Time for another holiday gift guide! It’s much more fun to catalog shop when I’m thinking of everyone else in the internet, let me tell you. Today’s guide: for the young book-loving folks you might know, with products I’ve tried, seen, or have watched my two sons enjoy. I’m not recommending very many specific books, but if you’d like to recommend stories that young readers would love, have at it at the comments.
Tickle Monster: Laughter Kit – My three year-old, Baba O’Riley, was given this book for his birthday, and he loves it. His older brother loves it, too. The kit comes with the hardcover children’s book Tickle Monster by Josie Bisset (yes, the one from Melrose) and two gloves with holes for each finger so the person reading can be the tickle monster. It’s a really sweet and funny book, and wonderful for bedtime.
I saw this journal in a store and then saw it in a catalog and have talked myself out of buying it for me at least twice. The last thing I need is another blank book, but I dig this one. The journal has little drawings that start in the corners or the edges of the page with lots of space in the middle for drawing or writing. I wish the cover and inside were more gender-neutral, but I love the idea of encouraging drawing and journaling.
We have a Mark My Time digital bookmark and oh, how I dig it. Freebird, my 5 year old, received this as a gift from his aunt. We use it to make him stop reading books and drawing and go to bed, while other folks use it as a way to carve out “reading time” to encourage all that luscious lovely book reading or “study time” for good homework habits. It can count up or count down, and it’s pretty sturdy – and easy enough for a 4 or 5 year old to use.
The IlluStory Make Your Own Story kit is a really freaking awesome gift. Children can draw pictures and write their own story, and then parents can send the whole kit in for binding and publication in a hardback book, or complete the process online. I know one family who used this to make a story of their vacation, and another who made a story about where their rescue dog had lived before she came to live with them (Rescue Dog was totally a superhero, obviously). It’s a project that requires some time and thought and group effort, but the finished product is pretty spiffy from what I have seen. And, hey, it’s never too early to engage children in the absolute even-tempered pleasure of discussing self-publishing, especially online! (Kidding.)
And Dawn Kirby had a great suggestion on Twitter: personalized bookplates for children. There are an incredible number of options on Etsy, from stamps to stickers to card stock patterns you can make yourself. There are some truly beautiful bookplates and stampsfor grown-up types, too.
Hope the young people in your life have a very reader-ly holiday season filled with great books!