Library Blog

Give the Gift of Reading 2022

Monday, December 12, 2022

"It’s the most wonderful time of the year"... also known as time to give your friends and family heaps of books! Here’s a stack of recommendations from the Children’s & YA Librarians that will appeal to a variety of readers, from the tykes that adore armadillos to the tweens with a zest for zombies. We’ve got fractured fairy tales, pandemic reflections, and everything in between including out-of-this-world graphic novels and biographies on celebrated persons and those not so known... until now! And if you still can’t find that perfect title, take a peek at our previous gift guides from the past eight years (2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014).

With the clock ticking down on whether deliveries will make it to their doorsteps before the holidays, consider gifting a membership. Then the young readers and their families on your list can come to the Library and check out all these titles one by one... or perhaps thirty by thirty! 

Fiction and Graphic Novel Recommendations

Give Me a Snickle! | Sevigny, Alisha   Recommended for ages 0-5 
This sweet and silly board book takes the reader on an engaging romp through repeated rhyming sounds landing right back at the best feeling ever--a snuggle with someone you love!

City Baby | Elmquist, Laurie   Recommended for ages 1-3
Rhyming verse takes the reader on a journey through a festive big city with bustling streets, lively squares, and busy restaurants as the baby's playground.

Hey Diddle Diddle (series) | Kubler, Annie   Recommended for ages 1-5
This charming series features familiar rhymes accompanied by watercolor illustrations of babies enacting the verses. Some titles are available in a bilingual English-Spanish edition.

The Lost Package | Ho, Richard   Recommended for ages 3-5
The journey of a lost package offers an inside tour of the busy work that takes place at post offices, proving that distance cannot keep loved ones apart.

Berry Song | Goade, Michaela   Recommended for ages 3-6 
As a young Tlingit girl collects wild berries over the seasons, she sings with her grandmother as she learns to speak to the land and listen when the land speaks back.

Little Witch Hazel | Wahl, Phoebe   Recommended for ages 3-6 
A beautiful ode to nature, friendship, wild things and the seasons, this cozy book is one that readers will pore over time and time again.

Have You Seen Gordon? | Epstein, Adam   Recommended for ages 4-8
A playful take on "seek and find" books stars Gordon, a purple tapir who is more than happy to be found, and Jane, a shy rhinoceros.

Boogie Boogie Y'all | Esperanza, C.G.   Recommended for ages 5-7
A winner of NYSL’s own NYC Book Award, this lively and colorful book celebrates the rich culture of the Bronx, inviting readers to an epic block party. Also be sure to sample the audio version via our Cloud Library.

Tag Team | Raul the Third   Recommended for ages 5-7 
Mexican wrestling star El Toro teams up with his fighting partner, La Oink Oink, in this new young reader featuring English text sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases.

Big Truck, Little Island | Van Dusen, Chris   Recommended for ages 5-7
When a big truck and its big load get stuck on a narrow road... How will Meg get to her swim meet? What about Barry's ballet class? Luckily, the kids come up with an ingenious solution!

Too Many Pigs and One Big Bad Wolf | Cali, Davide   Recommended for ages 5-8 
In this hilarious counting-book twist on The Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf doesn't want to tell a long story. He wants to get to the eating part. But the reader has other ideas.

Cornbread & Poppy (series) | Cordell, Matthew   Recommended for ages 5-8 
Celebrating both partnership and the value of what makes us individuals, readers will find this classic odd-couple irresistible as they encounter relatable issues with humor and heart.  

Old Wood Boat | McClure, Nikki   Recommended for ages 5-8 
Raise the sails and follow the wind across the sea in this captivating book, rendered from a single sheet of black paper, that is sure to enthrall readers from coast to coast. 

Armadillo Antics | Martin, Bill & Sampson, Michael   Recommended for ages 5-8
The rhythm and rhyme that are hallmarks of this beloved author duo follow an adventurous armadillo through nighttime fun as dawn approaches.

Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings! | Snyder, Laurel   Recommended for ages 5-8 
Kids will love mixing up the familiar tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack, Hansel, Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, a wolf, a witch, a goose, a grandmother, and some pigs.

