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Holiday Gift Guide: Picture Books for the Whole Family

December 10, 2012

Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be running occasional book-themed gift guides for different types of people on your holiday list.  Today we’re featuring picture books that are perfect for kids 3-6, family read-alouds, and educators. There were so many wonderful picture books out this year, it’s tough to pick just five, so I focused on books we may not have covered as extensively on this blog so far.

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A Mary Blair Treasury of Golden Books is a bright, colorful collection of five of acclaimed illustrator Blair’s books, including the classics I Can Fly and The Up and Down Book. You may know her work from It’s a Small World at Disneyland, and she also created the concept art for Disney films “Peter Pan,” “Cinderella” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Though my own kids are past the board book stage, I bought myself a copy of this book just because I love her mid-century art so much! This would be much-loved by new parents and by retro art fans.

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Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries is sure to become a favorite of parents who are tired of reading saccharine stories to their kids each night. In this hilarious book, Binky, a hard-boiled toad detective in a suit and fedora, cracks five nursery rhyme mysteries, including the case of who broke into the three bears’ home, the case of who murdered poor Humpty Dumpty and who poisoned Snow White. The text is a clever play on old noir detective stories and is perfectly paired with the cheeky art. This book is a great addition to the fractured fairy tale canon!

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Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? would be a wonderful gift for the little boy (or girl) who obsesses over cars and trucks and things that go. Do vehicles get tucked in at night? Do they get a bedtime song sung by their mommies or daddies? Small kids will love seeing trucks of all kinds engaging in some very familiar bedtime rituals. If you’ve read Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site a few too many times, you’ll want to try out this fresh new take on a favorite childhood subject.

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If you love the creative spirit of Rocket Writes a Story, you won’t want to miss Dog Loves Drawing. The adorable dog, first seen opening his own independent bookstore in Dog Loves Books, receives a very curious book in the mail. Instead of containing a story, it’s blank! As he doodles on the pages, he creates his own friends and adventures. This celebration of art would make an inspiring gift for kids or your child’s teacher.

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And finally, every family’s collection of holiday books should include this gorgeous version of the Nutcracker, featuring art by the legendary Maurice Sendak. This classic edition is back in stores and Sendak’s art brings the haunting, whimsical Christmas tale to vivid life. Along with How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Polar Express, this book is a must-have family read-aloud for the merriest season.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2012 8:47 am

    Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty looks hilarious!

  2. December 10, 2012 11:42 am

    Golden Books never go out of fashion, do they? And how wonderful that the Sendak Nutcracker is back.

  3. December 10, 2012 9:00 pm

    I bought the Mary Blair one for my girls for Christmas – so excited to read it with them!

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