Christmas Gift Ideas

Here’s my very quick round-up of great books for the kids on your Christmas list. (Scroll to the bottom for some other ‘best book list’ links.)

For further ideas, you can search my past book reviews by age, just go to Categories over there on the right.

Or you can click on Tags below that, for specific topics of interest.

Age Infant – 4

cozy-classics-war-and-peace-6995-0-1385998467000the Cozy Classics series of literary board books by Jack and Holman Wang: Moby Dick, Les Miserables, War and Peace, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and others. Read the (very recent) review here.

Available at

Age 5-6

9780761157281Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg

An inspirational book about how mistakes can be turned into works of art. Available at

PeterReynolds_dot_coverThe Dot, by Peter Reynolds

Another great book of artistic inspiration, for those who think they can’t draw. Available at
chester-1gxwe75Chester books, by Melanie Watt

A very funny and subversive feline attempts to hijack the book away from the author. Available at
220px-RootabagaStoriesRootabaga Stories, by Carl Sandburg

This is an older book, a crazy brilliant collection of strange folktales – a read-aloud that’s great for all ages. Available at

Age 7-8-9

If you’re shopping for someone in this age range, I can give you some very specific recent favourites in our household:

9780688161620The Dragons Are Singing Tonight  by Jack Prelutsky (poetry collection)

Mystical, funny, melancholy poems about all kinds of dragons, with a vocabulary-expanding range of words. Available at
Bone-Vol-1-Cover-682x1024Bone, graphic novel series by Jeff Smith

This has been around for several years, but it’s still a classic read: funny, adventurous, scary, cartoony but profound. First volume at
Entire series in one volume, at

despereauxThe Tale of Despereaux, by Kate diCamillo

One of our favourite authors writes a moving adventure about darkness, perfidy, redemption and soup. (NB. book is far superior to the movie) Available at

Flora___UlyssesFlora and Ulysses, by Kate di Camillo

A very different diCamillo offering, this one is a younger, lighter, sillier adventure story about a squirrel with special powers he acquired during an unfortunate incident with a vacuum cleaner. Available at

origami-yodaOrigami Yoda series, by Tom Angleberger

A funny series of middle school tales involving mystical advice-giving origami figures. Available at

Age 10-11-12

If you’re shopping for an avid reader in this range, that’s the age of my Writing Club gang, and they are simply rabid about:
The_Lightning_Thief_coverthe Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

A wildly popular series about a boy who discovers he’s a demi-god. Full of figures from Greek mythology.
5 volume boxed set at

9780439023528_custom-49e9c33a338d97f0abb78402bcdee9b1103f33a0-s6-c30The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins

Grim, violent dystopia. Also wildly popular.
Trilogy box set at

into the wildWarriors series by Erin Hunter

Not your everyday housecats, this series is about tribes of wild cats who war against each other. 6 volume boxed set at

9781459703551_cover_coverbookpageAnd (ahem) if I may do a bit of self-promotion here, my novel Eldritch Manor is a fantasy adventure involving a 12-year-old girl who stumbles upon a boarding house full of retired mythological beings. Perfect for boys or girls aged 8-12. (For more information click here.)


Canadian Book suggestions for the Younger Children on your list – c/o 49th Shelf

New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2013 2013 Holiday Gift Guide – books, movies, games, apps grouped by age

My Favourite Lesser Known Caldecott Winners, Grouped by Age – If you’d like to go to some older classic picture books, here are some award-winners that are not so well known (but should be).


All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.