Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine e-Books With Heart

If your child knows what Valentine’s Day is, you’ll probably find yourself helping them get a stack of cards ready for their friends at school (or pre-school!). But what about a special Valentine’s surprise from you to your child? Why not save a tree with these e-books for Valentine’s Day that will encourage literacy AND loving kindness.

That’s what I love about Valentine’s Day (no pun intended): it’s all about love. It never hurts to remember that love’s the greatest power in our lives with limitless potential to improve the world every day. (Not overselling it, am I?) These books put love at the center of everything, which seems like a great choice to me. If you’re a Kindle Prime member, you’ll really love the prices (usually zero), but even if you’re not, these e-books fit every budget.

Be Mine (A Valentine for Kids Ages 2-102) by Brenda Ponnay (seen above). This is a sweet picture book of animals, each with a different way to say “You are special to me!” I also love this style of illustration: nice bright colors with animals composed of simple shapes that encourage copying, which is a great way to learn to draw.

My Funny Valentine (Phineas and Ferb Series) by Jonathan Colton Barry. It’s Valentine’s Day, and the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz has stolen all of the candy, flowers, and stuffed animals in Danville. Will Phineas and Ferb be able to save Valentine’s Day for big sister Candace? Very funny early reader book with heart: the boys don’t care about Valentine’s Day for themselves, but will go that extra mile to save Candace’s favorite holiday.

10 Valentine Friends by Janet Schulman. This is part of the sweet “10 Friends” series, perfect for young readers or pre-readers. Encourages counting and crafts. Valentine’s Day can be about home-made cards and this book also functions as an idea book for your own child’s Valentine making.

Zombie in Love by Scott Campbell and Kelly DiPucchio. You’ve got to love a book that’s advertised as “a picture book for the youngest zombie fans.” Truth is, you and your kids will love young Mortimer the Zombie, not fear him. Your kids will be on Mortimer’s side during his hapless love adventure. This book’s got plenty of jokes and sight gags with just the right degree of ick factor. Your over-sevens will get a good laugh.

Bonus Book: Though it’s not a Valentine Book, I highly recommend The Golden Acorn by Catherine Cooper. It’s stunningly beautiful and makes good use of e-book technology with maps and line drawings that take advantage of zoom features. The e-book opens at the start of the story, so be sure and visit the menu to select the maps. Your over-sevens to middle-schoolers will love this e-book. It’s got enough magic and fantasy with talking animals, talking trees, and time travel to fill any Potter-esque void. And even though it stands alone, this is book one of a series that will encourage you to move on to the next book. And that’s a good thing. As the candy heart said, you’ll love it.

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