Browsing your local bookstore is still the best way to find holiday gifts. We’re sharing some of our favorites from 2015: the best books for children and teens, organized by age and stage to make your gifting a bit easier this time of year.
BABIES & TODDLERS
“Happy” by Emma Dodd. The story of a mother owl’s unconditional love, set in nighttime forest scenes accented with shimmering gold foil.
“Paris: A Book of Shapes” by Ashley Evanson. Helps children learn shapes while introducing them to iconic Parisian sights, from the Louvre museum to the Arc de Triomphe.
“Words” by Roger Priddy. Pairs basic words with large illustrations that combine fingerprints with other creative objects—from buttons to vegetables.
PRESCHOOL to EARLY ELEMENTARY
“A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat” by Emily Jenkins. Four families in four different cities and centuries make the same blackberry dessert, reflecting ways families, food and technology have evolved through the years. Includes dessert recipe and notes about research by the author and illustrator.
“Home” by Carson Ellis. Explores the diversity of real and imagined homes in different places and times.
“The Whisperer” by Pamela Zagarenski. A ittle girl borrows a very special book from her teacher, then discovers that all the words have gone missing.
OLDER ELEMENTARY to MIDDLE SCHOOL
“Crenshaw” by Katherine Applegate. Explores homelessness through the relationship of a boy and his larger-than-life imaginary cat.
“Echo” by Pam Muñoz Ryan. An enchanted harmonica transcends time and space to touch the lives of three youth grappling with big responsibilities.
“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon. Imagines the relationship of an isolated girl and her protective mother as the daughter learns about the wider world around them.
“Listen, Slowly” by Thanhha Lai. A California girl travels with her grandmother to Vietnam, where she struggles to balance two vastly different worlds.
“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven. A popular girl and the school freak discover they have something deeply significant in common.
“Shackled” by Tom Leveen. Psychological thriller reinforces for teens the importance of trusting their instincts.
“The Nest” by Kenneth Oppel. Horror novel explores the concept of normalcy and the frightening lengths to which some people will go to achieve it.