Picture books about spiritual love – part 5

Welcome back.

Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on The Art of Hearing Heartbeats for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.

As you’re reading The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.

For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.

Picture Books About Love (Eros, Storge, Philia, Philautia, Agape)

In this five part series, I’ve been exploring the different kinds of love that make our hearts skip a beat.

In The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Su Kyi, Tin Win’s adoptable mother, comments on the perfect, symbiotic love of Tin Win and Mi Mi when she observes:

“The smallest human unit is two not one.”

This quote got me thinking about Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and all the loves a person can experience in his or her lifetime. The ancient Greeks believed there were seven love types. See my previous post.

Our previous posts crushed on eros (love of the body, erotic or romantic love)storge (love of the child, familial love), philia (love of the mind, brotherly love), and philautia (love of the self, self-love). 

Now we’re swooning over agape (love of the soul, spiritual love) and the picture books that celebrate love between us and God, nature, or other human beings.

Here are some picture books to make your heart full.

Picture Books About Spiritual Love (Agape)

An Awesome Book of Love!

1. Awesome Book of Love (2008) | Dallas Clayton

There are different kinds of love, and Clayton knows just how to describe all types in his vibrant book. There are so many ways to love, which makes this book a great edition to our spiritual love list. A followup to An Awesome Book!, this book details how your heart feels in each and every beating moment. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

Sugar Cookies

2. Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love (2009) | Amy Krouse Rosenthal

“Selfless means, No, really, please, I want you to have the last cookie.”

Using cute cookies and an assortment of animals and humans, this sugary book shares the vocabulary of love. You’ll want to gobble up every page. A followup to Cookies and Christmas Cookies, this book provides an all-encompassing look at heart and the many ways we love one another. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

Other books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal:

  • I Wish You More (2015) (Age Range:  5-6 years): Obsessed, obsessed, obsessed! Thanks, Sugar and Grandpa! You’ll love this book with all your heart and soul.

Love

3. Love (2018) | Matt de la Peña

You’ll love to have Love, a #1 New York Times bestseller, in your home library. I adore de la Peña’s honest and heartfelt message that love exists even in times of darkness and difficulty, e.g. in one picture, a boy huddles under a piano while his parents fight. This book looks at all the places we see love in our lives: in music, in nature, and in others. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

The Velveteen Rabbit

4. The Velveteen Rabbit (1922) | Margery Williams

A family friend used an excerpt from this beautiful book as a wedding ceremony reading, and the tale has touched my heart ever since. A boy is given a stuffed rabbit as a Christmas gift, and the toy rabbit anticipates the day the boy’s love will make it real. This book reminds us that love breathes new life into all of us. (Age Range:  3-7 years)

On the Night You Were Born

5. On the Night You Were Born (2010) | Nancy Tillman

You can imagine God or a parent as the narrator of this heartwarming story. A lovely story to read aloud at your child’s christening or welcome party (what my husband and I did). This book celebrates life and love in all of nature. (Age Range:  1-4 years)

Other books by Nancy Tillman:

  • Wherever You Go, My Love Will Find You (2012) (Age Range:  4-8 years)
  • I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love (2015) (Age Range:  4-8 years)
  • You’re Here for a Reason (2017) (Age Range:  4-8 years)
  • You Are Loved: Welcome Wishes for New Babies (2018) (Age Range:  1-3 years)

7. The Boy and the Ocean (2013) | Max Lucado

From the great depths of the oceans to the soaring heights of the mountains, God’s awesome love will follow us in this heartwarming story. A boy and his parents discuss how big, how wide, and how deep, God’s love really is. This book shows how creation reveals the profound love of our Creator. (Age Range:  2-5 years)

We Love Each Other

8. We Love Each Other (2013) | Yusuke Yonezu

Love’s in the air, and it’s not just affecting us humans. The cheery and colorful illustrations of birds, elephants, rabbits, and turtles lift up to reveal surprises beneath every flap. This book displays love and togetherness in all of nature and makes our hearts flutter in the process. (Age Range:  1-3 years)

The Invisible String

9. The Invisible String (2018) | Patrice Karst

“Even though you can’t see [the string] with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, The Invisible String has healed countless children (and adults too!) dealing with separation anxiety, anxiety, loss, and grief. A mom tells her two children an important truth: you are always connected to the ones you love through the invisible string of love. (Age Range:  4-7 years)

All You Need Is Love

10. All You Need Is Love (2019) | John Lennon and Paul McCartney

“All you need is love, all you need is love

All you need is love, love, love is all you need

Follow John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s music and you’ll find love like the bear in the story who’s awakened by a mother bluebird singing to her baby. The bear follows the musical birds throughout the countryside and into town, as more and more animals and people join the joyous and jubilant parade. This book delivers a lighthearted message, one that’s sure to uplift your heart and soul. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

“All you need is love, all you need is love…”

So “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.”

What other picture books would you add the list?

What kinds of love have you experienced?

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