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It’s holiday gift giving time. I made my shopping easier this year as I decided just about everyone on my list will get lasting gifts — books, of course! What’s baby or toddlerhood without Mother Goose rhymes? So the youngest children will receive one of my favorite, most accessible collections: My Very First Mother Goose (Candlewick) selected by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells. There’s a really bright nearly three-year-old that I want to remember. She’ll get Xavier Deneux’s highly tactile, very sturdy (if a bit weighty, quite literally) concept books Colors and Opposites (opens in a new window) (Chronicle). There’s a 7-year old boy who doesn’t particularly like to read but who loves building things so I think he’ll get Cool Creations in 35 Pieces (opens in a new window) by Sean Kenney (Holt), a nearly wordless guide to making lots of different things with Lego blocks. (A few new Legos will round out that gift.) For a fine read-aloud for an entire family, I’m giving a copy of Kathi Appelt’s National Book Award finalist The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (opens in a new window) (Atheneum). This charming story of loyalty, loss and friendship is sure to engage everyone. A friend of mine has a new grandchild. She remembers reading Tomie dePaola’s books to her own daughter, so she’s getting a copy of dePaola’s Christmas Remembered (opens in a new window) (Puffin), sure to remind her of her family’s traditions — and lasting enough to share when that grandbaby is older. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was book on every bed for every holiday or celebration? In fact, that’s a suggestion from the Family Reading Partnership (opens in a new window). They believe that not only do books make great gifts but books make a huge difference to all children, especially the hard-to-reach. Here’s hoping that your holidays are happy and filled with good memories and lots of stories!

About the Author

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.

Publication Date
December 20, 2013