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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: gift-giving, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Books of December - Gifts


I have several siblings (several- more than three, less than a dozen).  For years, I gave every sibling a Christmas present.  Then, I gave every sibling and his or her significant other a Christmas present.  THEN, I gave every sibling, their S-O and their CHILDREN individual Christmas presents.  THEN, I gave each family a box of Christmas presents.  Finally, I sent some of my siblings a “family” Christmas present.   Now, they are lucky to get a greeting card from me.  This is the evolution of my family gift-giving.
( I did not expect nor did I often receive presents in return. Sometimes I was happily surprised.  I just like giving gifts.)

A lot of these gifts were homemade.  Because homemade gifts are super, right?  Well, they are, if they come from my sisters, who all take great pride in crafting the most delightfully sewn, knitted, quilted items.  I go for the Big Effect, and that sometimes means that my gifts fall apart 24 hours after they are unpacked.  Still, it’s the thought.... Or, is it? (My food gifts are usually awesome!)

A gift can be as small as a button, as mysterious as an empty box, as ephemeral as a kiss. 

Books about gift-giving and generosity that I love.

The Best Christmas Ever by Chih-Yuan Chen.  I will mention this book every Christmas season in some form or other, because I love it so much.  I love the brown paper feel of the illustrations.  I love the feeling of winter, darkness, and struggling hope.  I love its simplicity.  And I love the joyous resolution.  The Bear family is so poor that they don’t even hope for presents this year.  On Christmas morning, they find that “Toddler Christmas” visited in the night and brought them small, precious gifts.

Birthday Surprises edited by Johanna Hurwitz.  Hurwitz asked 10 children’s authors to write a story about a birthday in which a child received an empty box.  Sometimes, the box was the actual present.  Sometimes, the box represented something else.  In one case, the box was sent by mistake and the present was delivered in person.  Imagine getting a box filled with air. 

Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant.  First published in Rylant’s collection, Children of Christmas, this story tells of a train that rolled through the mountains and gifts that were thrown from the back to the impoverished children.  Every year, a boy wishes for one particular gift.  Every year, he gets something he needs.  He returns as an adult and we find out whether his wish ever came true.

The following website offers a list of books about gift-giving and generosity to share with your young ones. 
The Best Childrens Books about Generosity.


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2. The Anthropology of Gifts - Part One

The Anthropology of Gifts - Part One


Look what I got in the mail right before Christmas! 

 -a beautiful slip-covered copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel.  (The book pictured comes from Atlas Books, a book marketing company.  The mention of this company is not an endorsement.  The Atlas Books catalog offers lots of lovely looking books.  However, I suggest that authors looking for a marketing company do a thorough investigation on their own.)

This is an example of a traditional "gift" book - lovely to behold and to hold.  Other traditional gift books are coffee table books, heavy with color plates, or educational tomes to enrich the recipient's mind, or inspirational volumes.  Gift books look impressive on display.

Every major publisher puts out books in the Fall that are designed to catch the eye and to answer the needs of the gift-giver.

Most book review sites produce Best of... lists before the holidays so that no one goes ungifted.  I prefer to let people do their own choosing.  I am not alone in having received book gifts that were not to my liking.  I have GIVEN books as gifts that ended up in yard sales. 

This brings me to something I have been mulling over during this season of grabbing, getting, gifting, griping, to say nothing of wrapping, worrying and wondering - the anthropology of gifts.

Part One:
Did you get what you wanted this holiday?  Did you give the perfect gift?  Are you wishing that you had spent more...or less?  Did your friend get a better gift from you than you got from him?

Does it matter?

Why do you give gifts, anyway?


We learn that there are two acceptable reasons to give gifts;
to show affection,
to earn affection.
(The second reason is, ahem, less acceptable than the first.)

It follows that gift-giving should be completely altruistic.  There should be no thoughts of, “Whoa, she will be blown away when she sees my awesome gift.”  Nor, should we be worrying that, “This gift won’t seem too brown-nosey, will it?”

In the history of gift giving there are so many other reasons;

to show power, - as in, “No gift you give me is worth as much as the gift I give you. So watch it.  I might take it back.”;
to earn prestige, - “Look how very important and special I am.  I can give so much.”;
to flatter, - “YOU deserve this wonderful gift.”;
to insult, -  “YOU barely even merit this tiny awful gift.”;
because it’s expected, - “I got invited to my cousin’s step-son’s wedding and I never even met him.  I don’t want to look cheap.”;
because it meets a need - “I noticed that your socks are worn.  Here, have some socks.”

