Ideas for Holiday Giving – 2016 edition


New Children’s Books to share for 2016 Holiday giving:

                 (and maybe some potential winners for the 2017 Caldecott & Newbery Awards)

Picture Books:
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Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder!  He wants a name for something he’s done, like Touch the Clouds or Drums, Drums, More Drums!  But just when he’s about to give up, his Dad finds the perfect nickname.

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown
Follow a family on its way through the complexities of a modern-day airport. From checking bags and watching them disappear on the mysterious conveyor belt, to security clearance and a seemingly endless wait at the gate to finally being airborne. But have they lost something? Where is Sock Monkey?

Snappsy the Alligator by Julie Falatko; pictures by Tim Miller
Snappsy the alligator finds himself in a book he doesn’t want to be in.  He’s minding his own business when a pesky narrator jumps in an ruins everything by dramatically changing Snappsy’s ordinary day.  What’s an alligator to do? An irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences, perfect for fans of Mo Willems.

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Life is grim on Grimloch Lane, until a suddenly, someone is transforming trees and shrubs into animal masterpieces after dark.  The Night Gardener is a mystery until William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and finds his life transformed with a special gift.

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Shy
by Deborah Freedman
Shy loves birds. He’d love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he’s only ever read about them in books. . .until a real bird comes along. He’s dying to meet her, but there’s just one problem- Shy is so shy that he’s afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page?

It is Not Time for Sleeping  by Lisa Graff; illustrated by Lauren Castillo
As the day comes to an end, the little boy in this book is quite sure it is NOT time for sleeping. As each piece of his evening routine is completed he becomes a little more certain: it is definitely not time for sleeping. But as he draws out his bedtime routine, the question becomes when WILL it be time for sleeping? A rhythmic, cumulative text and lush twilit scenes come together to create a perfect bedtime book for even the most reluctant sleeper.

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers; illustrated by Sam Winston
A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next?

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
Two turtles find a hat that looks good on both of them, but, with fairness in mind, they decide to leave it be, until night falls and one of the turtles changes its mind.  A longer picture book with the same quirky humor that will thrill the fans of Klassen’s other hat books.
bear-and-the-pianoare we there yet.jpgstorytellerwhat-do-you-do-with-a-problemThe Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
A bear cub finds something strange and wonderful in the forest. It makes a horrible noise when touched. He is drawn back again and again, eventually learning to play beautiful sounds. He longs to explore the world, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be sad . . .  This gorgeously illustrated tale of following one’s dreams reminds us of the value of friendship, wherever we go.

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Let’s face it: everyone knows that car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. In this book, a boy feels time slowing down so much that it starts going backward–into the time of pirates! Of princesses! Of dinosaurs!  After reading this astonishingly inventive new book (that even turns upside down for several pages!), you’ll never look at being bored the same way again.

The Storyteller by Evan Turk
Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the Kingdom of Morocco formed at the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains to quench the thirst of the desert, and storytellers to bring the people together. But as the kingdom grew, the people forgot the dangers of the desert, and they forgot about the storytellers, too. Until one young boy came for a drink and found more. As he listened to the last storyteller recount the Endless Drought, and the Glorious Blue Water Bird, he discovered the power of a tale well told.

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada; illustrated by Mae Besom
A nameless boy has a nameless problem. He ignores it, worries about it, avoids it, and wishes it would go away. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared. An optimistic book about facing up to things that scare you.

If you’re looking for something well-loved to give:

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
One small caterpillar, one week of food, an amazing transformation.

Duck & Goose by Tad Hills
After finding a mysterious egg, arguments turn to friendship.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The original story of the Grinch, and how he was transformed.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Safety and friendship have never been so much fun.

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
What kind of  amazing accessories would you add to a car, if you could design it yourself?

 

Chapter Books:

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Lucy
by Randy Cecil
Lucy is a small dog without a home. She had one once, but she remembers it only in her dreams. Eleanor is a little girl who looks forward to feeding the stray dog that appears faithfully beneath her window each day. Eleanor’s father is a juggler with stage fright. The overlapping stories of three delightful characters, offering a slightly different perspective each time, come together in a truly original, beautifully illustrated book for dog (and underdog) lovers of all ages.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but both love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.  A graphic novel about friendship and fun.

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? By Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Mercy Watson’s friend Baby Lincoln has her own adventure! Baby Lincoln’s older sister, Eugenia, is very fond of telling Baby what to do, and Baby usually responds by saying “Yes, Sister.” But one day Baby has had enough. She decides to depart on a Necessary Journey, even though she has never gone anywhere without Eugenia telling her what to take and where to go. Who might Baby meet as she strikes out on her own, and what could she discover about herself? Will her impulsive adventure take her away from Eugenia for good?

Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mold by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Stink may be a super science geek, but even Dr. Stinkelstein is feeling freaked out about having a slime mold living and growing in his very own room. At Saturday Science Club, Stink learns that these one-celled organisms are smart enough to find their way out of mazes and gang up on food sources — so who says they aren’t smart enough to take over Stink’s pets, Stink’s room, Stink himself, and . . . the world? Vintage horror flicks meet classic Star Trek episodes as a wary Stink comes to know and love an unusual new pet in a hilarious adventure that sneaks in factoids and comics at each chapter’s end.