Every Dog in the Neighborhood | Stead, Philip C.   Recommended for ages 5-8
In this sweet, offbeat tale about a loving grandparent and grandchild, charming, subtle messages of community and compassion will appeal to all readers, most especially dog lovers!

What Feelings Do When No One's Looking | Oziewicz, Tina   Recommended for ages 6-8
An unruly cast of emotions come alive in this romping dreamworld, reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations, that will surprise and soothe, changing your feelings... about your feelings!

The Welcome Chair | Wells, Rosemary   Recommended for ages 6-8
In this story based on true events, a treasured wooden chair is passed down from family to family, with each new owner carving the word "welcome" in a new language.

The Year We Learned to Fly | Woodson, Jacqueline   Recommended for ages 7-9
By heeding their wise grandmother's advice, two siblings bored with being stuck indoors discover the ability to lift themselves up and imagine a better world.

Magnolia Flower | Hurston, Zora Neale   Recommended for ages 7-10 
Originally a short story that has been tenderly transformed into a picture book by Ibram X. Kendi, the titular character reminds us that there is no force strong enough to stop love. 

The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza | Barnett, Mac   Recommended for ages 8-10
Perfect for fans of Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier, and Jeff Kinney, this action-packed and hysterical graphic novel will have kids racing through the pages towards the pizza at the end!

Cress Watercress | Maguire, Gregory   Recommended for ages 8-12 
In the tradition of The Wind in the Willows and Stuart Little comes a beautifully illustrated tale of animals growing up and moving on, told with trademark wit, whimsy, and wisdom. We also heartily recommend the e-audiobook!

The Aquanaut | Santat, Dan   Recommended for ages 8-12
Dive in to this whimsically adventurous graphic novel in which Sophia discovers an aquanaut made up of goofy sea creatures who band together to save their friends.

The Door of No Return | Alexander, Kwame   Recommended for ages 10+ 
Interweaving moments of joyful exuberance and heartbreaking sadness, this book, the first in a trilogy, tells the story of a boy, a village, and the epic odyssey of an African family.

The Last Cuentista | Higuera, Donna Barba   Recommended for ages 10+
Winner of the Newbery Medal and Pura Belpré Award, this science fiction tale takes us on a brilliant journey through the stars, to the very heart of what makes us human.

Ain't Burned All the Bright | Reynolds, Jason & Griffin, Jason   Recommended for ages 12+ 
A smash up of art and text that viscerally captures what it is to be Black. In America. Right Now. Also recommended, enjoy the e-audiobook whilst taking in the words and pictures.

Whiteout (series) | Clayton, Dhonielle, Jackson, Tiffany D., Stone, Nic, Thomas, Angie, Woodfolk, Ashley, & Yoon, Nicola   Recommended for ages 13+ 
Atlanta is blanketed with snow just before Christmas, but the warmth of young love just might melt the ice in this novel of Black joy, and cozy, sparkling romance!

I Must Betray You | Sepetys, Ruta   Recommended for ages 14+
A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller set in 1989 about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation.

Paper Girls: The Complete Story | Vaughan, Brian K. et al.   Recommended for ages 14+
In this omnibus compiling six years of comics, and recently adapted for Netflix, four tween newspaper delivery girls from the year 1988 uncover the most important story of all time. 

Non-fiction and Biography Recommendations

Construction People | Hopkins, Lee Bennett (editor)  Recommended for ages 3-9 
Fourteen poems introduce readers to the various construction people who collaborate to create a high-rise hotel building, from architect to crane operator to glaziers and more.

The Mysterious Sea Bunny | Raymundo, Peter   Recommended for ages 4-7 
After reading this book, readers will float away with loads of new knowledge about this fascinating sea slug species, and they will know why to never judge a sea bunny by its slime!

Change Sings | Gorman, Amanda   Recommended for ages 4-8 
As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes in the world, in their communities, and most importantly, in themselves.

Lift, Mix, Fling! Machines Can Do Anything | Schaefer, Lola   Recommended for ages 4-8 
An introduction to six simple machines—the screw, lever, wedge, pulley, inclined plane, and the wheel and axle—and examples of how they are used in real life.

