In the interest of making your holiday shopping perhaps a bit easier, I'm sharing the children's books that I'll be recommending to friends and family this holiday season. Whenever you buy books, please support indie booksellers if you can!
For the babies in your life:
- If you're buying books for the teeniest, tiniest newborns, choose board books with clear, simple illustrations, preferably in few colors, like I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy; and board books with pictures of other babies, like Global Babies.
- If you're buying for slightly older toddlers, look for board book titles that include brightly-colored illustrations and a minimal amount of text and story, like those by Sandra Boynton or the board book version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
For the pre-readers in your life:
- Picture books about friendship: Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman; Hey, Presto! by Nadia Shireen
- Picture books with favorite characters and holiday flair: Dinosaur vs. Santa by Bob Shea; Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin
- Picture books with a non-fiction feel: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow by Susan A. Shea; I Spy With My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs; Go, Go Grapes! by April Pulley Sayre
- Picture books that are simply breathtaking to look at: I Have a Dream by Kadir Nelson; Unspoken by Henry Cole
- Picture books that will induce giggles: This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen; Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas; The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
For the beginning readers in your life:
- Picture books sure to engage reluctant readers: Poopendous! by Artie Bennett; Pierre the Penguin by Jean Marzolo; Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
- Beginning readers: Let's Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems; Time to Sleep, Sheep the Sheep! by Mo Willems
- Beginning readers with short chapters (like Frog and Toad): Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo; Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell
- Chapter books: Ivy and Bean Make the Rules by Annie Barrows; Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes by Kate DiCamillo
For the middle grade readers in your life:
- If they like the Little House series, try May B by Caroline Starr Rose or The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas
- If they like Charlotte's Web, try The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
- If they like school stories told from multiple perspectives, try Wonder by R.J. Palacio or Ungifted by Gordon Korman
- If they like historical fiction with strong female characters (like Dear America), try Sophia's War by Avi or The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
- If they like protagonists with a unique, funny perspective, try Rebel McKenzie by Candice Ransom, The Adventures of Beanboy by Lisa Harkrader, or Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom by Rachel Vail
- If they like graphic novels, try the latest in the Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm or the latest Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Happy holiday book-shopping!