Top ALA Picture Books Make Great Holiday Gifts for Kids

The gift-giving holidays are almost here. The stores, online catalogs and media are all trying to get you to spend your money – but what does a young child really need or want?

jeremy checking out his new easel

If you want to know the truth – not much! Paper and crayons or markers, some clay or play dough, safety scissors, glue, picture books – and you, of course!

On Friday, I usually review a picture book, but this is a great time of year to check out some of the top picture books of 2014 (all are on the American Library Association’s Notable Books list)…you might want to pick up a couple to put under the tree. I reviewed two of them this year – if you click the links, you’ll also find the craft activity instructions that accompanied each post.

A Big Guy Took My Ball written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Ball written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan

Bully written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Count the Monkeys written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Exclamation Mark written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild written and illustrated by Peter Brown

Nino Wrestles the World written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Old Mikamba Had a Farm written and illustrated by Isadora Rachel

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein written by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Valdimir Radunsky

Penny and Her Marble written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

The Tortoise and the Hare written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Warning! Do Not Open This Book! Writtn by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

The Watermelon Seed written and illustrated by Gregg Pizzoli

Xander’s Panda Party written by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Matt Phelan

The Year of Billy Miller written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

I’ve definitely put these books on my wish list! Although I already feel so blessed – I won a brand-new Fire HD 6 Tablet in a giveaway on author Donna McDine’s blog, Write What Inspires You. It arrived yesterday afternoon – Whoo-hoo! Thank you so much, Donna…you are the best!

And I hope you’ll be back on Monday – I’ll be writing a special post and including my entry into Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest.

hoilday contest 4

I’ll give you a hint – it’s called Thither and Yon...and it’s rhyming. There is still a bit of time to cobble something together – great fun and great prizes! Even if you don’t enter, you’ll find a wealth of children’s holiday stories to read…and some will have you rolling with laughter, while others will have you reaching for that box of Kleenex.

And please don’t miss our December Will Write for Cookies post. On December 13th we will have the author of the Angelina Ballerina series, KATHARINE HOLABIRD

Last of all, I’m putting the finishing touches on the first issue of my quarterly newsletter that should arrive at your inboxes the first week of January – but ONLY IF YOU’VE SUBSCRIBED. If you haven’t yet, you can do it RIGHT HERE: Plus you’ll get a one-page Anti-Bullying Toolkit Guide for Kids. Plus one lucky person will win a copy of Show Me How, my award-winning parent-teacher resource book.

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12 thoughts on “Top ALA Picture Books Make Great Holiday Gifts for Kids

  1. You’re right. All kids really need are the things to be creative. I’d add my favorite, books, puzzles and something to build (Lincoln logs – today it’s legos). Thanks for the book suggestions. And congratulations on winning the Fire HD tablet. What a great Christmas present.


    • Oh my gosh…totally the best Christmas present, Pat. And I have no electronics except my old laptop…so it is doubly appreciated. 🙂
      I agree on the puzzles and building materials…Lincoln logs, blocks, there are so many different ones out there now…so important for large and fine motor skills.


    • You are welcome, Jarm. 🙂 I didn’t choose ones from the Amazon best seller list (although there might be some of those on this list) because the books that are the best sellers aren’t always the best ones for kids. 🙂 🙂 The ones on the ALA have all received awards…and they are all pretty special.


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