Entice Middle-Grade Readers With Adventurous Books Kids today can have a hard time staying interested in reading, thanks to the high-energy feel of video games, TV and the Internet. These middle-grade tales are extra-adventurous and sure to thrill. "When Did You See Her Last?" by Lemony …Read more. Promote Thanks with Your Children This Fall These thoughtful picture books will help youngsters recognize and value thankfulness this holiday season. "Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving" edited with reflections by Katherine Paterson; illustrated by …Read more. Sparkly Books for Young Girls Fairies, pink cupcakes and princesses aren't all that little girls are interested in, but they certainly are popular. These books feature those icons, plus a new classic from Jan Brett and a zesty take on Little Red Riding Hood for reluctant writers.…Read more. Simple Activity Books for Shorter, Cooler Days Get your kids off their electronics and into more creative ways to wile away the hours. These new books are imaginative, clever modes of art and expression. "The Goods by McSweeney's" from Big Picture Press/Candlewick Press; 44 pages; $22.…Read more.more articles
It's Not Too Early to Shop for Book-Related Gifts
These new children's gift sets incorporate books, toys, pop-ups and imaginative additions to make reading fun.
"The Dwarf in the Drawer: A Mischievous Parody" by L. van King; illustrated by Chuck Gonzales; Square Fish; 32 pages; $19.99.
For those afraid of or not fans of "The Elf on the Shelf," comes this tongue-in-cheek, grittier holiday tradition. The plush dwarf and hardcover picture book aim to let kids breathe a little, reinforcing the idea he's not a spy for Santa, like Elf. Though families worldwide embrace "The Elf on the Shelf" tradition, blogs and newspaper articles suggest there are just as many who don't.
In the witty, rhyming book, Dwarf means well, acknowledging rooms get messy and kids aren't always perfectly polite. But that doesn't mean he snitches on them and takes their gifts away, as the popular Elf tries to do.
A fun read-aloud with zesty cartoonish illustrations, plus a super soft, plush 4-inch-tall dwarf toy, make this "mischievous parody" a fun relief for young children.
"The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business" by Werner Holzwarth; illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch; Anova Books; 24 pages; $19.99.
A bit crude for some young children but hilarious for most, the story tells of a little mole who has something sausage-like plopped onto his head. After he discovers a bird's white splatter is what landed on him, Mole interviews other animals to find out the identity of the poop-flinging culprit. Kids will laugh out loud at the descriptions and drawings of cow, rabbit, horse and pig excrements, and will sigh with relief when Basil, the butcher's dog, is found guilty.
An often-neglected side of animal life proves entertaining, and the funny plush mole and book are sized perfectly for toting about. There's also a board game printed on the box, with game pieces included, too.
"Peter Pan" from the story by J.M Barrie; illustrated by Nicola L.
Most non-Disney "Peter Pan" books are long and detailed; great for older readers, but not ideal for younger ones. This whimsical version includes funny, edited text, such as, "Suddenly, the nursery window blew open and a boy did drop on the floor. He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which darted around the room like a living thing."
Detailed 3-D scenes star in this cool book, which can be pulled out to reveal "The Arrival of Peter Pan," "Keeping Watch," "The Big Fight!" and "The Homecoming." Robinson's pen and ink drawings are full of childlike wonder, too.
Have "Peter Pan" fans in your midst? This is the perfect gift for them, as well as collectors.
"Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe" by Matthew Reinhart; art by Emiliano Santalucia; LB Kids, 10 pages; $37.
Elaborate Transformers actually transform as kids pull tabs to watch them change into entirely new paper creations. The metallic planet Cybertron changes into an epic battle on Earth, and the mighty Autobot Omega Supreme is pop-up master Reinhart's tallest pop-up ever!
With smaller side books and sturdy pop-ups on each page, all spreads feel like the main event. The title, "Ultimate Pop-Up Universe," is really exactly that. Starring more than 35 iconic "Transformers" characters, this is a book more fun than the toys themselves.
"Where's Waldo? The Magnificent Mini Box Set" by Martin Handford; Candlewick; 40 pages; $19.99.
With five miniature Waldo books, this little boxed set makes a wonderful large stocking stuffer gift. Also tote-worthy for holiday travel, the set should thrill "Where's Waldo?" fans, especially with the assistance of the magnifying glass, included free with the book.
The books included are "Where's Waldo?" "Where's Waldo Now?" "Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey" "Where's Waldo in Hollywood" and "Where's Waldo? The Wonder Book."
To find out more about Lee Littlewood and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM