It is so satisfying to give a child a book that they truly love. Here are my recommendations for children of all ages.
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
If the child in your life has read their copies of Smile and El Deafo to tatters, you’ll want to pick up Sunny Side Up, a big-hearted graphic novel about a girl sent to visit her grandfather at his retirement community.
It’s too much of a challenge to pick just one David Walliams book to recommend. His books are very funny and read aloud well. They are perfect for families who’ve read everything by Roald Dahl and still want more.
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Even as a child, I was drawn to the darker side of life. Sentient wasps are pretty darn dark. This tale of a boy dealing with his anxieties over a very sick baby brother is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline without being derivative. It’s probably the best book I’ve read this year.
For The Picture Book Crowd
The Princess and The Pony by Kate Beaton
Don’t be fooled by the title — this book isn’t just for pink-frilled Frozen fans. My 5-year old loves this tale of a would-be battle ready princess and her “cutey-wootey” [his words] farting pony.
Waiting by Kevin Henkes
Perfect for quiet cuddles before bed, Henkes’ Waiting is the quiet story of a collection of treasured toys sitting on a windowsill. It’s destined to be a classic.
I Will Chomp You by Jory John
As much for parents who remember the delights of There’s A Monter At the End of this Book as it is for kids, I Will Chomp You is the utterly interactive story of a monster who desperately doesn’t want young readers to turn the page.
Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
While you can’t go wrong with the classics, like Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You?, I would buy one of Joan Holub’s Mini Myths titles and Herve Tullet’s The Game of Finger Worms for the babies on my list. The Mini Myths are a mix of moral and good humour, while Tullet’s Finger Worms encourage young ones to see books as a kind of play.