Valentine’s Day Art Collage and Books About Love for Every Day of the Year

For Valentine’s Day, we are thrilled to share a process art collage, and selection of our favorite inclusive books showcasing all kinds of love. We love this art activity because there is no one right way to go about it - children of all ages can enjoy it and make it their own.

We suggest pairing this activity with a special Valentine’s Day read aloud. Each of the books on this list can be treasured and read during Valentine’s Day, and on any other day of the year. They include books about self-love, friendship, and intergenerational and family relationships.


Visit our Bookshop page to purchase and/or donate the books on this list.


Process Art Collage

Supplies:

  • Cardstock paper

  • Sponges

  • Paint

  • Tissue paper

  • Glue

  • Gems, feathers, glitter glue, or anything else you have on hand

Step 1: First, use sponges to sponge paint the entire paper. Kids can use a variety of colors and sponge as much or as little as they would like.


Step 2: Next, when the paint is still wet, add glue. This can be really fun if you let kids take control - for once, it’s totally okay to add globs of glue all over the paper! Take tissue paper and stick it in the glue. Again, the how does not matter as long as kids take creative control and enjoy the process.


Step 3: For this last step, we chose to add glitter glue and gems. You can use whatever you have on hand, such as feathers, torn wrapping or scrapbook paper, foam stickers, googly eyes, and more! Have fun!






Board Book Recommendations

My Baby Loves Valentine’s Day

Author: Jabari Asim |Illustrator: Nicole Whitaker | Publisher: HarperFestival


This is the sweetest Valentine's Day tribute for little ones! Follow Baby and her kitty, mom and dad, as they celebrate and share love by making Valentine cards, baking, and spending quality time together.


Love Makes a Family

Author/Illustrator: Sophie Beer| Publisher: Dial Books


Sophie Beer is one of our favorite board book creators. Her books are full of engaging and familiar imagery and showcase an inclusive cast of characters.


Love in the Wild

Author/Illustrator: Katy Tanis| Publisher: Mud Puppy


Don't miss this colorful board book featuring all types of animals and the many ways they show love. From the publisher, "Over 1500 animal species have been observed in same-sex pairings exhibiting behaviors traditionally associated with mixed-sex couples such as parenting and mating behaviors. Many species show more than two biological sexes, change sex or can be multiple sexes at one time. Animals have shown acceptance and compassion to other species and members of their own species who look or behave differently. Our animal relatives remind us to show compassion to others and most importantly to ourselves." Click here for a more in depth guide about the animals and illustrations featured in this wonderful book.


Besos for Baby: a Little Book of Kisses

Author: Jen Arena | Illustrator: Blanca Gomez | Publisher: LB Kids


This is a sweet bilingual board book that weaves Spanish words into a lyrical and fun text. The illustrations are bright and engaging, and while its fun for Valentine's Day, it's also great for all year round! We also love the board book Sonrisas for Baby: a Little Book of Smiles, and the picture book, Salsa Lullaby, by the same author.


Full, Full, Full of Love

Author: Trish Cooke | Illustrator: Paul Howard | Publisher: Candlewick Press


Blanket of Love

Author: Alyssa Satin Capucilli | Illustrator: Brooke Boynton-Hughes | Publisher: Little Simon


This is part of a New Books for Newborn collection from Little Simon.


Homemade Love

Author: bell hooks | Illustrator: Shane W. Evans | Publisher: Jump at the Sun


I Love All of Me

Author: Lorie Ann Grover | Illustrator: Carolina Buzio | Publisher: Cartwheel Books


Love You Head to Toe

Author: Ashley Barron | Illustrator: Carolina Buzio | Publisher: Cartwheel Books


This is a special book to gift to new parents. It is a sweet and inclusive book that compares babies to animal babies, showing how they both engage in similar behaviors, like filling their cheeks like chipmunks or stretching their limbs like sea stars, and will make every baby feel deeply loved and cherished.


Picture Book Recommendations

Love, Violet

Author: Charlotte Sullivan Wild | Illustrator: Charlene Chua | Publisher: Farrah, Straus & Giroux


This is a truly special book that the book world has needed for a long time. Violet has a crush on her friend, Mira, and every time she gets near her - she gets too nervous to express herself. She has the sweetest plan to give Mira a card for Valentine's Day, but accidentally fumbles it. This book has the best and happiest ending we cannot wait for you to read. This book will help children feel seen and supported, and encouraged to be exactly who they are.


Love Grows Everywhere

Author: Barry Timms | Illustrator: Tisha Lee | Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books


I Love You Because I Love You

Author: Muon Thi Van | Illustrator: Jessica Love | Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books


This is a beautiful book that showcases the big and small reasons we love each other. It truly shows both the complexity and simplicity of love and all its power to shape our lives. I Love You Because I Love You would be an adorable book to read aloud by two people as kind of a call and response.


From Archie to Zack

Author/Illustrator: Vincent Kirsch | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams


Love, Z

Author/Illustrator: Jessie Sima | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

The Boy Who Loved Everyone

Author: Jane Porter | Illustrator: Maisie Paradise Shearring | Publisher: Candlewick


Love Is

Author: Diane Adams | Illustrator: Claire Keane | Publisher: Chronicle Books


Love

Author: Matt de la Pena | Illustrator: Loren Long | Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons for Young Readers


Love

Author: Corinne Averiss | Illustrator: Kirstie Beautyman | Publisher: words & pictures


Prince and Knight

Author: Daniel Haack | Illustrator: Stevie Lewis | Publisher: little bee books

Like the Moon Loves the Sky

Author: Hena Khan | Illustrator: Saffa Khan | Publisher: Chronicle Books


The Heart of Mi Familia

Author: Carrie Lara | Illustrator: Christine Battuz | Publisher: Magination Press


Ways to Say I Love You

Author: Marilyn Singer | Illustrator: Alette Straathof | Publisher: words & pictures


Crocodiles Need Kisses Too

Author: Rebecca Colby | Illustrator: Penelope Dullaghan | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers


Under the Love Umbrella

Author: Davina Bell | Illustrator: Allison Colpoys | Publisher: Scribble US


Valenslime

Author: Joy Keller | Illustrator: Ashley Belote | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Stay This Way Forever by Linsey Davis

I Sang You Down From the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner

Bigger Than a Bumblebee by Joseph Kuefler

I’m Growing Great by Mechel Renee Roe

Love Was Inside by Andrew Joyner

Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian

This is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins

The Sun, the Moon and the Stars by Rachel Montez Minor

My Love for You is Always by Gillian Sze

How Do You Say I Love You? by Hannah Eliot

A Kiss for Akaraka by Richard Jackson

I am Love: a Book of Compassion by Susan Verde

Don’t Hug Doug by Carrie Finison

I Love You More Than… by Taye Diggs




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