I'm crazy about the idea of giving everyone you know a book for Christmas...in 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 Justin Bieber 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 or is usually best if you are not sure.
(6) Thinner is better than thick. Lots of pictures is good.
(7) 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.")
(8) With some children, 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...Elephant and Piggy books...Fancy Nancy books...
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...Mercy Watson series...Franny K. Stein chapter books...still with the animal books or dinosaur books...joke books...fairy tales...princess books...book 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 books...space books...science 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 Not...download a book for his Ipod...Jack Prelutsky poetry books...
I'm sure I left some great choices out, but this should be a pretty good place to start.