Books make such great gifts. The following books are for many different ages and will surely bring an abundance of joy. Each book will state the ages appropriate for that book except for the last three books. Those are geared for adults.
Big, Bigger, Biggest, by Xavier Deneux, must be one of the best board books for the year! This over-sized book is simple yet informs size relationships in an illustrative way. It begins with a turkey and each animal following is larger until you reach the biggest animal of all: the blue whale. Each animal has simple, easily understood facts that children, ages zero to three, can recognize. Each open page features an animal on one side including flaps, die-cuts and bright colors. This book is a perfect book to teach size and simple facts about these animals.
Angelina Ballerina 5-Minute Stories, by Katharine Holabird and colorfully illustrated by Helen Craig, is the perfect gift for children ages three through seven who love these picture books. This is a wonderful compilation of twelve favorite stories including Meet Angelina Ballerina, Center Stage and Step by Step. The hard-bound cover is padded, and each story is short making this book perfect for bedtime.
Clifford: The Big Red Friend Story Box, by Norman Bridwell, is packaged so youngsters ages two through five can easily grip. There are six popular stories within this box that also has a handle for convenience to transport for little hands. The paperback books within this box include Good Deeds, Manners and Clifford and the Big Storm. The Clifford books have become a classic over the years!
The Call of the Wild (Classic Starts), Retold from the Jack London original by Oliver Ho and wonderfully illustrated with black and white etchings sprinkled throughout by Karl James Mountford, is part of a great series that captures the essence of many classics to be read out loud. Certainly, the original story should be read by older children according to their reading abilities. But these beginning classics are truly a wonderful introduction of stories we all grew up with. These stories, being read out loud, expose youngsters, ages five through eight, to some of the best books ever written and start expanding their imaginations. This book is just one of many Classic Starts. Some of the other books in this fantastic series include: The Swiss Family Robinson, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Story of King Arthur and His Knights.
Harry Potter Paint with Water, by the editors of Thunder Bay Press, is a wondrous experience with painting scenes from all eight of the Harry Potter films. Just by using water and the paint brush that is included, all ages can enjoy this experience of blending water into a mix of different colors. Each page is perforated to enable pulling a page out to mount, and even frame. There are also twelve more pages to create your own magical paintings along with an image key for each picture.
Harry Potter Jigsaw Puzzle Book, by the editors of Thunder Bay Press, is a collection of nine 96-piece puzzles featuring key locations on the magical Marauder’s Map. On the opposite side of this open page is filled with memorize-able moments giving insight to this map and the importance of it as Harry travels through the area of Hogwarts. On the backside of each puzzle lies a part of this map. When all puzzles are solved and laid out, the map is revealed along with a secret message. Best for teens and older.
How To Fix Stuff: Practical Hacks for Your Home and Garden, by Tom Scalisi and Tanya Watson, contains fifty helpful instructions including many parts of your home and yard. The book is broken down in the following sections: Home Repairs, Decorating & Upcycling, Domestic Hacks, Exterior Fixes and Backyard & Shed Hacks. The descriptions are precise and easy to grasp, laid out with simplicity and specifying the tools and equipment needed. Sometimes a book in hand works much more efficiently than YouTube.
Baking Imperfect: Crush, Whip and Spread it Like Nobody’s Watching, by Lottie Bedlow, is a unique recipe book to help bake when feeling daunted by difficult baking tasks. This book is filled not only with very helpful hints throughout motivating you to push through to the end, but there are gorgeous full-page photos throughout. Bedlow was a favorite contestant in the popular Great British Bake Off program and her lively personality comes through in this book. Some of the contents include Ultimate Chocolate Cake and Raspberry Butter Buns. The book is full of humor helping to enliven and motivate to get the end result.
Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes, by Molly Gilbert, has to be one of the best cookbooks of the year! It’s surely a favorite of mine. What makes this particular cookbook stand out above the rest, are the fairly easy and accessible recipes and the gorgeous full-page photographs demonstrating the delicious end products. The photos are on the opposite facing page of the recipe. The recipes are broken into six categories: sheet cakes, layered & rolled cakes, bars, cookies, pies & the like and breakfasts & breads. What’s not to love about baking delicious desserts and making them simple in just one pan?