A Holiday Shopping and Best-Of Bouquet

‘Tis the season for best-of-the-year lists. And also for panicky shopping. The Kidlitosphere contains several helpful posts on both accounts this week.


I was getting overwhelmed at the thought of pulling together various publications’ lists of the Year’s Best Books, when I came upon a post from Susan of Chicken Spaghetti, who has solved my dilemma by doing the work for all of us: her Best of the Best: Kids’ Books 08 post includes links to over twenty Years’ Best lists, from the Abilene Reporter News to the Toronto Public Library, including lists from the New York Times, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, the Horn Book, School Library Journal, and many many more. She promises to keep it updated as more lists are published, too. Thanks, Susan!


As for the best-of lists at various blogs, there are too many to keep track of, but this Book Recs for Holiday Shopping from Around the Litblogosphere post at Chasing Ray is a valiant compilation of best-book and gift-recommenation posts.


Right here at the Scholastic website, The excellent folks at the Kid Lit Kit blog are compiling a list of bloggers’ favorite new books of 2008—if you’ve blogged about a spectacular book this year, email them (or if you don’t have a blog you could just try leaving a comment on their site).


Also on the Scholastic site, check out these crafty Book-Inspired Gift Kits, which combined well-loved picture books with handmade items and tips for coming up with more ideas yourself! Great for a joint project to work on with kids.


But the Queen of creative book-giving packages has got to be MotherReader, who has outdone herself this year and presented readers with a series of five posts totaling 105 ways to give a book, for kids of all ages (and even some adults).


A few of my favorites from her inspired list:


  • Pair picture book stunner How I Learned Geography with an inflatable globe.


  • Wrap up A Crooked Kind of Perfect with those excellent socks from the cover.


  • Looking for something a little offbeat? Maybe Cowboy and Octopus with a cowboy hat or an octopus.


  • Take sweet picture book Lissy’s Friends and pair it with an origami kit.



…for a hundred (really!) more ideas, check out MotherReader!


And this post wouldn’t be complete without a hat-tip to Jen Robinson’s Book Page, whose Friday Afternoon Visits post this week led me to several of the sites above. Thanks, Jen! And thanks to everyone who wrote these terrific and EXTREMELY helpful posts!

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Always happy to help, Els!

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Hi Susan-- Thanks so much for commenting! It's really nice to hear that you like the blog. Sometimes I'm not sure who's reading, or if it's useful, so I'm glad that you enjoy it and will be back!

Els, thanks for the shout-out. Compiling the Best Of list is fun. In another life, I was a magazine listings editor. Can you tell?

OK, maybe I should email you back channel about this, but here's what I want someone to blog about for the holidays: what early chapter books to give to very early readers who style themselves as someone who reads chapter books, but who can't quite yet. You know, the kind of reader who insists on bringing home Nancy Drew from the library, walks around the house reading the book, sits on the couch very intently for 3 minutes, jumps up and says "Mama! I finished my chapter book!" and is very, very serious about this. So I'm looking for chapter books-like Henry and Mudge--that might be a little more easily, actually read.

Although the pretend reading is probably great for her, too.

I didn't mean that last comment to sound like "hey, I wished you blogged about something else!" I love this post and will not be helped in my syllabus-finishing project by all those lovely links. Thanks!

Thanks for the list and the link, Els! Will you be adding your favorite book of 2008 to the Kid Lit Kit round-up? I would love to know what it is!

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