gift giving

25 Days of Favorite New Picture Books

Happy first day of December! This year has flown by and very little blog posts have happened unfortunately. I have a massive stack of new releases that I have been so excited to share, and yet the days continue to go by and I haven’t shared any of them! If you’ve been around here for long, you know that I always do a Christmas picture book countdown until Christmas Day. Five years I’ve done this: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 (don’t ask what happened in 2016 – I don’t remember). That is 125 different Christmas books. Whew! While more and more Christmas books come out each year, I have tired a bit of always only sharing those. And really, how many more Christmas books can I collect! So I’m switching it up this year. In an effort to share all the wonderful new books that have come out this year (and possibly a couple from last year too), I’m doing a Favorite New Picture Book countdown instead! All of these books are (relatively) new releases and would make fantastic gifts! Maybe these will help if you are looking for great books to give for a holiday, birthday, or any reason in the next couple months. I hope this helps and I cannot wait to share all the new beauties with you. I’ll share one each day with a brief synopsis, why I like it, and who I think would love to receive it. Hope to see you each day and let me know if you are looking for any specific kinds of books. I love to help!

Book Review: Old MacDonald Had A Truck By Goetz & Kaban

Excuse the interruption in the Christmas picture books countdown, but I have SO MANY BOOKS to share and I just can’t seem to fit them all in. As I was thinking about some that I’m still bummed I haven’t featured yet, I realized that I should at least share a few that I consider excellent gifts! So pull out those gift lists and let me help with some ideas.

First up, a book we have given several times and I recommend all the time. A brilliant twist on the classic song, add this one to your gift-giving list: Old MacDonald Had A Truck by Steve Goetz, illustrated by Eda Kaban, 2016. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 7: Richard Scarry’s Christmas Present Book

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Tonight I bring lots of pictures of a lovely little vintage book for the 25 Days countdown. I finally tracked this book down this year and I cannot resist sharing several spreads, knowing how delightful they are and also how difficult this book is to come by. So enjoy this beauty: Richard Scarry’s Christmas Present Book by Richard Scarry, 1965.

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25 Days – Book 6: The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear

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We have a bit of a Berenstain Bear love fest going on in this house recently, and although I strongly speculate that it has something to do with the book size and the ability to carry around a small stack of them at once, I was pleased to find a good holiday one to enjoy during this Christmas book countdown. From 1984, here is The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear by Stan & Jan Berenstain.

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25 Days – Book 23: The Gift Of Nothing

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What do you give someone who has everything? A question that we should all be considering as we have so much stuff! Well, here is the perfect book for just such a minimalist thought process, The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell from 2005.

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McDonnell’s infamous cat Mooch is searching for the perfect gift for his friend Earl. Only problem is, Earl already has everything a dog could need or even want. So Mooch decides the best gift is the gift of nothing. But where do you get nothing? On TV? At the store? Around the kids who are always bored? It’s a book that is charming, simple, humorous and profound for this gift-giving season. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 18: Christmas Eve At The Mellops’

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On this eighth day of December, I bring a pathetic paperback copy of a darling little book. You must meet the Mellop family! This is the Christmas edition from a delightful series of books about a family of pigs with fantastic names, adventurous spirits, and generous hearts. Come have Christmas Eve at the Mellops’ by Tomi Ungerer, 1960.

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The story begins with Mr. Mellop sharing an article with his boys about Christmas tree decorations. The pictures spark ideas for each boy and they separately set out to bring a beautiful tree home for Christmas hoping to surprise everyone. On Christmas Eve the home was filled with four trees and many tears. Their father has another brilliant thought and sends the boys out with their lovely trees to find a place that needs cheering. Read the full post…

25 Days – Book 9: The Smallest Gift Of Christmas

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Today I have the delight of sharing Peter H. Reynolds newest book created especially for this season and most importantly this materialistic time of year. The Smallest Gift of Christmas is a fun, poignant reminder that the tiniest gift just might be the biggest and even that the best gifts are sometimes the things we already have.

Book 9: The Smallest Gift of Christmas

This is a story about Roland who is incredibly eager for Christmas Day. His anticipation is so great that you can just feel the immense deflation when he runs downstairs on Christmas to find a tiny little gift with his name on it. “It was the smallest gift he had ever seen.” Read the full post…

Best Baby Picture Books: Great Gift Ideas for Baby Showers and More

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Spring is in full swing and often it brings baby showers and first birthdays, as well as other random celebrations for little ones. If you know me well, then you know my philosophy is that books are the best gifts. A book is a way to give again and again; something that develops the child; plants memories; and introduces joy, silliness, beauty and so much more. To quote a favorite movie, “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”

It is a big responsibility to choose a book for a child; one that too many people take lightly. If you know the family well, you can choose books that you think will fit their personality. But often, you just need some quality books to choose from. Being the kind person I am, I’m letting you in on my secret list – well, at least sixteen from it. There are lots of books that people consider a must for a baby library, many I like and some I really don’t. I have not included the most familiar ones as I find that the parents probably already have those, someone else will gift them, or I just want to give an even more unique one. Here is my top sixteen list of children’s picture books that are excellent baby shower gifts, first birthday gifts, or just because you are cute gifts. Read the full post…

How To Shop For Used Children’s Books

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Bookstores are my kryptonite. Rarely can I pass one without stopping in, if even just for a moment. I love the smell of books, the look of bookstore patrons, the chance of finding something new or unknown. Old or new, books are my best friends and I love to be surrounded by them. When buying used books though, I follow a few personal rules, especially when it comes to children’s books which can often be too loved.

So here are my 10 guidelines for shopping for used books: Read the full post…