While there’s little boredom during the holiday season, it quickly settles in right afterward. So maybe “Delia’s Dull Day” by Andy Myer is a good book to wrap up and save until after the holiday. It’s the story of a little girl whose life is boring, boring, boring, but if she’d just look harder, she’d see how it’s really not so much.
If your little giftee loves dangerous animals (think: sharks and dinos), then “A Strange Place to Call Home” by Marilyn Singer and Ed Young. This book is filled with rhymes about the animals that live in deadly, dangerous places. What kid isn’t going to love a book like that?
Wrap it up with “Track That Scat!” by Lisa Morlock, illustrated by Carrie Ann Bradshaw. It’s a book about animal poop, another subject that kids this age can’t get enough of.
A slight fright awaits the child who unwraps “Oh, No!” by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann. It’s the story of a frog who falls into a deep hole, his friends who try to help him out, and a tiger who’s very, very hungry.
Another book to look for — one with a bit of excitement but a happy ending — is “Toads on Toast” by Linda Bailey and Colin Jack. In this case, though, it’s toads that are in trouble, and a hungry fox.
Does your little giftee have monsters beneath the bed? Then you need to wrap up “Emily Brown and The Thing” by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton. It’s a really cute book that will show kids that the “thing” under the bed needs love, too.
Every kid loves adventure, and “Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” by Carole P. Roman will give your little giftee arrrrgh great dose of that. It’s the tale of the good Captain and his fearless crew, along with a little boy and his stuffed animals on the high seas. Look for it, Matey!
Kids books (middle graders)
If there’s a sleepover in your child’s future, “The Girls’ Ghost Hunting Guide” by Stacey Graham is a must-have. This book is filled with terror, stories from real ghost hunters, and more, and it’s sure to scare up a good sleepover. You might want to look for “Recipe for Trouble” by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk. That’s the latest in the Cupcake Club books, which include recipes and a good idea for your middle-schooler and her friends. Baked goods, anyone?
Though “Faith: Five Religions and What They Share” by Dr. Richard Steckel and Michele Steckel looks like a picture book, it’s not. In this book, your young giftee will learn about Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judiaism and what they have in common. This is the perfect book for kids who wonder why there’s strife around the world. It’ll make you wonder, too.
The young dog lover on your list will be so happy to unwrap “The Last Dogs: The Vanishing” by Christopher Holt. It’s a book about a journey for family, and the danger three dogs must endure to find their people. Hint: it’s the first in a series, which will give you plenty of ideas for the next gift-giving event.
Also look for “One Dog and His Boy” by Eva Ibbotson, the story of a young boy who rescues a dog. Or is that the other way around?
So your horse-loving giftee has raced through every Black Beauty book and then some, and you’re at the end of your gift-giving rope? You’re in luck: Look for “The Island Horse” by Susan Hughes and wrap it up quickly. It’s the story of a girl who lives on the coast of Nova Scotia. When her father moves the family to a new home near Sable Island, the girl finds a surprise that she might not get to keep.
There are a lot of animal books out this year that will appeal to kids who love critters, and that includes “Lower the Trap: The Lobster Chronicles 1” by Jessica Scott Kerrin. It’s the story of a huge lobster, a boy’s pride – and then his horror, when he realizes that what’s good for him is not necessarily good for the lobster.
If reading a Christmas tale as a family is a tradition of yours, then look for “Nutcracker” by E.T.A. Hoffman, pictures by the late Maurice Sendak. This classic book basically follows the ballet of the same name, and it’s rich with pictures your family will love.
I also think they’ll enjoy “Smudge and the Book of Mistakes: A Christmas Story” by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Stephen Costanza. It’s the story of a young monk who’s given the task of illustrating the Christmas Story. Unfortunately, his nickname is “Smudge” and he lives up to that name.
Though it’s not a book, “Deck of Snakes” from the Boy Scouts of America will get your young herpetologist reading, for sure. Part game, part reference, this is a deck of cards on which are printed dozens of snakes and lots of info about each. It’ssssss a ssssspecial gift for sssssomeone who lovessssss sssssnakes.
Wrap it up with “Get Out!” by Judy Molland, which is a book about ways to explore and enjoy nature and get green, and it’s perfect for kids and their parents.
If your giftee loves a bit of drama, then “Margaret and the Moth Tree” by Brit Trogen and Kari Trogen is a book to give. It’s the story of a plain orphan who lives in an orphanage that’s being terrorized by a beautiful Matron. Beauty, in this case, does not triumph.