February is not only about romance and the fun pinks and reds of Valentine’s Day. It is a whole month full of celebrating all kinds of love! Where would we be without the warmth of love among our family members, friends that are like family, and even love and self-care for ourselves? Extending love and care to all members of the human family is perhaps the greatest love of all.
Northeast Ohio Parent’s Reading Room has partnered with Cleveland Public Library this year. Each month, the library system will be providing book recommendations to help bring awareness to literacy and the citywide reading initiative, “Cleveland Reads.”
Here’s some recommendations from Andrea Csia, Youth Librarian at the Garden Valley Branch of Cleveland Public Library.
My Baby Loves Valentine’s Day
By Jabari Asim and illustrated by Tara Nicole Whitaker
Snuggling together and reading is a wonderful way to share love! This short and sweet board book appeals to babies, toddlers, and parents too! The lilting rhymes and fully adorable illustrations will get the attention of the wiggliest little one.
The Big Umbrella
By Amy June Bates Cowritten with Juniper Bates
Co-authored by Bates and her daughter in seventh-grade, this is one of those picture books that can be enjoyed by a 4-year-old but profound enough to move the heart of an adult. The smiley umbrella keeps expanding to offer shelter to an exceedingly diverse group of people (and some funny looking animals). Converse with older kids about the beauty of inclusion.
As Brave as You
By Jason Reynolds
Written for tweens, this multi-award-winning, heartwarming story explores the love between two brothers and their blind grandfather. As with all relationships, how that love is expressed and received takes twists and turns as they each question, make mistakes, and grow. There are some hilarious moments as well. The audio version of this book is also excellent due to the engaging narrator.