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Skunked!
by Jacqueline Kelly; illustrations by Jennifer L. Meyer
When Travis discovers an abandoned baby skunk, he brings him home to take care of him. Stinky settles in pretty well. But when Travis discovers Stinky’s litter-mate, Winky, who is in need of some help, things get complicated. One skunk is a piece of cake; two is just asking for trouble. Will Travis and Callie be able to keep the critters away from Mother’s careful eyes—and nose? A family story full of character.

Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz, illustrated by Eva Eriksson
It’s Dani’s first summer vacation-and the best ever! She is staying on an island with Ella, her best friend in the world. Dad is still in hospital but he calls every day, and Ella and Dani stay busy building huts, fishing, exploring and swimming. Then Dad turns up, but with his nurse too! This is not the visit anyone had imagined.

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Juana loves many things — drawing, eating Brussels sprouts, living in Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or learning the English. But when Juana’s abuelos tell her about a special trip they are planning—one that Juana will need to speak English to go on—Juana begins to wonder whether learning the English might be a good use of her time after all.  Fans of Ivy + Bean will enjoy this book.

Great Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat
Four friends. Three cookies. One problem.  Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . and four of them! They need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!  With a fun introduction by Elephant and Piggie!

 

Early Chapter Books not to miss at any age:

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My Father’s Dragon
, by Ruth Stiles Gannett; illustrations by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
A boy is determined to rescue a baby dragon from the lazy animals mistreating him on Wild Island.

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
The youngest in her family, Dory has a vivid imagination which she uses playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.

The Holly Joliday by Megan MacDonald
Judy Moody and her brother Stink celebrate in their own unique way!

 

Fiction:

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon
by Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch. But Xan (the witch) actually rescues them and delivers them to new families, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. When Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight, filling her with magic, she decides she must raise this girl, Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions gather, a volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles, and the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .   A epic coming of age adventure.

Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Robot Roz has no idea why she is on a remote island or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animals. As Roz slowly befriends them, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, Roz’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her. A heartwarming adventure!

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
On a dark night, travelers cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children and a dog:  William, an oblate on a mission; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning villa; Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions; and Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte, recently brought back from the dead.  On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious holy texts from being burned, their adventures take them on a chase through France. They are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon.  Their quest drives them to a final showdown, where all will come to question if these children can perform miracles.  With style and humor, this story is richly researched and full of adventure.

When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite books…until he rescues an abandoned mutt. Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley; who Ben nicknames “Rainbow Girl” because of her crazy-colored clothes and her magic laugh, which makes you smile away the stormiest day. Rainbow Girl convinces Ben to write a novel with her.  But as their story unfolds Ben’s life begins to unravel, and Ben must discover for himself the truth about friendship and the meaning of home.  A story that will warm your heart as much as it breaks it.

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Full of Beans by Jennifer Holm
Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. But it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression, and with no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, so who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans isn’t anyone’s fool. In fact, he has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.  Filled with humor, heart, and warmth this return to the award winning world of Turtle in Paradise will find more devoted readers.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers; until she’s kidnapped by the Emperor, who thinks her tales can help him find something called the Luminous Stone. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find it first with her mysterious friend Yishan. Together, they face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late. A masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

School Ship Tobermory by Alexander McCall Smith
Twins Ben and Fee MacTavish have been homeschooled on a submarine. Now they’re heading to the School Ship Tobermory. This is no ordinary school–it’s a sailing ship where kids from around the world train to be sailors and learn about all things nautical. Ben and Fee make friends as they adjust to life aboard the Tobermory. When a film crew arrives on a nearby ship, Ben is one of the lucky kids chosen as a movie extra. But after a day’s filming, his suspicions are aroused. Are the director and crew really shooting a film? Or are they protecting a secret on the lower decks of the Albatross? Ben, Fee, and their friends set out to investigate. Are they prepared for what they might find?

Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities who are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.  A  gritty coming of age look at a boy overcoming obstacles.

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Evil Wizard Smallbone
by Delia Sherman
When Nick runs away from his uncle’s in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore and its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either. It’s a good thing the bookstore takes Nick’s magical education in hand, because Smallbone’s nemesis–the Evil Wizard Fidelou–and his pack of shape-shifting bikers are howling at the borders. Smallbone might call himself evil, but compared to Fidelou, he’s practically a puppy. And he can’t handle Fidelou alone.  Wildly funny and cozily heartfelt, this is an eccentric fantasy adventure featuring dueling wizards, enchanted animals, and one stray boy.

Secret Keepers  by Trenton Lee Stewart
When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power and his life takes an intriguing turn. Now he is on a dangerous adventure–full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes–as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. From the author of the popular Mysterious Benedict Society.

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in their new home. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake -and her own.  A moving and insightful graphic novel about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.  A haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.

 

Classic Fiction Books for Holiday Reading:

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The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Four sisters go on a summer adventure, where they change the life of one boy.

Half Magic by Edgar Eager
What would you wish for if you found a magic talisman…that grants half a wish?

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
Turtle learns about love and belonging after being foisted on an unsuspecting aunt during the Depression.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Brian learns survive alone in the wilderness after a plane crash.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Horrible Herdmans take over the school’s Christmas Pageant in an hilarious story of friendship, faith and understanding.

All-of-a-Kind Family by Sidney Taylor
Five Jewish sisters experience the ups and downs of life in early 1900’s New York City.

 

If you would like other suggestions for Holiday gift-giving ideas, ask our librarians!  The Library does own all of these books, so if you would like to read one and just want to know if it’s available, check our Library Catalog and enter the title of the book to see if it is available or place a hold.

Happy Holidays!

::Kelly::
Weston Public Library
December 2016

 

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