We’ve Got Your Gifts Wrapped Up #8: Kidding Around


I don’t think there has ever been a better time for children’s books than now – there are so many great juvenile titles these days, that it is sometimes really hard to decide what to pick to fill the shelves of our small, but overflowing children’s sections.

It’s a shame that many people still think of children’s books as inferior; often they are as good as or better than books published for adults. That might be why we find so many grown-ups browsing our children’s sections for themselves!

Here are our favorite and most popular gifts for children this year.

pippichild.jpgPippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Illustrated by Lauren Child (author/illustrator of the Charlie and Lola Books), this is a new translation that compares very favorably with the one you probably read as a child. Child’s pictures are the perfect accompaniment to the Pippi stories, and this well-presented hardcover is the kind of book that will be treasured and enjoyed for many years.

explorbook.jpgThe Explorabook: A Kid’s Science Museum in a Book by John Cassidy

ABC Amsterdam has stockpiled this book because the talented and beautiful children’s book buyer (cough cough) thinks it is one of the best kids’ non-fiction books ever created. Explorabook has been popular for fifteen years! From the fabulous Klutz Press, famous for their hands-on activity books, the Explorabook tries to give the experience of a science museum in a book, and does it pretty well. It shows you how to do lots of cool scientific experiments, and includes many of the gadgets you’ll need, like a superpowerful magnet, lenses, and agar. Everything else you’ll need can easily be found in most homes. This is a fun book, which explains complicated science stuff in a clear and entertaining way. Perfect for teachers too!

dinsoaurium.jpgDinosaurium by Laura Buller

I never read a DK (Dorling Kindersley) book I didn’t love, and this is one of the greatest things they’ve published recently. Not just one book, but ten books, in various shapes and sizes covering different aspects of the world of dinosaurs. With an exciting format, great illustrations and loads of facts, it really is impossible to open this up without wanting to dive in and read some!

alphabooks.jpgAlphabooks by Julie Aigner-Clark

Whatever you think about the Baby Einstein company, or the whole idea of creating smarter babies, this is still a fabulous set of books, and has been our number one bestselling book for the under-threes, beating even Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, for more than 4 years! It’s also the best bookish thing I have bought for my kid – we’ve passed more train-trips, visits to Mama’s boring friends, and rainy afternoons with this box than anything else, ever. 26 little board books, one for each letter of the alphabet. As well as looking at and talking about each book, younger children will be happy to put the put the books in and out of the box, and older ones will enjoy spelling words and playing games with them.  Almost indispensable and complete bargain at 73 cents a book!

wallymega.jpgWhere’s Wally: The Mega Mini Collection by Martin Handford

Four of the mega-selling Where’s Wally (Where’s Waldo for our American readers), but then in fiendishly difficult mini-versions, so small that they come with a little magnifying lens! A great box set that most kids (and kiddults) will love!

pickmeup.jpgPick Me Up: Stuff You Need To Know by David Roberts

This is an encyclopedia, but not as you know it. Never mind looking stuff up in a stuffy old index, which leads you to a stuffy old page of stuffy old information; this book is for diving into, browsing through, leaping through, skimming through, lingering over, and enjoying. We have heard more than once that boys who appear to be surgically attached to their Wii’s can be lured into putting down their game controllers to read this book. Loads of weird/gross/fascinating/cool facts, excellent cover, great illustrations and format make this a great book, and not just for kids – we’ve caught plenty of grown men leafing through it too!

princess-treasury.jpgDisney’s Princess Treasury

There aren’t many little girls who wouldn’t be thrilled to find this under the tree this Christmas. It’s a big, chunky, (pink!) hardcover, chock-full of seven of your favorite Disney princess stories. Each story is a satisfying 90 pages long and they don’t skimp on the illustrations either! Unlike many book versions of children’s films, these retellings are actually quite well written and great for reading aloud.

If you are still stuck for a gift for a child, or anyone else, you can always give us a call. Because our stock is not bought centrally, but by specialized buyers, there’s bound to be someone around who knows about the genre you are interested in, and can help you find the perfect thing!