornelia Augusta displays a girls love for each of her special friends. Cornelia, very kindly, spent precious time crafting valentine's for each of her friends.
This story inspired me to do a kindness challenge with my students. We can turn rain into something special (raining hearts) when we are caught being kind. Check it out, here!
Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal: a story of our hearts (what makes us, us). Allow your students to dive into the power of our words with this thoughtful read aloud.
Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light by Apryl Stott: this picture book highlights friendships through our similarities and differences. It discusses how we can make assumptions about others, and the importance of sharing the good in others.
Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell: explore the icky emotions we may feel in this story. I love this story because it acknowledges that life is not always full of light, happy moments, but that through the bad times, our umbrella of love offers a safe space to navigate tough circumstances.
Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman: dive into the infinite possibilities of what colors are for! Kiddos will feel comfort and acceptance in knowing all colors are for everybody.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love: A lovely story about Julian, a male character who loves mermaids and wants to dress as one, and the love and acceptance his Nana and loved ones.
The Littlest Valentine: main character, Emma Valentine, has a family who loves to celebrate Valentine's day. As she tries to help members of her family, she begins to get frustrated that she is unable to help them with tasks. Emma finds her very own way to contribute after finding a tiny friend.
This resource (to be paired with The Littlest Valentine) include an extended creative writing activity (above) as well as a short writing activity for younger students (below).
Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack: an inspiring LGBTQ story of being who you are and following your heart. While all the princesses swoon over Prince, he realizes his heart is singing a different tune. The illustrations show a sadness in Prince, that is, until he meets, Knight!
Maiden and Princess by Daniel Haack: similar to Prince and Knight, a call was made out for the prince to find his princess. One maiden found herself very unexcited about her "upper hand" in becoming the prince's princess. She finds herself more interested in the princess she meets at the ball!
Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer: diverse representation takes center stage in this story's illustrations. I love the way simple acts of love are shared, and that each page shows a different family.
I am Love A Book of Compassion By Susan Verde: a simplistically beautiful story of how we are all love. We are love. This story illustrates to students that we are the light, and that through simple compassionate acts, we can spread love through the world.
Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine by Hermann Parish: a look into the week leading up to Valentine's Day through Amelia Bedelia's eyes. Full of problems and solutions, and sweet moments between loved ones.
Except When They Don't by Laura Gehl: I love this story about the normalization of not fitting gender stereotypes. It encourages students to be exactly who they are!