WCKC Gift Giving: Our Favorite Books. Yes, I am that relative who loves to gift books for Christmas. I love to read and I love to find books that kids will enjoy reading too. The following list has some new books and some oldies but goodies for the kids in your life.
For Ages 0-2
Littles & How They Grow by Kelly DiPucchio
This is a sweet rhyming book with scenes of the busy life of babies and how they grow up too fast. The rhythm and wording is enjoyable to babies but poignant and sweet for parents to read too.
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? A lift-the-flap book by Karen Katz
My one year old loves lift the flap books and wants to name all her body parts, so this is a no-brainer for her this year. This sweet interactive book is adorable for babies and parents to read and play together. It helps kids identify body parts and other common objects. Plus it is just fun!
For Ages 3-6
Because by Mo Willems and illustrated by Amber Ren
This book is by the author of the Pigeon Drives the Bus series and the Elephant and Piggie series, however this is a heartfelt book that people of all ages will enjoy. It is about music and the composition of a symphony. The gorgeous illustrations and the stunningly beautiful writing makes this a great book for gift-giving.
Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort
For the fun-loving, silly child in your life, pick up Aliens Love Underpants. This will have them rolling with giggles as aliens come to Earth and steal peoples underpants. It has funny pictures and delightful rhyming text. A fun read aloud for kids and adults alike.
For Ages 5-8
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
This book is by the award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and is a touching book about self-esteem and learning what it means to be beautiful. This story has stunning pictures and lyrical storytelling as it follows a girl who seeks to understand why the colorof her skin is a darker shade than the rest of her family.
The Good Egg by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald
The main character is a verrrrry good egg, and he is incredibly
frustrated with all the rotten eggs he is surrounded by. This is a story about accepting people for who they are. Told with humor, charm and fun, this is a great story for a read aloud with children.
For Ages 8-12
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
This is a sci-fi book about friendship, time bending and some magic. A student council president Gabi sets out at the beginning of this story to prove that Sal, an excellent magician (according to himself), put a bloody chicken in her friend Yasmany’s locker. Sal and Gabi go head to head however their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. This is a novel full of lightness and laughter.
Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Mike Lowery
Mac B is a kid spy – a spy for the Queen of England. This book is touted as Diary of Wimpy Kid meets James Bond as Mac goes undercover and travels the globe in this first story to find the stolen treasure. This is funny, smart and sometimes absurd. There are fun pictures throughout making it more appropriate for ages 7-10 although some older kids will still enjoy this too.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
This graphic novel is perfect for any middle-schooler who sometimes feels left out or is trying to figure out where they do fit in. The story is about a boy Jordan who goes to a new, private school. He is one of just a handful of black students which makes fitting into this new school a little more complicated for Jordan. It is heart-warming, smart and easy to read. Jerry took influences from his own life and his kids’ lives in writing this smart graphic novel.
The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal award (among many many other awards), this book is about a witch Xan who shares her home with a wise swamp monster and a tiny dragon. Xan rescues children and delivers them to the other side of the forest to give them to welcoming families. This story revolves around a mistake Xan makes when she accidentally makes one of these children extraordinarily magical, and so, Xan decides to raise this child, Luna, as her own. This child though starts to change the world around her – deadly birds, a rumbling volcano and more.
Renegades by Marisa Meyers
This novel is the beginning of a trilogy (all books have been published though) about a group of prodigies, humans with extraordinary abilities, who emerge from a crumbled society and go into the world as champions of justice trying to bring back peace and order amid chaos. But with any superhero, there must be super villains. This novel asks big questions about what it means to be a hero vs a villain and is it possible to have allegiance to villains but have the desire to be a hero? Great for teens who love science fiction, marvel movies or fast-paced action stories. This is compulsively readable!
They Both Die at the End by Alex Silvera
I don’t love reading books that tell me how it will end, but this book has twists and turns and took me to a place I didn’t expect. The two main characters are teenage boys and they live in a futuristic world where there is an app who will contact everyone on their death date and give them notice that they will die within the next 24 hours. Our two main characters are thrown together because of this new knowledge and they must decide what to do with their final hours and moments.