The feelings that accompany gift-giving and getting are also significant -
insecurity,
hope that the recipient will be pleased,
envy over what others receive,
worry that we haven’t quite discharged our gift-giving duty,
worry that someone will be empty-handed,
worry that we will be disappointed,
hurt that the giver has no idea what we like - or who we are - even what colors we hate!

Yep, it’s a mine field, this giving of gifts. 

A young friend once complained that her relatives, whom she barely saw, gave her a beautiful Christmas stocking.
 “As if I was a little kid,” she snorted.  She was in her late teens.  “They have no interest in me, at all.” 
By the way, the stocking was absolutely gorgeous.   It was not appreciated.  The relatives did not want to show up empty handed, especially when they spent so little time with my friend.

And this brings up the politics of RECEIVING gifts....  Whoo, Nellie!  Do we really want to go into that, right now?

The ONLY acceptable way to receive gifts is happily and with a “Thank you.”  Jumping up and down with glee is acceptable if you are small enough to jump up and down without shaking the floors.  Sulking is never a good thing. 

If the gift is insulting, the giver has been thwarted. You seem pleased.  They will have to try harder.
If the gift attempts to impress, well, act impressed if you want to, but it is not obligatory.
If the gift was meant to flatter, don’t make much of it - unless you want to flatter back.
If the gift feels obligatory, remember, the giver didn’t have to give you anything.
If the gift seems insignificant, perhaps it is all the giver could give you.

As mothers, and grandmothers, and maiden aunts, and crotchety old uncles are always telling us, “It’s the thought that counts.”  (Except when it IS the thought that counts, - and the thought is nasty - then we are not supposed to notice.)

This holiday season, I decided not to worry about it.  I asked my loved ones what they wanted and gave them what I could to meet those requests.

I love every gift I receive, because I love the givers.

The best gift we have is our friends and family.  So, if we remember that, it’s all good - (in the words of Pete the Cat).





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3. 150 Ways to Give a Book

I realize I haven't been posting, but it wouldn't feel like the holidays if I didn't update and share my traditional 150 Ways to Give a Book. They are all MotherReader-approved titles — i.e., Good Books. There are a lot more choices for younger kids, as that’s the group we adults most fear disappointing with giving “only” a book. And picture books are kind of easier to do. After the book and gift selections, I’ve also included ways to wrap a book, and book-themed gifts to include for a variety of ages. There are a few new 2014 titles mixed in with older ones — though there aren’t many classics, as I’ve tried to select books that kids would be less likely to have on their shelves.

Sometimes I choose the hardback when the paperback is also available, so check if that is important to you. I’ve also linked to the fun extras through Amazon, for example, to save you shopping time, and because I get some small credit for your purchases through the Amazon Associates program. But know that you can find cheaper alternatives for some small things — paints, pens, journals, etc. — at a local discount store. On the other hand, doing all your purchases online and having them sent to your door is priceless.

I'm always looking for new ideas, so leave suggestions in the comments. I hope you'll share this link as you promote giving books as gifts for the holidays and that you find some great ideas for your own friends and family. Enjoy!

Multi-Age

  1. Give an experience like a trip to a zoo, aquarium, museum, aviary, arena, or city. Put the passes, tickets, or homemade gift certificate with a relevant book to make it feel more tangible.
  2. Take a road trip with Ask Me so you can use the driving time to ask each other the interesting questions from the book.
  3. Give a book with a movie theater gift card to see the upcoming film.
  4. Give a book with a gift card to rent the movie. Include a box of microwave popcorn.
  5. One Hen - How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference
  6. Give One Hen — How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference with a loan to Kiva or a donation to Heifer International to buy chicks.
  7. Pair any book with another book from the bargain section, maybe something silly or crafty or gimmicky.
  8. Pair a detective book with a magnifying glass.
  9. Match poetry books with word beads or magnetic poetry.
  10. Pair a picture book with a related stuffed animal.
  11. Give an interesting, insightful book with a restaurant gift card and a date to discuss the book together over a meal.
  12. Honor the book enthusiast with necklace along with a new title.
  13. Celebrate writing too with special journals from Tara Books, an independent press based in India.
Picture Books
  1. Learn letters with ABC, Baby Me! board book or The Sleepy Little Alphabet and letter links.
  2. Or work with numbers (and colors) with 10 Hungry Rabbits and magnetic numbers.
  3. Or let them battle it out with 123 vs ABC and bath toys
  4. The Day the Crayons Quit
  5. Give The Day the Crayons Quit with a pack of fat crayons and a stack of copy paper from an office supply store.
  6. Or go with Art and Max or Blue Chicken with a paint set.
  7. Pair The Curious Garden with gardening tools and seeds.
  8. It’s almost dessert when you give The Cow Loves Cookies with a cookie counting game.
  9. What else can go with Extra Yarn but extra yarn? Well, and knitting needles and instructions.
  10. Pair Kite Flying and/or Kite Day with a new kite.
  11. Give Bats at the Ballgame with a bat and ball. You can throw in a coupon book for practice sessions.
  12. Take a bedtime book like Little Owl’s Night, A Bedtime for Bear or Sweet Dreams and add a night light.
  13. Or choose A Full Moon is Rising or Moonlight with glow-in-the-dark moon and stars — or go high tech with this Moon in my Room.
  14. Giant Dance Party
  15. Get moving with Giant Dance Party with Kids Dance Party CD.
  16. Keep up the music by giving Drum City with an old-time tin drum.
  17. Pair Bubble Trouble with touchable bubbles.
  18. Ballet dancers will love the classic Angelina Ballerina or the slightly edgyVampirina Ballerina (or both) with a fancy tutu or two… two.
  19. Give little superheroes SuperHero ABC along with a superhero cape.
  20. Encourage a future Iron Chef by giving Rainbow Stew or Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon with a cooking set.
  21. Silliness ensues with Pigs to the Rescue and the Pass the Pigs game.
  22. Take it outside with Chalk with 3-D sidewalk chalk.
  23. The Monstore
  24. Pair Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site or Building with Dad with toy construction vehicles.
  25. Give The Monstore with the monster game.
  26. Who can resist that match-up of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek with Lincoln Logs?
  27. Give your little dragon-lover Hush Little Dragon or Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood with a cute dragon.
  28. Is there a doctor in the house? There will be with picture book Doctor Ted along with a doctor kit.
  29. Future firefighter instead? Give Fire! Fuego! along with Firefighters A to Z and firefighter gear.
  30. Pair picture book Crafty Chloe with a selection of craft supplies.
  31. What else can go with Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum other than lots of bubble gum.
  32. Cat lovers can enjoy picture books Here Comes Santa Cat, Katie Loves the Kittens, and Won Ton with a cat card game.
  33. Here Comes Trouble!
  34. Or let the dogs out with Dogs, Here Comes Trouble!, and If You Give a Dog a Donut and dog themed dominoes.
  35. Add a car to a child's train set, but include Steam Train, Dream Train or Elisha Cooper's Train.
  36. Nature lovers will enjoy Birdsongs along with a guidebook like Backyard Birds and some binoculars.
  37. For more nature, pair A Butterfly is Patient with a butterfly garden kit.
  38. Give your favorite girly-girl Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy with dress-up jewelry and/or a fancy poodle.
  39. Give your rough little boy Pirates Don’t Change Diapers along with genuine pirate gear.
  40. Another nighttime choice is Goodnight, Little Monster with an Ugly Doll.
  41. Give picture book The Moon with a special flashlight and a promise for a nighttime walk or two.
  42. Blackout
  43. Or for a different angle with that flashlight, pair with Blackout and prepare for indoor fun with the lights out.
  44. Take fun picture book Fold Me a Poem and pair it with an origami kit.
  45. Picture books A Sick Day for Amos McGee or Panda-monium at Peek Zoo would be perfect with a zoo animal collection or game.
  46. Or head down to the Farm, adding a Lace and Trace Farm Set.
  47. 999 Frogs Wake Up goes nicely with Flingin' Frogs game.
  48. For a western theme, give A Night on the Range or Every Cowgirl Loves a Rodeo with a cowboy hat.
  49. Take a special book, like Wow! It Sure is Good to Be You (which is about an aunt loving her far-away niece), and make a CD recording of you reading it.
  50. Pair Duck and Goose with a bright ball.
  51. Dusk
  52. Celebrate the season with the beautiful Dusk and appropriate lights or decorations.
  53. The funny wordless book Once Upon a Banana is a perfect fit with a stuffed monkey — but show your sense of humor by throwing a banana into the gift bag.
  54. Another wordless book choice is the visually stunning The Tree House, which works surprisingly well with Littlest Pet Shop brown bear and polar bear.
  55. Give The Snow Globe Family with a snow globe.
  56. Pair Lilly’s Big Day with dress-up clothes.
  57. Or another dress-up option is the Ladybug Girl books with wings and antennae.
  58. Pair Bubble Bath Pirates with a cool rubber duck.
  59. Give the wonderful The Day the Babies Crawled Away with a baby doll.
  60. Everyone needs Mo Willems’ book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, maybe adding a toy bus.
