The kids are home for Winter break, they're driving you nuts, it's raining/snowing outside, you're trying to clean the house before your mother-in-law gets here, make cookies for the neighbors, wrap presents, and do last minute shopping, and if you have to listen to the theme song for SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS one more time you are going to SCREAM.
Or, in another scenario, you just realized your five adorable nieces and nephews are expecting Christmas gifts from you and they already have EVERYTHING.
I've been there, and I'm here to tell you there is an answer to both problems, and that answer is BOOKS!!!
A visit to your local independent bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Boarders, or Amazon.com and you will have all of your keeping kids entertained/last minute gift-buying done.
I know it can be overwhelming. How do you know what books your kids and or nieces and nephews will like? I asked a bunch of other moms, fellow readers, and fellow writers to tell me some of their favorite books for kids from picture book up to YA and this is what they came up with (by age).
If you Give a Mouse a Cookie books.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight.
Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel.
Guess How Much I love you.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
What can I say, I'm a classicist!--Val Serdy
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner,
Wet Dog! by Elise Broach,
If Elephants Wore Pants by Henriette Barkow,
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.--Anna Hellyer
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT,
ALICE THE FAIRY,
KNIGHTS OF THE RIGHT Series--Natalie Malm
THE CIRCUS SHIP by Chris Van Dusen, amazing picture, great poetic flow and the story line is captivating for all ages, even adults!--Stacy Shaw
A BAD CASE OF STRIPES, David Shannon--Kristin Amrine
From my kids:
OLIVE THE OTHER REINDEER by Vivian Walsh
FIRST DAY JITTERS by Julie Danneberg
WANDA'S FIRST DAY--Mark Sperring
STORM BOY--Owen Paul Lewis
A TREE IS NICE--Janice May Udry
Anything by Jan Brett, (Although for the holidays GINGERBREAD BABY is my favorite.)
Anything by David Shannon,
Anything by Kirby Larsen
MOMMY MINE (love this for a new mom)--Tim Warnes
New this year:
HERE COMES THE GARBAGE BARGE--Jonah Winter
A BEDTIME FOR BEAR--Bonny Becker
REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOERINGS.--Miranda Keneally
JUNIE B. JONES Series,
BOYS ARE DOGS, by Leslie Margolis--Kristin Amrine
From my kids--
Anything by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Anything by Willo Davis Roberts
Percy Jackson Series (Anything by Rick Riordan)
Harry Potter (of course)
NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL,
TWISTED by Laurie Halse Anderson,
PAPER TOWNS (though in general I liked SEARCHING FOR ALASKA better),
THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN.--Val Serdy
The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter (Up for a Goodreads top chioce award).--Natalie Malm
BEFORE I FALL,
I AM NUMBER FOUR,
A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL.--Miranda Keneally
SING ME TO SLEEP, Angela Morrison (Up for a Goodreads Reader's Choice Award.)
Anything by Sarah Dessen
Anything by Laurie Halse Anderson
DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, C. J. Omololu
HATTIE BIG SKY, Kirby Larsen
MY FAIR GODMOTHER, Janette Rallison
Whew! This list ought to get you started and give you plenty to read into the new year.
What about you? What are your favorite books for children? What are you getting your kids to read for Christmas? (I won't tell.)