26 books to read this Valentine's Day (plus a giveaway!)

Guest Blogger  //  Feb 4, 2019

26 books to read this Valentine's Day (plus a giveaway!)

In our opinion, there's no better way to spend time with the ones you love than by sharing a book together. Here are 26 of our recommendations for all ages that are perfect for the Valentine's Day season!

Plus, we're offering a special giveaway of Aaron Blabey's newest picture book, I Need a Hug! Click here for details on how to enter for a chance to win one of 15 copies to share with your little Valentine!

Picture Books

You Are My Sweetheart by Joyce Wan

A playful, love-filled board book story full of candy-sweet images and an endearing cuddly message from beloved creator Joyce Wan. At the end of the story you can't help but snuggle up with your own little sweetheart with "kisses and hugs" to remind them that you love them!

Grandma Loves You Because You're You by Liza Baker

This is the perfect read-aloud for grandmas whose special Valentines are their grandchildren! Fox is spending a day with Grandma. They're making delicious pancake breakfasts, flipping through old photo albums, singing that special song together and baking cookies Grandma-style! Every parent and grandparent will be proud to share the message of this touching story with their little one: Grandma's love for you is so special. I love everything that we do. I want you to always remember. Grandma loves you because you're you!

Will Ladybug Hug? by Hilary Leung

Meet Ladybug. Ladybug loves to hug! Now Ladybug is getting ready to go on a trip and wants to say good-bye to her friends. . . but will her friends want to receive a hug? Find out in this surprising and memorable storybook all about friendship, high-fives, consent, and of course, hugs.

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt with illustrations by Cyd Moore

"But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face?"

Mothers love their children and this unconditional love is truly tested in I Love You, Stinky Face. Lisa McCourt and Cyd Moore beautifully weave a reassuring tale of the love and affection of a parent. The imaginative son turns himself into a meat-eating dinosaur, a swamp creature and much, much more before being satisfied with the fact that no matter how stinky he is or how slimy of a creature he could possibly be, he is loved and nothing will change that.

Mama Loves Her Silly Goose by Sandra Magsaman

Humpty dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty dumpty had a great fall.
Mommy and daddy knew what to do...
they gave him lots of hugs,
and kisses too!


Sing along with your little one! This new board book puts a loving twist on the beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

Arthur's Heart Mix-Up by Marc Brown

Everyone's favorite aardvark, Arthur, is back in this exciting reissue of a favorite friendship story. 

Arthur is carefully working on his science fair project -- a model of the human heart -- when an overexcited Pal runs through and ruins it! Will Arthur's friends be able to help -- and in time for the fair?

I Need A Hug by Aaron Blabey

A tiny porcupine just wants a cuddle. All of the other animals turn him away because of his prickly spikes. But finally the porcupine meets an animal who's happy to hug — a snake! Perfect for Valentine's Day or any day that requires a hug!

(Click here to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a copy!)

If You're Groovy and You Know It, Hug a Friend by Eric Litwin

"If you're groovy and you know it,
the things you do will show it!"


#1 New York Times bestsellers Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes) and Tom Lichtenheld (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site) are back, and adding a groovy twist to the classic children's song "If You're Happy and You Know It." This story will have little ones singing, dancing, and grooving along to a new favorite beat.

The Case for Loving by Selina Alko

This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love, and got married in Washington, D.C. But when they moved back to their hometown in Virginia, they were arrested (in dramatic fashion) for violating that state's laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings refused to allow their children to get the message that their parents' love was wrong and so they fought the unfair law, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court - and won!

Chapter Books and Graphic Novels

Owl Diaries #1 by Rebecca Elliott

Eva Wingdale gets in over her head when she offers to organize a spring festival at school. Even with her best friend Lucy's help, there is NO way she will get everything done in time. Will Eva have to ask Sue (a.k.a. Meanie McMeanerson) for help? Or will the festival have to be cancelled? This book is written as Eva's diary -- with Rebecca Elliott's owl-dorable full-color illustrations throughout!

Pikmi to Be Your Valentine

The Pikmi Pops LOVE love! Bibble the Lamb thinks her friends are WOOLLY wonderful and Fuwa the Fox wants everyone she loves to be together FUR-ever. Celebrate Valentine's Day with the Pikmi Pops in this early reader.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier 

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department's stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel #6: Kristy’s Big Day by Ann M. Martin; adapted by Gale Galligan

Kristy's mom is getting married, and Kristy is going to be a bridesmaid! The only problem? Fourteen kids are coming to town for the wedding. Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey, Dawn, and Mallory think they can handle it, but that's before they spend a week changing diapers, stopping arguments, solving mix-ups, and planning activities. It's the biggest job the BSC has ever had, but they'll work together to make sure Kristy's big day is a success!

Mr. Wolf’s Class by Aron Nels Steinke

From Eisner Award-winning creator Aron Nels Steinke, a vibrant, funny new series that charmingly captures the everyday antics of a fourth-grade classroom! 

Mr. Wolf has just started teaching at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he's got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, who is new in town and is trying to make friends. Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-and-tell. Aziza, who just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. And Penny, who is VERY sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing! This delightful new series captures the everyday — and unexpected — ups and downs of a fourth-grade classroom.

WeirDo by Anh Do

From bestselling author Anh Do comes the hilarious hit chapter book series, WeirDo. These illustrated books will keep readers laughing as Weir and his friends navigate the trials of elementary school.

