Gift giving season is upon us, and (yes, we’re biased) but we think there are few presents as pleasurable and useful to kids as the humble storybook. No, we’re not going to launch into a commercial complete with catchy jingle, but we will say this…what kid doesn’t love snuggling up with a grandparent to read their most beloved bedtime story? As far as gifts from relatives go, you could really do much, much worse than a kid’s book.
So, we thought we’d give you a few suggestions for selecting a fun book for the kids in your life, and the nicest part about it is that you can place the order and have them shipped out, no need to risk paper cuts and tape incidents by skipping the gift wrap. *We’re kidding. We know you’re probably better with the scissors than we are.
Baby & Toddler Books
If you’re looking for infants and toddlers, books are a best bet, since research has shown that the more words a child listens to and is exposed to in the first years of life will help increase their vocabulary.
Board books are a great way to introduce books to our littlest family members, so snag baby-friendly copies of classics like “The Rainbow Fish”, or “Goodnight Moon”, or (our personal favs for your mommas out there) “I Love You As Much As a Mother Can Love” and Robert Munsch’s “Love You Forever”. A good holiday read is for this age is “Baby Einstein: Touch And Feel Christmas”.
We all know how important and fun it is for pre-schoolers to get books to read. For the preschoolers in you life, you really can’t go wrong with just about any book by Anita Jeram, (try “Bunny My Honey”) or Sandra Boynton (Look for “The Going To Bed Book” or for a more holiday-themed story, try “Christmas Time.”)
6- To 8-Year-Olds
By this age, your kids have likely discovered some of the staples of early reading–the book series. Following along the misadventures of Junie B. Jones, Fancy Nancy, or Diary Of A Wimpy Kid are likely the first picks for books to read in this age group.
You really can’t go wrong with books in any of these series, and the nice thing about them is that they are fun for adults to read to the kids, too, which makes those bedtime stories a real pleasure. Holiday best bets include Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Matchstick Girl”, “Jacob’s Hannukah Surprise“, or “Emma’s Chinese American New Year“.
Pre-teen & Tween Books
By this age, most kids have a pretty developed sense of what they like and dislike in a book, so try to keep their tastes in mind. Selecting books that reflect their interests is key to that just-opened-an-awesome-present grin.
Harry Potter is the obvious go-to, and the genre for this age seems to flooded with all things vampire (You can blame Stephanie Meyer for that phenomenon.) but if that doesn’t strike their fancy, you still have lots of options. Brandon Mull has a much-loved series of fantasy/adventure books, and Rick Riordan is also a deft storyteller for this group.
For a fun read, pick them up a copy of “The Chocolate Touch” or for though-provoking reads, try “The Giver” or “The Hatchet”.
For a holiday-themed tale, watch for “A Christmas Carol”, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”, or “Winter Holiday“.
Whatever your flavor of celebrating the winter holidays, be it Christmas, Kwaanza, Hannukah or the winter solstice, be sure to get in some kid-friendly holiday reading. We’re sure you’ll be happy you did.