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Share the joy of reading this holiday season with these books

  • secret garden

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Are you looking for a thoughtful gift to give your favorite young person this holiday season? What better way to share the joy of reading than by giving books as gifts? Giving your loved one a book tells that person you picked something especially for him or her. A book is a gift of hope, knowledge, and hours of enjoyment. Books always fit. They don’t require batteries, and they can be opened again and again.

If you’re looking for a fun, interactive book for a younger child, you can’t beat a title from the “Let’s Play Games” series of interactive books by Hervé Tullet. His book Press Here is a bestseller and a great choice for making any read aloud feel completely magical. Readers are invited to touch, shake, clap, and generally interact with the book in order to make simple dots multiply, change color, and grow. Tullet’s The Game in the Dark and The Game of Shadows are both wordless, but the stories they can tell are limitless. The first features illustrations that glow in the dark after exposure to light, and the second is meant to be illuminated from behind, casting shadows on the wall and inviting readers to make up their own tales. Either of the Game books would be a great gift to give along with a mini flashlight.

  • presshere

 

For an elementary-school-aged child who loves animals and fun facts, give a field-trip-in-a-book with Life-Size Zoo: From Tiny Rodents to Gigantic Elephants, An Actual-Size Animal Encyclopedia, by Teruyuki Komiya. This impressively oversized book mixes close-up head shots of larger animals with full-body shots of the smaller creatures, each pictured in its actual size. Every photograph is accompanied by entertaining facts about the animal pictured and suggestions for discussing further details, such as what a lion’s tongue or elephant’s skin might feel like.

The book Animalium: Welcome to the Museum, by Jenny Broom, and illustrated by Katie Scott, is a museum cloaked in the pages of a book. Beautifully illustrated animals are arranged into galleries by their biological class. Readers will pore over the hand-drawn pen and ink illustrations and discover some cool facts about their favorite animals.

For the creative child or teen on your list, try a coloring book or journal. Sophisticated, intricate coloring books have taken the book world by storm recently. Titles by Johanna Basford, including Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book, offer readers a chance to put their own colorful touches on sophisticated illustrations while making up stories to go along with them.

  • fantastic cities

 

Let them explore a new city from above with Steve McDonald’s Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined. A beautiful blank journal might be just the thing for your friend or family member bursting with creative ideas. A set of colored pencils or some fine-tip markers would guarantee your recipient hours of artistic fun when given one of these books.

Does someone you know have a thing for stunningly hand-crafted paper art? If so, you might consider looking for a pop-up version of his or her favorite book. Illustrator Robert Sabuda has created a series of meticulously handcrafted versions of classics, includingAlice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up AdaptationThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Commemorative Pop-Up, and many more. The Wheels on the Bus, by Paul O. Zelinsky, would be a great pop-up book for a young child, as would Barney Saltzberg’s Beautiful Oops!, which has the bonus of teaching kids (of all ages) the important lesson that mistakes can frequently turn into something  wonderful.

  • beautiful oops

 

It can be tough to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Hopefully one of these books will help you brighten someone’s day, and make them think of you and smile every time they read it. Happy gifting!

Press Here  
Written and illustrated by Hervé Tullet 
40 pages. Chronicle Books, 2011 
Ages 3-8 
 

The Game in the Dark 
Written and illustrated by Hervé Tullet 
Unpaged. Paidon Press, 2012 
Ages 3-8 
 

The Game of Shadows  
Written and illustrated by Hervé Tullet 
Unpaged. Phaidon Press, 2013 
Ages 3-8 
 

Life-Size Zoo: From Tiny Rodents to Gigantic Elephants, An Actual-Size Animal Encyclopedia 
By Teruyuki Komiya and Kristin Earhart 
47 pages. Seven Footer Kids, 2009 
Ages 5-8 
 

Animalium: Welcome to the Museum 
Written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott 
95 pages. Big Picture Press, 2014 
Ages 8-12 
 

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book 
By Johanna Basford 
96 pages. Laurence King Publishing, 2013 
Ages 8 and up


Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book 
By Johanna Basford 
84 pages. Laurence King Publishing, 2015 
Ages 8 and up


Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined 
By Steve McDonald 
60 pages. Chronicle Books, 2015 
Ages 8 and up


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation 
By Robert Sabuda 
Unpaged. Little Simon, 2003 
Ages 8-12 
 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Commemorative Pop-Up 
By Robert Sabuda 
Unpaged. Little Simon, 2000 
Ages 8-12 
 

The Wheels on the Bus 
By Paul O. Zelinsky 
Unpaged. Dutton’s Children’s Books, 1990 
Ages 3-8 
 

Beautiful Oops! 
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg 
Unpaged. Workman Pub., 2010 
Ages 3-8

 

Alyson Bauer is a children’s librarian with the Free Library of Philadelphia.

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