Many young students struggle with reading, which is why it’s important to help instill confidence and a lifetime love of learning. Here are some suggested books to help kids love reading. I fell in love with reading upon the discovery of Anne of Green Gables, and it has been a deep friendship with books ever since. Working in education, I write extensively on this topic and have many reading tips to share. To start with one of my favorite suggestions, try making it enjoyable by tapping into interests.
So where do we start? I am a huge fan of capturing the mood of the month and connecting it to great reads. We are in luck that February has rich themes of love, friendship, and family with many festivities to celebrate. This includes the Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Family Day (observed in several Canadian provinces), and President’s Day just to name a few holidays.
To provide some sweet reading inspiration, here are 8 current books to check out.
Written by Camilla Reid, Illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius
For ages: 0 months – 2
Board books are a great way to introduce little learners to reading. Peekaboo Love is guaranteed to please with slider mechanisms designed to push, pull, or turn. While officially for babies and toddlers, it will delight primary age students too, especially the final page. For all the kids who love playing peekaboo, there is an entire series to explore!
Viking in Love
Written and Illustrated by Doug Cenko
For ages: 3 – 7
This charming book will be sure to make your child laugh. It follows a Viking who falls in love but needs to overcome a major obstacle first, his fear of the sea. This is certainly an original tale that is kid-approved and will earn some chuckles from the entire family.
Love was Inside
Written and Illustrated by Andrew Joyner
For ages: 4 – 7
This timely picture book demonstrates the silver lining during the pandemic. Inspired by true stories, it follows a young girl and her memories of her time spent inside. A true conversation starter that can be used to help children explore and process their feelings, and ultimately be a reminder of this time. It also provides a springboard for students to create their own inside stories and art with suggested questions to get started.
A Unicorn Named Sparkle and the Perfect Valentine
Written and Illustrated by Amy Young
For ages: 4 – 8
Calling all fans of unicorns, rainbows, and cupcakes. Follow Sparkle the unicorn as he tries to make the perfect card for his friend Lucy. If your little one likes the Sparkle unicorn series, you will not want to miss this Valentine’s Day themed pink picture book.
Friends are Friends, Forever
Written by Dane Liu, Illustrated by Lynn Scurfield
For ages: 4 – 8
The Lunar New Year is celebrated across the world. While the date is determined by the lunar calendar, this year it takes place in February. If you are looking for an introduction for students, this non-fiction picture book is a great start. It’s based on the author’s experience immigrating from China to the US, and the friendships that helped her through this transition. As a bonus to readers, there is a spotlight on the Spring Festival and the ending shares the author’s personal story and the art of paper cutting.
Katie the Catsitter: Best Friends for Never
Written by Colleen AF Venable, Illustrated by Stephanie Yue
For ages: 8 – 12
If you are looking for a middle-grade series for your child, check out Katie the Catsitter. The second graphic novel in the series is being released this month. In the sequel, Katie is on a new adventure with the help of 217 cats again. Find out if she can uncover the latest mystery and become the friend she’s always wanted to be. If you have a reluctant reader or a cat-lover at home, this paperback is purr-fect!
The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs: 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes that You’ll Love to Bake, Share and Eat!
By America’s Test Kitchen Kids
For ages: 8 – 12
Maybe stories aren’t always the way to go, depending on your kids interests, a book like this might help your kids fall in love with reading!
Do you have a junior chef at home? If your child enjoys baking, especially treats to share for the holidays, this book comes from the creators of the #1 New York Times bestselling cookbook for kids. Fun fact, recipes were tested by more than 5,000 kids, which means it is kid-friendly. As a bonus, you will be able to eat all the delicious creations!
Star Wars Yoda One for Me: A Little Book of Love and Friendship from a Galaxy Far, Far Away
By LucasFilm Ltd.
For ages: 12 and up
If you have any Star Wars fans in your life, this recently released title is a collection of messages and illustrations. While I have never watched the series (and do not personally understand all the references), I can see how it would make a fun gift. It’s also pocket-size which adds to the cuteness factor.
Let’s hope these books help your kids fall in love with reading! Looking forward to hearing what your family selects first. Happy Reading!