HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Valentine’s Day Gifts: Kids’ and Young Adult Books

Valentine’s Day Gifts: Kids’ and Young Adult Books

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: February 2, 2011

Love is in the air!

From snuggle time with the youngest set to the trials and tribulations of adolescence, all you need is love. Romantic poet William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) said, “The little unremembered acts of kindness and love are the best parts of a person’s life.” Could reading a book with your child (no-matter-what their age) be considered one of these acts of kindness? You better believe it. In fact, it may turn out to be one of the best things you ever did for your child. Not only does it allow for a beautiful moment of bonding between parent and child, it nourishes your child’s brain and can create life-long readers.

Enjoy the books below. The theme is love, but of course. “The giving of love is an education in itself.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Board BooksPicture BooksEarly ReadersMiddle Grade NovelsYoung Adult


Board Books

Count My Kisses, Little One

by Ruthie May (Author), Tamsin Ainsley (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 1-3

Hardcover: 24 pages

Publisher: Little Hare (February 1, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Following the bedtime routine from playful giggles with teddy to gentle sleep, baby is showered with kisses and love all through the day. This book is the perfect gift for newborns, first birthdays and toddlers. Ages 1+.

Add this book to your collection: Count My Kisses, Little One

All Kinds Of Kisses

by Linda Cress Dowdy (Author), Priscilla Lamont (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 0-4

Board book: 24 pages

Publisher: Cartwheel Books (December 1, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: A heartwarming padded board book, all about different types of kisses!

“Butterfly kisses

Are soft gentle things.

Flutter your lashes

Like butterfly wings.”

As a little boy makes his way to bed, he kisses each animal with a different kiss. Little does he realize the sweet tucking-in that awaits him! These touching rhymes, paired with cozy illustrations, are perfect to share with that special little someone you love.

Add this book to your collection: All Kinds Of Kisses

You Are My Sunshine

by Jimmie Davis (Author), Caroline Church (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 0-4

Board book: 12 pages

Publisher: Cartwheel Books; Brdbk edition (January 1, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Illustrated by the best-selling artist, Caroline Jayne Church, finally this classic song is becoming a children’s board book!

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

You make me happy when skies are gray.”

Lovingly illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, the bestselling artist from I LOVE YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH, this is the first of her new three book song series. YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE has become well-known and well-loved by parents and children everywhere. Using the uplifting chorus, this board book with a foil cover is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any day!

Add this book to your collection: You Are My Sunshine

My Precious Little Bear

by Claire Freedman (Author), Gavin Scott (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 1-4

Board book: 20 pages

Publisher: Cartwheel Books; Brdbk edition (January 1, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: “Little Bear has a busy day ahead!

Little Bear is a cute and curious cuddly cub!

Come along on a day packed full of small discoveries and big wonder.”

This rhyming story, paired with gentle illustrations, will enchant little ones everywhere.

Add this book to your collection: My Precious Little Bear

Peek-a-Love

by Salina Yoon

Reading level: 0-3

Board book: 14 pages

Publisher: Little Simon; Brdbk edition (December 21, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: Every creature from the busy bee to the fuzzy bear wants to play peek-a-boo! Little ones will fall in love with Salina Yoon’s simple, bright, and colorful art from the sparkly heart and playful bees on the cover right to the Mommy and Baby on the last page. Children can peek through the die-cut hearts on every spread to spy what each animal loves. Then they can lift the flaps to reveal each creature’s cherished object, from sunny rays of sunshine to blossoming yellow flowers. Perfect for even the youngest of readers, Peek-a-Love will have parents and children alike falling in love with this highly interactive and fun original format.

Add this book to your collection: Peek-a-Love

Stacking Shapes (Little Scholastic)

by Salina Yoon

Reading level: Ages 0-3

Board book: 24 pages

Publisher: Cartwheel Books; Brdbk edition (September 1, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: A literary spin on a classic toy, Little Scholastic: Stacking Shapes is a active read for any young child. Children can sort and stack the four rainbow-colored die-cut shaped board books on a solid post, and read each book to learn about four different shapes and colors!

