10 Holiday Books Great for Kids

Sometimes the coolest children's presents are the kind that don't plug in.

As the mom of two boys, I know that most kids lead off their holiday wish lists with must-haves like Star Wars video games and Nintendo 3DS XL. To add a bit of balance to our gift giving, I always like to include old-school, low-tech goodies like books under our family’s Christmas tree.

I got the idea for this blogpost when Candlewick Press sent a gigantic box of brand-new kids’ books to my office. They are really delightful, with whimsical illustrations and fun stories. And there’s nothing quite as lovely as the smell of a new book and the high-quality feel of the pages. Whether you choose a picture book for a toddler or a classic holiday tale for a tween or teen, include a tome or two on your gift-giving list this year.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. The Little Snowplow. Small and steadfast wins the day in this cheery story about a plucky little plow. (This book was recently a #1 New York Times picture book bestseller.) Ages 3-7.
  2. Jingle! Jingle! This delightful board book contains a host of animals to spot, name and mimic. Ages 0-3.
  3. Too Many Toys! Lulu has so many toys that she can’t find room for them all. Read about her clever plan. Ages 4-6.
  4. The Best Part of Christmas. A boy who really loves his Christmas tree finds a way to preserve its spirit year-round. Ages 3-7.
  5. Jingle Bells. This elegant cut-paper edition of the classic holiday song captures the thrill of a winter adventure and the magic of the season. Ages 4-8.
  6. Snow. Join a boy and his grandfather as they enjoy a snow day in the park. Ages 3-7.
  7. Alpha. This abcdedarian tour de force from celebrated artist Isabelle Arsenault is a real treat. Ages 5-8.
  8. Where’s Waldo? The Sticker Book! With more than 1,000 stickers, any kid will have a blast with this hands-on gift. Ages 5-9.
  9. Historium. Explore artifacts from bygone civilizations, from the Silla dynasty of Korea to ancient Rome. Beautifully illustrated. Ages 8-12.
  10. Counting Lions. Poetic text and exquisite charcoal drawings of 10 endangered species. All ages.

You can find these thoughtful gifts at candlewick.com or check out your favorite book store. Happy shopping!

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