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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Season of giving

December 12, 2017

I always feel like I’m one step behind around this time of year which makes me realize — sometimes with a start — that the end of another year will be upon us very soon.

What can I give my friends and family that will not only slow us down but create a memory that will last longer than the moment? I’ve decided this year that I’ll share my favorite books and take time to share them. Each book will come with a promise (to myself as well as to the book’s recipient) to to share it in person, by phone, or Skype.

For the youngest children in my family, I want to share a chuckle or two with Baabwaa and Wooliam by David Elliott, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Candlewick).  (It’s sure to be a favorite of my niece Charlotte.) When Charlotte is a bit older, she’ll really come to appreciate the subtle humor in Michael Hall’s Little i (Greenwillow). She’s already appreciates a slightly subversive Rapunzel (Peachtree) in Bethan Woollvin's retelling

Time can be an issue with older readers so I plan to share books that appear to be picture books. In reality, though these books are for older readers (though I’d never not share them with younger kids).

Dave Eggers hit a homerun with his humorous but informative look at Lady Liberty in Her Right Foot (Chronicle). Illustrations by Shawn Harris create a contemporary look for the old gal. And even I was intrigued to learn about a man whose passion turned into an entire collection in Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Candlewick).

My list is long and space is short. You can find more books in the 2017 Holiday Buying Guide for the young people on your list.

Here’s hoping your reading list is filled with good thoughts, good laughs and good memories, enough to last the entire New Year!

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx