All About Love Book List Part 2

Updated: Feb 12, 2019

Valentine's Day is coming up so soon! Do you have your valentines made? We are getting there, but it looks like we are going to be late with them as usual! HA! Instead of working on them, we've been busy having fun discovering all these love-centered books and have found some true gems to share with you! Without further ado, Part 2!!!

All About Love Book List Part 2:


1. How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams

2. Hands Say Love by George Shannon

3. How Many Do I Love You? A Valentine Counting Book by Cheri Love-Byrd

4. Daddy’s Sandwich by Pip Jones

5. Helga’s Dowry A Troll Love Story by Tomie dePaola

6. I Like Myself! By Karen Beaumont

7. Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer





1. How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams

As you can probably guess, this book is based on the famous Victorian-era poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Jennifer Adams took this classic and transformed it into a child-friendly, easy to understand version, making it a perfect choice if you want to introduce your child or students into the wide world of poetry! Adams starts with the famous first line and references to lines of the original poem throughout the book, but there are plenty of original lines as well. I love this concept of taking such an infamous poem and making it something that appeals to even the youngest readers.

Christopher Silas Neal did the illustrations and I absolutely love his style, which manages to be charming, simple, and whimsical all at once. He also plays with different viewpoints, which is so refreshing and keeps the reader engaged. There were so many ways you could have gone with the visuals for this book, but I love that he focused on the love in friendship rather than parental or romantic love. The group of three ethnically diverse children featured have such a sweet bond that brings new life and vibrancy to an age-old classic.

I give this book 5/5 stars




2. Hands Say Love by George Shannon

Even if you’ve never read the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman, you know about it. My love language is Acts of Service, which makes this book extra sweet and relatable for me! Hands Say Love is a sweet book is about how the daily actions we perform with our hands are a way of showing our love. There is a page about baking a cake, which of course made Big T beg me to bake a cake with him that day, and of course I was so charmed that I had to oblige! (We made a carrot cake from scratch and I’ve posted the link to the recipe at the end of the review!) Filling your child’s favorite cup, brushing their hair, cleaning up a room, making a puppet talk, petting the cat, and tucking your child in at night are just a few examples George Shannon uses for how “hands say love”. I think most parents can relate to this-we don’t do a lot of these tedious chores because we enjoy them, but because we love our family and want to bring them happiness and ease. This could be a great way to introduce your children or students the idea of “serving” out of love and what that could look like.

This is the first book I’ve read that’s been illustrated by Taeeun Yoo, but I can promise you it won’t be the last. I already have two books she’s illustrated on request at my local library-she has made me a lifelong fan. The illustrations are great, but what sent them over the top for me was when I read the Artist’s Note at the back of the book, which explains her process. Each page is a single linoleum block print, inked and printed over and over, one layer at a time. Then, she sketches her outlines on a separate paper, scans them, and combines the two pieces of art digitally. If you’ve ever carved a linoleum block, you know that it’s exactly that-it’s a carving. It’s time consuming (especially when you’re talking about multiple layers and having the forethought to plan it all out!), and tough work on your hands! I love that Taeeun Yoo goes through all this to make what may take her a fifth of the time to just sketch out because it makes every page a unique work of art. When you check out this book, be sure to read the Artist’s Note in the back and then go through the book again. Prepare to be amazed!

I give this book 5/5 stars (though I’d like to give it 6!)


DELICIOUS Carrot Cake Recipe Link by Cookies and Cups: https://cookiesandcups.com/perfect-carrot-cake/DELICIOUS Carrot Cake Recipe Link by Cookies and Cups: https://cookiesandcups.com/perfect-carrot-cake/


3. How Many Do I Love You? A Valentine Counting Book by Cheri Love-Byrd

This is a great board book for little (ahem-destructive!) hands, and/or for your toddler who is learning their numbers. This is a double-whammy for me, because I have both! The book counts to ten, one number per page, and keeps a letter trend for each number (ONE creative cat creating cards). I chose this book because I love that it is a holiday-themed lesson on counting, which is what Big T is currently working on learning. My only complaint is I feel like they tried on the last page to just squeeze a rhyme in, even though the rest of the book did not. My feelings are: rhyme or don’t rhyme but be consistent-that’s a major pet peeve of mine, especially for a read-aloud book! Each page’s illustrations reflect the number on that page, which I appreciate because you can turn each page into practice. I ask, “how many alligators are there?” Then we slowly count each alligator together and they have that much more practice. After a few times going through it, they will start to count on their own, which is so fun to see!

