I have been a sucker for picture books about family love ever since my high school psychology teacher read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw aloud to our class along with the guitar accompaniment of my U.S. History teacher who also sang the predictable text “I will love you forever. I will love you for always. As along as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”.
At 17 I was a puddle of tears listening to this, but it opened my eyes to how impactful a picture book can be.
Picture books can articulate love in ways that strike that sensitive spot in your heart.
Now as a mom of three ranging from ages 1 year to 12 years, I am always on the lookout for new titles to say “I love you” during this time of year. Here are my top picks.
For anyone who has an adopted child or understands the emotional journey of trying to bring a child into the world...
Born From The Heart by Berta Serrano
This is a touching love note from a parent to an adopted child. It walks you through a couple's love for a child they haven't even met yet, proving that family love extends far beyond bloodlines. Whether you are from a uniquely blended family or not, this is sure to make you grab a box of tissues.
Note: If you click on the picture above, it will take you to a link to the book's trailer!
For those that have ever felt out of place and alone..
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
We all have a need to fit in and feel loved by others. Poor little Love Monster can't seem to find his place in a world where everyone is cute an adorable. So he sets off on a mission to find someone to love him. This is a great story to teach children to appreciate their unique qualities and know love is always around, even when they least expect it!
For anyone who has a child that loves dolls like his/her children...
Do You Know What I Love? by Lorena Siminovich
Children can adore and dote their dolls, resembling the role of parent and child. In this twist, the story is told from the point-of-view of the doll. It is somewhat of a love letter of appreciation of all the wonderful things the doll's caregiver does with and for them. If my girls were younger, I would give this as a gift from their favorite baby doll!
For those who know love stories can be an adventure...
Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon
Who doesn't love penguins? In this quirky tale, Penguin finds a lost mitten and embarks on a long adventure trying to find it's mate. If your children like stories with unpredictable action and twists and turns, this is perfect for them!
Finally, this one isn't a new book, but it is definitely one of my favorites...
For parents who appreciate every moment of childhood...
If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond
This book always brings me to tears and happiness at the same time. If you are a parent, you understand the torture of missing the younger days with your children and loving the new adventures that come as they grow older. Example after example, Marianne Richmond shows that parenthood is a rewarding experience.
So do you have a favorite book to say "I love you"? I'd love to hear more to add to my collection! Please share in the comments!
Lani deGuia is an educator, blogger, and mother of three. She has over 13 years of educational experience as a teacher, instructional technologist, and curriculum developer in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works as a freelance curriculum writer, social media manager, and social influencer for both small and large national businesses. You can find her at Rose Tinted Traveler where she writes about anything that crosses her mind including all things family, parenting, travel, and her digital journal of childhood memories.
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