Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Books as Gifts

I almost always give books as gifts to anyone younger than 12. Anyone older than 12 is still likely to get a book, if I can find something I think they will like, but it is not a guarantee they will get one. My little brother hates this concept. He's nearly 14 years younger than me, so I had more or less developed this philosophy by the time he was old enough to actually want gifts for Christmas/birthdays. One year he even told me that it would be "Ok" if I didn't always give him a book.

When I met my oldest nephew for the first time, he was around 4 months old. I brought him a touch and feel book about diggers (like tractors, etc), thinking that he would like it when he was older. I handed the book to his folks and his mom said "Oh, that's great. I've been meaning to buy him a book." This was his first book. Ever. I couldn't believe it. I realize at 4 months he wasn't really interested in books either listening or reading, but I still can't believe it. Now he always gets at least one book for Christmas (his birthday is Christmas Eve, so I tend to vary up the gifts between the two).

Here are some of my favorite books to give as gifts:

Moo, Baa, La La La, by Sandra Boynton
Blue Shirt, Green Shirt, by Sandra Boynton
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

1-2 year olds
Pajama Time, by Sandra Boynton
Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!, by Sandra Boynton
Gallop!, by Rufus Butler Seder
Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes (how I wish this was a board book!)

3-4 year olds
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
, by Judith Viorst
Fancy Nancy, by Jane O'Connor (I'm not really a fan of the sequels)
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Curious George, by H.A. Rey

As more kids are added to the mix, and as my nephews (and someday niece) get older, I'm having a harder time coming up with new ideas. Any suggestions?

What are some of your favorite books to give?


Susan said...

You've got some good ones here. Mostly, I try to get people books they're really interested in - if they love a certain subject, I'll look for books that relate to that subject. For older readers, I usually get a gift certificate to a bookstore instead. That way, they can get a book they really like.

Laura H said...

I too like to give books for bday etc. But most of nieces do not like to read, so they frown on books as gifts. My 12 year old nephew is the only one that still likes to read (out of 16).Sad.

For my niece/nephew at age 4-6 years old.
Tikki tikke tembo-My dad used to come to my class at school and read this one.
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs-Still love it
Fernand the bull-This one is a acquired taste.
Where the sidewalk ends-Silly poems.
I bought these for my niece and nephew when they were young. Thank goodness my sister saved them and gave them to me for my kids.

Kirsten said...

We have several that we enjoy:
Quick as a Cricket,
All because a little bug went Kachoo,
Jennifer's Rabbit,
A buzz is part of a bee,
and the Mercer Mayer little critter books.