Here are a few of the books that will be under the tree for my family this year.
My youngest child may only be six months old, but Santa will still be bringing him a couple of books. Most parents do not begin reading aloud to their kids until they are at least toddlers and old enough to talk and understand a story. However, the research is pretty clear that reading books with your infant has a tremendous impact on their language development and future literacy skills. Not to mention, babies love to snuggle and listen to your voice. I'll get down off of my soap box now, but check out the Reach Out and Read website for more information about the benefits of reading aloud to babies.
So, what books will Zack be getting for Christmas?
The first one is Little Blue Truck's Christmas written by Alice Schertle and beautifully illustrated by Jill McElmurry. I mentioned the Little Blue Truck board books in my post Board Book Fun! In this special holiday story Little Blue Truck is delivering Christmas trees to all of his friends on the farm.
Of course, every baby loves to explore with their fingers (and mouth) so Zack will be getting some new touch and feel books. The Usborne Touchy-Feely books are particularly adorable. All of these follow a general formula of That's not my ________ he is too shiny, squashy, fuzzy, etc. There are several Christmas versions of the touchy-feely books featuring Santa, an elf, a snowman, a donkey, and a reindeer, but we went with the That's Not My Zoo box set.
I rarely go anywhere without a novel shoved in my bag, but my ten year old son prefers reading nonfiction. Zane is especially fond of anything gross or weird ( he is a ten year old boy after all) Ripley's Believe It or Not! has several series of books full of bizarre facts and pictures. Many of these such as The Eye-Popping Oddities series has a new edition each year
Another great book for kids that are fond of the grotesque is Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty by Joy Masoff. Do not buy this book for your child unless you have the stomach to listen to them endlessly recite disgusting facts about poop, vomit, and boogers. If you are a glutton for punishment Masoff has also written Oh, Yikes! History's Grossest, Wackiest Moments and Oh, Ick! 114 Science Experiments Guaranteed to Gross You Out!
My almost thirteen year old son and fifteen year old daughter are both sci-fi/fantasy nerds (and I say this with love because they take after their parents).
Currently, my son's favorite science fiction series is the Lorien Legacies written by James Frey, Greg Boose, and Jobie Hughes under the collective pseudonym, Pittacus Lore. You may be familiar with this series because the first book, I Am Number Four, was made into a movie in 2011. Zander will be the first to tell you READ THE BOOKS AND DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE BECAUSE IT WAS ATROCIOUS!!!! Anyway, in addition to the seven novels that comprise the Lorien Legacies there are multiple short stories about the characters known as The Lost Files that are available in paperback. Since Zander already owns the main series we got him some of The Lost Files to put in his stocking.
Zander is a Star Wars geek and enjoys reading the Star Wars novels. Since we went to see Rogue One last weekend we are also getting him Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno, which is a prequel to the movie and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed, the novel based on the movie.
The books frequently refer to The Tales, a collection of supposed fairy tales that actually hide clues to the history of the peculiars. This past September Tales of the Peculiar was released in a gorgeous, clothbound hardcover featuring stunning black and white illustrations by Andrew Davidson.
Tales of the Peculiar is a must have collector's item for fans of Rigg's unique and compelling series.
Another teen series that Zoe loved was The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I mentioned this series that puts a science fiction spin on classic fairy tales in my post Fractured Fairy Tales. Since Zoe enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles so much I am excited to get her Meyer's new stand alone novel, Heartless, which tells the story of how the infamous Queen of Hearts went from a young girl in love to a tyrannical ruler bellowing "Off with her head!".
A collectable book which Harry Potter fans of all ages will want to see under the tree this Christmas is the illustrated edition of The Chamber of Secrets. In case you didn't know, illustrated versions of the Harry Potter books are being created by J.K. Rowling and artist, Jim Kay. The Sorceror's Stone came out in 2015 and The Chamber of Secrets was published earlier this year. I consider these books to be gifts for my whole family and I am looking forward to when the entire series is completed.