Books—the best gifts of all! Every year my family can expect books under the tree. If you’re looking for ideas, here are some family favorites/kid tested recommendations.
1) Grumblebunny by Bob Hartman—if you like using silly voices when you read your picture books out loud, this one is for you! Three of the sweetest rabbits, Cuddlemop, Sweetnsnuffle, and Pretty, look at the world with a wide-eyed (literally) innocence that nearly gets them eaten by the Bad Wolf, Peter the Rabbit Eater. Luckily, Grumblebunny is on hand to help them channel their inner grump and escape the wolf’s stew pot. It’s a bit irreverent and there’s some mention of eyeballs exploding at the end, but with lines like the following, it’s tons of fun.
“Nonsense!” scolded Cuddlemop, in the nicest possible way. “Let’s go and play with our friends the Beavers in their charming house by the Wide Water.”
“Yes, indeed!” agreed Sweetsnuffle.
“The Beavers stink,” groaned Grumblebynny. “And their house stinks. It’s cold and damp and made of mud. I’m going back to bed.”
2) Supernatural Rubber Chicken series by D. L. Garfinkle for ages 6-10—I haven’t read these but listened to my daughter giggling almost non-stop as she read them in the car. Seriously, I can’t remember her laughing out loud so much while reading. If you’ve got a reluctant reader or someone who loves funny books, start with Fowl Language and let the fun begin!
3) The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy for ages 8-11—Have a Harry Potter lover going through severe withdrawal? Mildred Hubble’s adventures at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches are just the ticket! Debuting in 1974 and with over three million copies in print, readers will see a lot of Snape in Miss Harbroom and a little bit of Draco in mean girl Ethel Hallow.
4) The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney by Lauren Barnholdt ages 9-13—Merry is Ms. Barnholdt’s new number one fan. She devoured this tween book and went on to read Barnholdt’s next book in the S&S Mix line, Four Truths and a Lie. These are fun girly books for the tween crowd.
5) Marvel Runaways by Brian K Vaughn graphic novels for the YA crowd—What happens when a group of kids finds out their parents are actually super villains? They try to out them and then hit the road with a telepathic dinosaur or else become their next victim. Compiled from a comic book series, my son and I ate these up, with Joss Whedon penning the latest one.