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ReadKiddoRead's Holiday Picks



2014 offered a bumper crop of great books, and with so many to choose from, we wanted to offer some suggestions of books you won't want to miss when shopping for holiday gifts.

In compiling this list, we have included books that will meet a range of interests and age levels, including picture books, fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels. Above all, any one of these books is one that would be a pleasure to own, to share, to reread.

Always by Emma Dodd

Always is is a sweet and simple little book with a very important message about unconditional love. Beautiful silver foil embellishments throughout make this a special gift to be shared with the little one in your life. (baby/toddler)

 

Little Humans by Brandon Stanton

 

Reminiscent of its predecessor for adults, Humans of New York, but perfect for the younger set. These are great pictures of active and creative New York City kids, dressed in their best and inspiring other little humans to grow, play, and love BIG! (ages 4+)

 

The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak

 

This hilarious book begs to be read aloud! As Novak points out, the way a book works is that the reader must say whatever words are on the page. This is true even if the words make silly sounds, or even if they don't make any sense at all! You may have your doubts about a picture book with no pictures, but kids of all ages will be laughing out loud at this fun, clever, and unique book! (ages 4+)

 

The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman

 

This book is amazing and absolutely enchanting! Readers of all ages will spend time poring over the pages, marveling at the tiniest details of the real-life dollhouse made of cardboard boxes and papier-mâché and containing over one hundred different rooms. This simply lovely and completely unique collection of short stories is sure to be enjoyed by everyone who opens it up! (ages 4+)

 

Rainbows Never End by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hannah Eliot

Did you know that rainbows never end? That's right! A rainbow is actually a full circle, but we can't see the whole thing because it is blocked by the horizon. So cool, right? In this super fun non-fiction fact book, you will learn all sorts of amazing things about weather and the environment, from why thunder booms to how frost flowers are formed in the Arctic Ocean. Kids of all ages (and adults, too) will surely learn something new! Also, be sure to check out the other books in the Did You Know series! (ages 5+)

 

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon

 

Being the youngest kid in the family isn't easy; Dory's brother and sister think she's too much of a baby to play along with them, and getting any attention can be tough. But with an imagination that's larger than life, as well as a seemingly never-ending supply of energy, Dory certainly finds many ways to keep herself entertained. Plenty of illustrations and great fun make this a perfect pick for new chapter book readers. (ages 6+)

 

Quest by Aaron Becker

 

The amazing story began last year in Becker's first book, Journey, a high level wordless picture book celebrating the power of imagination. In this second book of a trilogy, follow the girl with the red crayon and her new friend, the boy with the purple crayon, as the magical adventure is taken to a whole new level. With a sophisticated plot and interpretive story line, this one will be best appreciated by ages 8+.

 

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

 

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a children's book only! Adults and kids alike will delight in Oliver Jeffer's witty short stories dedicated to each letter of the alphabet. From Helen who lives in a Half House to my personal favorite, the Owl and Octopus in the Ocean, these clever stories had me Literally Laughing out Loud! A great choice for fans of Shel Silverstein! (ages 4-104)

 

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

 

This animal adventure tale is filled with friendship, courage, and imagination! The description of squirrel culture is fun and entertaining, and makes for a unique tale perfect for readers who are ready for for a little more depth of story! (ages 6+)

 

House of Robots by James Patterson

 

In this new highly-illustrated series from James Patterson, an extraordinary robot signs up for an ordinary fifth grade class.  This light and funny story incorporates plenty of humor, both in the text and in the accompanying comic-style illustrations. (ages 8+)

 

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Fans of the incredibly popular Percy Jackson series are guaranteed to devour this book from cover to cover. Learn about the Greek gods from the wise-cracking demigod himself, Percy Jackson. This gorgeously illustrated book is laugh out loud funny as well as informative, and is the perfect book for Greek mythology enthusiasts! (ages 8+)

 

Animalium by Jenny Broom

 

This beautiful book is a must for animal lovers of all ages! With an over sized format, magnificent natural history-style illustrations, and fascinating animal facts, you'll feel a sense of exploration and discovery on every page! A gorgeous gift! (ages 8+)

 

This is the World by Miroslav Sasek

 

This iconic compilation of Sasek's beloved travel stories from the last 50 years takes readers of all ages on a whirlwind trip to the world's greatest destinations. Includes fabulous illustrations and fun icons, with tidbits of information on each country. A wonderful gift that will be appreciated by the whole family for years to come. (ages 8+)

 

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

 

This NYT bestselling author is back with a quirky and fun new book! Eleven year old Ellie loves puzzles and all things logical, but science? She's not so sure. When her cousin (or is it her grandfather?) comes to visit, she starts to see things differently. A smart book with a unique twist. (ages 8+)

 

Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson

 

Evie has no memory of the past, and doesn't even know her own name when she arrives at Pennyroyal Academy, but enrollment has expanded beyond those with a royal pedigree. She is given a new name and a new identity, and begins her princess training, which turns out to be a lot different than you might expect. Packed with action and adventure, Pennyroyal Academy will turn your idea of what it mean to be a princess on end. (ages 9+)

 

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

 

A silent boy, a mischievous pot of magic, a strong independent girl, nine year old souls trapped in stones, and the uncertain fate of two kingdoms -- this epic tale is tightly packed into one awesome story of friendship, selflessness, and ultimately, of letting go. Fantastic! (ages 9+)

 

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

 

In this beautifully written memoir of her childhood, Jacqueline Woodson chronicles the hardship, as well as the beauty, of growing up in New York and South Carolina during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. While written in verse, her story reads like prose and chronicles her realization that she wanted to become a writer, even though she struggled with reading as a child. A beautiful and inspirational story. (ages 10+)

 

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

 

The world of teenage life is fraught with loss, drama, community, and love. Meg Wolitzer has created a character and a world to examine these powerful issues with wit and warmth. You will become immersed immediately, and barely take your head up until the entire story has been absorbed and cherished. (ages 12+)

 

Egg & Spoon by Gregory Macguire

 

 

From the author of Wicked comes a breathtaking new novel that weaves elements of traditional Russian folklore with original storytelling. Elena Rudin's dismal village life is upended with the arrival of Ektarina, the daughter of a noble family. The adventure that unfolds contains elements of well known fairy tales and lesser known gems. Teens will love this! (ages 12+)

 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

 

This book is written in such a cool way, has some twists and turns, has relatable characters with some romance thrown in, and plenty of family drama. And just when you think you have it figured out you will find the rug being pulled out from under you. As everyone who has read it has said, go into this blind…don’t let anyone ruin it for you with spoilers. (ages 12+)

 

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia are complete strangers; they live no where near one another, and never meet. The thing they have in common is a mysterious girl named Leila, who is driving 4,000 miles across the country in an attempt to leave the past behind her. Along her journey, Lelia meets and befriends each of these teens, and each at a pivotal time in their lives. When she drives back out of their towns as quickly as she drove in, each of their lives is forever changed because of her. But in the end, what Leila has been looking for all along is actually where she least expected it. Told in five parts, this great contemporary young adult fiction, perfect for fans of John Green or Rainbow Rowell. (ages 14+)

 Thanks to Kaley Strane DeGoursey of R.J. Booksellers!