Holiday Gift Guide 2022: Child(ish) Reads

Welcome to our Child(ish) Reads Gift Guide!

A new installment from last year, this guide features our top kids’ books by age that are perfect for gifting.

Like we said last year, a good list for gift giving is:

1. Something they want
2. Something they need
3. Something they wear
4. Something they read


Newborns/Infants

At this age, the content of a book really doesn’t matter. Babies are going to be attracted to bold illustrations and the tactile feel of the book, so you might as well pick something that you enjoy reading aloud. This is a good time to establish reading habits, like reading before bedtime and reading aloud together. Magazines and newspapers count for this as well.

If you want to gift baby books, go with fabric books that are good to play with and stick in their mouths. Board books of any size are also great and they will have age-appropriate content, like pictures of animals, colors, first words, etc.

We also like the Indestructibles line of books. These are tear-proof, water-proof, washable; anything short of actual scissors.

Toddlers

For toddlers ages 1-4, there is a huge range of subjects you can choose from. You can go into beginning vocab, to teaching feelings and empathy, to fairy tales and picture books. You can also deep dive into the things they get excited about, like all about dinosaurs, or Disney-branded stories, or beginning history.

Here are some newer titles to have on your radar:

Stay Curious and Keep Exploring

This is the newest title from Dr. Emily, the host of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix. It’s a fun, beginner title that gets kids into science and gives them the important explorer’s mindset.

Kid cookbooks

Don’t be afraid to introduce your toddler to cooking. There are a few kids cookbooks on the market, so find one that fits your kid the best. I find that baking with toddlers is a good starting point, but if your kid is older and comfortable with chopping and working the stove (with supervision), then you can handle more involved recipes.

The Big Book Series

I’ve been wanting these books for a while. I think they are so beautifully illustrated, and open kids up to a lot of conversation about the world around them. Nonfiction picture books are great vehicles for asking questions, building vocabulary, and getting kids curious about nature. This series includes the Big Book of Blooms, The Big Book of Beasts, and The Big Book of Bugs; it also has accompanying sticker books.

How to Catch Series

This is a fun series based on all kinds of imaginary characters. My girls love How to Catch a Mermaid and How to Catch a Unicorn. They also have seasonal titles, like How to Catch an Elf or How to Catch a Leprechaun.

It’s Not a Fairy Tale series

This is also a fun new series that gives a snarky spin on classic fairy tales. I checked out It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk from the library and thought it was a cute play on the original. The newest addition is It’s Not the Three Little Pigs.

School-age

This is where kids start to get into favorites. They start to have favorite authors, favorite characters, and favorite subjects to read about. So check out your bookshelf and see if there is a new book in your kid’s favorite series. That’s going to be your best bet. Also keep in mind which books are early-readers, guided reading, levels 1-4, etc.

P.S. – We Made This

I saw this book on Instagram. While I love doing lots of science-based activities with my kids, they love arts and crafts and I often have to just go to the store and by pre-made stuff. This is a fun workbook using stuff around the house.

Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea

This a popular recommendation, written by Meena Harris, VP Kamala Harris’ sister. It’s a true-life story of two sisters working in their community to build a playground for their neighbors. The story offers a great message on civic engagement, teamwork, and community-building.

Far Out Fairy Tales

This is a great beginner graphic novel series. Again, we’re twisting classic stories and introducing different formats for storytelling.

Calling All Minds and The Outdoor Scientist

These are two STEM titles from bestselling author and neurodivergent activist Temple Grandin. Part science workbook, part personal stories; Temple tells what went through her head as a young child being introduced to science, showing that there is more than one way to see a problem. The experiments in this book are a bit more involved and text heavier, so this is a good option for kids around 9-12.

Life Skills for Kids

Not a day goes by where I don’t hear “when I was your age…”. This is an early school-age book on basic age-appropriate life skills, like how to call 911, self-control and regulation exercises, and goal-setting. There are also editions for tweens and teens.

Happy Holiday Reading to you all!


All of the linked items can also be found on our Child(ish) Reads for Kids Amazon List, along with our other book favorites from the year.

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