Books As Gifts
2007 Buying Guide
Books for 8-9 Year Olds
We've selected 11 great books for kids in second to third grades to read on their own. You'll also find 7 additional recommended books that a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, babysitter, or friend can read with 8-9 year olds to pique their interest, expose them to more advanced vocabulary, encourage discussion, or simply to share quality time with a caring adult. Download the guide for 8-9 year olds (297K PDF)* as a one-page handout you can easily take to the library or store.
Books to read on their own
Another Book about Design: Complicated Doesn't Make It Bad
Seemingly simple shapes and primary colors are presented to illustrate, intrigue, and introduce how design elements come together to create images. This is as engaging and illuminating as Gonyea's earlier Book About Design.
Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County
Though Big Mama repeatedly asks her not to chase the birds, the young African American girl is determined to become the "chicken chasing queen." She often focuses on Miss Hen, a particularly adept escapee – although a surprise find helps the girl reform. Humor and personality shine through in story and image.
Comets, Stars, the Moon & Mars: Space Poems and Paintings
Short rhymes provide accurate glimpses at heavenly bodies, even noting Pluto's new status. Each poem is accompanied by colorful, evocative illustrations. Additional information about the topic of each poem concludes this handsome volume.
Henry's Freedom Box
This riveting account is based on the true story of Henry Brown, a slave who literally mailed himself to freedom. Dramatic illustrations show what young Henry endured during his grueling trip to Pennsylvania.
Jack Plank Tells Tales
As a pirate, Jack Plank was not a very good plunderer, although he makes up for it as a fine storyteller. He wows Mrs. Del Fresno's daughter and her other boarders with his stories as he seeks another profession. This episodic yarn spins a wonderful read aloud.
Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World
When first born, this small offspring of a circus bear was small enough to fit in one hand. Brought to the Berlin Zoo, Knut the baby polar bear went on to capture the hearts and imaginations of many people around the world. His story is told through full color photographs and gentle text.
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little
Sometimes putting something off is worse than what is being put off – and that's just what Moxy Maxwell learns when she puts off her summer reading. Short chapters build tension as readers both understand Moxy's dawdling but also root for her to finish her
Playing to Win: The Story of Althea Gibson
From a sharecropper family, Althea Gibson went on to become a highly skilled tennis player and to break down the game's racial barriers. Strong, varied illustrations accompany the lucid text to present a compelling portrait of a complex woman and accomplished athlete.
Ralph Masiello's Dragon Drawing Book
Dragons are beautiful, powerful creatures that have immense appeal to the budding artist. This book not only gives drawing advice but also background information on a wide variety of dragons.
Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker
Stink gets a huge batch of jawbreakers when he writes a letter of complaint and so is inspired to write other companies. While he receives other things for his letter writing, Judy Moody's little brother comes to realize that there are really more important things in his life.
The Talented Clementine
Clementine is back, this time wondering what special thing she might do in the school's talent show. Line drawings add verve to the oh-so-plausible, often funny story of how Clementine finds her special skill.
Books to read with you
Dogs & Cats
Read about dogs with cat icons, and then turn the book over to learn about cats – with dog icons. Informative, informal text combines with textured collage illustrations for an intriguing and edifying look at these familiar animals.
Stunning, semi-abstract illustrations create a contemporary, recognizable setting for Lewis Carroll's now classic nonsense poem. An illustrator's note provides background for the choice of the Jabberwock as a many-fingered ball handler on an urban basketball court.
National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers, 3rd edition
The latest edition of the Young Explorers atlas uses satellite images to help focus on various parts of the world and to build an understanding of continents, countries, and natural resources. This edition also suggests links to a dedicated website to extend the learning.
Pass it Down: Five Picture Book Families Make Their Mark
Conversations with families provide insight and information into how books are created and the intergenerational impact of illustrating and writing them. From the Rockwells, the Crews/Jonas family, the Pinkneys, the Myers', and the Hurds – talent seems to run in the family!
Planets, Stars and Galaxies
Stunning illustrations, recent photographs, and current information combine to present a compelling look at the various planets (including the dwarf planet Pluto), stars, and galactic mysteries. This authoritative presentation is by a well-known specialist in the field.
Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo
Like haiku, sijo – a little known, brief poetic form from Korea – looks at everyday activities from breakfast to the weather. Sophisticated illustrations complement the seemingly simple language to delight readers and listeners.
When Harriet Met Sojourner
Though born years and miles apart, the paths of two extraordinary women would one day cross briefly. The women, who are known now as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, would come to play a significant role in securing rights for African Americans. Stylized illustrations and brief text present the people, the period, and their encounter.
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