  61. Pair classic A Bargain For Frances with a tea set.
Early Elementary
    Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs
  1. Pair a nonfiction book about dinosaurs, like Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, with a bunch of plastic ones.
  2. Give Instructions with a book of classic fairy tales, and make time to read them together.
  3. Introduce a folktale with Maneki Neko: the Tale of the Beckoning Cat and giving lucky cat bank.
  4. Pair silly beginning reader book The Monster in the Backpack with a cute backpack (monster additional).
  5. Give beginning reader books Amazing Sharks! and National Geographic Readers: Sharks! and throw in a shark on a stick.
  6. Take to the ice with book choices Katie Kazoo, On Thin Ice and passes to the local ice-skating rink.
  7. Soccer Cats
  8. Give a title from the Soccer Cats series with a soccer ball.
  9. Pair Toys Go Out with a red bouncy ball, or a plush stingray or buffalo.
  10. Pair Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs with a kazoo.
  11. Give early chapter book series books Rainbow Fairies or Flower Fairies with lovely little fairies.
  12. Blooming fashionistas will appreciate Paper Fashions (Klutz) (all thirty-five Amazon reviews gave five stars!) along with Fashion Kitty.
  13. Combine sweet Jenny and the Cat Club with a red scarf (don’t worry if it’s too long — so is Jenny’s) and a black cat.
Elementary
    Candymakers
  1. Satisfy a sweet tooth with The Candymakers with a candy making kit.
  2. Pair Operation YES! with green army men.
  3. Be a hero and give Percy Jackson and the Olympians Boxed Set with Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths.
  4. Pair fantasy book The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda with a Stars Wars 'Ask the Force' top.
  5. Give What the World Eats with a promise for an international dinner out or in.
  6. Pair Every Soul a Star with The Kids Book of the Night Sky and plan a date to look at the stars together.
  7. For business-minded kids, pair The Lemonade War with a coin counter bank.
  8. Expand the idea of giving with The One and Only Ivan with an adopt-an-animal program at your local zoo.
  9. All the elementary school kids will love The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but you can pair it with tin wind-up toys for extra flair.
  10. Give Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little with um, Stuart Little.
  11. Frankenstein
  12. You can’t go wrong with the funny poems and outstanding art in Frankenstein Takes the Cake along with a cake-baking session, followed by reading the book together. As a matter of fact, throw in Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and make a whole day — and meal — of it.
  13. Speaking of the amazing Adam Rex, give the hilarious book The True Meaning of Smekday with a the related T-shirt Regarding Stickyfish Teams, I Favor the Bigfield Fighting Koobish.
  14. Give Kimchi & Calamari with a promise for a dinner out Korean style, or Italian style, or both.
  15. Wrap up A Crooked Kind of Perfect with excellent toe socks.
  16. Perhaps Fabulous Hair with a collection of hair accessories will make someone smile.
  17. Pair a diary-format book like My Explosive Diary (2nd/3rd grade), Amelia’s Notebook (4th/5th grade), or The Princess Diaries (6th/7th grade) with a journal and fun pens
.Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
  • For a boy, how about the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul with the Do It Yourself Journal?
  • Have fun with Clarice Bean Spells Trouble and a game of Scrabble.
  • Pair Phineas MacGuire... Erupts! with a science kit, or the next book in the series, Phineas MacGuire... Gets Slimed! with the slime science kit.
  • Look to fantastic nonfiction, giving Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon with a homemade coupon for a visit to the Air and Space Museum (okay, this might only work around Washington, D.C.) or astronaut ice cream.
  • Give a drawing book like Draw 50 Aliens or Draw 50 Animals with a couple of nice sketch pads.
  • Pair a spy-themed book like Harriet the Spy (chapter book) or The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy (nonfiction) with rear-view sunglasses and/or a fingerprint kit.
  • Bigger girls like stuffed animals, too. How about Hoot with an owl or The World According to Humphrey with a hamster?
  • Select a magic book and fun magic tricks.
  • Pair D.I.Y.: Kids with a gift card to a local craft store, and maybe some shopping and crafting time together.
  • Book of Animal Poetry
  • Match the book and the movie, like The Spiderwick Chronicles with the DVD.
  • Pair a theme book like Katie and the Mustang with a horse charm and a satin cord from a craft store.
  • Or maybe Fairy Realm with a charm bracelet.
  • Give the first books of The Series of Unfortunate Events with a brass telescope.
  • Pair The Art Book for Children with watercolor paints or an art set.
  • Give National Geographic's Book of Animal Poetry, Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart or Poetry Speaks to Children with hot chocolate, a mug, and a gift certificate for time to read it together.
  • Teen
    1. Give the companion books Goth Girl Rising and The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl , and throw in How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains.
    2. Pair a book that you and a teen can enjoy with a gift card to Starbucks and a promise to talk about the book over coffee. Some suggestions? Liar, Candor, or The Adoration of Jenna Fox have interesting issues.
    3. Beauty Queens
    4. Give Beauty Queens with a small makeup kit, and a healthy dose of irony.
    5. Rock out with Beige along with a mix CD of the songs in the chapter titles (or an iTunes gift card).
    6. Buy a tween Better Nate Than Ever along with tickets to a show.
    7. Pair House of Dance with ballroom dance lessons.
    8. Give delicious book A La Carte with personal cooking lessons.
    9. Match casino gambling themed Drop with a deck of cards and a family game of penny poker or blackjack.
    10. Pair King Dork with a CD of The Mr. T Experience.
    11. Treat a tween to Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf along with pink nail polish, lipstick, post-it notes, and special bubble bath, as mentioned in the book.
    12. Pair
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    4. Giving the gift of well-being