Little Scholastic: Stacking Shapes helps develop motor skills, strengthen eye-hand coordination, and foster problem-solving skills. It’s the ultimate playtime read!

* Four shaped board books

* Colored foam covers

* Separate Stacking Base

Add this book to your collection: Stacking Shapes (Little Scholastic)


Picture Books

All the Things I Love About You

by Leuyen Pham

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (November 23, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: There are oh so many things a mom loves about her young child. But most of all, she just loves him, no matter what.

Bestselling author and illustrator LeUyen Pham combines her experience as a mother and her proven storytelling skills in a humorous and heartfelt love letter of a book. In All the Things I Love About You, Mama lists the reasons she loves her little boy: the way his hair sticks up in the morning, the way he says “Mama” (even in the middle of the night), and the way he laughs. Simply written and beautifully illustrated, All the Things I Love About You honestly speaks to the unconditional love between a mother and her child. Children and parents alike will treasure this heartwarming book and, in reading it together, appreciate the small actions that make love grow stronger every day.

Add this book to your collection: All the Things I Love About You

Wherever You Are: My Love Will Follow

by Nancy Tillman

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (September 14, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: . . . I wanted you more than you’ll ever know,

so I sent love to follow wherever you go. . . .

Love is the greatest gift we have to give our children. It’s the one thing they can carry with them each and every day.

If love could take shape it might look something like these heartfelt words and images from the inimitable Nancy Tillman. Here is a book to share with your loved ones, no matter how near or far, young or old, they are.

Add this book to your collection: Wherever You Are: My Love Will Follow

The Somebody for Me

by Chiba Minako

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: NorthSouth (October 1, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: A little girl and a doll find each other

The dolls sat in the toyshop window, waiting hopefully for somebody to love them.
“I want a little girl somebody,” said one.
“I want a baby somebody,” said another.
“I want a grandmother somebody,” said a third.
“I just want the somebody for me,” said Sumiko.
This tender story will warm the hearts of young and old alike.

Add this book to your collection: The Somebody for Me

If I Could Keep You Little…

by Marianne Richmond

Reading level: Ages 3-7

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (November 1, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: IF I COULD KEEP YOU LITTLE exemplifies Marianne’s real insights into the human spirit and her beautiful illustrations that will touch children and adults and that are sure to be cherished for generations to come. Taking the reader on a journey of memory and expectation, IF I COULD KEEP YOU LITTLE showcases the fleeting little moments that reveal how a child changes and grows.

If I could keep you little,
I’d decide on matching clothes.
But then I’d miss you choosing
dots on top and stripes below

If I could keep you little
I’d cut your bread in shapes.
But then I’d miss you finding
“Hey! I like ketchup with my grapes!”

Add this book to your collection: If I Could Keep You Little..

Thumb Love

by Elise Primavera

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 48 pages

Publisher: Robin Corey Books (October 12, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Lulu was a thumb sucker. She and her thumb were very happy together—in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, Lulu and her thumb were best friends.

Despite the urging of her family and the teasing of her friends, Lulu just would not give up her thumb-sucking habit. That is, until one day . . . when Lulu made up her mind to stop. And to help herself and thumb suckers all over the world, Lulu developed a program—one with steps. Twelve steps, to be exact. Join Lulu in her quest to kick the habit as she goes through the steps in this funny and insightful picture book.

Told in a light-hearted manner and filled with good humor about a universal and important concern, Thumb Love will be embraced by parents and caregivers alike. This is not an issue book but a story that will resonate with anyone who is—or was—a kid.

Add this book to your collection: Thumb Love


Early Readers

A Very Scary Valentine’s Day

by Mariah Balaban

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; Original edition (December 1, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: It’s Valentine’s Day! Scooby and the gang love mysteries. Can they crack the case of the zombie at the Valentine’s dance?

Add this book to your collection: A Very Scary Valentine’s Day


Middle Grade

Daughter of Xanadu

by Dori Jones Yang

Reading level: 12 and up

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 11, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Athletic and strong willed, Princess Emmajin’s determined to do what no woman has done before: become a warrior in the army of her grandfather, the Great Khan Khubilai. In the Mongol world the only way to achieve respect is to show bravery and win glory on the battlefield. The last thing she wants is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who challenges her beliefs in the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no skills in the “manly arts” of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Still, he charms the Khan with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a different Marco as they travel across 13th-century China, hunting ‘dragons’ and fighting elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a different battle as she struggles with her attraction towards Marco and her incredible goal of winning fame as a soldier.

