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Best Valentine’s Day Books for Children Part 2: Hearts, How Do Lions Say I Love You? & More!

Read about: Hearts, How Do Lions Say I Love You?, Junie B. My Valentime, Born From The Heart & Will You Still Love Me If …?


Our Valentine’s Day Roundup Part 2 from Ronna Mandel♡
features a selection of faves for the whole family!

This Valentine’s Day, which also happens to be International Book Giving Day, is a perfect time to share books and share love. The picture books we’ve highlighted yesterday and today say I LOVE YOU in oh so many wonderful and creative ways.  The best part of Valentine’s Day is that, since it’s all about finding ways to demonstrate feelings of love and affection, you can read these books all year ’round and the message remains the same. There’s never a bad time to show someone how much you care. And inside the pages of a picture book, there’s lots of love to be found!

Hearts by Thereza Rowe from Toon Books.

♥♥♥ Heartsby Thereza Rowe (Toon Books, $12.95, Ages 3 and up). The bold graphics in this First Comic For Brand New Readers will draw kids in and the heartwarming storyline will keep them interested. Penelope the Fox accidentally drops her heart into the ocean where all sorts of hazards await. However, a friendly chicken on top of a British double-decker befriends the fox and together they go in search of the lost heart. Will Penelope find the missing heart or will she find something else on her journey? Hearts is all hearts.



How Do Lions Say I Love You? by Diane Muldrow with illustrations by David Walker, Golden Books.

How Do Lions Say I Love You?by Diane Muldrow with illustrations by David Walker ( A Little Golden Book/Random House Books for Young Readers, $3.99, Ages 2-5). It’s easy to see why your little ones will gravitate towards this charming story of all the different ways animals say “I love you.” With catchy rhyme, Muldrow introduces us to a hen saying “I love you” to her chicks with a cluck. She goes on to show us love-struck swans, giraffes, nightingales, peacocks, horses, elephants, lions, wolves, bears, cows and mourning doves.


Mourning doves like
to bill and coo.
And that’s how they
say I love you.

With its adorable, muted pastel colored illustrations, How Do Lions Say I Love You? is certain to please as it gently depicts the love shared in families with examples children will find hard to resist.

Born From The Heart by Berta Serrano with illustrations by Alfonso Serrano, Sterling Children’s Books.

Born From The Heart by Berta Serrano with illustrations by Alfonso Serrano (Sterling, $14.95, Ages 3 and up). When I first glanced through my review copy of Born From The Heart, and its artwork spoke to me so strongly, I didn’t even have to read the story to get a sense that I was going to love this book. This picture book which presents the idea of adoption in the most captivating way, is one I am delighted to recommend to new parents. One of my favorite lines in the book is when the main characters Rose and Charlie visit the doctor to see how they might have a baby and the doctor tells them they need “1 pound of love, 2 cups of enthusiasm and 1 1/2 tablespoons of patience.” Soon Rose’s heart began growing as the couple awaited the arrival of their new baby. When the time was right, they flew far and wide and “crossed landscapes of unimaginable color” until they came to a little house in the middle of a green valley. Rose’s heart burst when she saw her little one. She “kissed the beautiful face one hundred million times.” Alfonso Serrano (the author’s brother) has captured the magic of that moment in an illustration so spectacular yet so simple. Rose is lying in the grass with her baby on top of her. The embrace is priceless. We cannot see Rose’s face, but feel her ecstasy.

Based on Berta Serrano’s experience adopting her son, Born From The Heart, is a truly magical, moving and empowering story for parents that I hope all adoptive parents will read and then share with their child when the time is right.

Will You Still Love Me If …? by Catherine Leblanc with illustrations by Eve Tharlet, Minedition.

Will You Still Love Me If …?by Catherine Leblanc with illustrations by Eve Tharlet (Minedition, $16.99, Ages 3-8). Asking his mom lots of questions so many children have asked, Little Bear learns that there is nothing quite as forgiving and enduring as a mother’s love. Whether he tears his clothes, makes a mess, breaks his bed or looks horrendous, he wonders and “wants to be sure,” his mom will still love him. Will it be always and forever, he begins to ponder, even if one day she dies? With the most sensitively worded response, his mom assures him that he’ll still feel her presence. “But I’m still here and I’m not dead yet.” It’s true that youngsters have these thoughts and it’s great this picture book addresses them in a way that’s light and positive. “And what if one day you love someone else more than you love?” Little Bear is unrelenting. “More than you?” Mom asks. “That’s impossible! I might love someone in a different way …” This momma bear knows all the right things to say and is so genuine, loving and supportive that kids will love her just as much as Little Bear. Between the gorgeous artwork and the appealing prose, Will You Still Love Me If …? is the kind of book I would have felt comfortable reading to my kids when they were young and I didn’t have all the answers.