    In the film A Christmas Story, Ralphie desperately wants “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200 shot range model air rifle.” His mom resists because she reckons it will damage his well-being. (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”) In the end, though, Ralphie gets the air rifle and deems it “the greatest Christmas gift I ever received, or would ever receive.”

    This Christmas, why not give your friends and family the gift of well-being? Even removing an air rifle and the possibility of eye injury from the mix, that’s easier said than done.

    Well-being is tough to pin down. It takes many forms. A college student, a middle-aged parent, and a spritely octogenarian might all lead very different lives and still have well-being. What’s more, you can’t wrap up well-being and tuck it under the tree. All you can do is give gifts that promote it. But what kind of gift promotes well-being?

    One that establishes or strengthens the positive grooves that make up a good life. You have well-being when you’re stuck in a “positive groove” of:

    • emotions (e.g., pleasure, contentment),
    • attitudes (e.g., optimism, openness to new experiences),
    • traits (e.g., extraversion, perseverance), and
    • success (e.g., strong relationships, professional accomplishment, fulfilling projects, good health).

    Your life is going well for you when you’re entangled in a success-breeds-success cycle comprised of states you find (mostly) valuable and pleasant.

    Well-being as a positive groove
    Well-being as a positive groove

    Some gifts do this by producing what psychologists call flow. They immerse you in an activity you find rewarding. Flow gifts are easy to spot. They’re the ones, like Ralphie’s air rifle, that occupy you all day.

    A flow gift promotes well-being by snaring you into a pleasure-mastery-success loop. A flow gift turns you inward, toward a specific activity and away from the rest of the world. It involves an activity that’s fun, that you get better at with practice, and that rewards you with success, even if that “success” is winning a video game car race.

    The Flow Gift
    The Flow Gift

    Flow is important to a good life. It feels good, and it fosters excellence. It’s the difference between the piano-playing wiz and the kid (like me) who fizzled out. But there’s more to well-being than flow and excellence.

    A bonding gift turns you outward, toward other people. A bonding gift shows how someone thinks and feels about you. In O. Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi, a young couple, Jim and Della, sacrifice their “greatest treasures” to buy each other Christmas gifts. Della sells her luxurious long hair to buy a chain for Jim’s gold watch. And Jim sells his gold watch to buy the beautiful set of combs Della yearned for.

    Bonding gifts change people’s relationships. The chain and the combs strengthen and deepen Jim and Della’s love, affection and commitment. This is why “of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.”

    The bonds of love and friendship are not just emotional. They’re causal. We’re tangled up with the people we care about in self-sustaining cycles of positive feelings, attitudes, traits and accomplishments. Good relationships are shared, interpersonal positive grooves. This is why they make us better and happier people. Bonding gifts strengthen the positive groove you share with a person you care about.

    A good relationship as an interpersonal positive groove
    A good relationship as an interpersonal positive groove

    You’re probably wondering whether you can find something that’s an effective bonding and flow gift. I must admit, I’ve never managed it. A tandem bike? Alas, no. Perhaps you can do better.

    So this holiday season, why not give “groovy” gifts – gifts that “keep on giving” by ensnaring your loved ones in cascading cycles of pleasure and value.

    Image credit: Stockphotography wrapping paper via Hubspot.

    The post Giving the gift of well-being appeared first on OUPblog.

