Jenny's Library

Posts Tagged ‘booklists

Continuing from the previous installment, here are literary gifts for preschoolers, kids just starting school, and other children not quite reading yet.  All of the books on this list should be in stock in most bookstores, so they should work for last minutes gifts.

Books That Should Be In Stock

cover image for Not A Boxinside page for Not a Box

inside page for Not a Boxcover image for Not A Stick

Not a Box, Not a Stick by Antionette Portis

In this pair of awesomely entertaining books, a bunny pretends that a box is not a box but a race car! a volcano! a robot! and that a stick is not a stick but a spear! a fishing rod! a sword!  The covers help make the books extra special; Not a Box has the look and texture of cardboard, Not a Stick the feel of wood.

cover image for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Buscover image for DOn't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog!cover image for The Duckling Gets A Cookie!?image for Don't Let the Pigeon Run This App!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, The Duckling Wants a Cookie?!, Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! by Mo Willems

When the bus driver steps out for a while, he asks readers (and listeners) to watch the bus for him – and to not let the Pigeon drive the bus! Giving little ones a chance to tell someone else “NO!” for a change, as the Pigeon tries all the typical arguments (“I’ll bet your mom would let me”) to try to convince them otherwise.  Willems illustrations are full of energy and personality, but remain still simple enough for children to imitate.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late follows the same formula, while The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and The Duckling Wants a Cookie?! do not but remain quite charming.

The spin-off app is brilliant as well.  More than just an electronic version of the story, the app also allows children to fill in the blanks (Mad Libs style) and record their own version of the story, and gives them a chance to learn how to draw the pigeon, step by step, right on their tablet.

cover image for Press Hereinside page for Press Here

Press Here by Herve Tullet

This interactive story asks children to press, shake, and turn pages to make the dots multiple, move, and transform.

cover image for Blackoutinside page for Blackout

Blackout by John Rocco

When a blackout means that no one in the city can watch tv, play video games, or use the internet, a family rediscover the joys of spending time outside with each other and friends.  Told in a comic book-like format, the beautiful and very readable sequential art helps prepare children for the process of reading – much like Snowy Day does, only in a more sophisticated way.

cover image for Planting a Rainbowcover image for Eating The Alphabet

Planting a Rainbow, Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

This pair of brilliant concept books uses bright colors, rhyming text, and shaped pages to capture and keep little ones’ attention.

cover image for The Snowy DayThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

A young child explores all the wonders of freshly fallen snow.  A lovely book with engaging pictures that are clear and sequential enough that children can use them to “read” the story on their own when adults and older siblings are busy.

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seegercover image for Green

Lime green, forest green, faded green, sea green…all kinds of greens!  A bit more sophisticated than most color books meant for very young children, Vaccaro Seeger rich illustrations and clever cut-outs will delight older preschoolers and younger elementary age children.

cover image for Frieght TrainFreight Train by Donald Crews

Bold black and white backgrounds are joined by brightly colored train cars in a simple and classic story.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendakcover image for Where the Wild Things Are

Do I really need to explain this choice? I didn’t think so.

Giftmas is creeping ever closer!

Which means it’s time for another “literary gifts” booklist.  Today’s booklist is for pre-readers.  As in: kids that are no longer toddlers, but are not yet reading aloud themselves.

As before, I’ve divided the main list into books that you have to order and books that you can probably walk into a bookstore and buy off the shelf.  If you choose from the first group of books, you are less likely to duplicate someone else gift, or give a child a book they already have.  But the books in the second group can be bought at the last minute.  Probably.

However, partway through typing all this up I realized that this list was getting way too long for one post, so this time I’ve broken the list up into several parts.

Today, you get:

Books You Will Probably Need to Order:

cover image for The World Is Waiting For YouThe World is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley

National Geographic has some amazing picture books for children, and this is my absolute favorite.  Lyrical in a way that non-fiction picture books rarely are, filled with breathtaking photographs, and expertly designed, The World is Waiting for You encourages to children to explore and treasure the world around them.

It’s also not the kind of book most kids would pick up for themselves, yet it is the kind of book that becomes a cherished favorite over time, making it a perfect gift book.

cover image for Kitten's First Full Mooncover image for Old Bearcover image for A Good Daycover image for Little White Rabbitcover image for My Garden

Kitten’s First Full Moon, Old Bear, A Good Day, Little White Rabbit, My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Henkes initially made his name with some great picture books meant for elementary age children, but I absolutely adore these newer, more preschool friendly books.  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for illustrations with high contrast, gorgeous colors, and thick lines.  All four of these books also have great stories for younger children – ones that engage their imagination and encourage them to predict what will happen next.

cover image for Wavecover image for The Zoocover image for Shadow

Wave, The Zoo, Shadow by Suzy Lee

Suzy Lee’s wordless picture books are incredibly beautiful and clever. Her wonderful use of color and contrast keeps the illustrations readable while allowing her to include the kinds of details that reward repeated viewings.

cover image for Hondo and Fabiancover image for Bark, George!cover image for Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime

Hondo and Fabian by Peter McCarty

While not a wordless picture book, the illustrations are readable, informative, and expressive enough to work as one.  McCarty also has a very gentle and distinctive style as an illustrator, making his books both intriguing and memorable.

Bark, George! by Jules Feiffer

This story never fails to make any crowd I read it to giggle and laugh hysterically.

