Friday, December 7, 2018

Holiday Book Gift Guide for Kids

I love giving books.  I basically gift a book for every reason.  New baby, birthday, Christmas, etc... If I don't give a book, I will do a gift card to Barnes and Noble.  I also do give out a toy or an experience gift but they are usually simple and I spend way more time picking out a book for little loves in my life!  And clearly some books can be given at different ages or times, but just some fun ideas I have.

Under Age 1

I usually give out board books if they are under one.  My exception is if it is a baby shower gift.  Then I will sometimes give a hardcover book for when they are older.

But Not The Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton

This was one of our favorites and we read it a lot! It's cute and funny.  I love Sandra Boynton books in general!

Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. Eric Carle

I love all of the books that spin off from Brown Bear, but this is such a great beginner.  The illustrations are great, it's repetitive and you can learn about different animals and talk about their noises!

Alice in Wonderland a Baby Lit Color Primer by Jennifer Adams

A beautifully illustrated color primer and includes Alice in Wonderland characters and background! I love all the Baby Lit books I've read!

Ages 1 to 2

At this age I tend to also still give out board books or hardcover.  I don't tend to worry in my own house or in gifting if they get torn.  Books are meant to be loved and handled.

Go Dog Dog by P.D.. Eastman

This so repetitive and fun to point out the silly in the pictures.  Also, you can buy this in board book form or hardcover, so win win when you can't decide!

Ten Nine Eight by Molly Bang

Cute counting book.  It's short, cute and introduces some counting!

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth

This was a hugely loved book at our house.  The book is a hardcover and the ladybugs pop out.  It counts down and the ladybugs go away too.  It was a huge hit from about 9 months until age 3!

Ages 2 to 3

Pete the Cat by James Dean

OMG THIS SERIES IS AMAZING.  And if you haven't read any of them, please start here!  Great rhyming and message.

Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems

Love these books! They are great to use different voices, great for early reading opportunities and just funny!

I like Myself by Karen Beaumont

Such a great book about self-acceptance.  Good message to start young!  Love the illustrations.

Ages 3 to 4

Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan

This is an adorable book with wonderful illustrations about nocturnal animals.

Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell

Such a great story about people looking out for each other and helping others!

Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This has become one of the books I give out at baby showers if I know the person is having a girl.  SUCH A GREAT BOOK.  Each page is a letter about different situations and reminders that the reader is loved, strong, and smart.

Ages 4 to 5

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Plana

This is a story about a young boy who doesn't understand why his life is a bit different than other people around him.  His grandmother answers his questions and puts a positive spin on how differences are okay.

Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting

This is my new go to book to gift! It is about a young girl Cece and her science partner who have to figure out a science project together and solve it.  This book masterfully integrates diversity in all aspects of the book in a way that doesn't tell you WE ARE TRYING TO BE DIVERSE.  It just is.

Simon and The Bear by Eric Kimmel

A story of a Russian immigrant who leaves his family for America.  His mother sends him with a menorah and food.  He needs a Hanukkah miracle to make it to New York City.  Beautiful illustrations.  So good.

First to Second Grade

Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.? by Bonnie Bader
My kid is on year 2 of a huge love for Dr. King and learning anything she can on him. She loves this book and has re-read it multiple times since she got it in 2017!

Meet Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi

This is a cute story with great illustrations.  It's the beginning of a series and the only one we've currently read but it's cute and we will be finishing the series!

Tales from Maple Ridge by Grace Gilman

My kiddo LOVED this series.  Devoured these books about a young pioneer boy.  Sadly, we have read all the books that are out and I'm not sure if there will be any more! The are 6 in the series and young readers will read them fast so consider gifting the whole series or the first couple!

Blast to the Past series by Stacia Deutsch
Another series favorite here! A class goes back to the past and helps famous people with problems. Great for little history lovers.  My kiddo likes that she is currently on the book King's Courage about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!

Third to 5th Grade

Wonder by R.J. Palacio 

This is such a great book and of course it is now a movie.  Hook up your young reader with a copy of both!

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
We are reading this series aloud as a family and I will say if you hand this off you need to have a conversation about racism and how people treated people that were different than them.  Also an honest conversation about taking away land from Native Americans is a good topic too.

The Watson's Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
I loved this book! It's also a movie. If you have a lover of history or someone interested in the civil rights movement, this is a great book. 

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

This really needs no description. :)

Orphan Train Series by Joan Lowery Nixon

Each books focuses on a young child who was orphaned or given up in New York City and sent on orphan trains out west.  We are currently reading through the series together with my second grader and she enjoys it because she likes learning about history.  I also enjoy reading them!

Middle School

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

This is a must read for all.  Jerome is a 12 year old black boy who is killed by a police officer and sees the aftermath of his death as a ghost and the ghosts of others who were killed before him. 

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

I loved this book.  It's about a middle school aged girl who was struck by lightning and gets some awesome math skills.  However, her people skills are lacking.  Her grandmother makes her attend at least one year of middle school and learn how to make friends before she allows her to go to college.  Such a great book.

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

This book is written from the point of view of a 12 year old girl living through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  So good!

High School

In Real Life by Jessica Love

This book follows good girl Hannah Cho on an adventure to Vegas to meet her online best-friend of four years.  She's sick of following the rules and decides to take some risks and let go of some control during her senior year spring break.  But was her online best-friend honest? Will Hannah regret lapse in judgment?

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I really liked this book about Junior, who grows up on a reservation and doesn't feel like he fits in there or in the white school he starts attending.  This is a very good book.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
John Green is awesome! So anything by him would make a fantastic gift.  This book is about a terminal cancer patient and a new friend she makes that turns her life upside down. 

Crank series by Ellen Hopkins

This is a powerful series about how drugs can shape and ruin your life.  Especially a life that was on track until one decision spirals into a horrible new path. 

I had a lot of fun coming up with this list and I don't think I properly even shared all of the lovely books out there that I have read and loved.  If you have any specific requests about a book to gift someone I would love to try to think of a good one.  Please leave a comment and I'll try to help.

What are your favorite books to gift? What is a book you read this year that you are gifting to others?

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