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    5. #777 – The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna

    THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish Written by Deborah Diesen Illustrations by Dan Hanna Farrar Straus Giroux BYR    9/08/2015 978-0-374-35549-4 32 pages     Ages 2—6 “A gift should be BIG, And a gift should be BRIGHT, And a gift should be PERFECT— Guaranteed to …

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    6. 150 Ways to Give a Book

    I realize I haven't been posting, but it wouldn't feel like the holidays if I didn't update and share my traditional 150 Ways to Give a Book. They are all MotherReader-approved titles — i.e., Good Books. There are a lot more choices for younger kids, as that’s the group we adults most fear disappointing with giving “only” a book. And picture books are kind of easier to do. After the book and gift selections, I’ve also included ways to wrap a book, and book-themed gifts to include for a variety of ages. There are a few new 2015 titles mixed in with older ones — though there aren’t many classics, as I’ve tried to select books that kids would be less likely to have on their shelves. I've also tried to avoid any branded products, which is surprisingly difficult.

    Sometimes I choose the hardback when the paperback is also available, so check if that is important to you. I’ve also linked to the fun extras through Amazon, for example, to save you shopping time, and because I get some small credit for your purchases through the Amazon Associates program. But know that you can find cheaper alternatives for some small things — paints, pens, journals, etc. — at a local discount store. On the other hand, doing all your purchases online and having them sent to your door is priceless.

    I'm always looking for new ideas, so leave suggestions in the comments. I hope you'll share this link as you promote giving books as gifts for the holidays and that you find some great ideas for your own friends and family. Enjoy!

