What to Read Next: Kids' Books with Love for February

A fox helping out on Valentine's Day, middle school crushes, sisters and teens falling in love on the bus in an award-winning high school romance. By Regan McMahon
What to Read Next: Kids' Books with Love for February

Finding the right book for your kid can be a challenge. But if you guess right and keep new books coming, you may be on your way to raising a lifelong reader.

Check out our Essential Books for Kids and Teens guide to find more than 150 of our perennial favorites. Plus, every month we highlight a few books for different ages, including some exceptional titles that could be the perfect thing to pique kids' interest, get them hooked on a new author, or help them rediscover an old favorite.

With Valentine's Day coming up, here are our love-themed picks for February:

  • For kids age 4 to 8, there's Emma Dodd's Foxy in Love, a sequel to Foxy, featuring the loveable fox with a tail that works like a magic wand. Here, Foxy helps little Emily get started on a Valentine's Day card. As she thinks of what she loves best, he makes each thing magically appear -- balloons, hot chocolate with marshmallows, flowers, and rainbows, with a few magical mistakes along the way -- and she draws them on the card. But is she missing the point? "Valentine's Day isn't about what you love," he finally explains. "It's about who you love." The bright, bold art, winning characters, and sweet message make this a delightful seasonal offering for little ones.
  • For readers age 9 to 12, check out The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. It's about a kid on the fringes of his middle school class who uses origami puppets to channel Star Wars characters and advise his classmates -- and a lot of that advice regards sixth-grade crushes. There's talk of who likes whom and a school dance where one couple kisses. If your kid likes this book, three more volumes in the Origami Yoda series are out now, and a fourth, Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!, is coming out in March.  
  • For teens age 13 to 17, there's Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor + Park, a coming-of-age romance about two high school misfits in the '80s who meet and fall in love on the school bus. This fresh, offbeat, pop-music-filled novel was just named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book for excellence in literature written for young adults. It celebrates the joy of falling in love for the first time and explores the challenges of being "different" (in Park's case, because he's half-Korean; in Eleanor's because of her looks and family). A believable and poignant love story, it's a great choice for teens.

About Regan McMahon

Regan has been reviewing children's books for more than a decade. A journalist and former book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, she cites as one of her toughest assignments having to read and review the 784-page... Read more

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