Give the Gift of Reading, Books for Everyone On Your Shopping List
Books are great gifts for the holidays. They often don’t get the ‘love’ on Christmas day but done the line they are the kind of gifts that people go back to over and over again, especially with kids. My kids usually play with their toys for a few weeks or months but the books they have year after year and they can always use them and come back to them later, they can pass it down to their younger siblings and even donate it to their school’s library once they’ve outgrown it. It’s a gift that goes on and on. I receive books for review and I’ve decided to share some as options for holiday gifts this year. I was provided review copies for inclusion in my Holiday Gift Guide.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Reality Shock. I included this book in my gift guide last year. I wanted to include it again this year for the same reasons I did in the first place. It’s a great book for people who like knowing random facts. One of my younger sisters is a big history and knowledge buff. She loves reading and last year I knew I wanted this book for her, when I gave it to her she loved it. She has Autism and she usually likes to stay in her room all the time. When she got the book last Christmas every time we would go visit she would come down and tell us about something she learned from the book. Reality Shock is filled with wacky and interesting stories and places all around the world. This is a book that will keep the receiver entertained for over and over again and there’s the added bonus of having the book every year for even more interesting facts.
About Reality Shock:
With all new content Reality Shock! is a mix of “can’t bear to look, but can’t look away” stories, people, facts and photos. It’s just the ticket for teens and tweens, whether they’re reluctant readers or constant page-turners.
Reality Shock! delivers strange stories, bizarre bits and twisted tales like only Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can. The content ranges from cute to creepy; what’s “great!” to one reader is just plain “gross!” to another – that’s part of the fun of Reality Shock!
You can learn more and purchase the Reality Shock book for $28.95 online at www.ripleybooks.com.
Cindy Lou and Sammy Too Go To The Mall. I included this book in my gift guide because it’s a book about a guide dog team. I liked it because it gave me some insight into the life of someone living with a disability and how they live their everyday lives. A The book is from the point of view of the guide dog. Written by Cheryl McNeil Fisher who speaks about how her guide dog enhanced her life, the book really goes into how guide dogs and their partner works. I’m sure if dogs could talk they would probably say some of the things Cheryl mentions in the book. This would be a great book for anyone in the process of getting their own guide dog or someone working in the field of training guide dogs.
5-Minute Mug Cakes is perfect for the foodies on your gift list, especially the bakers. I love baking but sometimes I just want to make a quick recipe for myself and not something for the whole family. 5 Minute Mug Cakes harness the power of the microwave to create delicious cakes in five minutes, some requiring as little as five ingredients or less. 5-MINUTE MUG CAKES is the perfect gift for anyone with a mug, a microwave, and a dream. With nearly 100 delectable recipes for cakes, brownies, cookies, and more, every single recipe can be made in an ordinary, microwave-safe mug in just a few minutes. There’s some great recipes in the book and I definitely suggest adding it to your baker’s library.
Let There Be Light was written by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I’ve been looking at this book since last year to pick it up for my kids and I ended up getting it from the Z-Blog Squad. This book retells the story of creation from the bible in a way that children can understand and love. The illustrations are amazing and it adds even more beauty to the book. It’s perfect for the holiday season as a reminder of how the earth was created. Let There Be Light combines the extraordinary talents of Nancy Tillman, the New York Times bestselling author of On the Night You Were Born, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu in this retelling of the biblical story of creation. The pairing of Archbishop Tutu’s lyrical text from The Children of God Storybook Bibleand Tillman’s wondrous illustrations bring the pages of this board book to life for readers young and old.
The Legend of St. Nicholas tells the story of how one young man spent his life helping others around the world. Giving to those who were in need and remind us of the start of an iconic character. This one is perfect for Christmas and a book you should have in your library to read each year around this time.
In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.
If you have any Veggie Tales fans on your hands then you need to check out this fun holiday themed book from the Veggie Tales team. It’s that wonderful time of year again—the Yuletide Ice Cube Fair! It’s a time of festivity and fun as veggies gather to munch on snow cones, slurp down slushies, and ice skate on the frozen pond. But the greatest part of all is the Ice Cube Carving Contest! The veggies have been busy! They’ve carved Christmas feasts, trees, angels, and more. Each one is trying to outdo the other in an effort to win the grand prize! But the smallest of all these ice entries is a carving done by Junior Asparagus—a tiny stable with a shepherd on one knee. Kids will discover that it’s not what’s grand, or bigger, or best that’s most important on Christmas—it’s Jesus!
Like anything in life, everything is relative to the individual and this simple and straight forward book shows just that. When two animals can’t agree on who’s big and who’s small, they get some help from others to prove the point. In the end though they just realize it just comes down to perception. This is cute and fun book for pre-school aged kids. Great for reading at bedtime and teaching about the concept of big and small. I really loved this book, and it made a perfect addition to my son’s classroom library. In You Are (Not) Small two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all! The simple text of Anna Kang and bold illustrations of New Yorker cartoonist Christopher Weyant tell an original and very funny story about size—it all depends on who’s standing next to you.
When my kids first started to learn to read I noticed they read the pictures and not necessarily the words. The would look at the images and create a story based on that image. Snowman’s Story is a beautifully illustrated book that doesn’t include any words but it tells an amazing story. Its like watching a silent movie through stills. This is perfect for kids learning to read and helping them imagine amazing stories. You’ll love hearing this story straight from your kids imagination.
About Snowman’s Story: One wintry day, a hat lands on the head of a newly made snowman and brings him to life. Hiding inside the hat is a rabbit, who listens to the snowman read a story to some animal friends. When the snowman falls asleep, the rabbit hops away with the book. But the snowman isn’t about to let his story—or the mischievous rabbit—get away. The chase is on! Filled with charm and fun, this wordless picture book from a beloved illustrator lets kids tell their own version of the story, even as they delight in the action-filled pages.
If you like Gone Girl, then you’re enjoy this suspenseful novel. Personally I didn’t like how Gone Girl ended but I have to admit the author did a great job keeping me hooked and reading continuously. I haven’t read this novel but I added it to the list because the book description sounds exciting and it would make a great winter break read.
About Chasing The Sun: Andres suspects his wife has left him—again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’ll do anything to get her back. Or will he?
As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home. And unfortunately, the decision isn’t entirely up to him, or up to the private mediator who moves into the family home to negotiate with the terrorists holding Marabela. Andres struggles to maintain the illusion of control while simultaneously scrambling to collect his wife’s ransom, tending to the needs of his two young children, and reconnecting with an old friend who may hold the key to his past and his wife’s future. Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative page-turner is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense.
It seems like it’s just been a bad year for my family but sprinkled in there are awesome rays of home. I added Bittersweet because the author drew from her own real life experiences to share how she would find hope. During the holidays people are sometimes hit the hardest and I think this book is perfect for giving just a little bit of hope especially during a time of year when it seems everything should be bright with the world.
About Bittersweet: “The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. “It’s the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. ‘This is what I’ve come to believe about change: it’s good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it’s incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God’s hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. “I’ve learned the hard way that change is one of God’s greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we’ve become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I’ve learned that it’s not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God’s graciousness, not life’s cruelty.” Niequist, a keen observer of life with a lyrical voice, writes with the characteristic warmth and honesty of a dear friend: always engaging, sometimes challenging, but always with a kind heart. You will find Bittersweet savory reading, indeed. “This is the work I’m doing now, and the work I invite you into: when life is sweet, say thank you, and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you, and grow.”