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Holiday Gift Guide- Our Picks for Picture Books and Preschoolers

November 30, 2010

This week, we are excited to share our Holiday 2010 Gift Guide with you! Please visit us again Wednesday for our picks for middle readers and teens, and Thursday to see our picks for great family gifts! Also, on Thursday’s post, we will share a PDF shopping list of all of the titles we feature this week so that you can easily print it out and take it with you when you do your holiday shopping. Next week we will be blogging about more specifically holiday-themed titles, so be sure not to miss that if you love a great Christmas book!

Erin’s Picks:

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na

This dark, moody and gorgeously illustrated picture book is the perfect bedtime book for the littlest readers on your holiday list. With minimal text, the lush art depicts owl watching different animals settle in for the night. This is the perfect sleep book with art that you will want to frame.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates

This adorable picture book is the perfect gift for dog lovers and book lovers alike! The perfect complement to the much more adult read, It’s a Book, this book tells the story of a little dog who loves books so much that he opens his own bookstore. This is a great reminder of the ability of books to open a child’s imagination.

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals by Catherine D. Hughes

Do your kids love animals? This is a beautiful book featuring four pages of animal photographs and information on over thirty different baby animals from around the world. The interesting facts are written in simple, clear terms that preschoolers can understand. If you like this, you may also enjoy a subscription to the Little Kids magazine!

Your Favorite Seuss by Dr. Seuss

This is a great collection of 13 of Dr. Seuss’s best loved books, including Oh, The Places You’ll Go, The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who, The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and many more. This would be a perfect holiday gift for new parents, grandparents who love to read bedtime stories to their grandkids, or the family who wants a classic compilation that they will read from for years to come.


Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Parry Heide and Lane Smith

This darling picture book is perfect for the little girl who loves Tangled and fairy tales with a dash of humor. Princess Hyacinth looks like a normal little girl but she has a big problem- she floats! Tired of being weighted down by her parents, she breaks free and flies through the sky. She is brought back to earth by a charming boy named Boy and his kite. Clever text and charming art with a vintage feel make this a timeless read-aloud.

Frederick and his Friends: Four Favorite Fables by Leo Lionni

This fantastic little boxed set contains four of Leo Lionni’s bestselling classic books for very young children, including Frederick, Swimmy, Fish is Fish and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. It also includes an introduction written by Eric Carle and a CD with the stories read aloud so that your little ones can follow along with the text. Just as I grew up loving these books, my kids have enjoyed listening to them many, many nights. This collection is a timeless gift for new parents or toddlers.

Deanna’s Picks:

The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury by Janet Schulman

I admit that this sounds like a sales pitch, and OK, when I sold this book to accounts over 10 year ago it was! But for $40, this amazing collection has 44 different books, complete with text and illustrations. They encompass ages from baby through about 8 and over the years we have discovered, read and re-read many of the classics with this book. It’s a great book to have at a relative’s house. Instead of bringing a whole library over, you can leave it there and have many choices. While not every book is perfectly formatted (I have particular problems with Where the Wild Things Are), I found this to be a great introduction. We actually went out and bought several of the titles featured in the collection that they liked enough.


Princess and Fairy by Anna Pignataro

We blogged about this little gem on our list a few months back, but after another reading this week to the twins before bed I thought it deserved another plug for the holidays. This is a book that can be enjoyed from about 3 all the way up to 8 or so. It’s simple enough (fairies, princesses, glitter) for the younger child, but older kids (ok, girls mostly) will delight in the incredibly detailed drawings. There’s so much to look at! The author has truly created a fully realized fantasy world, one that I would have loved as a child. 

Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates and How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

It’s been the year of the dog/book-related books at Random House! We published 2 books about dogs and books in the same month – maybe not the wisest idea- but both have been extremely well-received and are now getting their share of end-of-year kudos. While Dog Loves Books describes the joy of books and one dog’s effort to share that joy with others, Rocket focuses on the pleasures of learning to read. Either way, you can’t go wrong with one of these books.

Sarah’s Picks:

Gigi in the Big City byCharise Mericle Harper

Follow Gigi on her trip into the big city where she visits interesting shops, admires gigantic skyscrapers, explores museums, people watches and ‘learns about makeovers from her head to her toes.  Filled with adorably detailed illustrations and tons of intricate flaps (I lost count after 56) and pull tabs, this book will keep inquisitive kids and girly girls entertained for ages! 


The ABCs of Rock by Melissa Duke Mooney; Print Mafia (Illustrator)

 From Melissa Duke Mooney and Print Mafia, one of the top rock band poster artists in the country, comes this terrific alphabetical retrospective of 26 iconic bands spanning the last four decades.  From AC/DC to Fleetwood Mac to ZZ Top, whether you want to introduce your three year old to your favorite music or gift your dad with a trip down memory lane, this is truly a music book for all ages. 

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama, Illustrated by Loren Long

We blogged about this picture book last week but it’s worth another mention here because it is the perfect holiday gift book (plus, it recently debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list AND the Indie Children’s Illustrated bestseller list)!  Written by President Obama and filled with stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long, this is an inspiring and rewarding story about thirteen American heroes and the ideals they exemplify, the same ideals that define our nation.  This book is one that families will read together and cherish for years to come.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2010 11:21 am

    Love these!


  2. shar permalink
    November 30, 2010 12:29 pm

    great picks, thanks!

  3. Hayley Kirkpatrick permalink
    November 30, 2010 2:29 pm

    Woo! ABCs of Rock–ROCKS!

  4. Amanda permalink
    December 1, 2010 12:10 pm

    At our house, Romy particularly likes Haiku Baby & How Many Kisses Good Night right now – she’s into flaps and turning the pages herself. I think 20th Century Book Treasury should have a home in every grandma’s house, so there are always lots of stories to share when they visit. It also has the kind of classics grandmas are always nostalgic about.


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