A Life Made By Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa | D’Aquino, Andrea   Recommended for ages 5-8
Delightful and substantial, this lushly illustrated book brings Asawa's creative journey to life, from her childhood growing up on a farm to her avant-garde education among other artists. 

Only One | Hopkinson, Deborah   Recommended for ages 5-8 
This picture book showcases the unique beauty of our one-and-only universe—its galaxies, stars, and planets—as well as our one-and-only Earth, and the precious life it contains.

Brains! Not Just a Zombie Snack (series) | McAnulty, Stacy   Recommended for ages 5-8 
Brains: 78% water, 100% delicious! A zombie chef learns about the organ that operates everything throughout our bodies. Also look for Blood! Not Just a Vampire Drink

H is for Harlem | Johnson, Dinah   Recommended for ages 5-adult
Discover the icons that have defined generations of American culture in a richly informative alphabet picture book celebrating Harlem's vibrant traditions, past and present.

How Was That Built? | Agrawal, Roma   Recommended for ages 6-9 
From skyscrapers that reach astonishing heights to bridges that span deep and wide rivers, the world is filled with awe-inspiring structures. But how do they work? And who designed them?

Two at the Top | Krishnaswami, Uma   Recommended for ages 6-9
This remarkable, true adventure story features Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary each telling of their origins and culminates in their thrilling dual ascent of Mount Everest. 

Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country | Atinuke   Recommended for ages 6-10 
Discover the exhilarating diversity of the African continent in storyteller Atinuke's kaleidoscopic nonfiction guide to the people, flora, and fauna of all fifty-five countries.

Ick! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses | Stewart, Melissa   Recommended for ages 6-10
From ants to zebras, the yucky habits of certain creatures may seem surprising to us, but they're totally normal. In fact, their survival depends on these seriously strange animal behaviors.

Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small | Wade, Jesse   Recommended for ages 6-10 
In this book, an acclaimed physicist takes readers into the cutting-edge world of nanoscience where they will learn about the tiny building blocks that make up the world around us.

The Three Princes of Serendip | Al Galidi, Rodaan   Recommended for ages 7-9
Filled with wisdom about love and acceptance, this feast of Middle Eastern fables and folklore from an award-winning Iraqi storyteller is paired with vibrant cut-paper art. 

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer | Sorell, Traci   Recommended for ages 7-10
Mary Golda Ross designed classified projects as the Lockheed Air Corporation's first female engineer. Find out how a love of math and her Cherokee upbringing shaped her life and work.

Killer Underwear Invasion! | Gravel, Elise   Recommended for ages 7-11 
In this hilarious, yet fact-filled book, kid-friendly wit and quirky illustrations break down what fake news is, why people spread it, and how to tell what is real and what isn't. 

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone | Todd, Traci N.   Recommended for ages 7-12
This picture book biography of Nina Simone tells the story of the acclaimed singer whose music gave voice to the struggle for racial equality during the Civil Rights Movement.

How A King Plays | Boydell, Oliver   Recommended for ages 8+ 
This guide features sixty-four of an 11-year-old chess champion's tips, strategies, and ideas to help chess enthusiasts of all ages sharpen their game skills.

Hello Earth! Poems to Our Planet | Sidman, Joyce   Recommended for ages 8-10
A gorgeous, expansive celebration of science and art, this book features poems addressed to the earth itself concerning plate tectonics, water cycles, the creation of tides, and more!

Treasury of Magical Tales from Around the World | Napoli, Donna   Recommended for ages 8-12 
This collection of 29 magical stories from a wide variety of cultures and countries is a true treasure, a very special gift, and a must-have for family bookshelves.

Rescuing Titanic | Delargy, Flora   Recommended for ages 9-13 
Follow the brave crew of the Carpathia, the only ship that answered the Titanic’s call of distress on the fateful night of the world's most famous maritime disaster.

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants | Kimmerer, Robin Wall   Recommended for ages 12+ 
With informative sidebars, reflection questions, and more this young adult’s adaptation brings Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation.

What the Fact?: Finding the Truth in All the Noise | Seema, Yasmin   Recommended for ages 12+
Tracing the spread of misinformation and disinformation through our fast-moving media landscape, readers learn the skills to identify and counter poorly sourced clickbait and misleading headlines. Also check out the e-audiobook in our Cloud Library.

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