Friday, November 27, 2009

Make a Kid Happy...Buy Him a Book for Christmas!

I'm crazy about the idea of giving everyone you know a book for theory....The truth is the whole thing could backfire and you could end up with fifty friends and relatives who are furious, quietly steaming because they didn't get anything they wanted for Christmas.

But can you really go wrong giving a kid a book? A book and a toy, of course.

And I've got just the list of kid Christmas book recommendations for you.

First, some words of advice:

(1) No big enormous chapter books you loved as a kid. You giftee may be a poor reader and this will just drive him farther and farther away from Book World.

(2) No big enormous classics. See above.

(3) No books made from popular tv series or celebrities (for example, skip all the awful Hannah Montana books). The cover is great, but it's the only good thing about the book.

(4) No books to teach lessons. Please don't make kids think books are just another way to sneak up on you and try to talk you into following our rules.

(5) Funny is usually best if you are not sure.

(6) The truth is there are boy books and there are girl books.
Girls will read girl books or boy books, but boys rarely read girl books. Just look at the cover. Read the title. You know the difference.

(7) Thinner is better than thick. Lots of pictures is good.

(8) Just because the book says it is a level 1 book doesn't mean
it is a level 1 book or that your giftee can read it. Read it to him one time as part of the gift (or, even better, start reading it and then leave him hanging..."I'm so sorry, but I'm out of time.")

(9) With boys, if you are not sure, stick to nonfiction with lots of pictures. Scary, if possible.

Now, the ideas:

Ages 3-8...Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus...Fancy Nancy...How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night by Jane Yolen (any of this series)...If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (any of this series)...Diary of a Worm...How I Became a Pirate...The Kissing Hand...any dinosaur book...any true book about
animals...Biscuit...No, David!...books about trucks and cars...David Scarry books...princess books...Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?...fairy tales...short Seuss...

Ages 6-9...Frog and Toad books...Henry and Mudge books...Mr. Putter and Tabby series...Magic Tree House series...Junie B. Jones series...A-Z Mystery series...Secrets of Droon series...Horrible Harry series...Arthur chapter books...still with the animal books or dinosaur books...joke books...fairy tales...princess on CDs...In a Dark, Dark Room...

Ages 8-12...Judy Blume books...Roald Dahl books...Harry Potter series...The Lightning Thief series...Andrew Clemens
books...My Weird School series...Diary of a Wimpy Kid series...Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark...Series of Unfortunate Evens books...Tale of Despereaux...Spiderwick experiment books...joke books...Where the Sidewalk Ends...I'm Still Here in the Bathtub...Guinness Book of World Records...Ripley's Believe It or a book for his Ipod...Jack Prelutsky poetry

I'm sure I left some great choices out, but this should be a pretty good place to start.

(Reposted from November 2008)


  1. I won't be getting everyone books for Christmas this year since some are not readers and really will see a book equal to a lump of coal in their stocking. A couple of my reader friends are on book acquisition bans and have specifically asked that no one give them books for the holidays either. Still, most of my list will receive books. I am still working out which books to get. I'm stuck on my dad at the moment. Need to think of a good one for him . . .

    There aren't any children to buy books for this year (unless you count my 17 year old niece). You've listed some great titles though! Makes me wish I did have someone to give one of those to!

  2. I just got my 14-year-old sister The Hunger Games, a dystopian YA novel that's been wildly popular around the book blogosphere. I'm only 24, but it feels like YA has hugely improved since I was her age.

  3. Thanks for the reminder about joke books. Our granddaughter loves to tell jokes, so that's one more to add to her stack! I've also got the latest Fancy Nancy Christmas book. She might be getting a bit old for these, but I can't resist. At least now, she can read it herself.


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