For the Love of Books

  • Published on February 11, 2022

For the love of books - celebrating books on Valentine's Day

Next Monday 14 February is a day with much to celebrate. As well as Valentine’s Day, it’s Library Lovers’ Day and International Book Giving Day.

It’s not difficult for me to talk about love and books in the same sentence as I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Although my reading habits have changed over the years, I have always been an avid reader and was a dedicated borrower of books from the library as I was growing up.

As an adult, I tend/ed to purchase rather than borrow for my own reading and could never pass a book shop without purchasing something for me, a family member or friend, and a picture book or three for my classroom collection. Books borrowed from the school library filled out the classroom library.

A birthday, Christmas or other occasion never passed without giving and receiving books. So, being able to combine the celebration of love, books and an appreciation for libraries is a treat. Nothing could be easier. Simply take someone you love to the library and gift them a book.

About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day probably needs no introduction. In many parts of the world, it is a day for celebrating love and romance. Gifts of chocolates, flowers and verses in cards are often given.

Of course, in the classroom, our discussions aren’t about romantic love, but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about those important people in our lives whom we do love.

Children can write their own “I love” poem by innovating on the traditional camping song I love the mountains.

write your own I love poem

The resource Write your own “I love” poem includes everything you need, including:

  • teaching suggestions
  • a copy of the poem that can be displayed on the interactive whiteboard
  • a template that can be used for collaborative writing, or printed for children’s own writing
  • a chart for brainstorming things children love
  • a ready-to-print card in which children can publish their poems.

I love you this much card to make

Children could also make an I love you this much card to gift to a parent, carer or someone they admire. Perhaps a librarian.

my mum heart shaped book template

We have a heart-shaped book template that children could use to make a book to gift. After all, it is Book Giving Day too.

These are five of my favourite picture books about love:

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratneyGuess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Love you Forever by Robert MunschLove You Forever by Robert Munsch and Anthony Lewis

I Love You With All My Heart by Noris KernI Love You with All My Heart by Noris Kern

Sun Kisses Moon Hugs by author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay FletcherSun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Shaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher

Koala Lou by Mem Fox and Pamela Lofts

About Library Lovers’ Day

Show the love on Library Lovers' Day

What a perfect match — the theme for the Library Lovers’ Day this year is “Show the love”.

As explained on the website, “It’s a day to remember that our libraries are a place where we can get lost in an idea we are following, find an adventure we are seeking in a book, discover more about an issue we feel passionate about or get help from someone about something we want to know. These are all the reasons (and more) to celebrate the valuable roles libraries play in our lives and to re-engage with our libraries and ‘show the love’.”

The children could make a card or write a letter to the school (or local) librarian to tell them how much they are appreciated.

The website has some PDF printables you can download; including a poster, some bookmarks, a picture to colour and some stickers.

Library For All logo 15 Library For All Books by Norah Colvin

Of course, another very special library, with a mission close to my heart, is Library For All. I wrote about it in this post. I am delighted to have contributed fifteen titles to the collection which is free for all to access online. Have you checked out the collection of thousands of titles to see how you can use it in your classroom?

In this talk, author Neil Gaiman explains why he thinks libraries are one of the most important things there are. It’s easy to agree with him.

When so many schools are doing away with their libraries and librarians, it would be good to ask children their opinions and, if they are so inclined, to write letters to the school principal or local member asking for libraries to be maintained.

Sass and Traz Save the Library by Michelle Worthington

Michelle Worthington’s junior fiction chapter book Sass and Traz Save the Library is a great one to read to your class or for your more able readers to enjoy independently. (Note: You can find teacher notes, written by me, by following the Sass and Traz link on Michelle’s website here.)

Other books that celebrate libraries, books and words include:

Wolves by Emily GravettWolves by Emily Gravett

Library Lion by Michelle KnudsenLibrary Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes

Lila Lou’s Little Library: A Gift From the Heart by Nikki Bergstresser and Sejung Kim

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

The Word Collector by Peter H. ReynoldsThe Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Dimitiy Powell writes a guest post about the importance of school libraries

In this guest post, author Dimity Powell writes about the importance of libraries and the effect that one special librarian had on her development as both reader and writer.

the importance of libraries, books and reading

I shared some other thoughts about the importance of school libraries here.

