Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, and in my experience, my display of holiday books won’t last until February 14th. And honestly, for the little ones, love and friendship are just-as-good Valentine’s themes. Today I’m going to share some of my recent favorites on those topics—and please! Share some of yours as well in the comments below.
Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros
This book inspired this post. It’s an incredibly moving story of male tween friendship that reflects the deep connection that can develop between boys that is rarely seen in any media. Star basketball player Isaac tries to keep up his grades so he doesn’t further stress his arguing parents. Meanwhile, brainy—and very short—best friend Marcos struggles to connect with his sports-obsessed father. The boys support each other and, in the end, are true to themselves. I just loved it!
I Don’t Care by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-Neal
Two friends argue about their differences…and then bond over the big things they share. The best part, though, is that the co-illustrators are close real-life friends and enjoyed their cross-country collaboration.
The Library by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Erin K Robinson
The world-renowned poet writes a love letter to libraries as a place of knowledge, entertainment, and escape.
Together: A First Conversation About Love by Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, and Anne/Andy Passchier
This book offers a straightforward explanation on different kinds of love—loving things, yourself, family, friends, and romantic love. A review compares it to Todd Parr’s books, and I agree, but the back matter will lead to deeper conversations between children and their caregivers. Relationships and people of all kinds are represented.
All from a Walnut by Ammi-Joan Paquette
The Italian grandfather (or nonno) in the book reminded me of my own; he even wears the same kind of hat! So of course, the book resonated with me. When grandpa came to America, he carried one walnut with him, which he planted in the backyard of his new family home. His daughter—the main character Emilia’s mother—also planted a tree as a child. Now it’s Emilia’s turn. And the tradition goes on when Grandpa is long gone. Sniff.
Violet and Jobie in the Wild by Lynne Rae Perkins
Siblings Violet and Jobie are house mice who get captured and released in the wild. They survive by befriending an old, sage mouse named Zolian who becomes a beloved friend, especially to Violet.
How to Send a Hug by Haley and John Rocco
Artie longs to hug Grandma, but they live far apart. Phone calls and video chats help, but it’s not enough. So, Artie enlists the help of a “Hug Delivery Specialist” (aka a mail carrier) to deliver a hug in the form of a handwritten letter. Very sweet. Very old school.
What friendship and love titles do YOU want to feature this year?
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, IV. Collection Knowledge and Management, V. Outreach and Advocacy.