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The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Since I was a youngin’ myself, there’s always been something that draws (pun intended) me to stories about inanimate objects having fully formed, human-like character arcs. The Day the Crayons Quit was a gift that my 6-year-old got from an aunt a while back because she feels the same endearing pull. The story takes a fun look at how many kids use different colors and what the little waxy art sticks praise or complain about those uses. Click HERE to get your hands on what I’m sure will be the next Harold and the Purple Crayon. Sort of.
Perfect for readers age 5+
LEGO NINJAGO Brickmaster
“Growing up LEGO” if you will, I’ve loved every second of watching and marveling as the empire has grown from giant red bins of assorted 2×4 and 2×2 bricks to The LEGO Movie. The added wonder has been seeing them build out the themed sets, expanding them into TV series’ and, in our case right here, interactive stories. It’s safe to say that we own a dozen or two of these fun Brickmaster type storybooks that include a small bag of bricks and a handful of building instructions throughout the story to take pause and create. Basically if you or your kid or a kid you know have ever shown even the tiniest shred of interest in getting into the LEGO universe, I’d recommend any of these as a great starter. Or gateway drug, depending on who you’re talking to and how many bricks they’ve stepped on in the middle of the night. Click HERE to get this particular title.
Perfect for readers age 5+
|Coloring Animal Mandalas by Wendi Piersall|
Whoa. This book is straight up WHOA! The author reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in checking it out and boy was I ever. I love to create whenever and however I can and while it’s fun to by your umpteenth Spongebob Squarepants coloring book at Toys’R’Us, nothing beats getting a fresh look at coloring, for really anyone. I think there could even be a very, very cool artistry to having a highly-supervised toddler, who has no concept of “in the lines” dabble their color scribbles onto one of these. Click HERE to get your hands on one this year. Plus? Not a bad positive side effect to come out of that one nightmare interaction with a completely, in no way related book I had that one time.
Perfect for readers age hold-a-coloring-utensil+
|This is the Greatest Place! The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals by Brian Tse|
This is one of a four book series that takes kids on an adventure to explore a mass of buildings and rooms in Beijing’s Forbidden City which was home to 24 emperors but very much off limits to anyone for a solid 500 years. We were drawn to this series because we happen to live in an area that is very culturally diverse and especially infused with wonderful Asian cultures. One of my 6-year-old’s best friends is Chinese as well and they love to share things with one another that they’ve learned or discovered about each others’ family histories. Click HERE to get your hands on this one for your little ones this year.
Perfect for readers age 5-9
|My Yellow Balloon by Tiffany Papageorge|
It sort of goes without saying that the second you become a parent, the most prominent instinct you possess is the one that urges you, against all odds and adversary, to protect your children. Pain comes in many, many shapes and multitudes, but the unexpected pain from loss is the toughest to explain and strong arm from our precious little beings. When he was only 4-years-old, we found ourselves in a position that required us to explain loss of life to our son after the passing of his grandmother following her powerful battle with cancer. In every effort we can muster, we teach our son comfort and compassion, because, as much as it blows, there will be a point in his life where he and those around him will experience loss. This book is a fantastic, relatable way of doing so to the young minds who are simply unable to understand the complexities of disease or evil, but do know sadness. Click HERE to get your hands on this phenomenal book.
Perfect for readers age 4-9
|Roaming Reindeer Kit by Angela Meju|
For me and mine, we’ve done Elf on the Shelf every year. Okay so maybe we’ve intended on committing to the tradition every year, but we totally just haven’t. A big part of it has been the pressure from Pinterest to one up myself on the positions and circumstance that little guy finds himself in every morning. THANKS, PINTEREST, BUT NO THANKS! That being said, we are all really, really excited to start Roaming Reindeer this year because everything’s better when there are partners right? The storybook shares the adventure of Gus and Sam, two tiny reindeer who decide to help Santa keep an eye on all of the little boys and girls by visiting them and reporting back. One to stay put and keep an eye on things, and the other in charge of heading back every night to report to the guy in the big red coat. Plus I just love that this story was written by a mom of two who wanted to create something new for her kids to enjoy that complimented their ever-growing excitement for Santa’s arrival each year. Click HERE to get your hands on a brand spankin’ new holiday tradition!
Perfect for readers age everyone
|Peanuts: Creative Inventors. Daring Explorers. Champions of Change.|
Okay I’m going to admit a bit of skepticism on this one when I first read about the series. I didn’t quite know how Schulzy (we’re mad tight like that) was going to incorporate accurate, non-boring-history-class facts into classic Peanuts style stories, but hot damn the man did it. He managed to highlight some of the most iconic historical events in America through Chuck and the gang in easily relatable scenarios. I’m all for learning without noticing your learning. It’s sort of like hiding zucchini in muffins and feigning surprise when they discover a chunk of squash that didn’t get quite as shredded as you needed it to be. But they’re totally amped about it because they didn’t even know they were eating their veggies, y’know?! Click HERE, HERE, and HERE to get your hands on this fun collection.
Perfect for readers age 4-8
|In the Forbidden City by Chiu Kwong-Chiu|
Okay so this book, THIS BOOK, had me at hello. Total Jerry Maguire moment when I read up on it. Sidebar: Isn’t it hilarious how we read about reads? I think that’s so fascinating to me that we read about what we could be reading about. Back to point though, this is another in the series that This is the Greatest Place! The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals is in. This one, however, covers two of this mom-who-works-on-the-internet’s favorite things: line art & cats. CATS, YOU GUYS! A mischievous little feline takes them through The Forbidden City, weaving in and out of the breathtakingly detailed line art of the different corners of the palace. And really, it’s a much better way to teach your child about China than in line at Panda Express where you have to explain that no, indeed bacon is not a part of fine, Chinese cuisine. Click HERE to get your hands on this marvel yourself this holiday season.
Perfect for readers age curious-about-the-forbidden-city+
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