Gift Guide: Young Readers

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.

Book Cover 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.

Book CoverI 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.

Of course, if blank books make you giddy like they do for me, Levenger has some on clearance.  And, there’s also some matchbook-sized notebooks in a set of 4 on sale, too.

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.

Book CoverThe 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.)

Book jewelry from Etsy is always good, as are t-shirts about reading.

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!

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  1. 1
    Sarah Morgan says:

    Sarah, I love the idea of a ‘make your own story’ kit, great for cold winter days when you’re all indoors.

    A really popular children’s book here in the UK is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Probably best for ages 4-8, it’s beautifully illustrated, written in rhyme and has great characters – the ‘hero’ is a little mouse who outwits all the dangerous animals in the forest.  Very funny and clever. Not sure if it’s made it over to the US or not.  They’ve even made a stage play of it here and they have a website http://www.gruffalo.com

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    Ooooh, I like that idea. Thank you!

  3. 3
    Kimberly R. says:

    Fun for the teen or tween in your life:

    http://www.amazon.com/Wreck-This-Journal-Keri-Smith/dp/039953346X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289954814&sr=1-3-spell

    I bought this for my 14 year old SIL last year and she had tons of fun with it. Here are the instructions in the front of the book:
    1. Carry this with you everywhere you go.
    2. Follow the instructions on every page.
    3. Order is not important.
    4. Instructions are open to interpretation.
    5. Experiment (work against your better judgement.)

    Be advised-I think there is one page that tells you to burn it-be sure your gift recipient would only do this under adult supervision. But its a really cute, interactive gift.

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