Last Minute Gift Ideas! @DisneyBooks @NGKids @WorkmanPub @mhoutswrites @SkyPonyPress

Are you in a holiday panic?

Unsure of what to get?

Look no further! I have a list of excellent books all the kids on your list will love!



Hurry to your closest bookstore and find these titles to finish off your holiday shopping!

First up – 

Grow up, Ant-Man!

by Brandon T. Snider 

Illustrated by Jessika Von Innerebner

32 pages – ages 2+

Published by Marvel Press June 5, 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis: Ant-Man is a very mischievous Super Hero. So it’s up to Cassie to tell her dad to GROW UP! Watch as Ant-Man shows you just how big he can grow. Can Ant-Man grow bigger than the Hulk? Can Ant-Man grow bigger than the Avengers Tower? But what happens when Ant-Man grows TOO BIG?!

Told using playful repetition, this story will have parents and children alike saying “Grow Up, Ant-Man!”
What I thought: With the popularity of the Avengers right now, kids will love this superhero-themed book. The  repetition of “Can Ant-Man grow bigger than…” is sure to get little ones reading. I love that we meet Ant-Man’s daughter in the book and she is telling her Dad to “grow up” because he is acting so silly (don’t we all wish that of our parents sometimes?!). There are cameo appearances of all our Marvel favorites. Kids will have fun picking them out and identifying them. Von Innerebner’s illustrations are wonderful. They are perfect comic meets a picture book illustrations.
What is also cool is that the jacket of the book is a growth chart that your child can track how big they are compared to some superheros.
Next we have…
The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!
by Tom Angleberger 
Illustrated by Andie Tong 
272 pages – ages 8 – 12
Series: Star Wars
Published by Disney Lucasfilm Press May 25, 2018
Publisher’s Synopsis: When Chewbacca the Wookiee finds out that a job he thought was just ferrying tooka cats is actually much more, he’s excited to have something to do! But when he, a young bounty hunter/librarian, and a droll cargo droid–who, unbeknownst to the others is rebel spy droid K-2SO–land in the middle of a blue forest that emits a fear-causing mist, Chewie realizes the job may be too dangerous for his liking. He and his companions will have to fight off snarlers, sniffers, and their own fears as they try to recover a sacred book–and rescue Han Solo in the process! 
What I Thought: Who wouldn’t want to set off on an adventure with Chewy and a bounty hunter/librarian?? Chewbacca is certainly one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars Universe and a children’s book highlighting his adventures is certainly something a lot of kids will love. Angleberger always has the right mix of adventure and humor for his young audience. For Origami Yoda fans,  Angleberger’s voice certainly comes through in this one.  Mayvlin “Mayv” Trillick (the bounty-hunter librarian) is a new character in the Star Wars Universe, created by Angleberger. She is on a mission to reclaim a book stolen from her people. She is smart and heroic and a great heroine for the story. K2-SO is very much like the character we came to love in Solo. The text is an easy read but the feel of the book is all novel. Tong’s  illustrations throughout the book really add a lot to the story and add to the kid-friendly feel of Angleberger’s text.
This is perfect for readers of all ages.
Next up …
National Geographic Kids 2019 Almanac
By National Geographic Kids
352 pages – ages 8+
Series: National Geographic Almanacs
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books May 8, 2018
Publisher’s Synopsis: The world’s best-selling almanac for kids is back and in demand! This year’s includes the latest information about what’s new and newsy in our world, special dates to anticipate, and fresh topics, and much more.
Have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling almanac, curated and created just for kids. It’s packed with incredible photos; tons of fun facts, crafts, and activities; and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include an updated “Fun and Games” chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts; “19 Facts for 2019” feature in every chapter; updated reference material; and cool stuff on topics today’s curious kids care about.
What I Thought: This book makes my wish list every year. I am always drawn to National Geographics Kids’ publications because of the way they are laid-out. The yearly almanac is a wonderful illustration of the quality of this publisher. The amount of eye-catching information they are able to convey within the pages of these books is incredible. I love the fact boxes, short descriptions, puzzles and games in the almanac. The page lay-outs are visually stunning and fun to read.
I love the wide variety of subjects in the Almanac each year also. It covers topics like sports, religions, geography, pop-culture, the environment, nature, explorers, animals, and so much more. If this book doesn’t get your kids off their devices and into reading, I don’t know what will! 
Next we have…
Fly With Me: A Celebration of Birds through Pictures, Poems, and Stories
by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple
192 pages- ages 4+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books October 16, 2018
Publisher’s Synopsis: Enchanting stories, lyrical poems, stunning photography, and fascinating science fill the pages of this treasury celebrating the amazing world of birds.

