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Your Holiday Guide to Gifting Children’s Books

Let’s jump back in time and discuss children’s books. This isn’t something we typically discuss here at Rather Be Reading, but I’m sure there are several of you who will be buying gifts for the children in your lives this holiday season, whether that be nieces and nephews, siblings, or your own babies. We read aloud to our foster daughter all. the. time. It’s one of her favorite things to do. She singsongs “a book, a book, a book” and snuggles up in our laps when she wants to sit down and read. Some days it seems like I’ll lose my voice long before she’s ready to stop reading.

One thing I’ve learned, though, is that not all children’s books are created equal. Some of them just seem so… silly. Or there really doesn’t seem to be a message or anything to learn from it. And I’m sure there is a reason for those types of books but as you’ll see below, I really like things that have some substance or purpose and keep me intrigued, too.

So… without further ado, here’s our first Holiday Guide to Gifting Children’s Books.

books to buy children for the holidays

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

This book is excellent for making silly sounds and fun rhymes. It goes through a lot of simple sounds like “moo” and “knock knock” that are fun for kids to try to repeat and imitate.

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Ten in the Bed is silly and sure to make any kid laugh. I sent Estelle a video of me reading this to our foster daughter the other night and she just giggled away. It’s repetitive because it works through numbers 1-10, but it’s really sweet and makes for a great bed-time book!

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Let’s just talk about a tear-jerker of a book. This book makes me tear up every single time I read it, but it’s so beautiful and wonderfully written. It just sends the most beautiful message and is full of so much love.

touch and feel books, rhyming books, naptime books for children

The Napping House by Audrey Wood (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

I absolutely love this book. A friend lent it to us when we first were got the placement call for our foster daughter. It quickly became our nap time book because it was very soothing and relaxing to read to her, but still entertaining and well-written. I love the illustrations, too!

Baby Einstein Touch and Feel Baby Animals by Julie Aigner-Clark (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Not all children’s books have in depth story lines. The touch and feel books are great for getting children to associate feels with specific things, this one being animals. It has really helped our foster daughter to identify animals as well, and it’s incredible to see things click for her.

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

I’m pretty sure there’s not a book that made ME giggle more when I first began reading this one. It’s clever and adults will appreciate the humor, too. There are a few books by the same author/illustrator, but this is the original and still my favorite. It’s a definite win!

madeline, room on the broom, and fox in socks

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

We bought this book for our niece and nephew last year and oooooh does it make them laugh. That may be because this is a tongue twister book so it’s really difficult for the reader to not stumble over their words, especially if you get into the rhythm of things and a little too confident. Our nephew is now 4 years old and I think it’s a great option for a wide age-range.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

Sweet Hannah at So Obsessed With recently gifted us with this book, and it’s quickly become a favorite. The illustrations are so timeless and I love the writing because, again, it’s intellectual and so sweet.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson (Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble)

This book was advertised a lot at B&N for Halloween so of course I bought it. Of course. And I love it. My husband is actually the person to recommend I include it on this list because we both love reading it so much. It’s a fun story and it’s not Halloween centered, per se, so it wouldn’t seem odd to gift it at this time of year.

What children’s books do you recommend?
I’m always on the hunt for more, especially when B&N sends out their coupons…

December 31, 2013 - 12:02 am

Rather Be Reading: Magan's Farewell to 2013 - […] is silly, but I really loved recommending children’s books in this holiday shopping guide. I know we’re not a children’s book blog, but the books are still super cute and of […]

December 8, 2013 - 8:29 pm

Lisa Schensted - Love this post! Also, Madeline is currently sitting under the tree for Lucy! Wee!

December 7, 2013 - 2:56 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I love children’s books! I’m a children’s librarian, so I’ve read hundreds of them. You’re right, some are amazing, and some are not so amazing. I don’t mind if there isn’t a message, though. I mean, I read lots of books where there is no message, and I love those books.

But it’s great when there is more meat to a story too. I love all these books. Doreen Cronin is so much fun. I really love her Diary of a … books too. You should look into them.

Also, I don’t know if you’ve read any Mo Willems, but you should. Your foster daughter will love them (trust me, I haven’t met a child yet who didn’t love the Pigeon books or the Elephant and Piggie series).

Oh, and I love The Napping House. Audrey and Don Wood are great. Have you tried King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub?

December 6, 2013 - 3:27 pm

Alexa Y. - I love that you did a gift guide for children’s books! There are some great titles on here, indeed. Personally, I love gifting Dr. Seuss books and The Berenstein Bears books because that’s what I grew up with! And two other titles I can think of, off the top of my head, are Good Night Moon and I Love You Forever 🙂

December 6, 2013 - 2:54 pm

ashley - Children’s books really are the best. For multiple reasons. My friend recently requested books for Teens and Tweens and I sent her more picture books than I did books for tweens and teens because there is something SO perfect about them.

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