Give the Gift of Reading 2019
The winter holidays are on the horizon, so it must be time for the Children’s Library to present our annual gift giving guide! Here you’ll find carefully selected titles that we expect will make great gifts for all the young readers—from babies to the college-bound—on your list. In addition, have a glance at these titles chosen by the library staff for book lovers of all ages.
If the children on your list live in New York City, we urge you to consider giving their families a membership to the NYSL, where they will find all of these books as well as engaging programs in our Children’s Library throughout the year.
Fiction and Graphic Novel Recommendations
You Are New | Knisley, Lucy Recommended for ages 0-2
Have a new baby in the family or on the way? Here’s a sweet story to welcome their arrival!
Quiet Loud/Silencioso Rudioso | Patricelli, Leslie Recommended for ages 0-3
Some things are quiet. Some things are loud. But everything is fun! Algunas cosas son silenciosas. Otras cosas son ruidosas. ¡Pero todas las cosas son divertidas!
Stack the Cats | Ghahremani, Susie Recommended for ages 2-6
Cats of all shapes and sizes scamper, yawn, and stretch across the pages of this playful counting book. And every now and then, some of them pile into the purrfect cat stack!
Baby Bear's Book of Tiny Tales | McPhail, David Recommended for ages 2+
In four short tales perfect for sharing, Baby Bear discovers treasures both small and large, from a delicate flower to a brand new friend.
Hold Hands | Varon, Sara Recommended Recommended for for ages 3-6
A sweet rhyming story of friendship, connection, and the power of holding hands as school-aged animal friends experience a variety of activities throughout their day.
Pokko and the Drum | Forsythe, Matthew ages 3-6
Has someone requested a miniature drum set for the holidays? Perhaps this book will entertain them as they wait for the desired gift… that may never come!
Par-tay! | Greenfield, Eloise Recommended for ages 3-6
Celebrate a healthy, fun feast as the vegetables cook up a house party in this picture book from a living legend.
Bunny Slopes | Rueda, Claudia Recommended for ages 3-6
The reader must interact with the book to help Bunny stay on course as he skies down the slope.
King Alice | Cordell, Matthew Recommended for ages 3-7
A young girl wakes her father by informing him that she is King Alice, then draws him and other family members into her imaginative activities, from writing a book to a sleepover with fairies.
Stories of the Night | Crowther, Kitty Recommended for ages 3-7
A charming set of three perfect-for-bedtime tales about forest dwellers, illustrated in a bright, bold palette.
Snail & Worm (series) | Kügler, Tina Recommended for ages 3-7
In this early reader series, Snail and Worm are best friends who keep each other company during a variety of adventures.
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise | Stein, David Ezra Recommended for ages 3-7
Surprise! The little red chicken is back in the follow-up to Interrupting Chicken. Join us when the author will perform a puppet show at the Library on Saturday, December 7.
Potato Pants | Keller, Laurie Recommended for ages 3-8
Potato is very excited to buy a new pair of pants, but there’s a problem… find out how he solves it in this one-of-a-kind story about misunderstandings and forgiveness.
The Neighbors | Tsarfati, Einat Recommended for ages 4-8
As she climbs the seven stories to her own apartment, a little girl makes imaginative guesses about what happens behind every door she passes.
Smell My Foot | Bell, Cece Recommended for ages 5-7
An unlikely pair, rule-following Chick and absent-minded Brain, test their friendship during a series of miscommunications and, ultimately, learn about good manners in this early reader.
Captain’s Log: Snowbound | Dionne, Erin Recommended for ages 5-8
After a snowstorm grounds him at home, a boy imagines himself on a voyage where he and “his crew” are trapped by the ice, just like his favorite explorer Ernest Shackleton.
Houndsley and Catina (series) | Howe, James Recommended for ages 5-8
In this sweet early reader series, best friends Houndsley and Catina plus a variety of their animal friends share adventures and experiences throughout the seasons.
Miss Mallard (series) | Quackenbush, Robert Recommended for ages 5-8
The infamous ducktective Miss Mallard travels round the world “quacking” cases often with the assistance of her nephew, a policeduck.
My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder | Jun, Nie Recommended for ages 7-10
In four short stories set in Beijing, a girl, her grandfather, and their eccentric neighbors experience the magic of everyday life in this graphic novel collection.
Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli | Rundell, Katherine Recommended for ages 7-12
In these beautifully illustrated origin stories created by the author, readers are reunited with Rudyard Kipling's best-loved characters, from Baloo and Shere Khan to Kaa and Bagheera.
The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue (series) | Glaser, Karina Yan Recommended for ages 8-12
In this third installment in the series, the Vanderbeeker children, ages six to thirteen, race to help save their mother's baking business from closure after it fails an inspection.