This thoughtful and beautifully curated collection of our flying, feathery friends highlights the role birds play in human life from centuries ago to present day. While it’s beautiful, it’s also full of valuable real science about these wondrous creatures. From history and behavior to spotting and photographing, there’s sure to be something for every bird fan in your flock. Young birders will learn all about migration and the importance of habitat conservation. They’ll find stories about bird rescues and fun facts about the fastest, strongest, and tiniest fliers. They’ll also discover the best bird nests, sweet songs to sing, ways to listen for and identify the birds around them, and more. Paired with stunning art and photography and beautiful design, this treasury is sure to become a classic for bird enthusiasts of all ages. 

Fly with Me was created to help celebrate Year of the Bird, National Geographic’s 2018 initiative to bring awareness to the plight of birds around the world.

What I Thought: Speaking of National Geographic Kids, I would be remiss in my BUY THESE BOOKS post without mentioning this one. First off, it is visually stunning – not just the cover. The pages are packed with photography and illustrations that are feasts for the eyes. 

Along with the amazing visuals in this book, there are numerous poems stories and facts, all which celebrate birds. I like that it goes through the state bird for each of the 50 states. It also starts with a history of birds in pre-historic times, bird anatomy, predators,  and just the all-out beauty of birds!

This is another book you can’t go wrong with.


Now we have…

Strong is the New Pretty: A Guided Journal for Girls

Based on the book by Kate T. Parker 

176 pages – ages 8 – 12 
Published by Workman Publishing Company on October 30, 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis: Inspired by Kate T. Parker’s internationally bestselling Strong Is the New Pretty, which Drew Barrymore called “the first thing in a while to kind of knock me off my feet,” this guided journal invites girls ages 8 to 12 to discover and celebrate their independent, wild, silly, powerful selves.

Illustrated  with favorite photographs from the book Strong Is the New Pretty (as well as more than 20 brand-new images), each page features an inspiring, interactive prompt that encourages writing, doodling, and creative self-expression: 

Draw a picture of yourself as a superhero—what is your superpower? 
Invent a new language, and write down some translations here. 
What makes you unique? List three things about you that make you different. 

As girls make their way through the journal, it becomes a source of motivation to be their most powerful selves. It’s a personal keepsake to revisit again and again.

What I Thought: This is a cool book. Because of my “job” as a reviewer, I look at a lot of journals, some geared towards guys and some towards girls. This one is one of the best I have seen that is geared towards girls. The activities and messages are empowering and thought provoking. I like that there are a lot of deep thinking prompts – like “what is something you don’t like doing, but do it anyway because it is good for you?” There are also prompts like design a t-shirt you’d like to see girls wearing everywhere, and non-typical prompts like -go outside when it’s raining and jump in mud puddles, find worm and make mud pies (okay that is pretty typical for my sister, but I am not sure how many other girls do this). The journal is packed with great activities and messages.

This is a great gift for any girl in your life.


Lucy’s Lab

The Colossal Fossil Fiasco

by Michelle Houts

Illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel  

112 pages – ages 7 – 9 

Series: Lucy’s Lab (Book 3)

Hardcover: 112 pages
Published by Sky Pony Press on February 27, 2018

Publisher’s Synopsis:  Lucy accidentally overhears her parents talking about the family getting a second pet. But what pet should they get? 

At school, Lucy’s class is learning about fossils and the plants and animals that left them behind. 

One afternoon, Lucy finds a special rock, and Miss Flippo gets very excited! But when Lucy’s precious fossil goes missing, everyone in Room 2C is a suspect. . . .

What I Thought: I have not read the first two books in this series, but this certainly stands alone.  Houts writing is spot on for the age range of this series. I love that she weaves STEM concepts into this book., bringing the ideas of proper ways of doing research. Houts actually intertwines tow plot lines in this young-reader novel and does it quite well. It is nice to see this advanced concept executed so nicely. The two plots (one being the missing fossil and the other being Lucy’s family getting a new pet) are both quite well explained and each add facets to the over-all story. Lucy, her family and friends are all believable characters and ones that kids will relate to. Boys and girls will like this book. Zechel’s black and white illustrations throughout the book really adds to the text.

Other titles in this series are:

Book 1: Nuts About Science

Book 2: Solids, Liquids, Guess Who’s Got Gas?

All three books in this series would make an excellent gift choice for any kid on your list! 




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

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