With both Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day in February, it’s a perfect time to focus on hearts of all kinds. We’ve had lots of fun with our heart unit, featuring both human heart and valentine heart printables and Montessori activities. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite heart books for kids … human heart books, love books, and Valentine’s Day books. Of course, all the books, except the Valentine’s Day books, are great at any time of year.
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Just choose books based on your child’s age and what you think will engage your child’s interest. I recommend checking out the “Look Inside the Book” feature on Amazon and reading reviews there. Another place to learn about a book is on YouTube. You can typically see the entire book there. If you live outside the U.S., be sure to check out Book Depository for great prices and free worldwide delivery.
Montessori-friendly books use photos or realistic illustrations. They don’t have talking animals or a lot of fantasy. But many books that have fantasy and talking animals are wonderful books, and I love sharing them with children who understand the difference between fantasy and reality. I typically have a majority of Montessori-friendly books for a theme, but I include a variety of books that might not be Montessori-style books but that are simply lots of fun or are classic books that I consider an important part of cultural literacy. Many Valentine’s Day books aren’t Montessori-style books, so you’ll need to think about how important that is to you when choosing Valentine’s Day books for your child or classroom.
Favorite Human Heart Books for Kids
Note: You’ll find a lot of books featured here. Of course, you don’t need them all. It really depends on your child’s age and what topic you’re focusing on. Many of these books work for a variety of themes.
A number of the books are perfect for any study of the human body. So, you don’t need to have totally different books for different units. You’ll find many of these body books used in our previous brain and growth mindset unit. You’ll see them featured in my post on the best growth mindset books for kids.
On the top shelf for our heart unit, you see these books:
The Heart by Seymour Simon is recommended for ages 6-10. It can work well for younger children because of its beautiful photos as long as you adapt the text as needed. It will definitely be too long and complex for most preschoolers.
Hear Your Heart by Paul Showers is more detailed than you’d expect. It has a number of activities to make the concepts more meaningful and is especially fun used with a real stethoscope. It’s recommended for ages 4-8, although you’ll probably need to adapt it somewhat for preschoolers.
The open book on the shelf is the gorgeous National Geographic Kids Ultimate Bodypedia. I absolutely love this book for studying the body in general. It’s recommended for ages 7-10, but its stunning photos make it wonderful for preschoolers as well. Just adapt the text as needed.
In the book basket shown in the photo, I have a number of other helpful books for a study of the heart or the entire body.
Look Inside: Your Heart and Lungs (TIME FOR KIDS® Nonfiction Readers) has clear illustrations and photographs along with easy-to-understand text. Because it’s a reader, the simpler text makes it a good book for preschoolers as well as the recommended ages of 6-10.
Your Circulatory System uses lots of photographs and clear illustrations to give a good picture of the entire circulatory system. Recommended for ages 8-11, it can be simplified for younger children.
A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers uses non-scary Dracula illustrations to add interest to information about blood and the circulatory system. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
The Usborne Big Book of the Body with 4 giant fold-outs is great for an overview of the body as well as the heart.
See Inside Your Body (an Usborne flap book) is another book I love for an overview of the body as well as the heart.
The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole is obviously not a Montessori-style book. My 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, loves the Magic School Bus books, though, and I like to use this fun book as part of any study of the human body. It’s recommended for ages 4-8.
DK’s Super Human Encyclopedia: Discover the Amazing Things Your Body Can Do is recommended for ages 8-12, but its gorgeous photos and interesting facts make it adaptable for a wide variety of ages.
Favorite “I Love You,” Love, and Valentine’s Day Books
Favorite “I Love You” Books for Babies and Toddlers
My daughter, Christina, has become an expert on “I Love You” board books. I don’t know anyone who’s read more “I Love You” books to their baby than my daughter and her husband have read to their now-11-month-old son, Caleb! Christina has an awesome blog post of “Best Montessori-Friendly ‘I Love You’ Books for Babies and Toddlers.”
Favorite Love and Valentine’s Day Books
On the top shelf of my language and cultural area, I have a few Montessori-friendly Valentine’s Day and love books along with peace activities for Valentine’s Day. (Note: The heart mindful breathing board uses the affirmation “I am loving. I am loved.”) I also have a book basket to the left of the shelf with Valentine’s Day books (mainly ones that aren’t Montessori-style books).
Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Valentine’s Day: With Love, Cards, and Candy is a National Geographic Kids book. This is part of my favorite series for teaching children about holidays. I have the entire series and love their photographs and information about a wide variety of holidays. The book is recommended for ages 7-10, although I also like it for preschoolers. Depending on the specific preschooler, you can adapt the wording.
Love is by Diane Adams is a sweet Montessori-friendly story of a girl who rescues and nurtures a duckling. Parents will enjoy this touching book, too, which describes the difficulties and joys of parenthood. Recommended for ages 3-6.
How Do I Love Thee? is a “reinvention” of the famous sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This book, published in December 2018, is one that preschoolers can relate to, though. It’s the story of three multicultural friends having fun together in a variety of activities. At the end is the actual poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The book with words by Jennifer Adams, drawings by Christopher Silas Neal, and the famous sonnet at the end is a wonderful way to celebrate friendship and introduce young children to fine literature! The book is recommended for ages 4-8.
How Do You Say I Love You? is a Montessori-friendly board book with sweet illustrations of children and families around the world. It shares how to say “I love you” in ten different languages. (Note: There’s a pronunciation guide for the sentence in each foreign language.) The book is recommended for ages 2-4. We love it for babies and toddlers with an adult or older child reading the words. Older preschoolers through early elementary children who are readers could enjoy reading the book (and learning how to say “I love you” in a variety of languages) by reading it to a younger sibling.
Note: If you’d like a board book about love, celebrating families and diversity, be sure to check out the Montessori-friendly book Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer. It shows a variety of diverse families from traditional families to single-parent families to families with same-sex parents. It’s a multicultural book as well. All the images and words are about love as happy everyday activities any family can do, such as “Love is … baking a special cake. Love is … knowing where EVERYTHING is. Love is … finding the BIGGEST puddles. Love is… lending a helping hand….” Because it’s a board book, it’s probably best for toddlers through young preschoolers.
This is my favorite Montessori-friendly fiction Valentine’s Day book:
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli is a Valentine’s Day story and so much more! It’s recommended for ages 3-8, but adults love it, too!
Want to hear the entire story? This is wonderful: Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch Read by Hector Elizondo
In general, though, finding favorite fiction Valentine’s Day books for your child depends very much on your child. Many of the Montessori-friendly fiction books for Valentine’s Day are very feminine, such as Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart. While those books will be great for some children, other children will simply not be interested.
I often recommend choosing fiction Valentine’s Day books based on favorite children’s book characters or series.
This is a favorite of my 5-year-old granddaughter:
I recommend checking out the Amazon Best Sellers in Children’s Valentine’s Day Books for Valentine’s Day books with your child’s favorite book characters or book series.
More Great Themes for Valentine’s Day Books
While I can’t cover all these themes in one post, you might also want to include books about kindness and friendship in your Valentine’s Day reading activities.
More Resources for a Heart Unit
I hope you found some books and resources here that are perfect for your family and/or classroom!
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