February is a great time to cozy up with your loved ones, or maybe a good book or two. To celebrate the month of love, we’ve asked local bookstores to share their favorite children’s books about love and kindness. Here are the top dozen picks!
Elliott Bay Book Company shares with us their favorite picture books that demonstrate empathy, understanding, kindness and love:
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson. Wordless books often say so much, as is the case here as we watch a child collecting flowers along the sidewalk. Once the child starts to give away her bouquet, we see the real beauty from her eyes.
Come With Me by Holly M. McGhee. When a child wonders to her parents what she can do ‘to make the world a better place’, each in turn answers ‘come with me’ and shows her the impact of courtesy and kindness to the people around her.
A Sick Day for Amos Mcgee by Philip Stead. Zookeeper Amos always makes special time for all his animal friends. But when Amos has to stay home with a cold, his animal friends come to make sure he is cared for.
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. The amazing block tower Taylor built is accidentally ruined and all the animal friends have ideas and advice on how to deal with Taylor’s upset. What Taylor needs is for someone to listen, like the rabbit does.
Third Place Books recommends a variety of colorful, joyful children’s books that speak to the comfort and the feeling of love:
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar. Harpreet LOVES colors. He has a different one for every occasion and makes sure he has a patka to match. But when his mom gets a new job and his family moves away, Harpreet swaps out his colors for white–the color he wears when he feels shy and doesn’t want to be seen. But when a snowfall brings along a new friend, Harpreet just might begin to see life in color once again.
Just Like A Mama by Alice Faye Duncan. Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose while her mom and dad live far away. This story is a heartwarming look at chosen family and the unconditional love that can be found with those you aren’t related to by birth but who show up and love you anyway.
Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell. A glorious reminder to the people you love most in life that no matter what happens, you’ll do everything in your power to hold back the storms; because you’ll forever keep them under your love umbrella.
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake.*Big Kid Pick* From the lovely coastal town setting, to the journey of self-love and acceptance that Violet finds herself on throughout, to the lasting friendships that Violet never thought she would make but finds herself wrapped up in anyway, to the family mystery surrounding a long ago shipwreck that Violet and her friends set out to solve. (Best for grades 9 and older)
There are quite a few new books this season that have caught the attention of Mercer Island Books. Here are a few they love best:
The Love Letter by Anika Adlamuy Denise. This sweet picture book features a love letter that is passed between animal best friends. It is signed anonymously, and no matter who the original author is, it brings joy and feelings of belonging to each friend who opens it.
My Heart by Corina Luyken. Corina is a PNW author and artist who writes and illustrates some of the most heartwarming books we have in the store. My Heart explores the complicated feelings and states of a child’s heart with gorgeous illustrations that empower the readers.
What is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKassick. What is Given from the Heart is a touching storybook about the power of intention, generosity, and meaningful gifts. A boy who has little is inspired to give something to a family that has lost everything in a fire. The illustrations poignantly demonstrate the joy of giving with warmth and beauty.
The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. I can’t bear to leave this classic off the list. When Minna decides to document her acts of kindness by making drawings for a paper quilt, her idea spreads, and so does kindness throughout her community. When I read this one to my kids, they wanted to follow Minna’s lead and spread kindness through small acts and works of art.
This story published some time ago but the books are still a wonderful read for this month of love.