I love using great picture books in speech therapy or simply reading a fun book to kids. Here are some of my new favorite books celebrating love and friendship for Valentine’s Day and beyond:
I Love You More by Laura Duksta and Karen Keesler.This clever book celebrates the love between a mother and her child as they each claim half of the flip-sided book to compare their love to touching comparisons in rhyme, “I love you higher than the highest bird ever flew, I love you taller than the tallest tree ever grew.” The little boy counters with experiences of his own, “I love you bigger than the biggest bubble ever blown. I love you freer than the freest kite ever flown.” Use the story as a springboard to a lesson on comparisons, poetry or adjectives.
The Shape of My Heart by Mark Sperring and Alys Paterson. Let’s go through a child’s day seeing the world as shapes from beginning to end. From the shape of our mouths to what we might eat, “the shapes that pass us by…on a noisy busy street.” But, our journey through the day brings us right back to “the shape I love you with…my heart.” The bright, simple graphics engage kids and provide opportunities to learn vocabulary within categories of food, body parts, transportation etc.
Love You When… by Linda Kranz. “Do you think of me during the day?” you ask. The answer is “Yes,” as the author recounts all the simple but beautiful reminders of her loved one in the first rays of sun to cheerful little birds or shooting stars. The unique photographs include painted illustrations on rocks that describe each event. Rich vocabulary abounds in this little book, “I love you when a brilliant rainbow peeks out through the clouds after a drenching rainstorm has cooled off a sizzling summer day.” What a great opportunity to teach description and vocabulary to enliven a word picture–“gentle breeze,” “distinctive songs,” or “crisp fall air.” So many of the kids we work with can benefit from elaboration and precision in their language.