Best Gift Books of 2011
Did you miss our Best Gift Books events in November? Here are our librarians' recommendations for some great children's books to give as presents for birthdays or the approaching holiday season. Some are our favorite titles of 2011, and some are classics that have stood the test of time and are sure to please even the pickiest kids. The event was presented by Karen Lucas and Krissy Wick.
New Books for Babies
Heads by Matthew Van Fleet
This follow-up to Van Fleet’s popular Tails contains the same fun movement that will get kids excited about this sensory book about animals.
When I’m Big by Paula Hannigan
Sliding panels tell the story of what kids will be when they grow up.
Classic Books for Babies
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Children will love the surprise of finding out what animals are behind the flaps in this zoo story.
Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
This delightful story about bedtime at the zoo will definitely be a favorite with your little ones.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Every child should own a copy of this story about the “great green room.”
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
A sweet story about the huge amount of love between a little bunny and his grown up.
A Bedtime for Bear by Bonnie Becker
Mouse comes for a sleepover at Bear’s house.
Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
What happens when a curious chicken finds the blue paint?
Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj
Cats don’t want just anyone learning their secrets. First you must prove that you are a cat.
Chamelia by Ethan Long
With an unorthodox wardrobe and a desire to stand out, Chamelia the chameleon is truly an original.
Christmas in the Time of Billy Lee by Jerdine Nolen
The magic of the holiday comes through in this delightful family tale.
Cows to the Rescue by John Himmelman
When you’re in trouble, who are you gonna call? Cows to the rescue!
Dot by Patricia Intriago
One simple dot demonstrates so many concepts.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
This is a perfect bedtime book for fans of the big machines.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
Grandpa is a gardener and tells his stories through the topiary he creates.
Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator by Mo Willems
Can Amanda’s alligator handle the new panda in town?
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Joffe Numeroff
The newest offering from the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
The Invisible Man by Arthur Yorinks
What would you do if you were invisible? Find out what the hero of this unusual story does in this picture book for 5 to 8 year olds.
Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney
The popular llama books’ newest addition.
Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell
The story of a young Jane Goodall.
Perfect Square by Michael Hall
A perfect square is perfectly happy until someone begins cutting, hole-punching and tearing it, then it becomes a fountain, a park, a river and more in this artistic adventure.
Press Here by Herve Tullet
This interactive book is great fun for new readers, asking them to press the dots, shake and then tilt the book and more, with surprising results at each turn of the page.
Shoe-la-la by Karen Beaumont
A great story for fans of the Fancy Nancy series, three friends go to a shoe store to find the perfect shoes for an upcoming party.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip Christian Stead
This Caldecott medal-winning title combines a sweet story about true friendship with quiet illustrations. Amos McGee is a zoo keeper who visits his special friends daily. When Amos is too sick to go to work, his friends, Elephant, Rhino, Penguin and Turtle, pay him a visit.
Squish Rabbit by Katharine Battersby
Squish Rabbit is on a quest for a friend, but small and shy, he tries out some unlikely candidates including a tree.
There Are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz
The cats aren’t on this page. But Tiny, Moonpie and Andre are three friendly cats waiting to play with YOU!
There Are No Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz
The cats are bound for a trip outside their book, but they are having a tough time getting off the page.
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Comic book artist Bob McLeod applies his talents to the alphabet book with great results.
Monkey with a Toolbelt by Chris Monroe
Clever monkey, Chico Bon Bon builds many things with his tools, and then uses them to escape when he is captured by an organ grinder.
Classic Picturebooks (You can't go wrong with any titles by these authors):
New Chapter Books
39 Clues: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman
Written by various popular authors, these books have a high level of interactivity with the companion website. Each book contains cards that kids can use to figure out the clues and play the game online.
Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
The compelling story of Amelia Earheart is perfect for any child who likes non-fiction.
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
Award-winning and best-selling authors including Kate DiCamillo, Lois Lowry, Stephen King, and Jon Scieszka answer Chris Van Allsburg's thought-provoking illustrations in The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
Darth Paper Strikes Back: An Origami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger
This is the highly anticipated follow-up to The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
With an unusual sense of humor, this story by Jack Gantos is great for mature children.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
The saga of Greg Heffley and friends continues in the sixth installment of the hugely successful Wimpy Kid series.
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
This National Book Award-winning novel is a collection of poems that tell the story of a girl moving from Vietnam to Alabama.
Junonia by Kevin Henkes
Madison-based author, Kevin Henkes, writes another beautiful story about growing up.
The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Regan Barnhill
Jack’s summer with his aunt and uncle doesn’t go as he expected in this book receiving rave reviews.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
This is the follow-up to Schmidt’s Newbery Honor-winning The Wednesday Wars.
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
Van Allsburg tells the interesting story of a woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel and lived to tell about it.
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson continues his adventures with his new friends from Camp Jupiter, as they go on a quest to free Death. This is the second book in the wildly popular Heroes of Olympus series.
Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
Theo’s legal knowledge and mystery solving skills are put to the test when his best friend disappears. This is the second book in the Theodore Boone series.
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures. When the two stories meet, it is pure perfection. This is Selznick’s follow-up to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which won the Caldecott Medal and will soon be out in movie form.
Classic (and New Classic) Chapter Books
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
A great choice for children (especially girls) that like real-life, somewhat historical reads.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
A true classic, this series has become more popular thanks to recent movies produced by Disney.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This is a new classic – every child should read it!
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Bunford
For animal lovers, this tail of three animal friends trying to get home is an ideal choice.
New Teen Books
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
A fantastic start to a new series, this story has a little bit of everything – dystopia, the mob, star crossed lovers, and orphans.
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
A ghost killer meets a ghost unlike any other in this romantic story.
Crossed by Ally Condie
The follow-up to the best-selling dystopian story, Matched.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Is love a sickness? Find out how it’s treated in this exciting novel.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Another future story, this time about a girl who must choose where her loyalties to society will lie.
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
This first book in the Sky Chasers series follows teens who have only known life in space after the Earth has been deemed uninhabitable.
Lost in Time (A Blue Bloods Novel) by Melissa De La Cruz
The saga of the wealthy vampires that run New York continues.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Riggs Ransom
Photography and fiction meet in this thrilling story.
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
I Am Number Four was both a successful novel and movie. This is the continuation of that story.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
If you’ve ever suffered through braces, this one’s for you.
Classic (and New Classic) Teen Books
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Still relevant today, Bradbury’s tale will get kids thinking.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The movie hits theaters in March of 2012, so teens should read up now!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
For truly romantic teen girls who like historical fiction, this is a fantastic choice.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
The mega-hit series is bound to be around for a while!