Dactyl Hill Squad | Older, Daniel José Recommended for ages 8-12
In a revisionist historical setting, dinosaurs are still alive during the Civil War and orphan children with magical abilities race to save NYC from wild riots.
Silver Meadows Summer | Otheguy, Emma Recommended for ages 9-12
A young girl’s summer, and life as she knows it, is upended when her father loses his job, and her family must move from Puerto Rico to her relatives’ house in upstate New York.
Awkward / Brave / Crush (series) | Chmakova, Svetlana Recommended for ages 10-13
In this graphic novel series, young teens deal with the trials, tribulations, and treats of daily life revolving around the mania of middle school.
Pan’s Labyrinth | del Toro, Guillermo Recommended for ages 11-14
Director Guillermo del Toro joins forces with author Cornelia Funke to transform his hit movie into an epic and dark fantasy with haunting illustrations and enchanting short stories.
Projekt 1065 | Gratz, Alan Recommended for ages 12+
When a teenage boy works as a spy during World War II and joins the Hitler Youth as an undercover agent, he struggles with facing violence, book-burning, and a mysterious project.
Truly Devious (trilogy) | Johnson, Maureen Recommended for ages 12+
When Stevie Bell enrolls at a private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder's wife and daughter. Book 3 comes out in January!
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation | Folman, Ari Recommended for ages 12+
Authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation, this adaptation of the infamous diary uses direct text from the book, introducing a new generation of young readers to the classic, in a new illustrated format.
The Toll (trilogy) | Shusterman, Neal Recommended for ages 13+
In the highly anticipated finale to the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, dictators, prophets, and tensions rise. In a world that’s conquered death, will humanity finally be torn asunder by the immortal beings it created?
Let Me Hear a Rhyme | Jackson, Tiffany D. Recommended for ages 13+
In 1998, three Brooklyn teens plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he's still alive. Hilarious hijinks and suspicious behavior ensues.
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me | Tamaki, Mariko Recommended for ages 14+
In this lushly illustrated graphic novel, Freddy discovers she hasn’t been a good girlfriend and seeks help from variety of sources to help her through being a teenager in love.
Non-fiction and Biography Recommendations
Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars | Ho, Richard Recommended for ages 3-7
Red Rover is a gorgeously illustrated tale explores the vast, inhospitable landscape of Mars and the adventures of the little rover that calls the planet its home.
If Sharks Disappeared | Williams, Lily Recommended for ages 4-7
A nonfiction picture book tracing the repercussions of what would happen if sharks disappeared from our planet.
Moon! Earth’s Best Friend and Sun! One in a Billion | McAnulty, Stacy with Earth, Moon, and Sun! Recommended for ages 4-9
Last year we recommended Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, and the author-illustrator team has delivered two more fun titles. Never has interstellar exploration been made so entertaining!
Pink is for Blobfish | Keating, Jess Recommended for ages 6-9
An informative introduction to the weirdest, wildest, and pinkest creatures in the animal kingdom.
Comics: Easy as ABC | Brunetti, Ivan Recommended for ages 6-12
Filled with activities, this graphic manual is a fun way for young readers to effortlessly and playfully start thinking like writers and artists.
The Eye that Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln | Moss, Marissa Recommended for ages 6-9
This book tells the story of detective Allan Pinkerton and his pursuit of the truth. Pinkerton’s greatest contribution was protecting President Lincoln on the way to his 1861 inauguration.
Moonshot | Floca, Brian Recommended for ages 6-10
Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon that took place in the summer of 1969. Originally published in 2009, it has been expanded for the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing.
Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island | Thermes, Jennifer Recommended for ages 7-12
Told in dazzling maps and informative sidebars, Manhattan explores the 400+ year history of Manhattan Island. A fascinating exploration for any NYC dweller or visitor.
The Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid | Thuras, Dylan Recommended for ages 8+
A guide to 100 of the world's wonders, both natural and manmade, in 47 countries and on every continent on Earth. Travel the world from sacred skeletons to wild waterfalls and beyond!
Girls Think of Everything | Thimmesh, Catherine Recommended for ages 9-14
This new edition celebrates the ingenious inventions of women throughout time. These stories empower readers to imagine, to question, to experiment, and then to go forth ... and invent.
Crossing on Time | Macaulay, David Recommended for ages 11+
The author illustrator shares his personal story of immigration to America on board the SS United States in this tale chronicling the history and construction of the steamship.
The Lost Words | Macfarlane, Robert Recommended for ALL ages
Words of the natural world are disappearing from children’s vocabulary. Through acrostic poetry and lush illustrations, this book celebrates these lost words and the beauty they hold.