In case you were not keeping track, there are only 4 Thursdays left before Christmas! Our family is a family of readers and as a result, I tend to give books as gifts. The way I see it, books are timeless, easy to ship and can be used over and over and over again!
Here are my picks for amazing books for the 2014 Holiday Season!
Board Books (Ages: 0-4)
1. Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh: Join three adorable mice as they mix and blend colors in this fun, visual book!
2. Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham: This cute little book features pop-out baby that can be diapered, swaddled and put to bed! Great for those nurturing souls who want to take their babies everywhere!
3. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell: If your 2 year old is like my 2 year old, any book with flaps is a good book. In this lift-the-flap book, a child asks the Zoo to send him a pet and just is not happy with the results.
4. AlphaBlock/CountaBlock by Christopher Franceschelli. Both of these books feature heavy die-cut pieces with a lift-the-flap feel to it. AlphaBlock goes from A-Z while CountaBlock goes 1-10 and then by 10s to 100.
5. Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. “Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom, will there be enough room?” The eternal question as the Alphabet runs up the tree in this delightful book!
Picture Books/Early Readers (Ages: 4-7)
6. Run, Dog by Cecile Boyer: First Printed in Europe, this book only has 4-5 words but is filled with images meant to spark the imagination of the reader. What story will you make up?
7. The Cow loves Cookies by Karma Wilson: This simple rhyming book will finally explain to you why the cow loves cookies!
8. Edgar and the Tattle-tale Heart by Jennifer Adams. From the author of the BabyLit Board Book series, this is a gentle twist on Poe’s “The TellTale Heart” featuring a raven named Edgar and his little sister Lenore.
9. I want my hat back by Jon Klassen. One of my eternal favorites. The twist at the end is one of the best as the bear seeks out his *missing* hat.
10. Hug Machine by Scott Campbell. This little noodle armed boy just loves to hug, hug, hug.
Intermediate Readers/Beginning Chapter Books (Ages: 6-9)
11. The Mercy Watson Series by Kate DiCamillo. Six books featuring the porcine wonder that is Mercy Watson and the rest of the folks on Deckawoo Drive.
12. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo. The first book in series that spun-off from Mercy Watson, featuring the characters of Deckawoo Drive! (Thought for sure Euginia and Baby Lincoln would have been first!)
13. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. One day Duncan goes to color and all he finds are a bunch of letters in his crayon box. Poor Beige.
14. Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Uni the Unicorn believes in little girls but none of the other unicorns do. A story about the power of belief.
15. I hate Picture Books! by Timothy Young. Revisit some of the classic picture books through the eyes of a little boy who gets in trouble for doing what the books tell him to do!
Advanced Readers/ Advanced Chapter Books (Ages: 8-13)
16. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The classic tale of topsy-turvy impossibilities. Encourages the reader to never settle for “normal” and think at least one impossible thought a day!
17. Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. A series of timeless classics that every child should be read to at least once in their lives. Take it up a notch by adding some fun activities to the reading experience.
18. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Much better than the movies. Plus it’s fun to imagine actually going through the chocolate factory.
19. Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. A letter under an egg and a mystery set into motion by Grandpa. This mystery unwinds at an even pace and the ending, while predictable, is still good fun!
20. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. This goofy tale of an underdog using brains to overcome adversity is adorned with ink blots, sketches and little scribbles throughout!
Young Adult (Ages: 13+)
21. A Tale, Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. The opening pages warn you that the blood and gore present in the original Grimm’s tales are in this book as well. Terrifying and hilarious at the same time, you might be competing with your kid to finish this one first!
22. The Unwanteds Series by Lisa McMann. Think Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games. At thirteen, kids are sorted into three groups: Wanted, Necesscary and Unwanteds. Wanteds go to University and are revered while Unwanteds are killed. Or are they?
23. Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation) by Laura Hillenbrand. This adaption of Ms. Hillenbrand’s best selling book brings this inspiring tale to younger readers. What a way to bring history to life!
24. The Finishing School Series by Gail Carrier. Touching on themes of gender identity, racial and social equality without being heavy handed, Ms. Carrier’s female protagonist is a strong role model for female readers. Combining Victorian principles with vampires, wearwolves and robots, this Steampunk series is a page turner.
25. The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin. Yes, that George R.R. Martin. Set in the same universe as “The Song of Fire and Ice,” this novel filled with illustrations of dragons and icy landscapes is a great intro to the fantasy genre for girls and boys.
Great for Anyone!
26. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. It’s been a classic for 40 years. I read it as a kid and I’m sure you did too!
27. Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers. Each of the 26 letters of the alphabet gets their own short story in this compilation book. My favorite is “P for Parsnip” as parsnips are shown to be particularily daft.
28. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Yes, this book has no pictures. Yes, it’s funny. Yes, you will make silly noises. If you don’t believe me, check out the video clip featuring Mr. Steve from Vroman’s Bookstore here in Pasadena reading to a group of kindergartners.
29. Fox In Socks by Dr. Seuss. While classified as a “beginners book,” this epic tongue twister never gets old. In fact, it’s really great to use for warming up prior to speaking events!
30. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. The second book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series sends kids on a journey through the wardrobe to battle the White Witch. This timeless allegory is filled with the self-sacrificial love that only One can give.
31. The Big Book of Art by Herve Tullet. Each page in this book is cut in half horizontally allowing the reader to mix and match swoops, curves, brush strokes, typeface and shapes into original works of abstract art.
31. Usborne Books’ Illustrated Classics for Girls and Boys I know, I know… girls books and boys books, what? Ignore the gendering as both books are filled with classics that ALL children will love. And I have it on good authority that the gendering of these books will be eliminated in the near future.
There you have it! 30+ Great Books for you to give this year! Give two, three, or a dozen to family and friends. And just so you know, all images are from Amazon and most of the links are affiliated links.
Until Next Time!