February is full of holidays and special events, and we have books for every occasion. Here are some heart-warming books for that chilly mid-winter holiday, Valentine's Day ( February 14) and a bonus book for Black History Month.
Dog meets Cat (and falls in love). They don't speak the same language. Are they doomed to misunderstand each other, or is there hope for this mismatched pair? Ahhh...but there is a universal language. Find out what it is in Woof: a Love Story by Sarah Weeks.
Henry in Love is another gentle story of young love. In this book, a blueberry muffin, a football player and a teacher's penchant for rearranging her classroom all figure in advancing Henry's dream romance. By Peter McCarty, the Caldecott Honor recipient for Hondo and Fabian.
"Silly as a seal/rugged as a moose/happy as a herd of hippos drinking apple juice...." Those are just a few of the ways your heart can feel according to author/illustrator Michael Hall in My Heart is Like a Zoo. Heart-shaped art graces the pages while nimble verse describes a range of emotions in terms easily grasped by children. Try counting the hearts, exploring the colors and shapes, or making your own heart-shaped art.
For Black History month, check out Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds. I've been a fan of Reynolds since his first book, Chicks and Salsa, a wacky barnyard tale complete with recipes for Mexican fare from this chef-turned-writer. In Back of the Bus he surprised me with his range as a writer, serving up a thoughtful, sometimes poetic retelling of the Rosa Parks story from the perspective of a young boy on that same bus. He deftly captures the thoughts and emotions of a little boy whose ordinary bus ride (and consequently, his life) is transformed by one courageous action. Back of the Bus is illustrated by the inimitable Floyd Cooper, whose warm, sunlit palette evokes a dawning of aspiration through the colors of a workday sunset.