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A children’s book gift guide


Easy to wrap, happy to get, why not look for these great books while out shopping for the holidays?

The preschooler who loves polar bears will love getting “A Bear Far from Home” by Susan Fletcher and Rebecca Green. It’s based on the true story of a gift from Norway to England, and the meaning of home. Wrap it up with “The Worst Teddy Ever” by Marcelo Verdad. It’s the story of another kind of bear and its love of a little girl.

If you’ve got a young environmentalist on your list, “A Planet Like Ours” by Frank Murphy and Charnaie Gordon, illustrated by Kayla Harren could be a great gift. It’s a sweet, uncomplicated reminder to love the Earth we have.

A book like “Black Boy, Black Boy, Celebrate the Power of YOU” by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, pictures by Ken Daley is a welcome gift. It’s an inspirational book full of all the good that Black men do, and that a young boy can hope for.

The child who’s having a rough holiday may want to have “There Was a Hole” by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Carrie O’Neill read to them. It’s the story of a little girl who’s missing something, and she thinks she’s the only one. It’s a tale of loss and coping, and it’s pretty sweet.

Pair it up with “Everything Will Be Okay” by Anna Dewdney, pictures by Judy Schachner, a comforting book for when nothing goes right.

For the kid who needs a boost of confidence, “Most Perfect You” by Jazmyn Simon, illustrated by Tamisha Anthony is a good choice. Irie hates her hair, and she wishes it were different. Her mother’s answer is perfect.

For the littlest reader (think: someone who entered the world this year), “Hello, Baby! I’m Your Mom” by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jui Ishida is the sweetest, gentlest, most perfect gift. Hint: it’s really for mom… Pair it with “My Hero” by Brian Biggs, which is really a good book for dads and kids.

Youngsters who love the water will love opening “Monsters in the Briny” by Lnn Becker, illustrated by Scott Brundage. It’s a book about the monsters that live in the sea, and it’s a great introduction to mythology and cryptozoology. Wrap it up with “Too Many Pigs in the Pool” by Wendy Hinote Lanier, illustrated by Iris Amaya. Yep, it’s a pigsty in there.

Children six to nine

Seriously, who doesn’t like pizza?  You know your young giftee does, and they’ll also like “Pizza! A Slice of History” by Greg Pizzoli. It’s a cute, colorfully illustrated, fun book on everybody’s favorite food. Pair it with a gift certificate to… you know where…

For the kid who loves monsters, “Mythical Beasts” by Stephanie Warren Drimmer could be the right gift to give. It’s full of information about real animals that were somehow mythologized throughout history. Facts, monsters, and it comes from the National Geographic Kids folks… what’s not to love?

If there’s a child on your list who loves legends, then “The Return of the Christmas Witch” by Dan Murphy & Aubrey Plaza, illustrations by Julia Iredale is the book to wrap. It’s the story of Kristtorn, who was Santa’s twin sister, a battle, a mystery, and a bit of Christmas darkness. (No worries. Happy Endings abound).

For the kid who’s suddenly become a big brother or sister, “The Baby-Changing Station” by Rhett Miller, illustrated by Dan Santat is absolutely the gift to give. It’s the tale of a boy who isn’t happy that there’s a baby brother in the house, until he discovers a machine that changes the baby, but not in diaperish ways…

Children nine to 14

The young environmentalist on your list will be so happy unwrapping “Meltdown: Discover Earth’s Irreplaceable Glaciers and Learn What You Can Do To Save Them” by Anita Sanchez, illustrated by Lily Padula. It’s full of ideas, information, pictures, and graphs, as well as a sense that kids really can save the world.

Wrap it up with “Dinosaur Atlas” from the National Geographic Kids folks. This large-size book is all about dinos and were they lived. Your young scientist will love it.

Now for the housekeeping: like everything else in the world, books can change. Titles may vary, covers may vary, you might be able to find some of these books in paperback versions, so be aware when you’re making out your book-lovers gift list. If you have any questions or need other suggestions, please do lean on your favorite librarian or bookseller. Seriously, they are like  your favorite comic book superheroes, only better, because they know books.

Season’s Readings!