The average mom has seven children on her holiday shopping list. Okay, we made that up. But seriously, most of us are about to do a whole lot of gift shopping. And here at StrollerTraffic, books are our favorite gifts to give. Maybe because we’re editors. Maybe because they’re affordable. Maybe because they’re easy to wrap (and ship). Or maybe because it’s hard for a kid to have too many. In any case, we’ve put together a list of great books to give this holiday season, including many of the hottest releases of the year and some can’t-miss classics, in categories to please all the little ones you know.
For kids who love trucks. Or trains. Or tractors.
If there’s a bulldozer-lover on your list, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site is an easy score; GGSC’s author and illustrator also teamed up this year for Steam Train, Dream Train. For a tractor story with a sweet side, we love Otis and the Puppy.
For kids who like a little variety.
Wordless picture books are some of the most fun to “read” together, because there are new elements in every telling (plus studies show they are fantastic for language development). This year’s best include JourneyDaisy Gets Lost, and Flora and the Flamingo.
For especially playful babies.
Nothing gets the youngest readers hooked like books that beg them to touch, or perhaps sniff. So if a baby doesn’t already have Pat the Bunny, Dear Zoo, or Peek-a-Who?, he should.
For toddlers who want in on the action.
Once lifting flaps gets old, try an interactive book that gets her involved in the story. Tap the Magic Tree (written and illustrated by our own Every City editor), Count the Monkeys, and Press Here are a few they’ll want (over and over again).
For girly girls.
If she’s a Fancy Nancy devotee, she’ll love the latest, Fanciest Doll in the Universe. The original Angelina Ballerina is the best of that series. And reading Olivia and the Fairy Princesses is a sly way to get her thinking twice about the whole princess obsession thing.
For the youngest in the family.
Three books published this year by well-known authors tackle the topic of bullies (or in one case, a big whale who turns out to be really nice): Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s Bully, Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, and A Big Guy Took My Ball.
For big-time gigglers.
Reading a book 47 times in a row is more pleasant if the book is funny—for everyone involved. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Duck! Rabbit! are good for some easy laughs, or try some Dr. Seuss silliness with There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. For darker humor, check out the 2013 Caldecott winner, This is Not My Hat.