All you need is LOVE….

I love holidays, but for some reason I have never had particularly warm feelings about Valentine’s Day.  Perhaps it is the commercial focus on romantic love, that at once celebrates coupledom and highlights the lack thereof, which rubs me the wrong way.   However, my perspective has altered in recent years.   I’ve come to the conclusion that there is so much sorrow, hurt, and hate in the world that what we need is more love.  And all kinds of love should be celebrated – for when we care about each other, in all capacities, the world we live in will be a much better place.    So love each other – parents & children, siblings, friends & teachers, gay, straight, young & old.  This holiday isn’t just about romantic love, although that is nice, it’s about caring for each other.  It celebrates that acting with love everyday makes our world better.

heartBelow are some books that celebrate LOVE in all forms.  Pick one up to broaden your perspective on Valentine’s Day as more than just roses and chocolate.

tangomakesthreeAnd Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell – The true story of a pair of  male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who wanted a family of their own.  When an observant zookeeper gives them a egg to care for they “know just what to do”.   In a world where families come in all kinds of configurations, penguins Roy and Silo create a unique family and prove the most important ingredient in creating a family is love.  (PB) *ALA Notable Children’s Book Nominee,  Note:ALA #1 most challenged book of 2010

henrymudgegreatgrandpasHenry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant – Henry and Mudge love to visit Great-Grandpa Bill.  He lives in a home with lots of other grandpas, all of whom love to play with a boy and his dog.  When Henry discovers a swimming hole he knows he’ll need a grown up to swim with him, but little did he know that all the grandpas would want to join in the fun!  A hilarious look at love of life across generations. (ER-K/1)

katiewoonervousnightA Nervous Night by Fran Manushkin -In this addition to the Katie Woo series Katie is going to spend the night at her grandparents house.  She loves her grandparents, and enjoys doing fun things like gardening and cooking with her grandmother.  But the unfamiliar bedroom is a little scary, until Katie discovers that it was her mother’s bed…and learns that a grandmothers love is the perfect substitute when mom isn’t there. (ER-2/3)

nodogsallowedNo Dogs Allowed!by Bill Wallace- Kristine is heartbroken at the loss of her beloved horse and vows to never love another pet, ever again!  When her father gives her a puppy for her birthday she stands firm in her refusal to welcome him into the family.  How can she find room in her heart to love again?  And will she see that sharing her love with a pet brings her more love in return?  (MR-4/5)

sistersSisters by Raina Telgemeier – A middle reader memoir told in graphic novel format that highlights the ups and down of sibling relationships.  Over time the realization of shared history and common experience helps these sisters learn to stick together! (ER-5/6)

faultinourstarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green – When 16 year old Hazel Grace, a terminal cancer patient, meets Augustus at a support group their common experience battling cancer leads to a deep friendship and eventual romantic entanglement.  Together they navigate the world of loss and love, learning that sometimes the joy of loving someone is worth the painful cost of losing them in the end. (YA)

fireflylaneFirefly Lane by Kristen Hannah – Kate and Tully are an unlikely pair of best friends, but their experiences together form a lifelong bond that spans decades.  Through trials, traumas, self-discovery, and self-imploding they learn that having a friend who loves you for exactly who you are, faults and all, is a gift to cherish.  (Mom’s Bookshelf)

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Filed under Banned Books, dogs, Early Reader, Love, Middle Reader, pets, Picture Book, Valentine's Day, Young Adult, zoo

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