Monday, February 08, 2016

Let's Celebrate Valentine's Day!

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, it's time to grab these awesome books and read (and craft!) about this fun holiday for all: 

National Geographic's Holidays Around the World is incomparable in its wide-ranging, inviting, and diverse celebrations of holidays. Celebrate Valentine's Day: With Love, Cards, And Candy  illustrates the history and traditions of Valentine's Day with the series's standard focus on engaging text and photography.

Although I love Pinterest for finding and pinning crafts and activities, children's craft books that employ simple materials and instructions will always be welcome resources. Kathy Ross's many craft books, including her Crafts for Valentine's Day , have oodles of craft ideas that many ages can create.

Did you know that Valentine's Day is actually named for a third century Christian martyr? We have two excellent children's biographies about St. Valentine: Ann Tompert's biography and Robert Sabuda's biography are both great introductions.

My all-time favorite Valentine story is the charming and tender Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (unfortunately, it's a little too long to share with our story time groups, but would be perfect for an elementary classroom/Scout troop/etc). Mr. Hatch keeps to himself most days, but a surprise valentine that tells him that somebody loves him has the power to change his outlook and behavior. As Mr. Hatch searches for the identity of the valentine sender, he becomes a friendly and positive neighbor to all. If you have a child or a group that will listen to a lengthy story, this is a beautiful way to discuss the real reason for Valentine cards and the importance of treating everyone with kindness (without being preachy or saccharine).

Happy (early!) Valentine's Day!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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