And we continue with a few more ideas for gift giving this holiday season. These books are non-fiction; information and poetry books for kids of all ages. Pair one of these selections with something that will help a child use the book…origami paper and scissors to go with our first title, a stuffed animal or writing journal to go with one of the poetry selections!
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2012 Holiday Gift Ideas!
Non-Fiction and Poetry for kids:
Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-Folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Chris Alexander
Kids love origami—and what could be cooler than transforming a piece of paper into Boba Fett, Princess Leia, Yoda, or R2-D2? And not just any paper, but custom-designed paper illustrated with art from the movies. Star Wars® Origami marries the fun of paper folding with the obsession of Star Wars. Pair this with one of Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda books for the perfect gift!
Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Melio So
Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea. The perfect selection for any family visiting the beach…now or in the summer!
Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder
What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web. In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us. And in astonishing close-up photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid’s eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery. Fascinating facts about all the creatures pictured may be found at the end.
Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart by Mary Ann Hoberman, Illustrated by Michael Emberley
From the creators of the bestselling You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You series comes this new collection of poems especially suitable for learning by heart and saying aloud. With personal introductions by former Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman — as well as her own time-tested tips and tools for memorization and recitation — and vivid illustrations by Michael Emberley featuring his trademark wit and lively characters, Forget-Me-Nots includes more than 120 works from both classic and contemporary poets, from childhood favorites to lesser-known treasures. This anthology should definitely inspire a love of learning poetry!
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar and Roar! Edited by J. Patrick Lewis
What could be better than cuddling up with your child and this book on your lap and allowing your imaginations to soar with the words and images? Lovingly selected by U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and paired with vibrant animal photography, this collection of poems is an exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom and a beautiful introduction to poetry. Designed for family sharing but targeted to ages 4-8, this dynamic, fresh, and classic collection of animal poems is a must-have for the family bookshelf.
The Lego Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
Now with The LEGO Ideas Book, you can take what you already have and make something new! The book is divided into six themed chapters—transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure, and useful makes—each with basic templates of key models and spreads to inspire you to create your own. Hints and tips from Master Builders can help you turn your classic car into a race car or add a bridge to your castle! Don’t be concerned if you haven’t got all the bricks you need: this book also shows how to simplify details, making this a great user-friendly guide for any building ability. Pair with a Ninjago book or kit!
One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry
One Times Square explores the story of this fascinating intersection, starting when Broadway was a mere dirt path known as Bloomingdale Road, through the district’s decades of postwar decay, to its renewal as a glittering tourist-friendly media mecca. McKendry’s meticulous, lush watercolors take readers behind the famous Camel billboard to find out how it blew smoke rings over the square for 25 years, to the top of the Times Tower to see how the New Year’s ball has made its descent for over 100 years, and onto construction sites as buildings grow up around One Times Square to dwarf what once ranked among the tallest buildings in the world.
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola
Sylvia Earle first lost her heart to the ocean as a young girl when she discovered the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico in her backyard. As an adult, she dives even deeper. Whether she’s designing submersibles, swimming with the whales, or taking deep-water walks, Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to learning more about what she calls “the blue heart of the planet.” With stunningly detailed pictures of the wonders of the sea, Life in the Ocean tells the story of Sylvia’s growing passion and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world. This picture book biography also includes an informative author’s note that will motivate young environmentalists.
Optical Illusions by DK Publishing
With the dynamic interactive Optical Illusions, each time readers turn the page, lift the flaps, or pull the tabs, they’ll be confronted with an even more amazing optical illusion! This guide to the world of eye-tricks is fun for the entire family — providing new and gasp-inducing moments on each page. Along with the illusions, which include a spinning thaumatrope, a stereoscope, and an entrancing 3D sculpture that “follows” you around the room, readers will welcome learning the latest theories about why illusions fool us. A great book for family sharing!
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman
Two centuries ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now Philip Pullman makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm. Pullman retells his fifty favorites, from much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin” and “Rapunzel” to lesser-known treasures like “The Three Snake Leaves,” “Godfather Death” and “The Girl with No Hands.” At the end of each tale he offers a brief personal commentary, opening a window on the sources of the tales, the various forms they’ve taken over the centuries and their everlasting appeal.
Suffused with romance and villainy, danger and wit, the Grimms’ fairy tales have inspired Pullman’s unique creative vision—and his beguiling retellings will draw you back into a world that has long cast a spell on the Western imagination. A soon-to-be classic.
Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac by Anita Silvey
Part fun- and information-filled almanac, part good book guide, the Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac is a new way to discover a great children’s book–every day of the year! This fresh, inventive reference book is a dynamic way to showcase the gems, both new and old, of children’s literature. Each page features an event of the day, a children’s book that relates to that event, and a list of other events that took place on that day. Always informative and often surprising, celebrate a year of literature for children with The Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac.
Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick, Illustrated by Steven Salerno
The Acerra family had sixteen children, including twelve ball-playing boys. It was the 1930s, and many families had lots of kids. But only one had enough to field a baseball team . . . with three on the bench! The Acerras were the longest-playing all-brother team in baseball history. They loved the game, but more important, they cared for and supported each other and stayed together as a team. Nothing life threw their way could stop them. For any sports fan.
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And there you have it! A dozen titles for holiday gift-giving (and/or reading!) Enjoy!