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Books for the holidays: Numerous books would make great stocking stuffers for young audiences

Published: Thursday, Sept. 3 2015 6:15 p.m. MDT

"Have You Seen Duck?" is written by Janet A. Holmes and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley and is for children 3 and up. (book cover) "Have You Seen Duck?" is written by Janet A. Holmes and illustrated by Jonathan Bentley and is for children 3 and up. (book cover)

Books for young readers are wonderful stocking stuffers. They're gifts that won’t break (as many toys do) and continue to maintain interest long after the new year. Here are reminders about buying books for all kinds of readers with suggested titles for year-round enjoyment in each category.

Books for the youngest readers

Reminders:

• Is the book well-constructed and durable? It must survive “tastes” and even bedtime hugs.

• Is the story related to the child’s level and immediate life?

Suggested titles:

• Nursery Rhymes, ABC books, clapping and singing rhymes

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” is by Mo Willems and is a book for children 2 and older. (book cover) “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” is by Mo Willems and is a book for children 2 and older. (book cover)

• "Have You Seen Duck?" by Janet A. Holmes, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley (ages 3 and up)

• “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems (ages 2 and up)

• “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert (ages 2 and up)

• “1, 2, 3,” by Tana Hoban (ages 1 and up)

Picture books for all ages

Reminders:

• Does the book have child appeal appropriate for intended age?

• Are the characters likable?

• Are the illustrations clear and attractive?

“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” is written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert and is for young children. (book cover) “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” is written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert and is for young children. (book cover)

Suggested titles:

• “How to Babysit a Grandpa,” by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

• “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs,” by Mo Willems

• “Blueberries for Sal,” by Robert McCloskey

• “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” by Laura Numeroff

• “The Bear in the Book,” by Kate Banks, illustrated by Georg Hallensleben

• “Olivia and the Fairy Princesses,” by Ian Falconer

• “Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money,” by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

“How to Babysit a Grandpa” is a picture book written by Utahn Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish. (book cover) “How to Babysit a Grandpa” is a picture book written by Utahn Jean Reagan and illustrated by Lee Wildish. (book cover)

Fiction

Reminders:

• Is this one that the child has put on a “I’d-like” list?

• Is the story original? (Your childhood favorite may not be theirs!)

• Is the reading ability within the skill/interest of the child?

• When in doubt about a book, give a gift card or an invitation for a shopping trip to a bookstore.

Suggested titles:

• “Amelia Bedelia,” by Peggy Parish (grades 1-3)

• “The Boxcar Children Beginning: The Aldens of Fair Meadow Farm,” by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Tim Jessell (grades 3-7)

“Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs” is a picture book by Mo Willems. (book cover) “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs” is a picture book by Mo Willems. (book cover)

• "Sarah, Plain and Tall,” by Patricia MacLachlan (grades 2-4)

• “The Raven Boys,” by Maggie Stiefvater (grades 6-8)

• “Number the Stars,” by Lois Lowry (grades 4-6)

• “Princess Academy: Palace of Stone,” by Shannon Hale (grades 5 and up)

• "Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” by Jeff Kinney (grades 5 and up)

• “Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life,” by Wendy Mass (grades 6-8)

• “The False Prince,” by Jennifer Nielsen (grades 4-8)

• “Inside Out and Back Again,” by Thanhha Lai (grades 4-8)

“Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money” is a picture book written by Emily Jenkins, and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. (book cover) “Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money” is a picture book written by Emily Jenkins, and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. (book cover)

Nonfiction

Reminders:

• Are the text and illustrations accurate and authentic? Check date and credibility of author and/or editors.

• Is the subject one in which the child has expressed interest?

• Is the content within the reader’s ability?

Suggested titles:

• "Ladybug,” by Emery Bernhard, illustrated by Durga Bernhard (grades 1-4)

• “Buffalo Hunt,” by Russell Freedman (grades 3-6)

• “Book of Dinosaurs,” by Ray Bryant (grades 1-3)

"Sarah, Plain and Tall,” is by Patricia MacLachlan and is targeted at children in grades 2-4. (book cover) "Sarah, Plain and Tall,” is by Patricia MacLachlan and is targeted at children in grades 2-4. (book cover)

• “Shadow Life: The Story of Anne Frank and Her Family,” by Barry Deneberg, (grades 6-8)

• “Nic Bishop Snakes,” by Nic Bishop (grades 1-3)

• “The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure,” by Martin W. Sandler (grades 5-7)

• “Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller,” by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Matt Tavares (grades 1-4)

• “Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure,” by Matthew Reinhart (grades 3-7)

Adventure series

Reminders:

• Does each in the series stand on its own or must the books be read in sequence?

“The Raven Boys” is by Maggie Stiefvater and is targeted at those in grades 6-8. (book cover) “The Raven Boys” is by Maggie Stiefvater and is targeted at those in grades 6-8. (book cover)

• Is content within the understanding level of the intended reader?

• Does each contain adventure and action enough to maintain interest?

Suggested:

• Heroes of Olympus and Kane Chronicles, by Rick Riordon (grades 5 and up)

• “Eragon” and “Inheritance,” by Christopher Paolini (grades 6 and up)

Maze Runner, by James Dashner (grades 5 and up)

Michael Vey, by Richard Paul Evans (grades 6 and up)

• “Pathfinder” and “Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card (grades 6 and up)

Maximum Ride and Middle School, by James Patterson (grades 6 and up)

“Princess Academy: Palace of Stone” is the sequel to "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale and is targeted at those in grades 5 and up. (book cover) “Princess Academy: Palace of Stone” is the sequel to "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale and is targeted at those in grades 5 and up. (book cover)

Books “outside the box”

Reminders:

These are books for readers who like something unusual.

Suggested titles:

• “Look…Look Again!” by John O’Brien (grades 4 and up)

Thirty illustrated stories that unfold in comic-style panels telling an ongoing plot about characters that the reader must connect in some way. This is full of puns and cartoon conventions for humor and fun.

• “Hang Glider and Mud Mask,” by Jason Jagel and Brian McMullen (grades 1-4)

Here’s a book with two front covers whose story meets in the middle while the story is resolved at the opposing cover. Sounds like a puzzle? It is — with lots of fun included in deciding what goes where.

“The False Prince” is by Utah author Jennifer Nielsen and is targeted a children in grades 4-8. (book cover) “The False Prince” is by Utah author Jennifer Nielsen and is targeted a children in grades 4-8. (book cover)

• For children who need ideas for projects “Craft-A-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects” by Sarah Goldschadt is just the thing. From toys to cooking, garlands to T-shirts, there’s something here for children in grades 1 through 6.

• Two books for the scribblers on the shopping list are “The Puppets Doodle Book” (learning to draw the favorite Muppet characters) and “Fill in the Blank.” Part sketchbook, part design and doodling book, this will fill the bill when someone says, “I’m bored!”

Email: marilousorensen@ymail.com

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