About International Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day bookplate

Whatever the occasion, books make wonderful gifts. It is often said that a love of reading is caught, not taught. It is caught when children see others, especially significant adults, around them reading for purpose as well as pleasure. One of the best gifts a child can receive from a parent or teacher is a love of reading. Gifting books show that reading and books are valued. I love/d receiving and gifting books. Everyone knows that a rectangle-shaped gift from Norah will be a book, but what joys it will bring are yet to be discovered.

parents reading to children, reading is a gift, the importance of reading

The aim of Book Giving Day is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. I love the suggestion on the website to leave a book in a public place as a gift for an unknown child. There are free bookmarks and bookplates that can be downloaded to include with your gift, such as these beautiful ones here.

Book Giving Day Bookmarks 2015

(You might even recognise the names of some of the artists. I have previously interviewed Yvonne Mes about her beautiful picture book Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt here.)

Another suggestion is to gift to charities that support children’s literacy. Some are listed on the website; and of course, Library For All with whom I have fifteen books published.

So, even for those who don’t have a class or children of their own to gift a book, there are other ways to share the joy. Who knows, a simple gift may initiate a lifelong love of reading.

And for children — why not make a book of your own to gift to someone you love. A gift from the heart is a gift to treasure.

How will you celebrate 14 February?

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Comments

    I love books and giving books, just like you said! I’m sad to see growing disinterest and to see public libraries installing iPads just to get kids to come.

    As a book lover too, I know what you mean, Chelsea. But if iPads and an assortment of gimmicks can get kids to the library then I’m all for it. Libraries are about more than books and there are more than one way to read a story. Many children don’t have access to technology at home and, unfortunately, our society requires us all to be tech-savvy, so even iPads have their place.

    😢 They do. Maybe they will. First they have to see that the library is a safe and welcoming place to be. Who know what they will discover next.

    Book Giving Day! 📚💘💝 I wrote about that so many years ago. (Just checked it was five years ago…wow.) We still celebrate. Just gave my kids a book yesterday for that one. Glad you posted about it. Thanks, Norah. Cheers! P.S. Library Lion is awesome!

    I wonder what books your children are reading now. I’m sure their tastes have changed since you posted 5 years ago.
    I agree with you about Library Lion.

    Happy Valentine´s Day to you and all the students out there. I loved Valentine´s Day at school. You highlighted some perfect books too. And I couldn´t agree more with Mr. Gaiman.

    Thank you for your lovely comment, Darlene. We both share a love of words, stories and books. What’s to not love? 💖

    Thank you, Patricia. I see your comment over on my eponymous blog. Thank you for commenting twice. 😊

    We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, but Greg’s birthday is soon and he asked for some beautiful and expensive 😜 books.

    This is an awesome post Norah. I am proud to say that every where I go in the great state of VT I see little libraries and book exchanges set up on the porches of general stores, at the gym, cafes- everywhere! And most towns have an active library. It is also critical that schools keep a librarian and library for a multitude of reasons. I think that can be a very misunderstood role, that of librarian, but the training is rigorous and specific: Library Science. As Gaiman says, we need them now more than ever.

    Aren’t those little libraries and book swaps that are springing up everywhere amazing. Authors may miss out on purchases and lending rights payments, but they may reach additional readers who go on to make their own purchases in the future.
    Of course I agree with you about the importance of school libraries and librarians. I can’t believe how many school are doing away with them. Maybe it will be a case of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.’

    What a joy to be included on this wonderful post about all things books and libraries – two of my lifelong all consuming loves! Thank you, Norah and may your 14th Feb be filled with the sort of love that lasts forever – i.e. not chocolates or flowers but stories! Dimity x

    so many things to celebrate next week. Our typical Valentine’s Day gift for our three boys, for as long as we can remember has been books.

    And I remember usually getting a little teary-eyed every time I read I’ll Love You Forever…

    We agree on books being great gifts then; also getting teary-eyed reading Love You Forever.

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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