The holiday shopping season is in full swing in Philadelphia. As you think about the children in your life, remember books can be really fun gifts, too. Below are some recommendations of books that make great gifts. What would you add to this list? Stop by your local library to preview and check out these books, too!
Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
Follow a little girl as she and her mother shop for and prepare a favorite Korean dish in this rhyming story. The author includes the recipe for Bee-bim Bop so you and your children can have your own fun making this dish.
I Can Do It Too! by Karen Baicker, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
A charming board book for toddlers told in rhyme that highlights how a toddler can do things just like the adults in their life. Your toddler will chime in and say, “I can do it too”.
I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan
A city garbage truck tells the story of how he eats all YOUR trash every night. As he gets full, he BURRRPs and is ready for the alphabet of trash he consumes, from apple cores to zipped-up ziti with zucchini. A sure fire hit with big, fat drawings that bring the truck to life.
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
Trixie and her daddy go to the Laundromat where she has a wonderful time playing, but on the way home she realizes she can’t find her stuffed bunny, Knuffle Bunny. If you have a young child with a favorite stuffed animal, you know what happens next, but don’t worry, Knuffle Bunny returns. If you haven’t yet met Knuffle Bunny yet, be sure to try this book or any of the sequels.
My Very First Mother Goose edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells
A great collection of nursery rhymes for families of the youngest children to share. The illustrations by Rosemary Wells are wonderfully charming and heartwarming, and even occasionally sly and humorous in her typical style.
The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews
This urban take on mother goose rhymes includes wonderful photographs of children and families that give the rhymes a modern look that toddlers and preschoolers will really enjoy.
Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
Meet Carmelita, her mother, and her dog as they take a trip through the neighborhood saying hello to the community in different languages. This picture book is new this year, but already a favorite.
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
A long-time favorite of kids under 5, Where’s Spot? is a lift-the-flap story about the search for the puppy, Spot. Sure to please kids who love to see what’s under the flap.
Don’t forget the older kids, teens, and adults on your list either!
For elementary school children, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech is a story told in free verse about a boy who doesn’t like poetry and thinks poetry is just for girls. Over the course of the story he learns more about poets, writes some poems in their style, and finds a Walter Dean Myers poem that he just loves. This is a truly engaging book that the reader will thoroughly enjoy. Don’t miss this one or the sequel, Hate That Cat. Also try Lunch Walks Among Us by Jim Benton, a hilarious start to the series about Franny K. Stein, mad scientist.
For older kids try Rick Riordan’s new series, The Kane Chronicles. The first book is The Red Pyramid. A favorite nonfiction series of books is Scientists in the Field. The award-winning The Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery with photos by Nic Bishop is a nice one.
For teens, don’t miss the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay (If you missed the first book, The Hunger Games came out in paperback this year, too). Also try Rita Williams-Garcia’s new book, One Crazy Summer, which has been a hit with everyone who’s read it.
For more great books, check out the American Library Association’s many awards for kids and teens at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/index.cfm.
Other lists of excellent children's literature include:
The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books Guide to Gift Books
The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year, and
The Best Books of 2010 for kids and teens according to Kirkus Reviews.
Feel free to add a comment below with your favorite books to give as gifts!