Meet Weir Do.

No, that's not a typo, that's his name!

Weir Do's the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family, and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won't be easy . . . but it will be funny!

Middle Grade

I Only Have Pies for You by Suzanne Nelson

Dacey Culpepper Biel comes from a long line of pie bakers. Her family's shop, Pies N' Prattle, is legendary in her small Texas town. But Dacey didn't inherit a gift for baking. Her pies always end up as messy or burnt disasters. Even worse? Business has been slow lately, and Dacey wishes she could do something to help.

Then opportunity knocks: A popular TV show wants to feature the shop! But that means Dacey will have to spend time with Chayton Freedel, her arch-rival and the cute son of the show's host. And when clues arise about a long-hidden family recipe, life at the shop may never be the same.

With a sprinkling of luck and some Southern charm, will Dacey be able to find the recipe, work alongside Chayton . . . and save her family's legacy?

Sundae My Prince Will Come by Suzanne Nelson

Malie's mom manages an ice cream parlor, but Malie's real love is ballet. She dreams of landing the lead in an upcoming production of Cinderella and dancing onstage while her boyfriend, Ethan, cheers from the audience. But Malie's mom is less than supportive.

Then cute new boy Alonzo arrives from Italy. His true love is ice cream — gelato, to be exact. Alonzo offers a Malie a deal: If she lets him help out at the parlor, she can take dance lessons from his mom, a famed ballerina.

As Malie pirouettes between the parlor and the ballet studio, things start to spin out of control. Does she have feelings for Alonzo? What about Ethan? And if she doesn't get a role in Cinderella, can she find her happily ever after?

Pugs and Kisses by J. J. Howard

Ana Ramos may not have a dog of her own, but she does get to walk her neighbor's adorable pug, Osito. One day, at the park, Osito befriends another pug, Pancake, whose owner just happens to be a cute new boy named Calvin. When Calvin assumes that Osito belongs to Ana, she doesn't correct him. No big deal, right?

Ana doesn't realize the trouble she has unleashed until Calvin shows up at her school. Calvin suggests setting up play dates for the two pugs, and Ana can't bring herself to admit that Osito isn't hers. In fact, her fibs keep multiplying! Will Ana fess up and figure out how she feels about Calvin before her white lies catch up to her?

Cake Pop Crush by Suzanne Nelson

Alicia Ramirez has always loved baking. Her family owns Say It With Flour, the small bakery in town. And Ali's specialties are cake pops: delicious confections on a stick. But Ali's sweet life turns sour when a sleek coffee shop opens across the street, giving her bakery a run for its money. Worst of all, the owner's son, Dane McGuire, likes to bake, too. He's the new kid in Ali's school ... and happens to be annoyingly cute.

When Dane and Ali engage in a bake-off to prove who is the cake-pop master, it's Ali's chance to save Say It With Flour. But will she be able to rise to occasion ... and ignore what her heart might be telling her?

Sit, Stay, Love by J. J. Howard

Cecilia Murray has been wishing for a dog for as long as she can remember. And when a cute pug named Potato is brought in to Orphan Paws, the shelter where she volunteers, she knows he is the dog she's been waiting for. There's just one problem: Eric Chung — a popular, arrogant boy from school — adopts Potato first. What's worse, he hopes to train the little tater to become a show-dog superstar. Cecilia knows that Potato is not cut out for a life of sparkly collars and snobby judges, so she sets out to sabotage Eric's plans.

But the more time Cecilia spends with Potato and Eric, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about dog shows ... and a certain cute show-dog trainer. Can Cecilia save Potato — while also listening to her heart?

Young Adult

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg (on sale 2/26!)

Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.

Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His "wives" and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won't like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he's the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

Throw in a rickety, 1980s-era food truck called Coq Au Vinny. Add in prickly pears, cloud eggs, and a murky idea of what's considered locally sourced and organic. Place it all in Mesa, Arizona, in June, where the temp regularly hits 114. And top it off with a touch of undeniable chemistry between utter opposites.

Over the course of one summer, two boys will have to face their biggest fears and decide what they're willing to risk -- to get the thing they want the most.

Riverdale by Micol Ostow

Based on the massively successful CW show, Riverdale, this prequel novel explores what the gang was doing before Season One.

Why did Jughead and Archie have a falling out? What did Veronica's life look like in the Big Apple? And how long has Betty really been in love with Archie?

Told from multiple points of view, your favorite characters tell their story their way.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen

When Viola Li returns from a trip, she develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity — an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn't just have to wear layers of clothes and spaceship-sized hat. She has to avoid all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat.

Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He's a funny, talented Thor look-alike with his own mysterious grief. But their romance makes her take more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life — and love — as deep and lovely as her dreams.

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend . . . until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Snow in Love with stories by Melissa de la Cruz, Aimee Friedman, Nic Stone, and Kasie West

What's better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story?

Four of them, from some of today's bestselling authors.

From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed.

From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love.

From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents.

From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.

So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love...

Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president's son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie's dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. No phone. No Internet. And not a single word from Logan. Maddie tells herself it's okay. After all, she's the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him. But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly. Maddie still really wants to kill Logan. But she has to save him first.

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won't stop her from being drawn back into her father's palace politics. He's second-in-command to the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this -- and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.

The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. One of the rebels, Simon, has his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both have to decide what -- and who -- it is they're fighting for.