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Gift Books for the Whole Family

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These books make fantastic gifts for all ages. With the topics of healthy foods, cats as Internet stars, colorstrology and animal records, there's something here for everyone.

"Super Foods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet" by Tonia Reinhard; Firefly Books; 256 pages; $24.95.

The second edition of this easy-to-use nutrition book has been updated to include 80 newly discovered health benefits of super foods — foods with powerful sources of essential nutrients. Organized in a very simple way by food type — vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, fruits, nuts, herbs, grains, cereals, meats, seafoods, dairy foods, beverages, treats and supplements — this colorful tome celebrates foods with the most nutrients and lowest calories.

Readers can compare foods using detailed nutritional analysis, learn expert preparation advice and create personalized food portfolios to target specific health goals.

A smart book to have in any family kitchen, "Super Foods" is a vital resource for people that strive to be in good health.

For those who want to know more about how to eat healthy for good skin purposes, "28 Days to Younger Skin: The Diet Program for Beautiful Skin" by Karen Fischer includes over 50 recipes to speed up skin recovery and enhance results. Why 28 days? That's how long it takes our bodies to produce new cells in deeper skin layers that then travel to the surface. A fascinating guide for boosting metabolism, supplying nutrients for skin repair, and eating food to benefit the entire body.

"Colorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says About You" by Michele Bernhardt; Quirk Books; 432 pages; $19.95.

This compact, sturdy paperback combines astrology, numerology and the metaphysical power of color to help readers determine compatible colors for decorating and wearing. Each vibrant page features a date and compatible color. Feb. 1, for example has peach, which is "smart, communicative and youthful" as its compatible color. Next comes: "If you were born on this day," with a personality profile; a "How this color benefits you" explanation; and compatible birthdays.

At the end of the book are 366 perforated Pantone swatches so readers can take them to buy paint, decorating items and clothing matching their colors (monthly colors are included).

As added benefits, this book is super fun and makes a wonderful conversation starter or coffee table addition.

"Natural History Museum Book of Animal Records" by Mark Carwardine; Firefly Books; 256 pages; $19.95.

From the Natural History Museum, this definitive guide to amazing animal feats is packed in every way with authentic creature extravagance. Kids, and adults, will be in awe over not only the shortest and longest animals, and those with the world records of speed and size, but also of those with awesome talents. An okapi, for example, can lick and clean its own eyeballs and a tiny cat flea jumps with an acceleration equivalent to over 20 times that needed to launch a space rocket.

Thousands of amazing facts, clear and up-close photographs, and the kind of unbelievable trivia that'll cause jaws to fall to knees, "Animal Records" is a must-have for every home.

"How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom" by Patricia Carlin; photography by Dustin Fenstermacher; Quirk Books; 128 pages; $12.95.

Why are so many cats stars on the Internet? Who knows? It has to do with personalities: Some cats seem to exhibit some of the same personas as humans. There's the lazy bum, the daredevil, the clown and the complete moron, and all exhibit highly entertaining movements, facial expressions and activities. Carlin's small how-to book shows cat owners how to capitalize on these personality traits, and also how to set up scenes, groom cats to success, set up photographic equipment, and even make money from videos of them.

Highly entertaining and hilarious, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, "How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity" is worth even the 15 minutes of fame your feline may warrant.

"Stuff Every College Student Should Know" by Blair Thornburgh; Quirk Books; 144 pages; $9.95.

The perfect little gift for high school graduates, or those in the midst of college, this pocket-sized reference is packed with essential information about every part of campus life.

From "Six Non-Stupid Conversation Starters" to how to get a social life rolling and how to take a multiple-choice test, this guide also advises on how to pull an all-nighter, how to eat for no money, how to do laundry, how to pick a major and other college dilemmas.

Super cool and helpful, even for young people not in college, Thornburgh's little brown book is uber-helpful, "because textbooks can teach you only so much."

To find out more about Lee Littlewood, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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