It’s that time of year – hearts and kisses and chocolate abound and I’m in the mood for love. Back in the day, I thought no one would love me unless I was perfect (and thin and pretty and smart-but-not-too-smart and only wore flats so as not to tower over and fun-loving and outdoorsy, and I could go on and on). Then life happened and I realized you can be loved for who you are, including irritating habits and annoying quirks and bad moods and occasional irrational outbursts. Every once in a while, it doesn’t hurt to remember that, so today I give you books to remind you that you’re never too little, too big, too hairy, too fishy, too broken or too loud to love. Read these books with your little ones so they learn that lesson early and often.
Never Too Little to Love By Jeanne Willis
How far would you got to give a kiss to someone you love? This little mouse refuses to give up, even though the one he loves is waaaaaaay up high.
Paul Meets Bernadette By Rosy
Paul’s life is boring before Bernadette drops in. You can hardly blame him – after all, there isn’t much to do in a fishbowl. But the day Bernadette arrives, everything changes, including Paul. Prepare to be captivated, not only with these charming goldfish, but also with Rosy Lamb’s extraordinarily beautiful oil illustrations.
Snoring Beauty By Sudipta Bardham-Quallen
Sleeping Beauty’s snoring is keeping Mouse awake and he needs to rest before his wedding day, so Mouse hatches a plan. He’ll find a prince to kiss the princess, wake her up and stop the racket. Only problem is, the prince doesn’t want a snoring bride – and really, who can blame him. You won’t be disappointed by this lively rhyming story, or its unexpected ending.
Cinderelephant By Emma Dodd
Animals seem to like love this month, including this endearing take on Cinderella, where warthogs and mice and, of course, elephants take center stage. Cinderelephant needs all the help she can get if she’s ever going to make it to Prince Trunky’s ball. Thank goodness her Furry Godmouse shows up with a gorgeous dress, pink heels and a limo. A girl has to travel in style, after all.
Love Monster By Rachel Bright
Monster lives in Cutesville, where everything is fluffy and cute and cuddly. Think kittens and bunnies, not hairy googley-eyed monsters. Which makes finding love difficult, even for a good-hearted lonely monster. So he looks and looks and looks and looks for someone to love and learns that “sometimes, when you least expect it . . . love finds you.”
How to Wash a Wooly Mammoth By Michelle Robinson
Speaking of hairy, there’s a special kind of love between kids and their pets that deserves a mention around Valentine’s Day, especially when that love means you have to wash your pet wooly mammoth. Because, let’s be honest, you have to really love your large, hairy, ticklish, sensitive pachyderm if you’re going to let it get in the bathtub with you, which may be the only way he gets clean. Hilarious and instructive, this step-by-step instruction guide to mammoth bathing will definitely make you smile.
Catching Kisses By Amy Gibson
Sometimes I fall in love with a book just for the idea of it. This is one of those times. Amy Gibson starts this story with a reminder that “[a]t any given moment, someone, somewhere, is blowing a kiss” and those kisses are swirling around us, filling the air and waiting to be caught. When the winter cold settles in and we wait for spring, what could be better than thinking we’re surrounded by kisses? Not much.
A Gift for Mama By Linda Ravin Lodding
When my son saw this book, he shouted, “Mom, those are the same pictures as the book about the cloud boy!” And it’s true, A Gift for Mama is illustrated by the amazingly talented Alison Jay, who also illustrated The Cloud Spinner (a favorite in our house, if you couldn’t tell). But gorgeous pictures aren’t the only thing A Gift for Mama has going for it – the story is lovely as well. Oskar is searching the streets of Vienna for the perfect birthday gift for his mother, but after a day of trading one gift for another, will he end up empty handed? You’ll have to read to find out. I promise you, it’s worth it.
Trouper By Meg Kearney
I am a sucker for stories about rescue animals, and the true story of Trouper, a three-legged dog rescued from the streets, had me in tears. Trouper goes from the streets, to the pound, to a home with a boy who knows that love isn’t only for the “perfect” dogs, it’s for all of them.
It’s that time of year – hearts and kisses and chocolate abound and I’m in the mood for love. Back in the day, I thought no one would love me unless I was perfect (and thin and pretty and smart-but-not-too-smart and only wore flats so as not to tower over and fun-loving and outdoorsy, and
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