    Multi-Age

    1. Give an experience like a trip to a zoo, aquarium, museum, aviary, arena, or city. Put the passes, tickets, or homemade gift certificate with a relevant book to make it feel more tangible.
    2. Take a road trip with Ask Me so you can use the driving time to ask each other the interesting questions from the book.
    3. Give a book with a movie theater gift card to see the upcoming film.
    4. Give a book with a gift card to rent the movie. Include a box of microwave popcorn.
    5. One Hen - How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference
    6. Give One Hen — How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference with a loan to Kiva or a donation to Heifer International to buy chicks.
    7. Pair any book with another book from the bargain section, maybe something silly or crafty or gimmicky.
    8. Pair a detective book with a magnifying glass.
    9. Match poetry books with word beads or magnetic poetry.
    10. Pair a picture book with a related stuffed animal.
    11. Give an interesting, insightful book with a restaurant gift card and a date to discuss the book together over a meal.
    12. Honor the book enthusiast with necklace along with a new title.
    13. Celebrate writing too with special journals from Tara Books, an independent press based in India.
    Picture Books
    1. Learn letters with ABC, Baby Me! board book or The Sleepy Little Alphabet and letter links.
    2. Or work with numbers (and colors) with 10 Hungry Rabbits and magnetic numbers.
    3. Or let them battle it out with 123 vs ABC and bath toys
    4. The Day the Crayons Quit
    5. Give The Day the Crayons Quit and the sequel The Day the Crayons Came Homewith a pack of fat crayons and a stack of copy paper from an office supply store.
    6. Or go with Art and Max or Blue Chicken with a paint set.
    7. Pair Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt and/or The Curious Garden with gardening tools and seeds.
    8. It’s almost dessert when you give The Cow Loves Cookies with a cookie counting game.
    9. What else can go with Extra Yarn but extra yarn? Well, and knitting needles and instructions.
    10. Pair Kite Flying and/or Kite Day with a new kite.
    11. Give Bats at the Ballgame with a bat and ball. You can throw in a coupon book for practice sessions.
    12. Take a light-hearted bedtime book like Goodnight Already! or A Bedtime for Bear and add a night light.
    13. Or choose A Full Moon is Rising or Moonlight with glow-in-the-dark moon and stars — or go high tech with this Moon in my Room.
    14. Giant Dance Party
    15. Get moving with Giant Dance Party with Kids Dance Party CD.
    16. Keep up the music by giving Drum City with an old-time tin drum.
    17. Pair Bubble Trouble with touchable bubbles.
    18. Ballet dancers will love the classic Angelina Ballerina or the slightly edgyVampirina Ballerina (or both) with a fancy tutu or two… two.
    19. Give little superheroes SuperHero ABC along with a superhero cape.
    20. Encourage a future Iron Chef by giving Rainbow Stew or Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon with a cooking set.
    21. Silliness ensues with Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure and the Pass the Pigs game.
    22. Take it outside with Chalk with 3-D sidewalk chalk.
    23. The Monstore
    24. Pair Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site or Building with Dad with toy construction vehicles.
    25. Give The Monstore with the monster game.
    26. Who can resist that match-up of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek with Lincoln Logs?
    27. Give your little dragon-lover Have You Seen My Dragon?, Lovabye Dragon or Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood with a cute dragon.
    28. Is there a doctor in the house? There will be with picture book Doctor Ted along with a doctor kit.
    29. Future firefighter instead? Give Fire! Fuego! along with Firefighters A to Z and firefighter gear.
    30. Pair picture book Crafty Chloe with a selection of craft supplies.
    31. What else can go with Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum other than lots of bubble gum.
    32. Cat lovers can enjoy picture books Here Comes Santa Cat, Katie Loves the Kittens, and A Castle Full of Cats with a cat card game.
    33. Here Comes Trouble!
    34. Or let the dogs out with Dogs, Here Comes Trouble!, and If You Give a Dog a Donut and a dog themed game.
    35. Add a car to a child's train set, but include Steam Train, Dream Train or Elisha Cooper's Train.
    36. Nature lovers will enjoy Birdsongs along with a guidebook like Backyard Birds and some binoculars.
    37. For more nature, pair A Butterfly is Patient and/or Butterfly Park with a butterfly garden kit.
    38. Give your favorite girly-girl Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy with dress-up jewelry and/or a fancy poodle.
    39. Give your rough little boy Bad Pirate along with genuine pirate gear.
    40. Another nighttime choice is Goodnight, Little Monster with an Ugly Doll.
    41. Give picture book Flashlight with a special flashlight and a promise for a nighttime walk or two.
    42. Blackout
    43. Or for a different angle with that flashlight, pair with Blackout and prepare for indoor fun with the lights out.
    44. Take fun picture book Fold Me a Poem and pair it with an origami kit.
    45. Picture books A Sick Day for Amos McGee or Panda-monium at Peek Zoo would be perfect with a zoo animal collection or game.
    46. Or head down to the Farm, adding a Lace and Trace Farm Set.
    47. 999 Frogs Wake Up goes nicely with Flingin' Frogs game.
    48. For a western theme, give A Night on the Range or Rodeo Red with a cowboy hat.
    49. Take a special book, like The Lion and the Bird (about a friendship and seeing each other again), and make a recording of you reading it.
    50. Pair Duck and Goose with a bright ball.
    51. Dusk
    52. Celebrate the season with the beautiful Dusk and appropriate lights or decorations.
    53. The funny wordless book Once Upon a Banana is a perfect fit with a stuffed monkey — but show your sense of humor by throwing a banana into the gift bag.
    54. Another wordless book choice is the visually stunning Pool, which begs to be given with googles and a trip to the nearest indoor swimming pool.
    55. Give The Snow Globe Family with a snow globe.
    56. Pair Lilly’s Big Day with dress-up clothes.
    57. Or another dress-up option is the Ladybug Girl books with wings and antennae.
    58. Pair Bubble Bath Pirates with a cool rubber duck.
    59. Give the wonderful The Day the Babies Crawled Away with a baby doll.
    60. Everyone needs Mo Willems’ book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, maybe adding a toy bus.
    61. Pair classic A Bargain For Frances with a tea set.
    Early Elementary
      Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs
    1. Pair a nonfiction book about dinosaurs, like Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, with a bunch of plastic ones.
    2. Give Instructions with a book of classic fairy tales, and make time to read them together.
    3. Introduce a folktale with Maneki Neko: the Tale of the Beckoning Cat and giving lucky cat bank.
    4. Pair silly beginning reader book The Monster in the Backpack with a cute backpack (monster additional).
    5. Give beginning reader books Amazing Sharks! and National Geographic Readers: Sharks! and throw in a shark on a stick.
    6. Take to the ice with book choices Katie Kazoo, On Thin Ice and passes to the local ice-skating rink.
    7. Soccer Cats
    8. Give a title from the Soccer Cats series with a soccer ball.
    9. Pair Toys Go Out with a red bouncy ball, or a plush stingray or buffalo.
    10. Pair Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs with a kazoo.
    11. Give early chapter book series books Rainbow Fairies or Flower Fairies with lovely little fairies.
    12. Blooming fashionistas will appreciate Paper Fashions (Klutz) (all thirty-five Amazon reviews gave five stars!) along with Fashion Kitty.
    13. Combine sweet Jenny and the Cat Club with a red scarf (don’t worry if it’s too long — so is Jenny’s) and a black cat.
    Elementary
      Candymakers
    1. Satisfy a sweet tooth with The Candymakers with a candy making kit.
    2. Pair Operation YES! with green army men.
    3. Be a hero and give Percy Jackson and the Olympians Boxed Set with Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths.
    4. Pair fantasy book The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda with a Stars Wars 'Ask the Force' top.
    5. Give What the World Eats with a promise for an international dinner out or in.
    6. Pair Every Soul a Star with The Kids Book of the Night Sky and plan a date to look at the stars together.
    7. For business-minded kids, pair The Lemonade War with a coin counter bank.
    8. Expand the idea of giving with The One and Only Ivan with an adopt-an-animal program at your local zoo.
    9. All the elementary school kids will love The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but you can pair it with tin wind-up toys for extra flair.
    10. Give Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little with um, Stuart Little.
    11. Frankenstein
    12. You can’t go wrong with the funny poems and outstanding art in Frankenstein Takes the Cake along with a cake-baking session, followed by reading the book together. As a matter of fact, throw in Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and make a whole day — and meal — of it.
    13. Speaking of the amazing Adam Rex, give the hilarious book The True Meaning of Smekday with a the related T-shirt Regarding Stickyfish Teams, I Favor the Bigfield Fighting Koobish.
    14. Give Kimchi & Calamari with a promise for a dinner out Korean style, or Italian style, or both.
    15. Wrap up A Crooked Kind of Perfect with excellent toe socks.
    16. Perhaps Fabulous Hair with a collection of hair accessories will make someone smile.
    17. Pair a diary-format book like My Explosive Diary (2nd/3rd grade), Amelia’s Notebook (4th/5th grade), or The Princess Diaries (6th/7th grade) with a journal and fun pens
    18. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
    19. For a boy, how about the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School with the Do It Yourself Journal?
    20. Have fun with Clarice Bean Spells Trouble and a game of Scrabble.
    21. Pair Phineas MacGuire... Erupts! with a science kit, or the next book in the series, Phineas MacGuire... Gets Slimed! with the slime science kit.
    22. Look to fantastic nonfiction, giving Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon with a homemade coupon for a visit to the Air and Space Museum (okay, this might only work around Washington, D.C.) or astronaut ice cream.
    23. Give a drawing book like Draw 50 Aliens or Draw 50 Animals with a couple of nice sketch pads.
    24. Pair a spy-themed book like Harriet the Spy, Spy School (chapter book) or The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy (nonfiction) with rear-view sunglasses and/or a fingerprint kit.
    25. Bigger girls like stuffed animals, too. How about Hoot with an owl or The World According to Humphrey with a hamster?
    26. Select a magic book and fun magic tricks.
    27. Pair D.I.Y.: Kids with a gift card to a local craft store, and maybe some shopping and crafting time together.
    28. Book of Animal Poetry
    29. Match the book and the movie, like The Spiderwick Chronicles with the DVD.
    30. Pair a theme book like Katie and the Mustang with a horse charm and a satin cord from a craft store.
    31. Or maybe Fairy Realm with a charm bracelet.
    32. Give the first books of The Series of Unfortunate Events with a brass telescope.
    33. Pair The Art Book for Children with watercolor paints or an art set.
    34. Give National Geographic's Book of Animal Poetry, Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart or Poetry Speaks to Children with hot chocolate, a mug, and a gift certificate for time to read it together.


