Love From the Crayons by: Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers was adorably illustrated in the style of a child’s crayon scribbles. The message of the book was beautifully simple: love comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It can be silly, hard to find, stormy, creative, or (my personal favorite) stinks (the illustration is priceless). Overall, a great reminder of the true meaning of love.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=love+from+the+crayons+read+aloud&view=detail&mid=7D807C376694D992F34C7D807C376694D992F34C&FORM=VIRE (Love from the Crayons read aloud)
A Valentine for Frankenstein by: Leslie Kimmelman examines the plight of a young Frankenstein who is having trouble fitting in. He’s not quite human enough to be human and is just too nice and well-groomed to be accepted by the other monsters. Despite this, Frankie confidently tolerates the jeers of his monster peers as they reprimand him for his politeness and love of napkins and glitter. He deflects each negative personal attack with something flattering and friendly about the other monster (i.e. ‘I love your purple slime vomit; it matches my shirt’). His positive attitude pays off as he tracks down the only monster ready to accept and love him for who he is- his secret Valentine ‘The Belcher’.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3Ja3vCSxnw (A Valentine for Frankenstein read aloud)
A Crankenstein Valentine by: Samantha Berger was my son’s favorite pick. It was so very much geared towards crabby boys who hate the mushy gooshey lovey dovey-ness of Valentine’s Day. We follow Crankenstein, a boy and hater of all things Valentine’s Day, as he groans at heart studded undies gifted by an overzealous mom, barfs at roses to be delivered to teachers, yaks at heart shaped PB and J sandwiches, wretches at those awful coconut filled chocolates, rages at forced participation in sappy school pageants…UNTIL he discovers a buddy that hates Valentine’s Day as much as he does. Then, suddenly, it’s not so bad.
https://youtu.be/aCZOBPF2DFc (A Crankenstein read aloud)
The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever by: Brenda A. Ferber charmingly chronicles the secret crush of a ‘tween boy named Leon in illustrations reminiscent of old comic strip cartoons. Leon is sure his valentine card has come from the heart and that his crush- Zoey Maloney will love it! The valentine card, however, disagrees with him and runs away. Several other people weigh in on the issue as they all chase the wayward greeting card through town. In the end it all works out when Leon’s valentine literally ‘falls’ for Zoey’s valentine card and they all have the best Valentine’s Day ever.
Valensteins by: Ethan Long is a cute, kid-friendly explanation of what valentines and love are all about. A group of nieve young Halloween monsters mistakenly think that Frankenstein’s (he goes by Fran in this book) pink paper heart cutout is a butt. The kindly Easter Bunny (not sure why he’s hanging out with a bunch of Halloween ghouls) explains the whole deal to them- love, mushy-mushy kisses on the lips, paper hearts and all. The other monsters are terrified, but Fran’s valentine seems to be okay with it…and really likes the paper butt he made for her. In the end they realize that Valentine’s Day is more about what you feel inside you than what you get.
https://youtu.be/UoNdUVBg3ug (Valensteins read aloud)
Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by: Diane de Groat taught a very valuable lesson about friendship and bullying. Gilbert, a possum- like critter, has to write valentine cards for all his classmates. Overall, he does a good job, but a couple of kids previously bullied him about his nose and his glasses, so he decides to get even with them by writing two mean valentine cards just for them. In the end, Gilbert and the bullies have a chat. It turns out his classmates didn’t even realize how much their teasing had bothered him in the first place. They apologized for bullying him and he apologized for writing mean valentines- a powerful lesson in empathy, communication, and forgiveness.
https://youtu.be/dN_EYV5AQwo (Roses are Pink read aloud)
Porcupine Cupid by: Jason June tells the story of a well-meaning porcupine that decides to play match maker for all his friends. In the process he manages to annoy them all so much they gather together to have a meeting about what to do about his awful behavior. The end result of the meeting: his friends all meet each other and fall in love in one huge match making ceremony! Smug Porcupine smiles at the end knowing that his plan would work the whole time.
https://youtu.be/9p9j11ZRp1E (Porcupine Cupid read aloud)
Foxy in Love by: Emma Dodd features a fox with a magical tail and his best friend Emily. She’s trying to write a very special valentine card to convey all the things she loves. Foxy tries to help her remember that valentines aren’t about the things you love, but the people (or foxes) that you love instead.
https://youtu.be/AgP-Eclne5s (Foxy in Love read aloud)
Will You Be My Valenswine? by Teresa Bateman chronicled a sweet little piglet desperate to discover if anyone on the farm loved her enough to be her one true valenswine. She was so busy looking for this person she missed the one valenswine that already loved her more than anyone else in the world- her mom.
https://youtu.be/vOX4wHxXrPQ (Valenswine read aloud)
Mirabel’s Missing Valentines by: Janet Lawler is about Mirabel, a shy little mouse that works up the courage to make valentines for all her classmates. But on her way to school they all get lost through a hole in her backpack! She fears that Valentine’s Day is ruined until she discovers that she has accidentally brightened the day of the strangers who have found her lost cards.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3GKsxgOfAM (Mirabel’s Valentines read aloud)
Hopefully these titles will add a little love to your family’s Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to look for them at your local library or click on the links for the free read alouds!