10 Diverse Children's Books About Love

alternative community connection diversity emotions feelings friendship kindness love valentine's day Feb 03, 2024

Valentine’s Day does not have to be about candy and cards. Getting back to the foundational topic of love can be a mindful experience for all children. Here is a list of children’s books on the topic of love that bring meaningful perspectives and offer deep connection.

Love is You and Me, by Monica Sheehan

The joy of love is portrayed in this book through accessible metaphor and simple illustrations. It’s a perfect opener into the topic of love. In a classroom, an engaging activity to complement this book would be to create more metaphors by asking, “What is love to you?” Who knows what explanations young minds might come up with! This book would also make a sweet Valentine gift. 


Love, by Julie Murray

How and what we love are explained in a clear, tangible book. The photographs and sentences that explain them add an element of connection. So often children have questions about pictures that we don’t have immediate answers to. Of course, this provides an excellent opportunity to let children be the interpreters. However, this book answers children’s questions explicitly: Who is that boy? That’s Sam! Sam has a cat he loves!


Hands Say Love, by George Shannon, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

The varied, everyday ways that we can show love are displayed in this heartwarming book, and it demonstrates how gestures can show our love even more than words. Pointing out the ways that hands say, “I love you” brings awareness. Perhaps the subconscious understanding of being loved is strengthened when we explain that our actions are a wonderful way to show love.


A Book of Love, by Emma Randall

Scenarios in which love can be shown fill these pages, along with suggestions for how to accomplish it. These suggestions can inspire children to get even more specific in their actions to demonstrate how much they care. How can you be patient? How can you make someone feel special? What gentle words can you say? Brainstorming these answers with children can lead to a plethora of loving ideas!


I Just Like You, by Suzanne Bloom

This sweet, straightforward book speaks to young children who have opinions and perform actions that they can’t necessarily explain. The book’s text points out how friends have differences and similarities, while the pictures illustrate various animals in an array of dress and activities. Conversations inspired from this book might include ways to talk to our friends to understand them better. For example, if a friend likes chocolate ice cream but you like vanilla, you could ask, “Have you always liked chocolate? Is it your favorite? Do you like other ice cream flavors? What does chocolate taste like to you?”


Kitchen Dance, by Maurie J. Manning

Both the illustrations and verse of this book live up to the title, dancing their way through an evening at home. It seems to be a regular night, yet the energy of love transforms it into a special one. Family love is the theme. The phrase, “Oh, how I love you,” is repeated in English and Spanish throughout the story. 


And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

A true story, this tale about two male penguins starting a family is told in a matter of fact way that will appeal to all audiences. The quiet message that all love is worthy of respect is relayed while true events are retold. This book provides a pleasant opening for discussing and celebrating the many ways that families are structured. 


Here in the Garden, by Briony Stewart

This precious book explores loss through the lens of a young child who is missing someone. The child reminisces about times had with this special someone and wishes they were there. Beautiful illustrations of the changing seasons walk the reader through time. Finally, a clue found in a leaf lets us know who is no longer there. The vagueness of the missing loved one allows children to relate to the story at their level. Allowing questions to stem from children at the end of this reading is an appropriate way to let them take in the reality of endings in real life. Love is fundamental to humanity and so is mortality.


The Goodbye Book, by Todd Parr

This book pairs well as a follow up to Here in the Garden. It is a developmentally appropriate way to explain to children the different components of grief. The feelings a person has after saying goodbye to a loved one are validated, and the length of time it takes for these feelings to change is affirmed. The message is mild and clear, just right for children who have or have not experienced loss.


When We Are Kind, by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

The theme of this book is kindness, a close neighbor to love. The book begins with examples of kindness and shows how these kind actions make the receiver feel. The connections that exist between all people are displayed when kindness is shown to more than just family and friends. This is really a book on universal love.

Exploring the concept of love through many different lenses allows children to learn about different perspectives and peoples. We hope you enjoy discovering the power of love with the child or children in your life this month!