Looking for Holiday Presents? Check these books out!

With the holidays coming up, I always promote the giving of books! Kids can never have too much to read! These books caught my eye  as great gifts for the kids on Santa’s nice list (or even naughty – books are great for everyone! 😉 )
They are all five out of five bookworm books for me! 
By Claire Zucchelli-Romer

Series: Touchthinklearn

Board book: 26 pages – ages 2+
Published by Chronicle Books; Brdbk edition on April 3, 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis: Little fingers twist and turn, zig and zag, moving on, over, and through pages filled with fluorescent die-cut dots and playful, grooved paths. This brilliant application of the groundbreaking TouchThinkLearn format compels the youngest learners to explore and engage with their world in a hands-on, multisensory way. The premise is simple: Hear an instruction, repeat its words, and playfully trace out its action. Multiple modes of perception combine to inspire and instill a deeper understanding of essential concepts and language. TouchThinkLearn: Wiggles offers a priceless way to play, read—and have fun—together!
What I thought: In the spirit of Herve Tullet’s Press Here, this interactive book is a sensory sensation! I love the textures kids can experience while interacting with the book. The text of the book encourages children to touch, press, and run their fingers over shapes and grooves in the book. It teaches right and left as there is independent direction for the hands depending on which side of the spread the illustration is on. The text is simple, fun, and encourages interaction. The board book format makes it perfectly suited for toddlers and children of differing abilities. The bright colors are an additional plus for this book.


Ocean – A Visual Miscellany
By Ricardo Henriques
Illustrated by Andre Letria
48 pages – ages 8+

Published by Chronicle Books on July 3, 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis:Which ocean is the largest? Who was the first explorer to sail around the world? Is the ocean truly blue?

Rich with information and beautifully designed, this miscellany offers readers a tsunami of aquatic facts big and small. Ocean is a reminder that while much is known about this vast environment, much, much more remains a mystery. This book will satisfy young readers who enjoy taking a deep dive into the subject as well as ocean enthusiasts everywhere.

What I thought: I LOVE the blue, black, and white illustrations in this book. It it gave the book a feel of the ocean – vast, sometimes scary, powerful, and beautiful.
The binding is wonderful on this over-sized book. The text is snippets and fact boxes of everything nautical. The Earth’s oceans and major bodies of water are described and geographically identified. Ships, sailing, navigation, and exploration are all covered. Kids will also like the sea creatures (mythical and real) identified and talked about as well as icebergs and ship wrecks. My sister is doing a science fair project on fish and actually borrowed this book as a reference for the identification of fin types on fish. It would have been nice to have sources at the back of the book because it is so jammed packed with information, but overall, I really liked this one!


Pierre The Maze Detective: The Mystery of the Empire Maze Tower
By Chihiro Maruyama
Illustrated by Hiro Kamigaki and IC4Design
Translated by: Emma Sakamiya

36 pages – ages 8+
Published by Laurence King Publishing; Act edition on October 3, 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis: Mr X the Phantom Thief is back, with a new evil plan! He wants to steal the shining light from the top of the Empire Maze Tower, New Maze City’s greatest treasure.Pierre and Carmen are called to New Maze City, along with others of the world’s best Maze Detectives, to help solve the puzzles, protect the treasure and stop Mr X. But can you help them make it in time?

A thrilling new maze challenge adventure for Pierre the Maze Detective, for all detectives

What I thought: What a visual feast for the eyes! I can see why IC4Design collective of illustrators have received many accolades. The illustrations beautifully reflect the “Jazz Age” in New York City. The art deco feel to them is amazing. The story follows Pierre and Carmen, two young detectives, through various mazes which make up the different floors of the Empire Maze Tower. Their goal is to stop Mr. X who wants to steal the Tower’s secret treasure. The large spreads have amazing details and there are instructions to navigate each maze. There are other challenges and rewards to be collected in each page also. The text though is secondary to the illustrations but the two complement each other superbly. This one would make a terrific gift!

Kids Awesome Activity Book
By Mike Lowery

112 pages – ages 6+
Published by Workman Publishing Company on June 12, 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis: Pure interactive fun between two covers!
A book that begs to be doodled in with 96 wacky prompts, games, and crafts, and adorable creatures to boot, The Kid’s Awesome Activity Book is packed with activities that take delightful twists and turns, inviting kids to design, draw, and dream—and encouraging creativity on and off the page. Enter an ancient cave to decode a mummy’s message. Find your way through a beehive maze. Write a song for a cat rock band. Design a personalized spaceship—and so much more. Plus, plenty of goodies to return to again and again for hands-on play: paper dolls, finger puppets, bonus stickers, and a giant pullout poster designed to kindle curious minds and active imaginations.
A great boredom-buster for travel or rainy days, and a fun birthday or holiday gift. From the author and illustrator of the Doodle Adventures® series and based on the Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar, the book showcases Lowery’s inimitable quirky style and humor that clicks with all ages—get the whole family in on the fun!
What I Thought: With the holidays coming up, this would be a solid choice for a gift. Unlike many other activity book, this one doesn’t seem to repeat a theme. The activities and projects vary widely and do not require any outside materials (other than simple things like pencils, tape and scissors). There are simple directions for each and the graphic illustrations are fun and add to the description of each activity. There are puzzles, finger puppets, flip books, make a comic, art activities, and other games and crafts. I can’t see a kid not finding a ton of things to keep them busy in this book. It is great for boys and girls. There are also a ton of stickers in the book as well as a giant poster. Kids will love this one!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Age 9+, Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading

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6 replies

  1. I love the Kids Awesome Activity Book. I know who would like that for Christmas!!

  2. You’ve picked out some great books, Erik! And by the way, I just received some books in the mail from you that I had completely forgotten about! Thank you! But you really shouldn’t have spent so much on postage. Media mail gets things places, just a little more slowly. But thank you! I’ll be passing these out to some kids I know. Cheers and happy holidays!

  3. Great choice of books Erik. I’ve just wrapped up our nephews and nieces gifts all have books. Mostly interactive ones for the younger kids. Thanks for sharing.

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