I give this book 4/5 stars




4. Daddy’s Sandwich by Pip Jones

I LOVE this book! I wanted to focus on a variety of different types of love (excluding romantic love) for our Valentine’s booklist and of course I had no problem finding parental love, but I love this book because it’s all about this little girl who loves her Daddy so much that she offers to make him a sandwich with all his favorite things. It starts off with food items and gets progressively crazier-making for a hilarious reading experience with your kids! To me, it completely captured the reality of a small child who wants to help or show they love you and in typical kid fashion, it turns into somewhat of a disaster, but you can’t be mad because you know they had such sweet intentions!

Laura Hughes did a fantastic job on the illustrations, capturing the innocent naivety of the little girl perfectly. Her style is an enjoyable blend of simple mark-making and providing enough detail to make the picture realistic. I was laughing out loud at her expressions on more than one occasion because I’ve seen the same look on my own children’s faces!

I give this book 5/5 stars




5. Helga’s Dowry A Troll Love Story by Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola has a special place in my heart, because his Caldecott Award winning book Strega Nona was one of my childhood favorites. Up until I found this book at the library, I had never read another one of his books. I have been missing out! This is a story about a beautiful magic troll, Helga, who is very poor and has no dowry to give the man she wants to marry. Helga takes matters into her own hands and decides to go out and earn one herself! I love a good feminist, strong independent woman story! I’d categorize this one as a book about self-love and self-worth, which is what Helga finds in the end! Tomie dePaola is both the author and illustrator and I have always loved his unique signature style with a sort of Scandinavian-folk vibe. Every page has a stylized border and several things happening, but at no point does it feel cluttered or crowded. It’s wonderful to reread and find new things on each page that you may have missed the first time or two! You could easily spend several minutes on each page after reading the words just to look at all the details in his books.

I give this book 5/5 stars




6. I Like Myself! By Karen Beaumont

Oh, to have the confidence of a young child! This is an energetic, happy book about self-love. The sweet, confident girl (who has a Cindy Lou Who energy about her) charmingly and boldly declares how she loves everything about herself, no matter what anyone else thinks, and would love herself even if she had purple polka-dotted lips! This book is a perfect example of how to introduce a very real issue in a lighthearted, non-preachy way, which I really appreciate. There is just the right amount of silliness mixed in to bring forth the issue of self-love to even the youngest reader.

The illustrations are a wonderful companion to the lighthearted text. On pages where the text could call for a more serious depiction, you have this bold little girl joyfully, unabashedly bursting with confidence and making the reader (or at least me!) laugh out loud! Both the text and illustrations were an utter delight!

I give this book 5/5 stars


7. Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer

I have always loved Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books. I remember them being a staple of my childhood bookshelf and they continue to be on my sons’ bookshelf because of their timeless nature. This is a lift-the-flap books, which is a nice interactive bonus if you need help engaging your child in the reading experience. If engaging is not an issue for your child, it’s still a nice change of pace to have that hands-on aspect sometimes! The story isn’t exactly revolutionary or wildly original, but if you have a child that fixates on their favorite literary characters, this is a great option! Little Critter walks the reader through his day at school and explains all the valentine-related activities he participates in. There are a few suggestions in the illustrations of childhood crushes, which Little Critter is lovingly oblivious to. He makes an extra special card for his extra special valentine-his mom! As with all books in the Little Critter series, there are loads of detail and hidden goodies in all the illustrations-my personal favorite being the little mouse and spider that are subtly included in every page, always up to some type of shenanigans! Whether you have a toddler you’re introducing to Valentine’s Day or an older elementary schooler, Little Critter is a classic to all ages.

I give this book 4/5 stars


#childrensbooks

#childrensbookreviews #childrensbookreviewer #allaboutlove #valentinesbooklist #februarybooks #valentinebooks #mombloggers #bookbloggers #momboss #kidsgiftideas #valentinesday #raisingareader #readtoyourkids #readaloud #booksforkids #kidslit #booksfortoddlers #booksforbabies #boardbooks #picturebooks #littlecritter #mercermayer #tomiedepaola #selflove #booksaboutlove #happyvalentinesday

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