105 Ways to Give a Book

Gay Penguin Love

So now that I’ve inadvertently given you a book suggestion for your husband/wife/lover (see “The Pop-Up What?”), let’s turn instead to the kiddies. I find Valentine’s Day is the one time that I can say, “I’ve put up with your crap for nine years now, so you sit your butt down and listen to a story that expresses how much I love you, missy!” Feel free to paraphrase.

So, for a Valentine gift or reading-aloud time, here are my top “love” picture books, in order from youngest (lap babies) to oldest (I don’t know... 27).

FRIEND LOVE: Never Too Little To Love, by Jeanne Willis, is a sweet book about a mouse who wants to give a kiss to his (her) friend the giraffe. The book has sturdy pages for the littlest readers.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: No Matter What, by Debi Gliori. Small presents many situations in which Large may not love her/him, but love always wins out. Larger print and simple sentences also make this book good for a beginning reader.

MOMMY LOVE: Te Amo Bebe, Little One, by Lisa Wheeler, incorporates a Latin American feel in a story of a baby growing into a toddler. The refrain will run through your head for days, not necessarily unpleasantly.

DADDY LOVE: Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse, follows a Masaai father and son in the incredible landscape of Africa. Additional information about the culture is included at the end of the story.

SWEETIE LOVE: Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story, by Lisa Wheeler, is a funny story of a porcupine who can’t find somebody to love. Make up your own tune to his recurring — and unintentionally insulting — songs.

GAY PENGUIN LOVE: And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson, tells the story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo who find each other and raise an adopted egg. Based on a true story, and in my opinion, a great way to introduce children to the idea of different kinds of families.

Admit it — you were just waiting to find out what the title “Gay Penguin Love” was all about, weren’t you?

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