Mini Monets and Mommies: Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Books for Kids

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: The Best Books for Kids

Holiday gift buying for kids doesn’t always have to include pretty little plastic dolls and crazy-massive playsets that require hours of assembly and a wheelbarrow filled with batteries. Something as seemingly simple as a book can give your little one hours of enjoyment.

Holiday gifts

Does your child love art? Are you looking for a way to introduce the art-viewing experiences to your toddler, preschooler or young child? Keep in mind, the illustrations in these books are art too! I was so excited to receive the book Dress Up in the mail from Home Grown Books (while I did receive the book for free, all opinions are my own). After paging through this awesomely artsy board book I couldn’t help but add it to my list of gifting favorites. If you’re not sure which books to put under the tree (or stuff in a stocking) this holiday season, check out what ‘Dress Up’ is all about and some of these other top picks!

Holiday Guide

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Dress Up, by Kyla Ryman, artwork by Cecile Dyer
Board Book

Originally published as part of The Play Set from Home Grown Books, Dress Up is a creatively cute easy read with imaginatively artistic pictures (courtesy of Brooklyn-based artist Cecile Dyer). Cats play ‘dress up’ with accessories, accompanied by a word on each page for the item. Simple enough for babies and toddlers to take on, with illustrations that will still interest preschoolers.


This is one that I’ve read something like a million (ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration) times while teaching children’s art classes. Not only is it an intro to some famous artists (in animal form), but it also teaches about getting along with others and accepting different opinions.

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser

Take a trip through NYC, and some famous artworks, in this wordless book.

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

The found object collages make easy work for your child when she wants to identify the natural items in this winter-themed book.

Brown Bear,Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Animals and colors make this pick perfect for kids who are just learning the basics.

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

A Christmas book for Christmas time! Carle’s collage-like style interest’s the child’s eye, adding vivid visuals.

Babar’s Museum of Art by Laurent De Brunhoff
Museum art

Who doesn’t absolutely love Babar? The adorable elephant book features some of the most famous works of art – all elephant style. I love this one for young children. It gently introduces them to the world of art, through the eyes of a favorite character.

Art Dog by Thatcher Hurd
Kids' book

An art heist at the Dogopolis Museum of Art is the focus of this oh-so-cute story. With imaginative illustrations, this read tells a tale that will interest kids in preschool through the early grade school years.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Maurice Sendak

Chances are that this was one of your childhood favorites too. It’s a classic for a reason! The detailed illustrations jump off the page, making it an amazing entry into the idea of ‘viewing’ art.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

I remember my mom reading this to me as a child. And, I certainly remember the hundreds of times that I read it to my own child. The bold pictures turn a winter’s snow into a can’t-miss children’s book.

So, now that you have a few choices—what’s next? Take some time to look at the pictures with your child. Point to them, ask your child what she sees and encourage her to tell you what she thinks is going on. This can help her to figure out the story, even if she isn’t able to read the words quite yet. Why do this? It helps to build her budding early literacy skills and lets her see that art is all around us!
Gift Guide

Are you looking for some creative crafts to go with your book reading adventures? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas.

 

 
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