Best Books for Kids: 2013 Edition

It’s December, and my list-loving heart rejoices! Websites and publications have been naming the best children’s books of 2013 since October. (October! Isn’t that a bit like Christmas carols before Halloween?) These lists are wonderful resources for gift ideas for the young readers in your life, or simply a nice reference if you want to make sure you didn’t miss any highly rated chapter or picture book published this past year. From the fantastically detailed and dazzling illustrations in Aaron Becker’s wordless picture book “Journey” to the antic adventures described in Gregory Hughes’ chapter book “Unhooking the Moon,” you’ll find something to satisfy any kiddo on your gift list. Here are a few of my favorites from these lists, followed by a round-up of links to the lists themselves for your browsing pleasure.

Book cover for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter BrownMr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown
Any kid who has ever squirmed uncomfortably in dress pants or tight shoes, having been admonished to “sit still” and “be polite” (and what kid hasn’t?) will identify with Mr. Tiger. The animals in Brown’s not-too-preachy book about the joy of just being yourself are stuffy, formal and exceedingly proper. Mr. Tiger tries to fit in, but he finally sheds his finery and takes off for the jungle so he can go wild. When he begins to miss his friends, he returns to the city and is pleasantly surprised by changes that have occurred in his absence. A joyful, funny read about self-expression and finding a happy medium. Continue reading

Give the Gift of Books This Holiday Season

Each year for the holidays and birthdays, I give my nieces the gift of at least one book. I love to share the joy of reading with each of them. I am such a book nerd that one niece has become quite good at getting me to the book store to buy books for her at any time of year!

Books are such a wonderful and lasting gift for any special occasion or “just because.” With so many choices–including specific holiday titles, classics and current popular titles–you can find a book that is just right for any age or type of reader, whether they are already book-lovers or need a little encouragement. With the holidays just around the corner, here are a few ideas of some titles for those on your gift list. Continue reading