Please welcome Alison Goldberg today with her list of 10 recent picture books with a lot of heart just in time for Valentine’s Day. We are giving away a copy of her book, I Love You for Miles and Miles and Love Is, a picture book on her list. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
I Love You for Miles and Miles by Alison Goldberg, illustrated by Mike Yamada
When my own children were in preschool, they adored trucks, trains, boats, and planes. At bedtime, the “How much do you love me?” game turned into a comparison of our love to the size and strength of all things that go. I thought this would be a fun take on a love book.
Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. And no matter where you go, love travels with you always. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, this I-love-you book is perfect for children who love vehicles that dig, carry, and lift.[picture book, ages 2 and up]
10 Recent Picture Books With a Lot of Heart
Many wonderful children’s books about love have been published during the last five years, including board books for the littlest readers and picture books for school-age kids. I loved reading these stories one after another and reflecting on how the heart finds its expression in so many forms. Since love is woven into such a wide array of experiences, these books touch on diverse themes, including fatherhood, motherhood, community, caretaking, immigration, adoption, and friendship. Here’s a collection to share with the kids in your life for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
10. Oh, Oh, Baby Boy! by Janine Macbeth
This gorgeous picture book follows the life of a boy through the eyes of his loving father, from infancy to adulthood. With strong visual storytelling and so many lovely details–including foil-stamped shiny stars on the endpapers—this book is a true celebration of a father’s love. Moreover, Macbeth brings a vision of love to publishing through her independent press: “Blood Orange Press sees the beauty in our communities and our stories. We make books that recognize and affirm first nations and kids of color, and their power and potential in the world.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]
9. Little You by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Julie Flett
“You are life and breath adored” is one of my favorite lines in this spare, lyrical board book about a parent’s love for a new baby. The richly patterned illustrations capture moments of wonder. Van Camp is a member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation and Flett is Cree-Metis. Little You won the 2016 American Indian Library Association award for best picture book and is also available in three Aboriginal Languages. A wonderful gift for new parents. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
8. These Words I Shaped for You by Megan Merchant, illustrated by Basak Agaoglu
This new board book is a mother’s love poem for her child. The verse is beautiful and gives shape to that love, for example, when the mother first touched her child’s hand: “I drew a heart/ inside your palm/ for you to hold.” Panda mother and child move through a colorful and dreamy landscape toward an ending that gives this story just the right amount of weight. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
7. The Story I’ll Tell by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Jessica Lanan
A mother considers how she’ll tell the wondrous story of her adopted child’s arrival. “I might tell how you came from a land far away in a hot-air balloon. The basket slowly drifted down like a feather into our yard. I dropped the firewood I was carrying and ran to you.” Sweeping illustrations accompany the imaginative text, including images of lanterns, tiger lilies, and a dragon queen. Ultimately the mother settles on telling the truth, “for the truth is a beautiful story too.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]
6. I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Ashley Bryan
This new illustrated poetry collection by two award-winning artists shines. Poems touch on many topics–including leaves, quilts, and dancing–while singing love songs. “I Am a Mirror” focuses on what a child reflects across generations of family and Black history, ending with this powerful stanza: “I reflect the strengths/ Of my people/ And for that alone/ I am loved”. Including an actual mirror in the accompanying illustration, Bryan’s bright and energetic art radiates love throughout these pages. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
5. This Is Our House by Hyewon Yum
Yum’s book opens, “This is the house where my grandparents arrived from far away with just two suitcases in hand.” Expressive watercolors accompany the child’s account of the family’s history in this house—first steps, making soup, painting a room. It’s the love embedded in each portrait and echoed across generations that makes the house into a home. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
4. Love Is by Diane Adams, illustrated by Claire Keane
This story centers on a girl and a duckling she finds on the sidewalk outside her house. The girl cares for and loves the little bird. When they first meet, “Love is holding something fragile, tiny wings and downy head.” As the duck and the girl’s love grow and mature, “It’s understanding even ducklings, like the seasons, have to change.” The illustrations are perfectly paired in this sweet book. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
3. Love, Triangle by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Bob Shea
Focused on the push and pull of love between friends, this story shows what can happen when two friends turns into three. With characters Square, Circle, and Triangle, clever geometry jokes abound. Playful artwork conveys the characters’ emotions. This book is a great choice for starting conversations with kids about friendships. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
2. This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
This adorable story goes much deeper than glitter in its expression of love. A boy does not give a Valentine to a girl. Instead he shares a lucky rock, a secret hiding spot, and even a frog. The mixed media art is fabulous. Set at a school and rooted in a child’s perspective, This Is Not A Valentine illustrates some of the many little ways we can show someone how much we care. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
1. Love by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long
A love book list wouldn’t be complete without this new title from two incredible picture book creators. Love is about the presence of love in our lives if we pause to notice it around us and in ourselves. Reading this book feels like reading by the glow of candlelight. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
2 Picture Book GIVEAWAY to 2 Winners!
We are giving away a copy of I Love You for Miles and Miles AND Love Is. Please enter using the Rafflecopter below. Please leave a comment of your first and second choice. We can only ship to US addresses.
Alison Goldberg is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I Love You for Miles and Miles, illustrated by Mike Yamada (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, December 2017) is her debut picture book. Before becoming a children’s book author, Alison worked for economic justice organizations and wrote a resource guide about social change philanthropy. These days, she blogs about activism in children’s literature at www.misformovement.org and loves researching everything from marine life to contemporary art for her books. Learn more at www.alisongoldberg.com or on Twitter @alisongoldberg.
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