For Christmas this year, my children are getting four gifts- something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. As they have gotten older, it has become easier to do since they want fewer, but more expensive things. However, when they were little it would have been difficult to stick to the above rules!
There are so many fun and creative things out there for young kids, and of course, there were the toys, like Tinkle Me Elmer, they had to have. Unfortunately, those toys, that often came with sounds and movement, were quickly forgotten and thrown to the side. The toys that were played with over and over for years were the simple ones, such as blocks, trains, animal replicas, dolls, Legos, Playmobil, art supplies, and of course, books. Here are few book recommendations that make great gifts for the children you cherish (and their parents will thank you for not buying the toy with all the bells and whistles).
For infants and toddlers, look at Andy Warhol So Many Stars by Mudpuppy and Andy Warhol which is gorgeously illustrated with his paintings along with simple text that brings a starry night to life. Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes and Sean Qualls is a sweet poem that all children and mothers will love. Snuggle Puppy by Sondra Boynton is another one that you and your child will enjoy over and over again. For other ideas for infants and toddlers read my blog The Top Ten Essential Books for Every Toddler’s Library.
The Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem tells the tale of mice living in a forest. Reminiscent of stories by Beatrice Potter, these sweet tales have just enough suspense and adventure in them to make them exciting and worthy of reading again and again. My two favorites are The High Hills (Brambly Hedge) and The Secret Staircase (Brambly Hedge).
Get the dinosaur lover in your life excited about books with Harry and The Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow, Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields, and My Big Dinosaur Book by Roger Priddy (board book).
Some of my favorite books are songs that have been turned into picture books. Man Gave Names to All the Animals by Bob Dylan and What A Wonderful World by George David Weiss are two examples. Both have stunning illustrations and engaging song lyrics.
For the child who loves dancing, I recommend Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird, Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief and Rosemary Wells, Alvin Alley by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney, and Jose! Born to Dance by Susanna Reich and Raul Colon.
One by Kathryn Otoshi encourages children to stand up for themselves and others using simple text and illustrations. This one should be required reading.
The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin describes all the colors as they would be experienced if you were blind. This brail book is one of the most beautiful books out there.
Boogie Monster and Tickle Monster both by Josie Bissett and Kevan Atteberry will get your children dancing and giggling. These two are very fun books!
Two books that I already recommended in previous blogs, but I feel compelled to mention again are The Yellow Umbrella by Dong Il Sheen and Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed. Both include absolutely exquisite illlustrations and gratifying stories, even though The Yellow Umbrella is wordless.
I hope you enjoy and have fun finding the perfect book for the child in your life. Please, add your own recommendations below!
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