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Ten Books That Say 'I Love You'

When the words "I love you" seem inadequate, turn to one of these heartwarming books to help express your love for a child. On Valentine's Day, birthdays, any day, these recommended books for children ages 0-9 let kids know how much they are loved.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

All the Places to Love

By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated by: Mike Wimmer
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In this picture book full of majestic paintings, a young boy reveals his favorite places around the family farm. When his baby sister is born, he shares with her the wonders of their surroundings.

Consider Love: Its Moods and Many Ways

By: Sandra Boynton
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

From simple love to love mysterious, love oh so hot to love rather coolish, Sandra Boynton and her ubiquitous hippos, turkeys, and cats consider the moods (and "many ways") of love. In impressive rhyming verse, Boynton holds forth on myriad kinds of love, accompanying each rhyme with illustrations of various romancing critters.

Guess How Much I Love You

By: Sam McBratney
Illustrated by: Anita Jeram
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This is a great bedtime story for reading with your children or, in my case, my grandchildren. This lovely book has become a reference point for expressing our love for one another. Sometimes, Alexis says "I love you all the way up to my toes." And, sometimes, Kasie says "I love you right up to the moon." And sometimes I say "I love you right up to the moon… and back."

I Love You As Much

By: Laura Krauss Melmed
Illustrated by: Henri Sorensen
Genre: Fiction, Poetry
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Celebrate Mother's Day every day. This celebration of the bond between mothers and their babies can be shared at naptime or bedtime or whenever it is time to say "I love you."

I Love You the Purplest

By: Barbara M. Joosse
Illustrated by: Mary Whyte
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A wise and loving mother reassures two brothers that each has a special place in her heart. Barbara Joosse's heartwarming text is beautifully complemented by Mary Whyte's engaging watercolor illustrations.

Love is a Family

By: Roma Downey, Justine Gasquet
Illustrated by: Justine Gasquet
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lily storms home to her mother one day, demanding a real family. It's Family Fun Night at school, and she's positive they'll be the weirdest family there. Her single-parent mom doesn't seem overly fazed, reminding her daughter that they are a "small kind" of family, but real nonetheless. Lily isn't convinced. She seeks refuge in the noise and pillow fights of her friend Melissa's crowded house until it's time for the school event, where, surprise! it turns out her little family isn't unusual at all.

Love You Forever

By: Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw
Illustrated by: Sheila McGraw
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The mother sings to her sleeping baby: "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be." She still sings the same song when her baby has turned into a fractious 2-year-old, a slovenly 9-year-old, and then a raucous teen. So far so ordinary--but this is one persistent lady.

Mama, Do You Love Me?

By: Barbara M. Joosse
Illustrated by: Barbara Lavallee
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This story of an Inuit child testing the limits of her independence, and a mother who reassuringly proves that a parents love is unconditional and everlasting. Beautiful illustrations of Alaska and the characters convey the cultural richness of this timeless story.

The Runaway Bunny

By: Margaret Wise Brown
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”A little bunny keeps running away from his mother in this imaginary game of hide-and-seek, yet the lovingly steadfast mother who finds her child every time.

You Are My I Love You

By: Maryann Cusimano
Illustrated by: Satomi Ichikawa
Genre: Fiction, Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A day in the life of parent and child-full of smiles and giggles, messes and meals, boundless energy and well-earned rest. Not to mention lots of love. Here, in simple rhyming verse accompanied by colorful, playful illustrations by world-renowned artist Satomi Ichikawa, is one such day. Share it with others and treasure the memories.

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"You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me." — Strickland Gillilan