While everyone hopes for a wonderful celebration of Valentine's Day whether it be a romantic dinner out with a special someone or the joyful exchange of cards at a classroom party, it is doubtful that you will find many Valentine's related books to share with your children. The reading of romance novels is one option for older readers, but finding picture books that address Valentine's Day in any but the most saccharin manner is a difficult task.
A trip to the local bookstore yesterday suggested that they, too, were struggling to find anything worthy of a good display. Most of their books were about kisses for parents or hearts for someone else. Not much depth or plot was shown in any of them, though they may inspire a good exchange of hugs and kisses as part of the bedtime story ritual.
The one Valentine picture book that I have found that I am willing to read more than a couple of times is Love, Splat by Rob Scotton. Splat, as many of you already know, is a lovable but shy cat. In this book, he has his eye on a lovely, fluffy white cat as the one who should be the recipient of his one homemade Valentine's card. Unfortunately, a big, burly, something-of-a-bully cat has the same idea and gets his card to Kitten first. Who will Kitten choose, Splat or Spike? The story is one of good over the less well intentioned and as such is enjoyable and filled with just enough conflict to keep the interest of readers and listeners aged four to seven or so. As with all of Scotton's books, it is the illustrations that steal the show. It is impossible to resist the friendly, soft cats who inhabit this and all of the other Splat books.
Use Valentine's Day to snuggle up with that favorite young person, but don't dwell on finding a book that directly addresses the topic at hand. It is just not worth the effort.