I have been an avid reader since before I even started school. I love books and I want to pass that love on to my son the best I can. So I own a lot of books and I am constantly buying new ones! We read books many times a day and have multiple bookshelves around the house: one in the playroom with themed books, one in the living room with favorite books, one in the bedroom with night time books and a basket of potty books in the bathroom! Here are some books we have out on our playroom bookshelf at the moment for Valentine’s Day:
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- Counting Kisses
This counting book is one of our favorites! It counts down kisses from different family members to different parts of the baby’s body as they help the baby get ready for sleepy time. I use this book as a great way to practice consent. I ask my son if he wants 10 kisses on his toes or 9 kisses on his feet. If he says yes, I go for it. If not, I respect that and move on in the book. He picks this one pretty consistently before nap time.
- Mommy Snuggles
We have quite a few books from this series, including Mommy loves, Daddy kisses, and Daddy cuddles. These books are great because the artwork is beautiful and the names of both the animals featured and their young are named correctly. For example, cygnets (baby swans) and hoglets (baby hedgehogs) both make an appearance, rather than using the word baby and the adult name.
This book is actually mine! I was gifted this on Valentine’s Day in 1993 (I was almost 5) from my parents. It has well-drawn realistic images and the content is based in real life, both important factors for choosing books for children under 6. It goes through different types of kisses a child might receive: from mom and dad, from a pet, from weather (snow on your tongue, sun on your cheek). I will warn you that there is a page about Eskimo kisses. Since this term is now considered offensive, you have a few options on how to approach this with your child. You can glue the pages together and skip them entirely. You can re-write the text in an appropriate way, print it, and glue it on the page over the original text. Or you can leave the text and talk about the word with your child. We chose to use our label maker to change a few words, replacing Eskimo with Inuit and the word THIS with a kunik, the correct term for the rubbing of noses as a sign of love in that culture.
- How Do You Say I Love You?
This book is a wonderful way to introduce your child to new cultures and languages. It goes through the different ways to say I love you in a handful of countries. It offers both the correctly written words in the alphabet of that language as well as an English phonetic spelling so you can at least try to pronounce it correctly. I was disappointed, being bilingual myself and raising a bilingual child, that the German “Ich liebe dich” was not correctly represented in the phonetic spelling or the cultural aspect. “Ich liebe dich” is used for romantic love in German, whereas “Ich habe dich lieb” is used for familial or friendly love. It does lead me to wonder if the other languages and cultures are accurately represented. You could do some research if you’d like and confirm the pronunciations and phrases, but overall, the images and idea are great.
- Baby Loves
This book attracts my son’s attention every time. It has real photographs of babies and objects, so it meets him exactly where he is: firmly planted in all things real! Each page features one baby and on the opposite page, there are a few objects from the same category (food items, toys, animals, etc.) The text tells you what the baby likes and asks the child to identify that object on the opposite page. It is interactive and my son always has fun finding things and naming the other objects on the page. It is content-wise the least lovey-dovey of the books we have out, but also the one of most Montessori aligned!
- Snuggle Puppy
This book is accompanied by a song, which you can find on YouTube or the music streaming service of your choice (we listen on Spotify). It is not particularly Montessori aligned (singing cartoon dogs walking upright definitely don’t scream realistic) but we make minor exceptions for books because I love books and struggle to limit myself. The song is sweet and my son asks me to sing it before bed every night. He loves the hearts on the front and brings the book to me many times a day. The pictures are cute as well, even if they aren’t as realistic as I would want.
Do you have favorite books that you bring out for Valentine’s day? Let me know in the comments so I can build my library!