Library Blog

Give the Gift of Reading 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The days are darkening, the coats have come out of the closet, and soon there will be many festive occasions to celebrate with friends and family. Are you wondering about which books you might give as presents this year? Here’s a roundup from the Children’s Library staff of recently released titles that we believe would make great gifts for young readers. You may also want to consult this list generated by the library staff for book lovers of all ages. 

And if the children on your list happen to be in New York City, consider giving their families a membership to the NYSL, where they will find all of these books as well as year-round programming in our Children’s Library.

Fiction and Graphic Novel Recommendations

It's Time to Take a Nap | Ziefert, Harriet Recommended for ages 1 and older
A little child enthusiastically greets everyone and everything he encounters with a hearty "Good morning." By the time he's finished, it's nap time!

Dinosaur Dance | Boynton, Sandra Recommended for ages 2 and older
Have a budding junior paleontologist on your list? This fun board book will inspire some toe-tapping along with dino name studies.

Escargot | Slater, Dashka Recommended for ages 3-6
Escargot is a charming French snail with a finicky palate who wants to help you concoct a most delicious salad.

Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading (series) | Various Authors Recommended for ages 4-8
Fans of Gerald & Piggie will enjoy this off-shoot series of silly stories for early readers, all featuring minor appearances of the famous elephant and pig (and the pigeon, too!)

A Child of Books | Jeffers, Oliver Recommended for ages 6 and older
Add this gorgeous collaboration between two artists that celebrates the canon of children’s literature to the collection of any picture book enthusiast.

Dog Man (series) | Pilkey, Dav Recommended for ages 6-9
Fans of Captain Underpants will cackle for hours at this new series of graphic novels seemingly written by characters from the CU world.

Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded | Blackwood, Sage Recommended for ages 8-13
Here’s a cozy, yet calamity-filled, choice for young fans of Harry Potter, who may not be quite ready for the darkest magical battles. 

The Inquisitor’s Tale | Gidwitz, Adam Recommended for ages 8-13
Give this award-winning and swashbuckling adventure of three extraordinary children in medieval France to the reader who loves an exhilarating and humorous page-turner. Bonus: you’re invited to meet author Adam Gidwitz at the Library on January 30!

Olympians series | O’Connor, George Recommended for ages 8-14
Follow the ancient mythical adventures of the gods and goddesses residing on Mount Olympus in this exciting graphic novel series. Mythology fans take note: we will be hosting a Young Writers’ Workshop with the author-illustrator in January!

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (series) | Riordan, Rick Recommended for ages 8-14
After conquering Greek and Egyptian mythologies, Riordan turns Norse tales on their head with his ever amusing dialogue and imaginative characters.

York: The Shadow Cipher (series) | Ruby, Laura Recommended for ages 10-14
Explore an alternate version of New York as twins and friends set out to solve a historic mysterious cipher laid into the architecture of the most famous city in the world.

The Pearl Thief | Wein, Elizabeth Recommended for ages 13 and older
A fizzy, mysterious period prequel to Wein’s Code Name Verity—it’s fine to read before or after.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue | Lee, Mackenzi Recommended for ages 14 and older
Ne’er-do-well Monty heads off on a 18th century Grand Tour of Europe with his sister and best friend discovering unexpected adventures and enlightenment along the way.

Saint Death | Sedgwick, Marcus Recommended for ages 14 and older
This is a harrowing, yet beautiful, glimpse of teens struggling to get by, across the border in Juarez, Mexico.

Biography and Nonfiction Recommendations

Up! Up! Up! Skyscraper | Suen, Anastasia Recommended for ages 2-7
Young builders will be thrilled to take a tour of a construction site watching workers dig, pour, pound, and bolt a skyscraper into existence in the pages of this fact-filled picture book.

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World | Lamothe, Matt Recommended for ages 4-8
Follow the daily lives of children from seven international locales, learning how their schools, meals, and play may be quite different or surprisingly similar in various places around the world.

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing | Haring, Kay Recommended for ages 5-8
A picture book biography, written by the late artist’s sister, celebrating the impressive contributions Haring made in his short life.

The Storyteller | Turk, Evan Recommended for ages 5-9
Based on a traditional story of a young Moroccan boy, this beautifully illustrated picture book reminds us all of the timeless importance of storytelling.  

Strong as Sandow | Tate, Don Recommended for ages 6-9
Find out how scrawny Eugene Sandow gained his title, Strongest Man in the World, and started the world of modern bodybuilding.

Giant Squid | Fleming, Candace Recommended for ages 6-10
For budding marine biologists, this gorgeously illustrated, poetic, and informative book takes readers to the depths of the ocean to explore the mysterious life of the elusive giant squid.

Malala's Magic Pencil | Yousafzi, Malala Recommended for ages 7-11
Malala Yousafzi’s first picture book is a powerful tale of how her childhood in Pakistan inspired her passion for education and making the world a better place.

I Dissent | Levy, Debbie Recommended for ages 7-11
In this picture book biography, learn how Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong penchant for disagreement led to her famous position.

Jason and the Argonauts | Byrd, Robert Recommended for ages 7-12
Calling all mythology lovers! Enter into the first great quest in Greek Mythology with Jason and his quest for the golden fleece.

How to Be An Elephant | Roy, Katherine Recommended for ages 7-12
This stellar non-fiction book will take readers to the African Savanna where they can immerse themselves in the life of an elephant as it develops from a newborn calf to full-grown.

Under Earth / Under Water | Mizielinska, Aleksandra. Recommended for ages 7-12
Fans of earth science will love digging and diving into this giant double-sided book rich in fascinating illustrations and information.

Grand Canyon | Chin, Jason Recommended for ages 8-11
Go on a trip to the Grand Canyon as the author-illustrator takes readers through the winding geographic and historic layers of this world-renowned natural wonder.

Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White | Sweet, Melissa Recommended for ages 8-13
In her imaginatively illustrated biography of the legendary author E. B. White, Melissa Sweet depicts the fascinating story of one of the most beloved authors of all time. Bonus: Meet author and illustrator Melissa Sweet at the Library on January 18!

Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World | Lawlor, Laurie Recommended for ages 10 and older
Do you recognize the names Marie Tharp or Florence Hawley Ellis? Learn about the lives and scientific contributions from these two as well as four other dynamic women.

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance | Grimes, Nikki Recommended for ages 11 and older
Nikki Grimes combines voices from the Harlem Renaissance with her own modern take in this collection of poetry, hearkening back to the works of Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and others.