    Teen
    1. Buy a tween Better Nate Than Ever and/or Jack & Louise: Act 1along with tickets to a show.
    2. Give the companion books Goth Girl Rising and The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl , and throw in How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains.
    3. Pair a book that you and a teen can enjoy with a gift card to Starbucks and a promise to talk about the book over coffee. Some suggestions? Liar, Candor, or The Adoration of Jenna Fox have interesting issues.
    4. Beauty Queens
    5. Give Beauty Queens with a small makeup kit, and a healthy dose of irony.
    6. Rock out with Beige along with a mix CD of the songs in the chapter titles (or an iTunes gift card).
    7. Pair House of Dance with ballroom dance lessons.
    8. Give delicious book
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    7. Your Tu Books holiday book-buying guide

    Hanukkah is in full swing, and Christmas is right around the corner. Thinking about getting a book for that teen or kid in your life? Or for the adult YA reader in your life (you are welcome in this no-judgement zone; we love YA too!). Don’t forget to include Tu Books in those plans! Here are a few examples of people you’re looking to find a gift for.

    For the reader looking for comedy (sometimes light, sometimes a little morbid):

    Cat Girl's Day OffGalaxyGames-FinalFront

    For the teen looking for something with an edge:

    Diverse EnergiesWolf Mark front cover FINALTankborn-Cover-Final

    For the middle-grade reader or young teen looking for a “clean” read:

    Summer of the MariposasCat Girl's Day OffGalaxyGames-FinalFront

    For fans of folklore and fairy tales:

    Summer of the Mariposas

    For fans of science fiction, especially technology and space-related:

    Tankborn-Cover-FinalGalaxyGames-FinalFront

    For fans of Twilight:

    Wolf Mark front cover FINAL

    For fans of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Chicago:

    Cat Girl's Day Off

     

    Got any other kinds of readers in your life that need a Tu Book recommendation? Ask away in the comments!

    Originally published at Stacy Whitman's Grimoire. You can comment here or there.

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