There are a bunch of fun Valentine picture books, but not many are written to interest upper elementary students. This list has some Valentine Day picture books that will engage your 3rd graders! They can be read-alouds or you could setup a picture book display of Valentine books for them to read on their own. Some of them are available as YouTube videos. Be sure to read the last paragraph about where you can find Valentine picture books for 3rd graders — watch, buy, or borrow! 😀
written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
This classic book is an engaging story. It’s a great one for exploring how a character changes. You can also use it to explore how our words can have a huge impact on others!
written by Susan Pearson and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
This is a humorous Valentine picture book. Marylou loves Herbie and she writes poems (in slime!) to let him know she cares. He writes poems back, but circumstances keep them apart. This is a good book for predicting. It also works great paired with a nonfiction book.
written by Patricia McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
This book starts out very sad. Be aware that it deals with hard subjects (death, house fire, poverty). Students can talk about the sacrifices the main characters made and if these gifts make a difference. It is a beautiful story of giving.
written by Brenda Li
Brian LOVES cheese pizza! His mom tries to help him see that love is about the people that are special to you. How do you show love? Mom gives Brian some ideas. He makes cards for the special people in his life — even the pizza guy!
written by Alison Jackson and illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Are you ready to sing? This Valentine picture book goes with the song “Oh, My Darling Clementine”. A man tries many ways to get his message to his sweetheart, Valentine — even smoke signals and Morse code. The illustrations are cute and the song is fun! Students would love to explore Morse code after reading about it in this book.
written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
The cat does not like Valentines Day and protests against all the mushy Valentine cards. He is told that he should write a card for a friend. The only one he can think of is the new neighbor that is an annoying dog! Cat writes a series of poems to show the neighbor how he feels. This is a humorous story and relatable! It sounds like the relationship between my cat and dog. Maybe they will be friends some day!
written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara King
Enemy pie is the fastest way to get rid of your enemies! Will the pie taste terrible? Will your hair fall out if you eat it?
This isn’t necessarily a Valentine picture book (use it all year long!), but it’s a great book about making friends. I love adding this book about friendship to the Valentine rotation. Encourage students to get to know more about others in the class. Make a chart with the class that lists actions of friends and actions of bullies.
How to find Valentine picture books for 3rd graders
You can buy these book or check them out from the library! Some of them even are on YouTube. I’ve linked a few of them to YouTube stories. Keep in mind that these are linked to content that is created by someone else so it could be removed. The links for the YouTube read-alouds are linked to the titles up above. Just click on the title of the book and it will take you to the link.
Valentine Day favor freebie
If you need Valentine Day favors for your students, this is a fun freebie! Just print the card and attach a couple of ring lights. I bought them a big pack of them on Amazon and it was a reasonable price. The kids love these! You can also keep them in the classroom and do something like Flashlight Friday, where they do some reading with the lights out!
Happy Valentine Day, teacher friend! I hope that you take some time for you during this very busy month. It’s always good to schedule some time to rest and recharge.