I love gifting books for every occasion. They’ve even become my favorite house-warming and hostess-gifts. I’ve found the easiest way to gift the hostess is to stick with the theme of the evening, like Hanukkah, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. And for the holidays, try to gift new books so that there’s little chance that the child already has the book.
Great holiday books for gifting this season
Hanukkah Bear Perfect for a family with young children, a bear, wakes to a wonderful smell of latkes and follows that scent to the home of the best latkes in town. There, he befriends the cook and begins a day of laughter, fun, and a Hanukkah celebration.
Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber. A beautiful documentary-type story celebrating the delivery of candy for Christmas from a plane flying overhead during World War II, this story illustrates the true meaning of Christmas–the glory of giving and instilling happiness and peacefulness all around.
My kids’ favorite books to read right now
Very often, I’m asked what my kids are reading. Here’s a look at some of their favorites this week and a few I’m interested in reading myself.
Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu As a post-grad student in a Children’s Literature class, my professor, shared advice I have never forgotten: make sure your library is as diverse as your class so that all children feel at home in your classroom. When we were children, it wasn’t easy to find books featuring minority characters–especially main characters. As a mom, I’ve realized that by having diverse books in our home library, we’re encouraging a home as welcoming as a classroom. In the past 15 years, it’s become easier to host a diverse library, and this year’s Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu, featuring an African American girl, is finally a story that crosses cultures– one that doesn’t scream out “she’s a white girl!” or “or she’s a black girl!” It just lets the character be who she is, a cute little princess with a personality and a problem.
Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu is an adorable story about a little girl who values nothing more than her own style and her favorite tutu. So when her tutu goes missing because she’s gotten a bit messy, she realizes all the things that she treasures and how much easier life would be if she’d simply taken care of her own things. I happen to know a few kids who identify with this story.
Fancy Nancy: Fanciest Doll in the Universe Ever since having a girl, I have been excited about the Fancy Nancy series, stocking her room with copious (that’s a fancy word for many) books by Jane O’Connor. Finally, this summer, they started to catch on, and Little finally began enjoying them with me. The latest in the series, Fancy Nancy: Fanciest Doll in the Universe, tells the story of a fancy doll that Jojo (Nancy’s Tomboyish sister) drew a tattoo on her favorite doll! Can you imagine? Nancy doesn’t think the situation could get any worse than taking her tatted doll to a fancy doll soiree (that’s a fancy word for party). And then she loses her!
Steam Train, Dream Train This relaxing bedtime story written with calming rhythm helps kids relax as they load the train with all of their favorites for dreamy deliveries.
The Adventures of Captain Underpants: Color Edition Will the Captain Underpants fascination ever end? Not over here, it won’t. My 2nd grader was thrilled to learn of the color edition of his favorite graphic novel. The story is the same as the black and white version, but the color makes it much more giftable.
Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, No. 1) If your early chapter book reader hasn’t started reading the Magic Tree House series, this is where to begin. The adventure starts and doesn’t stop for over 50 magical journeys through time and space.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Hardcover Boxed Set (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) My oldest and I have read the entire modern mythology series together on our Kindles, but the hardcover boxed set is definitely enticing for a keepsake gift this holiday season. Of course, that just means we’ll have to continue adding more books as the story continues. (for previous Percy Jackson reviews, click here).
The School for Good and Evil Big put 7 books on hold at the library this week, and this was the one he dove into first and has barely come up for air. Follow Sophie and Agatha as they journey through their schooling of adventures and drama. Each chapter in this book is based and inspired by a story (stories, novels, music, art…) of the author’s past fascinations. I’m hoping he’ll complete the book before his loan period is over so I can read it without late-fees.
Schooled We found Gordon Korman last year when searching to increase Big’s reading horizons, and Korman quickly rose high into Big’s favorite author’s list (he’s up there with Riordan and Gutman.) Schooled may be a bit mature for Big, focusing on a homeschooled middle schooler who has no choice but to transfer to public school and learn the ins, outs, and politics of life in the public school system. It sounds a bit like Wonder, a book we loved this summer.