Children's Books You Need On Your Shelf...Right Now

With the Christmas season upon us I want to list a few unique books that would make great gifts. As my children were growing up, we had a tradition in our family to give a special book to each child at Christmas. Now, I am doing the same for nieces and nephews to help them build their home libraries. Maybe I’m becoming the “crazy book lady” but I’m OK with that. And one more thought....if possible support you local bookstore for your purchases. (If you live nearby in Nashville, support Parnassus Books in Green Hills—they have a fantastic children’s section—including a nice selection of children’s poetry).
So, give that little elf on the shelf something to read this Christmas and Happy Christmas to all....

Press Here by Hervé Tullet. A New York Times bestseller of which you may already be aware. But if not, it’s a blast. A fun interactive picture book where the reader supplies the magic to change the next page. (Ages: 2 and up /Chronicle Books 2011). Also pick up his latest book Mix It Up! Tullet does it again with colors and the combinations are magical. No technology required! (Ages 2 and up /Chronicle Books 2014).

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. (Ages 5-8 /Dial Books for Young Readers 2014). This one is just funny. Read it aloud with your favorite little person and laugh and enjoy the sounds of language.

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone. An oldie but a goodie. I was reminded about this book at a recent conference and am so glad to revisit it. This Little Golden Book was put out by Random House in 1971. Cleverly illustrated by Michael Smollin so that the turn of each page is a feat leading toward the ultimate confrontation with “Lovable, Furry Old Grover” from Sesame Street. A fun way to feel scared without really being scared.

Of course the pop up Christmas books by the wonderful illustrator Robert Sabuda are a must to collect. We have them all! There are several but The 12 Days of Christmas written by Clement Clarke Moore and Illustrated by Sabuda. (Ages 4-8/ Publisher: Little Simon 2001) and The Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda. (All ages/Orchard Books 2004) are a good place to start your collection.

Here’s one you may not know about: A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes. (Ages 4-8 published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 2013). Look this one up. A visually stunning book by an award winning author/illustrator that teaches the importance of putting others first. The use of white space within the illustrations is brilliant.

My Blue Is Happy by Jessica Young and illustrated by Catia Chien. (Candlewick Press 2013). This beautiful picture book ties colors and emotions together in fun surprising ways.

And....of course a poetry book is on the list....

Nest, Nook and Cranny by Susan Blackaby Illustrated by Jamie Hogan. (Ages 8-12 Charlesbridge 2010). Combines poetry, animals and a great little index in the back of the book that describes different poetical forms and devices.

You can see more about this book of poems and some more of my favorites on the
For Readers page of the website.