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Christmas time is the greatest time of year to give: a gift of love, a gift of thoughtfulness – and how about a gift to read?  Here are some wonderful new books that are perfect gift giving ideas and great for all ages.

Let’s start with some outstanding and enlightening new pop-up books. Wild Oceans: A Pop-Up Book with Revolutionary Technology, by Lucio and Meera Santoro, is a book that makes learning fun. This extraordinary pop-up book features pull down flaps and smaller corner pop-ups that are loaded with information about our deepest frontier. Each page has a large pop-out that includes deep water fish and blue whales.

How about a pop-up that you can create yourself? Pop-Up:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, by Ruth Wicking, and illustrated by Frances Castle, helps teach the major components of making parts pop-out. The engineering incorporated in making the pop-ups to work are all included here. You will learn how to make a dragon, a castle and a jungle pop-up. This is the perfect family book to work together to create these projects!

Robert Sabuda is one of my favorite paper engineers and he continues to produce better and better pop-ups. Beauty & the Beast is his latest endeavor. The classic tale is told through Sabuda’s signature style with large, glorious pop-ups along with the small corner pop-ups that include several mini pages. He stays true to the classic story by demonstrating the importance of inner beauty.

My other favorite paper engineer, Matthew Reinhart, often collaborates with Sabuda and when they get together: magic happens. Gods & Heroes is their most recent joint effort and once again this is another great pop-up masterpiece!  These two engineers continue to surprise, instruct and entertain. The subjects include mythological gods from Greece, Egypt and China. It’s just as amazing to see these extraordinary pop-ups fold back into the book!

Big Frog Can’t Fit In, by Mo Willems, is a pop-up book about attempting to fit in. Frog is so big that he sticks out of the book. All attempts seem to fail until good friendship steps in. This is delightful and defrogful.

How the World Works:  A Hands-on Guide to Our Amazing Planet, by Christiane Dorian, and illustrated by Beverley Young, includes lively facts about the lifelines to living on earth. By popping out, twisting, opening or pulling tabs, you are about to learn about sunlight, water and air and how it affects us all.

Amazing Pop-Up Big Machines, by Robert Crowther, is the perfect book for that truck enthusiast! Each giant pop-up includes a pouch with interactive activities or flaps to open. This book is great fun!

And for the little lady in the family, My Little Pink Princess Purse, by Stephen T. Johnson, is the extra thick book for her. Included in this cherry and cheery book are interactive cardboard shapes, sweet smelling items, and items only meant for the little princess in your home.

The following books are interactive with the activity packaged on the cover of each book. These are all made by Klutz. The Hand Book: Explore the Handiest Part of Your Body, by Pat Murphy, is the perfect book for the scientist / doctor in your family. There is a life size plastic skeletal hand that you can assemble along with 18 activities that motivate kids to learn about their bones and hands. Doctor Frankensketch’s Monster Drawing Machine, by the editors of Klutz, is a drawing book where you can pick and choose parts of monsters to draw with the two colored pencils included. And another drawing book, Doodle Journal:  My Life in Scribbles, by Karen Phillips, and illustrated by Elise Gravel, is just waiting for you to fill the cleverly decorated spaces with your scribbles. The Truth About My Name:  and What it Reveals About Me!, by Karen Phillips, is packaged with five charms for you to personalize and includes information about how you sign your name and if your parents picked the right name for you. Doodlewire, by the Klutz editors, includes bendable spiral wires waiting to take shape. The book includes easy-to-follow instructions for the possible animal to shape. Headbands & Hairstyles, by Eva Steele-Saccio, includes three hair bands, ribbon, sequin and glue. Also included is advice on hair brushing and hairstyles.  Glossy Bands: Stretchy Bracelets to Share with your Friends, by the Klutz editors, includes enough materials to make 14 different bracelets.

And lastly, here are two books to make movies. Make Your Own Music Video, by Kaitlyn Nichols, is filled with ideas and unique ways to display your music. It includes a giant green screen and links to download backgrounds. This is also by Klutz. And Movie Maker, by Surridh Hassan, Tim Grabham and Dan Reeve, and illustrated by Garry Parsons, includes a director’s handbook, a CD full of interesting sound effects and various animation aids.