Happy Valentines Day! I know, I know, a lot of people feel this ‘holiday’ is a gratuitous money making scheme. Really, what isn’t these days? But, such a powerful, beautiful emotion as love deserves celebration.
While love is the core of any family, I honestly believe my family would be nowhere without the emotion. Being a mixed family, I met Jenn when my son was 3-years-old, and her daughter was just a 1-year-old angel. Two single parents with young children makes the dating thing pretty complicated and it took a magical spark to make that work. After our first year, as things were just beginning to settle, Zyler and I were confronted with threats and dangers from my ex. The safest thing for my son and I to do was return to my home town where my family could help us. Despite our relationship being relatively new, and Jenn being comfortable and close to her family where she was, she made the sacrifice of moving her and her daughter across the mountains to stay with us. That, now that, is love. Through the most complicated times of our lives, Jenn and I and our amazing children have grown stronger, closer every day. If it wasn’t for the power of love, our family would never be what it is today.
Well, the years have gone by and our children have grown. Grown with us. Grown with each other. Looking at the two of them you would have no idea that they are not blood related. They have become the typical siblings. With all the jealousy, frustration and pure rage that comes with brothers and sisters. It’s bad. I don’t remember being this bad with my brother, although I am sure we were. And, from the stories I have heard, Jenn and her sister were a lot worse. However, as a parent it can be difficult to hear the nasty things your children say and do to one another. Zyler cleverly waits for his opportunities when the parents are out of the room to take a kick at his sister. Alex will go out of her way to make a list of her favourite people specifically to leave her brother off of it. Zyler is certain that his sister is the most evil person on the planet. And when I tell the kids to get along, Alex will literally throw a tantrum because she “cant get along with him!”
So, while I am comforted by the fact that their relationship is as normal as can be, it is important to me that I teach them the value of love. That when the anger and frustration has passed, they should move on, breathe, and remember who is there to play with them, who teams up with them to get snacks out of the parents, who helps them build the fort, or who they can stick beside when they are feeling shy. With me being me, my favourite way to teach and influence my children is through the wonderful universe of reading.
Now, with that lengthy introduction here is my list of ten children’s books for Valentines Day. Books that will teach kids to love their friends, love their siblings, love their families, love themselves, and the importance of showing and sharing their love…
10. I Love You Because You’re You by Liza Baker
Through the many moods that children struggle to understand, I Love You Because You’re You shows children that our love as parents is unconditional. That no matter how they feel, scared, angry, cuddly, we will love them the same and nothing can change that.
9. If Kisses Were Colors by Janet Lawler
Another book that expresses the strength of love between parents and child. In charming verses, If Kisses Were Colors expresses love in a big beautiful way connecting it to visually stunning scenes of rainbows or flowers.
8. What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best by Laura Numeroff
I had to include a book about sibling love and this two-in-one book is perfect. Showing kids what is so great about having a sibling. Whether it be having someone to push you on the swing or sharing a snack, this book reminds kids that having a sibling can be a blessing.
7. Love Monster by Rachel Bright
This adorable story about a monster that is in desperate search for love is witty and fun. While you feel sad for Love Monster by the end it shows us that love can find you in the most unexpected of places.
6. Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis
Being tiny can make loving difficult. Especially if your love is way up their and you need a kiss. Never Too Little to Love shares with us just that moral and kids can be proud to express their emotions.
5. I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
If you want to remind someone that no matter what kind of monster they can be you will love them, I Love You, Stinky Face is ideal. As a child describes the ugliest creatures he can his mother assures him that she will always love him.
4. The I Love You Book by Todd Parr
Todd Parr’s simple, but brilliant and bright books are wonderful journeys through emotions and important morals. The I Love You Book is one of the greatest for reminding us it is okay to express your love in a big way.
3. Consider Love by Sandra Boynton
Talking about love can be vague and hard to understand for children. Consider Love explores the different modes and emotions of love.
2. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
My personal favourite. Love You Forever would make any new father break into tears. This story follows a life time of love and its strength, importance and how it can impact us through generations.
1. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Probably the quintessential children’s story on the love between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You shows an important bond and how it is possible to love to the moon and back.
Thanks booknerds, share some love today!