These Diverse Books and Crafts for Valentine’s Day are a few of my favorite picture books feature diverse characters and stories that celebrate love in different ways. These books are great for reading aloud on Valentine’s Day or any time of year.
A little girl carries a big message–and finds it thrillingly amplified by the rallying crowd around her–in an empowering story for the youngest of activists.
Mari raised her sign for everyone to see. Even though she was small and the crowd was very big, and she didn’t think anyone would hear, she yelled out.
Mari is getting ready to make a sign with crayon as the streets below her fill up with people. “What are we making, Mama?” she asks. “A message for the world,” Mama says. “How will the whole world hear?” Mari wonders. “They’ll hear,” says Mama, “because love is powerful.” Inspired by a girl who participated in the January 2017 Women’s March in New York City, Heather Dean Brewer’s simple and uplifting story, delightfully illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a reminder of what young people can do to promote change and equality at a time when our country is divided by politics, race, gender, and religion.
LOVE IS POWERFUL
Written by Heather Dean Brewer and Illustrated by Leuyen Pham
Published by Candlewick Press
Funny, emotional, and uplifting picture book about separation and love, to help children understand their emotions.
Everyone loves everyone in Tess’s house, but when Tess has to leave for school for the very first time, she is worried that her family’s love might not stretch that far. Mom explains that love is like a string, it connects people together even when they are far away. At school Tess notices that all the children have strings! Some are new, some are old, some stretch a long way, and some even stretch right up into the sky. But what happens when a string breaks?
Love is the third in a trio of feel-good picture books from author Corrinne Averiss (Joy(2018), Hope (2019)) – a pure delight from start to finish. A wonderful story that subtly tackles difficult topics of death, grief, separation, and overcoming anxiety.
Written by Corrinne Averiss and Illustrated by Kirsti Beautyman
Published by Quarto Books
A New York Times Bestseller and tie-in to Academy-Award Winning Short Film Hair Love.
It’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters, from Academy-Award winning director and former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison.
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.
Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. A perfect gift for special occasions including Father’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, and more!
Written by Matthew A. Cherry and Illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Published by Kokila Books/Penguin Random House
Newbery Award honoree Ashley Bryan has hand-selected a dozen of National Book Award winner Nikki Giovanni’s poems to illustrate with his inimitable flourish.
There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newbery honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most impartant message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved–themselves!
I AM LOVED
Written by Nikki Giovanni and Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator as well as a reading and literacy
specialist. On Biracial Bookworms, she focuses on multiracial and multicultural resources for teaching literacy skills using reading, travel, and learning multiple languages. Additionally, she offers online and self-paced courses for parents and caregivers on Biracial Bookworms Academy.
“My Dad’s a King” aims to provide comfort, reassurance, and understanding to children affected by parental incarceration, reminding them that they are not alone in their experiences. It encourages them to cherish the love shared with their parents and find strength in the power of family, ultimately inspiring a sense of hope and optimism for the future.