When Valentine's Day comes around, I think of friendship and family and love. Here is a selection of some of my favorite picture books that fit right into those themes:
My Penguin Osbert, by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, illustrated by H. B. Lewis
A cute story illustrating the cautionary admonition "be careful what you wish for," and showing the lengths to which a boy will go for the happiness of his pet.
Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey
Marley's family loves him, but his puppy antics are ruining their home and their things as he gets bigger and bigger. So they decide they must find him a new home...until Marley's big save surprises them all and pulls him even further into their hearts.
The quintessential friendship between Frog and Toad is timeless, endearing, and a great example for the little ones of what friendship is really all about.
Chrysanthemum, in the cocoon of her caring family, loves her name. Then she goes to school, and the kids make fun of her name, and they make fun of her, and then she does not love her name, and she does not love school. But when she and her class meet the music teacher, things start to change...
A sweet story about all the little things a mom does to show her great love for her special little one.
An old couple who longs for a child to care for has their wish granted many times over when, after a moonshower, they discover twelve tiny rainbabies. A story of love, and devotion, and the rewards that can come from both.
The Patchwork Quilt, by Valerie Flournoy, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Tanya's grandma uses patches and scraps of fabrics from everyone in the family as she works on a family quilt. Each piece of fabric has a story to tell, and her grandma shares the tales as she works. When her grandma gets sick and can't work on the quilt anymore, Tanya decides to take up where her grandma left off, and soon the whole family joins in to help. A wonderful story about family, and love, and memories, and togetherness.
Goodnight, My Angel: A Lullabye, by Billy Joel, illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert
Originally a song written to his daughter, Billy Joel has converted that hit single into an equally touching bedtime book. A lovely story showing the special bond between parent and child, the book also includes a CD of Joel's single, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel).
Chester Raccoon is afraid to leave his mom and go to school. But his mom is clever, and she finds a way for him to feel close to her no matter how far away he is. A tale of love and reassurance.