Book Gift List for Kids, Moms and Dads
Shopping for books as gifts is my very favorite holiday errand. In years past, I just gifted small piles of books to everyone on my list. My favorite is to match up a picture book for an adult — it works great as teacher and principal gifts!
How about you? Do you give a lot of books as holiday gifts?
Books for Toddlers and Preschool
I Say, You Say Animal Sounds and I Say, You Say Opposites! by Tad Carpenter
I have such fond memories of reading, over and over, Lift-the-Flap books with my kids as toddlers and preschoolers. This pair of books are wonderfully interactive. Not only do you each have a part to say, but the illustrations are colorful and the lifting the flap makes the book reading fun! [picture book, ages 1 and up]
Toast to Counting by Sandra Gross and Leah Busch
Bread, eggs, pats of butter, peanut butter and jelly all get added to make a new friend (a face made on the slice of toast). The board book images brightly colored but from a surprising source: they are made from kilnformed glass!! With just words on the final spread, this book none the less can be used for teaching colors, counting, shapes and sequencing but toddlers will only notice how fun this is! [board book, ages 0 and up]
Great Books for Girls
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
A graphic novel for girls and about girl stuff like shifting friendships and boy/girl relationships is a rare thing! Raina has two graphic novels that hit this sweet spot. Though they are not related, they feel like a pair. Perhaps it’s because these books read like Raina’s own personal story. My girls and every friend of theirs have loved her graphic novels. I’m excited to find a graphic novel for middle grade girls I can honestly jump up and down with excitement about! [graphic novel for girls, ages 9 and up]
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
You don’t have to read Lin’s Newbery Honor chapter book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, to enjoy this standalone companion book. Lin says Starry River is more like her husband, while Mountain Meets Moon is more her. I liked both enormously. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Boys Who Read Chapter Books
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Wonder is THE book of the year as far as I am concerned and I expect it to win Newbery accolades as do other KidLit pundits. If you gift one book and only one book this entire year, this is the one. It’s not just for boys either; every girl I know who has read it has raved about it. It’s hard to believe this is R. J. Palacio’s first book! She writes like a seasoned professional with a book that is effortless to read but enormously impacting. It truly makes you a better person to read this book. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure series
My son and I have been racing through this series with the same speed and enthusiasm as he had when he read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. It has the same boy appeal. These chapter books let the reader decide the plot by making choices at critical points in the adventure. Sometimes, you need to know information gleaned from the case file in the back to make the right decision. We also love the decision points that have the reader trying to decide moral decisions: Do I follow along even if I disagree? Do I help a colleague out and miss free play time?
What makes these books work especially well is that you, the reader, are actually written into the story and the adventure is realistic and exciting. We are almost done with the last book … I hope there are more out soon! [chapter books where you decide the ending, ages 8 and up]
Books as Teacher Gifts
My picture book as gift for teacher or principal is heavily Patricia Polacco oriented. I can’t help it. It’s clear that teachers changed her life in the way that all teachers do.
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
In real life, Mr. Falker helped Patricia as a child overcome her dyslexia to learn to read. All teachers of any grade deserve to have this book in their collection. My kids loved hearing it read aloud to them in 5th grade.
The Art of Miss Chew by Patricia Polacco
If you need a present for an art teacher, this would be the perfect picture book!
A Present for a Principal
Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco
Mr. Lincoln has a special gift with kids and, in this case, find a way to reach and transform a bully.
Mr. Tanen’s Ties by Maryanne Cocca-Leffler
A principal’s job is not an easy one! Give this book to your principal. It was inspired by a real principal who must have a pretty awesome tie collection!
Books for Men Who are Difficult to Shop For
Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
William Landay’s NY Times best seller has been widely lauded in my town. It’s also set in my town. Landay seems to be two degrees of separation from Mom and Dad friends at my elementary school but honestly, everyone who has read this book has said it was riveting! We have the added advantage of knowing the spots mentioned in the book.
Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend
This also looks good for a classic rock kind of guy. And apparently, he can write too!
Books for Women Who Have Everything
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness by Dominque Browning
The one good thing to come out of our recent Great Recession is Dominique Browning’s memoir. After losing her Conde Nast Editor-in-Chief position at House and Garden Magazine, Browning lost the reason to get out bed every day. She writes beautifully about her struggles to recreate a more sane and happy life. What I can’t understand though, is how someone so beautiful, smart, and interesting could end up in a toxic relationship with “Stroller.” Hopefully, she’s moved on for good. Hopefully she will write an update soon!
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
Chefs who can write is a new thing. First there was Anthony Bourdain. Loved his first snarky book. But now there’s someone even better. Gabrielle Hamilton actually has an MFA in writing as well as cooking chops as the chef/owner of the ever popular Prune restaurant in NYC. Her memoir is bittersweet, chronicling the demise of her family post-divorce that blew her family apart forever and that explosion sent her on this path as a writer chef. My Moms book club recommends this book as well.
Please check out these great kid bloggers who are co-hosts for a holiday gift round-up and feel free to add your link of holiday gift posts below. Thank you!
No Twiddle Twaddle: Top Practical (but Fun) Gifts for Preschoolers
What Do We Do All Day?: Book+Gift Combinations
Train Up a Child: Educational Toys
Blog Me Mom: Gifts for your backyard explorer/ gifts for your animal lover
Creative Playhouse: Basic/Traditional Toys
Creative Learning Fun: Therapeutic and Fun Gift Ideas for Child Development
Kcedventures: Top Toys for Curious Kids
Twins At Play: Educational, headache free toys for Christmas & Hanukkah
Home Learning Journey: 4 Gift Ideas for Everyone: Want, Need, Wear, and Read
Connecting Family and Seoul: Gifts that Inspire Pretend Play
Mama Miss: My Favorite Books & Favorite Toys for Preschoolers
The Freckled Homeschooler: Educational Toys for Preschoolers
Kitchen Counter Chronicles: Gift Ideas for Older Kids (9-12 year old)
Teach Preschool: Toys for the Classroom
Mom 2 Posh Lil Divas: Gift Ideas for Budding Readers
Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers: Stocking Stuffers: A Teacher’s Top 10
Mamas Like Me: Toys that Stand the Test of Time
How to Run a Home Day Care: Homemade Gifts Kids Can Make
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