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime! by Bob Shea

Particularly good for younger preschoolers, children will love roaring along with Dinosaur, and parents will love the fact that Dinosaur “wins” by getting everyone to roar with him.  I mostly love how silly and cute the books are.

cover image for Dogscover image for Orange Pear Apple Bearcover image for Blue Chameleon

cover image for The Odd Egg

Dogs, Orange Pear Apple Bear, Blue Chameleon, The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett

Gravett’s books are clever (Orange Pear Apple Bear works as an “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” for kinders) and the illustrations are elegant, even when the subject matter is comedic.

cover image for Thank You Bearcover image for Don't Worry Bearcover image for I Miss You Mouse

Thank You Bear, Don’t Worry Bear, I Miss You Mouse by Greg E. Foley

These are probably the most “typical” books for preschoolers on this list, but they are so very well done.

cover image for Little Peacover image for Little Hootcover image for Little Oink

Little Pea, Little Hoot, Little Oink by Amy Krause Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace

For some strange reason, you can get this series more easily as board books than as picture books, but I think they are better for preschoolers than toddlers. They also work really well for younger elementary school students, so the picture book format is a more useful investment, in my opinion.

cover image for The Handiest Things in the WorldThe Handiest Things in the World by Andrew Clements, photographs by Raquel Jaramillo

A lovely, lovely book about what it means to be human – and all the new things little hands are learning to do.

10 of my favorite picture books for Thanksgiving, in no particular order.

cover image for Pilgrims of Plymouthcover image for 1621: A New Look at Thanksgivingcover image for Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights

Pilgrims of Plymouth by Susan E. Goodman

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Marge Bruchac

Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems About Fall by Laura Purdie Salas

thanksgiving+2cover image for 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Matt Faulkner

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey

cover image for This First Thanksgiving Daycover image for Over the Rivercover image for Thanks for Thanksgiving

This First Thanksgiving Day by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Mark Buehner

Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale by Derek Anderson

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes, illustrated by Doris Barrette

cover image for Balloons Over Broadwaycover image for The Apple Pie That Papa Baked

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

The Apple Pie That Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathon Bean

(not including picture books)

Easy Readers:
Pinky and Rex and the New Baby by James Howe
Pinky and Rex and Go to Camp by James Howe

Chapter Books:
Babymouse: Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer and Matt Holm
Babymouse: Mad Scientist by Jennifer and Matt Holm
Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer and Matt Holm

The Onts by Dan Greenburg

Middle Grade Novels:
The Black Book of Buried Secrets by Rick Riordan, etc.
Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Crispin: the Cross of Lead by Avi
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Betrayal at Cross Creek by Kathleen Ernst
Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Vespers Rising by Rick Riordan, etc.
Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Bunnicula by James Howe
Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
More Scary Stories to tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
Starting With Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch
Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Young Adult Novels (and Anthologies):
Liar by Justine Labalestier
Nightschool Vol. 3 by Svetlana Chmakova
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Nightschool Vol. 4 by Svetlana Chmakova
The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
Death Cloud by Andy Lane
Forever by Judy Blume
I’d Tell You I’d Love You But Then I Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
What Can(t) Wait by Ashley Hope Perez
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman
Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
Double Helix by Nancy Werlin
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Awakening by Robin Wasserman
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Matched by Ally Condie

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Karma by Cathy Ostlere
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Above by Leah Bobet
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Black Heart by Black Holly
After edited by Ellen Datlow
The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Fire Season by David Weber and Jane Kindskold

Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell
Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
Dramarama by E. Lockhart
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The Boy Book by E. Lockhart
Daja’s Book by Tamora Pierce
Diverse Energies edited by Tobia S. Buckell
The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Come August, Come Freedom by Gigi Amateau
Frozen by Mary Casanova

Adult Novels:
Among Others by Jo Walton
God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell
Dark of the Moon by P. C. Hodgell
Seeker’s Mask by P. C. Hodgel
To Ride a Rathorn by P. C. Hodgell
Bound in Blood by P. C. Hodgell
Honor’s Paradox by P. C. Hodgell
Soulless: The Manga Vol. I by Gail Carriger
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Timeless by Gail Carriger
Kingdoms of Dust by Amanda Downum
Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
Rivers of London/Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Kindred by Octavia Butler
All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear
Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn
Tune: Vanishing Point by Derek Kirk Kim
Cold Magic by Kate Elliot
Cold Fire by Kate Eilliot
By the Mountain Bound by Elizabeth Bear
The Sea Thy Mistress by Elizabeth Bear
The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan

The Lego Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
They Called Themselves the K. K. K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Children’s Book of Music by Deborah Lock
I’m a Scientist: Backyard by Lisa Burke

That’s 103 folks!


or: Go to Gifts for Baby Showers, First Giftmases, and Other Occasions Involving Presents for Infants.

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The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton (1982, Little Simon)

Time for Bed by Mem Fox (1993, Harcourt Children’s Books)

Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann (1994, Putnam Juvenile)

The Napping House by Audrey Wood (1984, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton (2000, Workman Publishing Company)

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (1947, Harper Collins)


Anything I missed?

We all like booklists, yes?  Since I’m clearly not posting enough here – and so much of what I do (story times, displays, reader’s advisory) is actually geared towards collecting groupings of books rather than detailed reviews – I’m going to start sharing booklists here too.  Possibly I may even share some tie-in activities and crafts!

If you have any suggestions or requests, let me know.  🙂