Are you looking for the perfect present for a child in your life? Then head on over to the toy section, my friend. Children do not get excited about books…Wait! Wait! Wait! After a little thought, I take that back. I can absolutely come up with book recommendations that children will get excited about.
Are you looking for a book for a baby or toddler? For a young child who loves dance or space or nature? For a child who is ready for their first library card, magazine subscription, or chapter book? Here are some gift-worthy choices.
A Library Card
Wrap your child’s brand spankin’ new, very own library card in a pretty little box, in a wallet, or with a book or two that you have borrowed from the library. Your child need not know that you did not spend a dime to get them a really cool present.
A Picture Book About a Subject Your Child Loves
Here are a few excellent books for young star gazers, dancers, bug watchers, soccer stars, artists, and children who like to laugh. They (and you!) will enjoy reading these books over and over.
Space (See also 11 Children’s Books About Stars and Space)
- Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker. Ages 1+
- If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty and Steve Kellogg. Ages 4+
- To Space and Back by Sally Ride. Ages 5+
- Find the Constellations by H.A. Rey. Ages 8+
Dance (See also 10 Children’s Books About Dance)
- Dance by Bill Jones. Ages 1+
- Tanya and Emily in a Dance for Two by Patricia Lee Gauch and Satomi Itchikawa (or another book about Tanya). Ages 3+
- Lili on Stage by Rachel Isadora (or another book about Lili). Ages 3+
- A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student by Valerie Gladstone. Ages 5+
Nature (See also nature-themed booklists)
- Two Blue Jays by Anne Rockwell and Megan Halsey. Ages 4+
- Vera’s Baby Sister by Vera Rosenberry. Ages 4+
- What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins. Ages 4+
- Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Birds by Jim Arnosky (or another Crinkleroot nature guide) Ages 4+
Soccer (See also 7 Children’s Books About Soccer)
- Madlenka Soccer Star by Peter Sís. Ages 4+
- For the Love of Soccer by Pelé and Frank Morrison (or, for a girl, consider Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm). Ages 4+
- Hope for Haiti by Jesse Watson. Ages 5+
- Soccer for Fun by Kenn Goin. Ages 5+
Art (See also 7 Books to Encourage Your Young Artist)
- Perfect Square by Michael Hall. Ages 2+
- Color Dance by Ann Jonas. Ages 3+
- The Art Lesson by Tomie De Paola. Ages 4+
- Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork. Ages 6+
Humor (See also 10 Super Silly Books)
- George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends by James Marshall. Ages 3+
- Crazy Hair Day by Barney Saltzberg. Ages 3+
- Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. Ages 4+
- Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. Ages 6+
A Recently Published Picture Book That is Sure to Delight
There have been many amazing picture books published in the past couple of years. Here are a few that strike me as irresistible.
- Press Here by Hervé Tullet. Ages 2+
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead and Erin Stead. Ages 2+
- The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. Ages 3+
- Art & Max by David Wiesner. Ages 5+
- I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. Ages 6+
Their First Chapter Book
I received my first chapter book as a Christmas present from my aunt and uncle, and it was so exciting and memorable. (The Secret Language by Ursula Nordstrom. I was in first grade.)
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia
- Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne. This is the first book in the popular Magic Tree House series. Any one of the first 28 books in this series is a good book to start with, so choose a Magic Tree House book about a place and time that will appeal to your child.
A Magazine Subscription
Like a child’s first chapter book, a child’s first magazine subscription is memorable and would make a fantastic gift. Here are some excellent choices. We subscribe to three of them.
- National Geographic Little Kids — animals, countries around the world, activities Ages 3-6
- Story Box — literature Ages 3-6
- Click — each issue focuses on a different topic, ranging from art to gardening to simple machines Ages 3-6
- Big Backyard — animals Ages 4-7
- Art Dawg — art Ages 5-12
A Great Addition to the Home Library — For Babies and Toddlers
You are in luck! Books are often just as exciting as toys to babies and toddlers. Heck, wrapping paper is often just as exciting as toys to babies and toddlers. This is the perfect time to build a library that children will enjoy and get more use out of than any toy.
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. Ages 0+
- My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. Ages 0+
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Ages 1+
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Ages 1+
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Ages 3+