This season is the perfect time to give books for gifts. I have some of the best books published this year which are both educational and insightful. All books are geared for all ages unless otherwise indicated.

PNSO Encyclopedia for Children: The Secret of Dinosaurs, by YANG Yang and gorgeously painted in full page illustration by ZHAO Chuang, is simply breathtaking in every way. Each open page showcases a different dinosaur in brilliant color along with the relative comparison of a modern structure. (For instance, the Spinosaurus is longer that a commercial bus.) Be sure to check out the end-pages packed with labeled dinosaurs. Check out the other newly published books: The Secrets of Ancient Sea Monsters and The Secrets of Pterosaurs.

Colossus: The Worlds Most Amazing Feats of Engineering, by Colin Hynson and beautifully illustrated with precision by Giuliano Lombardo, is an exploration of some of the greatest structures throughout history. Structures include: a skyscraper, The Trans-Siberian Railway and the Ancient Pyramids. Learning about how humans innovated ways to build these structures is simply amazing!

Paper World: Space, written by The Templar Company and ingeniously illustrated in paper and digital media by Gail Armstrong, is a book compiled of paper shapes revealing facts about our solar system and galaxies beyond. There are flaps to discover facts and die-cuts on every open page spread. Here is a book that will not only intrigue the reader but possibly motivate a new space explorer.

National Geographic Kids Animal Encyclopedia 2nd Edition: 2,500 Animals with Photos, Apps, and More!, published by National Geographic,is an oversized and thick book full of rich photographs and brief descriptions of animals found throughout the world. This highly researched book showcases where animals are found on maps with interesting details about each animal. This is the perfect coffee-table book that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Graham and the extraordinary illustrations done in pencil and digital media by Grahame Baker-Smith, is truly a classic. This newly designed and illustrated book should be in every household and read out loud. The book was originally published in 1908 but remains timeless. This publication is exquisite in the binding and cover.

My First Pop-Up Mythological Monsters, by Owen Davey, brings to life these brightly colored beasts as they pop out when opening each page. There are fifteen creatures including classical monsters such as Cyclops, Medusa and Dragon. Each pop-up displays the country of origin. The paper engineering is masterful, especially if you open each page slowly. This book is best for ages five through nine.

The Book of Math: Adventures in the World of Shapes and Numbers, by Anna Weltman, and extraordinarily and enticingly illustrated by Paul Boston, is an oversized book full of interesting facts, calculations, and conundrums ready to pull anyone who opens the book right into these amazing open-page spreads. The book is kid-friendly and explores so many interesting aspects of math that any child or adult will be excited to solve and discover! (Kane)

Bake, Make & Learn To Cook: Fun & Healthy Recipes for Young Cooks, by David Atherton and showcasing easy to follow step-by-step illustrations represented in ink and graphite and finished digitally by Rachel Stubbs, is filled with delicious and fun recipes young and old will enjoy making and eating. The categories are divided into Starting the Day, Lunches and Simple Suppers, Delicious Treats and ending with Cakes and Bakes. The author was the 2019 winner of The Great British Baking Show.

A Day in the Life of Poo, A Gnu, and You: A Laugh-Out-Loud Guide to Life on Earth, by Mike Barfield and brightly illustrated in a cartoon format by Jess Bradley, looks like a graphic book at first glance. However, it’s actually packed with facts, information and humor. The book follows a day of one hundred different “things” on earth. Some of these things you may have never thought about but will find extremely interesting such as what your tongue does all day long. This book is so interesting and  curious that it might unlock a thirst for even more divers knowledge.

Hidden Habitats: Water, by Lara Hawthorne, invites you to explore many different parts of nature with water as the key ingredient. Each open page displays a scene from a place in the world showcasing the diversity of earth. Some of these pages include a water hole, a tidepool and a hydrothermal vent. The book is made of sturdy board pages and features lift-the-flaps to learn even more detail.

Everything Awesome About Sharks and Other Underwater Creatures, by Mike Lowery, is a fact-filled book with colorful drawings covering every page. Here is a kid-friendly book where all ages will love scouring each page as it is made to entice and enjoy. The sections are divided into seven parts that include: Sharks, Extreme Marine Habitats and The Weirdest and Deadliest Sea Creatures. This book is so interesting, you may discover you’re a budding marine biologist.

Do You Know Where the Animals Live? Discovering the Incredible Creatures All Around Us, by Pete Wohlleben, explores many different animals and how they deal with the elements. Every section begins with a question encouraging exploration and discovery. The first chapter asks Who lives in your own backyard? The open page spread invites the reader to look for specific items to help locate some small critters such as worms and butterflies. The inquiries on these pages will surely motivate early explorers!