10(+) Books Your Younger Readers Will Love This Holiday Season


Giving a book as a present is a given in our family. Our sons are four and six, and their bookshelves are overflowing with amazing books. I thought perhaps I would share some great books -- from picture books to beginning chapter funnies to some non-fiction finds -- that you might want to wrap up and put under the tree this year. As an added bonus, I included a series of holiday themed books you might want to check out before Christmas Eve is upon us!

My, or, our new favorite picture book is Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. We bought it for our younger son’s birthday last month and it has been a big hit. In short, a little boy gets his kite stuck in a tree and then starts throwing everything he can find up into the tree to get his kite un-stuck. As you might imagine, everything he throws gets stuck. Including the fire department.

I’m a sucker for any book that includes fire departments, so it was an instant favorite. Both of my sons enjoy giggling through the many things tossed into the tree. The book provides the added bonus of many lovely illustrations to look at (and giggle at) for hours on end. ($10.36 at Amazon right now.)Pinkalicious TreasuryIf you have a pink-loving girl (or boy!) in your house, you may want to pick up Pinkalicious: The Princess of Pink Treasury. Yes, a treasury of all things pink. It is not, however, a treasury of the main books (think Pinkalicious, Purplicious, etc), but of smaller stories. The books included in this hardback treasury are School Rules, Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink, Pink Around the Rink, Tickled Pink, and Pinkie Promise. If you bought all five of those books separately, you would pay over $20.00. The treasury is currently $13.05 on Amazon and comes with an audio CD of all five stories. Bonus!

Are you a blogger? Then your kid probably needs this book: My Mommy Is a Blogger by Sommer Poquette. We were lucky enough to get a review copy this summer, and it has remained on our living room shelf of “currently reading frequently” books. The story features a child who takes her mom to school on career day. It’s really a neat way to educate your children on what the business side of blogging is all about and answers questions about why your blogging work is important to the family. As an added bonus, you can give it to people who ask you, “But how is it a job, really?” like the teacher in the book. My favorite part of the book? When the little girl introduces her mom as a “booger” instead of a blogger. Awesome!

My Mommy Is a Blogger

If You Give a Dog a DonutDoes your child love If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or If You Give a Pig a Pancake or If You Give a Moose a Muffin? Or, you know, any of those books? Then you definitely need to pick up the newest release, If You Give a Dog a Donut. These books are always good for some belly laughs, and not just from the kids. In the newest book, we obviously get to follow a dog around on a delightful and, as per usual, exhausting adventure. As an added bonus, maybe this book will help your child (or, you?) stop feeding the dog table scraps. Or, at the very least, donuts. It’s currently $8.49 for the hardcover new release, which would make it a great addition to your long-lasting family library.

Super Diaper Baby 2For your kiddos just starting to read chapter books, I have to tell you that we are in love with Captain Underpants and his hilarious series. There’s something kind of awesome about watching your six-year-old run into the room in underoos and socks and yell, “Tra-la-LA!” We recently bought box set of the first four books and were delightfully surprised when the box it comes in makes a “Tra-la-LA!” sound when you open it. If your reader has already made it through that series, The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby is written by the same author and is just as hilarious. In fact, the next book, Super Baby 2: Invasion of the Potty Snatchers might make you giggle-snort during an evening read-along.

As far as non-fiction goes, the hands-on set of either gender might enjoy these three suggestions. Both the LEGO Star Wars Character Enclycopedia and Harry Potter: Building a Magical World are books I want as a grown woman, but kids are sure to enjoy them as well. Under our tree this year, in addition to those two, will also be The Big Book of Science Experiments. The age range is from 8-12, but I have a little dude who loves science, so both his dad and I are going to be working with him on some of these during the cold winter months to come. What’s better than a non-fiction book that gives you something to do when there’s nothing else to do? Fantastic.

Big Book of Science Experiments

If you’re looking specifically for holiday themed picture books, I could honestly go on for hours. However, I’ll give you one book that actually results in a whole series of holiday book suggestions. Our favorite book is The Firefighter’s Night Before Christmas. It’s not new (2002) or anything shiny, but it’s a great way to personalize a story that everyone already knows and loves. Best part? There’s a whole bunch of these books! There’s The Teacher’s Night Before Christmas, The Nurse’s Night Before Christmas, Librarian’s Night Before Christmas and, another favorite, The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas. (And many others, including, uh, something about Rednecks? Hmm.)

Firefighter's Night Before Christmas

That’s a lot of book suggestions for the younger set, but I think it’s pretty good. A bunch of great new picture books, two different (hilarious) sets of chapter books, some non-fiction must-haves and some Christmas books that your family will treasure for generations to come. I’m like the Santa of book gift ideas, though I do apologize that the gift guide doesn’t come with money to purchase all of those. So just pick one or two favorites and give your child the gift of reading this holiday season. There’s nothing better.

Family Section Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land. She is a writer, editor and photographer.


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