9780385373029.jpg.172x250_q85Junie B. My Valentime by Barbara Park with illustrations by Denise Brunkus (Random House Books for Young Readers, $5.99, Ages 3-7). Everybody’s favorite first-grader is back and better than ever in this hilarious sticker and Valentine’s book (30 are included!) with Junie’s VALENTINE acrostic-style take on Valentine’s Day. This companion book to the bestselling Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime! isfilled with fun, original full-color cards just perfect to give out to classmates, friends and family. My favorite Valentine’s Day card – the one where Junie’s written “Will you B. my Valentime? YES or NO? YES ⃞ YES ⃞ (Ha! I did not draw a NO box! That’s hilarious!)” And it really is!
Why not make your own printable Valentine’s Day card by clicking here, too?

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Everyone has their favorite JUNIE B. JONES book and now you can have a chance to win a special collectors’ edition of the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus filled with never before seen material!

Has it been 2o years already? Wow, I feel old. It seems like yesterday when we were living in Frankfurt, Germany and my best friend in America mailed my daughter several copies of Junie B. Jones books. Both my daughter Gemma and I were instantly hooked.  Is that how your children felt, too?

I’m so excited that Random House Books for Young Readers is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the beloved JUNIE B. JONES chapter book series, written by
Barbara Park and illustrated by Denise Brunkus and so Good Reads With Ronna decided to do a giveaway in honor of this milestone anniversary. To enter for your chance to win one of three copies (plus a cool promotional JBJ mini school calendar June -December 2012) click here now for entry instructions and rules or scroll down to enter, too.

Available as of yesterday, April 24, Random House has published a full-color, jacketed hardcover edition of the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Filled with never before seen material—including full-color artwork and photographs, a behind-the-scenes peek at illustrator Denise Brunkus’s sketch pad, and a conversation between Barbara Park and Junie B. Jones herself—this special collectors’ edition is a must-have for Junie B. fans of all ages! The book has 96 pages and retails at $14.99.

With over 52 million copies in print in all formats and translated into more than a dozen languages, the Junie B. Jones series first burst onto the literary scene in 1992, and has been keeping kids (and grownups) laughing—and reading—ever since.  Twenty years and 30 books later, Junie B. Jones has become a staple in classrooms across the country and been featured in USA Today, Time Magazine, and on the Today show. Author Barbara Park says “I’ve never been sure whether Junie B.’s fans love her in spite of her imperfections . . . or because of them. But either way, she’s gone out into the world and made more friends than I ever dreamed possible.”  Junie B.’s unique take on the world continues to strike a chord with all who read Park’s laugh-out-loud funny stories and this special collector’s edition will bring fans and new readers back to the very beginning—Junie B.’s first day of kindergarten.

The anniversary of the series will be celebrated this summer, as the ninth annual JUNIE B. JONES STUPID SMELLY BUS TOUR rolls into 15 cities across the country, bringing Junie B. to life for her fans via a theatrical performance penned by  Park herself.  Also check out the debut of Junie B. Jones’s new website. Visit for tour information, Junie B. activities and more.

Photo:  ©Norma Jean Gargasz/Random House
Photo: ©Norma Jean Gargasz/Random House


(AND OTHER THANKFUL STUFF), the latest book in the series, will be available August 2012 wherever books are sold. 

Get the latest updates and news from Random House Children’s Books!

Follow Twitter: @RandomHouseKids




TO ENTER – We are giving away three (3) copies of Junie B. Jones special collectors’ edition, a full-color, jacketed hardcover edition of the first book in the series, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, plus a promotional JBJ calendar as well (this is a small school year calendar June-December 2012)  This giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 with three (3) winners selected on Thursday, May 10th. Winners will be notified by email so be sure to include your name, address, (no P.O. Boxes please) and phone number in an email to  If you follow instructions below you can have as many as four chances to enter!

Please write Junie B. Jones 20th Anniversary Giveaway in the subject line. For a chance to be the winner of one copy of the book, please leave a comment on the blog (one or two word comments will not count towards extra entry) and also LIKE Good Reads With Ronna on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @goodreadsronna for an additional entry to the giveaway. If you don’t provide an email where you can be contacted your chance to win is forfeited.

You can earn one extra contest entry each by LIKING the Random House Kids page on Facebook and by following them on Twitter @RandomHouseKids

This giveaway will run through midnight on May 9,  2012 (PST). Winners will be chosen using from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us at before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.

Good Reads With Ronna did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews.  Three (3) giveaway book items worth a total value of  $14.99 each will be provided by Good Reads With Ronna courtesy of Random House Books for Young Readers. 
There is no $ value for the promotional calendar. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your opinions may differ.

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