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.