Although February 14 is Valentine’s Day, stories of love and friendship can be shared year-round.

“Superlove” by Charise Mericle Harper, Illustrated by Mark Chambers, 2014, Alfred A. Knopf, ages 4-7.

A young girl’s day of pretend includes being called “Superlove”, wearing pink, eating cake, and hosting a wedding for her cat and stuffed beagle. When the cat, Pinky, refuses to cooperate, two grown-ups step in to renew their vows at the backyard ceremony. A child’s point of view about love is shared through this humorous story and bright illustrations.

“Love Always Everywhere” by Sarah Massini, 2014, Random House, ages 4-7.

Love knows no bounds in this sweet book of simple rhyming text and lovely illustrations. “Love giggle, love hug, love tickle, love snug” reminds us that daily events can be joyful opportunities for love.

“My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay” by Cari Best, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, 2015, Margaret Ferguson Books, ages 5-8.

Maya, Nancy, Chyng, and Zulay are best friends in first grade. The friends love to play, sing, and dance. But Zulay comes to rely on her friends in more ways, because she is blind. As the school field day approaches, Zulay longs to run in the racing event. With practice and the support of her friends and teachers, Zulay learns ways to participate in many school activities. This picture book story teaches children what it means to accept and love those who learn in different ways.

“Jessica’s Box” by Peter Carnavas, 2015, Kane Miller, ages 4-8.

Jessica wonders if the children at school will see past her shyness and her wheelchair and become her friend. Each day she brings a cardboard box holding something that might help her to make friends. Jessica soon learns that she must reach out to others and reach in to open herself up to friendship. This touching story and sweet illustrations speak to the need we all have to be accepted and loved for who we are, both on the outside and inside.

“The Case for Loving” by Selina Alko, Illustrated by Sean Qualls & Selina Alko, 2015, Arthur A. Levine Books, ages 8-12

Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter loved each other and wanted to marry, but in the early 1960’s, the law in Virginia said no because Mildred was part African-American and part Cherokee and Richard was white. The Lovings moved to Washington, D.C., married and had three children, but they longed to return to the beautiful rolling hills of Virginia to raise their children. The Lovings chose to fight the law against interracial marriage and would take this fight to the United States Supreme Court. This true story shows the power of love in the face of adversity.

 

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