My fondest Valentine’s Day memories are those spent in Grades K-5 with a decorated paper bag full of valentines and candy from my peers. I think many adults would agree that the holiday loses its charm after elementary school. This year, the joy of an old-fashioned classroom valentine exchange will be eliminated in many schools due to the current pandemic. Perhaps a bit of that fun can be found between the pages of a book. Here are a few of my all-time favorite Valentine’s Day children’s books in no particular order. As a parent and teacher, I’ve never tired of reading these stories and the children continue to love them each year. Let me know if you feel I’m missing a title!
A Charlie Brown Valentine, by Charles M. Schulz: I never tire of the Peanuts gang and this tale of Charlie Brown working up the nerve to talk to the little red-haired girl always delights.
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine, by Barbara Park: A secret admirer for Junie B. Jones? Who would have thought? Kids will read and laugh along as she tries to figure out who sent her a mushy valentine.
Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink, by Diane de Groat: Gilbert the Opossum must write valentine cards for everyone in his class – even the kids who are less then nice to him. When he writes a few unfriendly valentines, he needs to find a way to make up for the hurt feelings he’s caused.
Love Is, by Diane Adams: A little girl finds a duckling that has waddled away from the park and brings it home. She cares for her new pet until he grows into a duck and must return it to the pond. Children’s hearts will smile when the girl learns that she has not been forgotten.
Happy Valentine’s Day Little Critter, by Mercer Mayer : Share Little Critter’s excitement for his classroom’s Valentine’s Day celebration. Cupcakes, decorations, mailboxes, and a special valentine equal a fun filled read.
Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat: Nate’s not a fan of anything mushy and is surprised to find a valentine attached to Sludge’s doghouse. Can he solve the mystery and put an end to mushy valentines for good?
Cupid Doesn’t Flip Hamburgers (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids), By Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones: The grown-ups are never quite who they seem in Bailey City. Is the new cook in the cafeteria at Bailey Elementary really cupid? Her Valentine’s Day cookies seem to have caused an epidemic of lovesickness. The Bailey School Kids will find out if her recipe is actually a love potion.