People are getting ready for Valentine’s Day and soon stores will be full of red and pink heart-shaped decorations that people can buy for the holiday. It’s important to talk with your kids about love and how it affects things like being kind, having a good family, and being respectful. It’s easy to start a conversation with any of these 18 picture books for kids about love. For more picture books about kindness for kids, check out more lists of books about LGBT love and diversity.
Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack and Stevie Lewis
This is the only book on the list that has a romantic relationship between a prince and a knight. It’s between a brave prince and a brave knight, and I love it more than words can say (think many exclamation points and a long string of letters that make no sense together). Stunning art and a dragon-fighting fantasy story with same-sex love make this book a must-read.
Honey Baby Sugar Child by Alice Faye Duncan and Susan Keeter
One of the best ways to show how much you love your mom is through poetry and art.
The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan and Thomas Knight
Her father is afraid of the dark, so the little girl wants to move him to a cot so that she can sleep there and be close to her mom at night. In this silly book, written from a young child’s point of view, there are a lot of adorable childish ideas.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli and Paul Yalowitz
This one made my heart flutter. Mr. Hatch has a very clean and quiet life. An unknown Valentine’s Day card came to him one day, and it changed his life. Suddenly, he is a good neighbor and a good friend.
Homemade Love by bell hooks
When her mom calls her “Girlpie,” she means that she’s a treat made by her parents with love. It doesn’t matter that she often does things wrong. She knows that she will be quickly forgiven.
Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear and Esmé Shapiro
Yak and Dove are very different, but their friendship is very strong. It’s a witty, funny book with cute illustrations and a great message about how our differences make us unique.
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
Monster looks very different from everyone else in Cutesville, which is full of fluffy, pastel-colored things. In his search for love, Monster learns that being different isn’t a bad thing.
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
I love this book because it is all about animals planting seeds. Until a coworker told me more about this book, I thought it was just about gardening. Instead, it’s about being kind and giving to others.
That’s Me Loving You by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Teagan White’s cute drawings go with the poetic prose. Even if their parents are far away, the message tells kids how much they are cared for.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer and Holly Clifton-Brown
During her class’s Mother’s Day party, Stella brings both of her daddies with her. In the beginning, she isn’t sure if she should go because she doesn’t have a mother. Then, she remembers that her dads love and take care of her. When my heart starts to hurt, she starts to cry a little. It’s not a big deal.
Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang
I found this book while I was looking for books for a storytime about pride. It’s a cute way to show that you care about all kinds of families.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
Rhyming prose shows how parents who love their kids think about them in all kinds of ways. Children will be comforted and loved by this one, even though it’s very simple.
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and Angela Dominguez
Grandmother and granddaughter get to know each other, even though they don’t speak the same language. Plus! One of the birds! Medina and Dominguez are always great, and this collaboration is no different.
You’re Lovable to Me by Kat Yeh
It’s about a bunny family, and it’s another story about family. There are apologies from the little ones because of their mischief. Their mom says that she will always be there for them.
Love Is by Diane Adams
They have a happy year together. They learn to take care of each other, and they also learn that sometimes, love means letting go.
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis
Jacqueline Woodson is one of my favorite authors, and this is a beautiful, important book about what happens when you don’t pay attention to people. It doesn’t have a happy ending, so use it to start talks. People don’t want Maya to play with Chloe and her friends all the time. When Chloe goes to school, she learns about being kind, but it’s too late. Maya has already moved away.
How Kind! by Mary Murphy
A simple, easy book about how kindness can lead to more kindness. This lesson is shown by farm animals.
Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion by Gabi Garcia and Ying Hui Tan
Esperanza’s role in the school play doesn’t go as planned, so she has to be kind to herself about it. This is a great way for kids and their parents to remember to love each other.
I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse
Early in the evening, two young brothers and their mother finish their dinner in the red cabin. They then go fishing. At night, as the brothers are being put to bed, each asks his mother which one she likes the most. They dig for worms, row a boat and pull in fish.
Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
No. I don’t know. No, I don’t. Amount: How much? As a child grows older, he or she learns that a parent’s love is always unconditional and never-ending in this universal story. The setting in the Arctic makes the story even more interesting.