Add this book to your collection: Daughter of Xanadu

Timeless

by Alexandra Monir

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 11, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

Add this book to your collection: Timeless

Tiger’s Curse

by Colleen Houck

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Hardcover: 448 pages

Publisher: Splinter (January 11, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger’s curse, Kelsey’s life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.

Add this book to your collection: Tiger’s Curse

Flipped

by Wendelin Van Draanen

Reading level: Ages 10-14

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (August 10, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Wendelin Van Draanen’s highly acclaimed he-said, she-said teen romance is going to be a major motion picture. Written and directed by Rob Reiner, the film features a stellar cast, including Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe as Juli and Bryce, and Aidan Quinn, Rebecca De Mornay, Anthony Edwards, Penelope Ann Miller, and John Mahoney.

This movie tie-in edition will feature full-color movie stills, an interview with the author, and a preview of her next romantic comedy, Confessions of a Serial Kisser.

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

Add this book to your collection: Flipped

The Romeo And Juliet Code

by Phoebe Stone

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (January 1, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Phoebe Stone, author of the sleeper hit DEEP DOWN POPULAR, is back with a middle-grade code-breaking mystery full of romance and excitement. Think CHASING VERMEER meets THE SECRET GARDEN!

Felicity’s glamorous parents have a secret. When they leave her with distant relatives in Maine, Felicity hopes they won’t leave her long. Her new Uncle Gideon hides things. Her Aunt Miami is star-crossed. And Derek, a kid her age, refuses to leave his room.

But Felicity needs Derek’s help. Gideon is getting coded letters from Felicity’s parents, and she’s sure they’re in trouble. Can Felicity crack the code, heal the family and save her parents, all while surviving her first crush? It’s a tall order, but – like THE SECRET GARDEN’S Mary Lennox before her – Felicity’s up for the challenge.

Add this book to your collection: The Romeo And Juliet Code

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren’t complicated, I wouldn’t be Ruby Oliver

by E. Lockhart

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (December 28, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Ruby Oliver, the neurotic, hyperverbal heroine of the The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys, is back!

Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.

Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)

Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.

Add this book to your collection: Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren’t complicated, I wouldn’t be Ruby Oliver

Rhymes with Cupid

by Anna Humphrey

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: HarperTeen (December 21, 2010)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: Goodman’s Gifts & Stationery Store

February 14
Cashier: Elyse

3 boxes of heart-shaped chocolate . . . $12.00

Chocolate is the only good thing about this nauseating holiday.

4 containers of candy hearts . . . $5.00

Ever since my ex cheated on me, I’ve sworn off love. Too bad my new neighbor Patrick didn’t get the memo.

1 Valentine’s Day card . . . $4.50

I’m not interested. Although, he is pretty cute. And sweet. And funny.

1 singing Cupid doll (promotional item) . . . $0.00

Stupid Cupid! Point your arrows at someone else. . . .

Subtotal . . . $21.50

It’s going to be a complicated Valentine’s Day.

Add this book to your collection:Rhymes with Cupid


Young Adult

Other Words for Love

by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Reading level: Young Adult

Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (January 11, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Publisher’s synopsis: When an unexpected inheritance enables Ari to transfer to an elite Manhattan prep school, she makes a wealthy new friend, Leigh. Leigh introduces Ari to the glamorous side of New York—and to her gorgeous cousin, Blake. Ari doesn’t think she stands a chance, but amazingly, Blake asks her out. As their romance heats up, they find themselves involved in an intense, consuming relationship. Ari’s family worries that she is losing touch with the important things in life, like family, hard work, and planning for the future.
When misfortune befalls Blake’s family, he pulls away, and Ari’s world drains of color. As she struggles to get over the breakup, Ari must finally ask herself: were their feelings true love . . . or something else?

Add this book to your collection: Other Words for Love


Still looking for more? Take a look at these 16 lovable Books for Valentine’s Day

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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