Books your kids will love as holiday gifts

November 18, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Reading to your kids is an inexpensive but enormously beneficial gift. Give the gift of reading to your kids with books they will love! Charlene Prince Birkeland, parenting editor for Yahoo! Shine, shares these great picks!

Books featured on the show:

Babies/Toddlers: Where's spot? by Eric Hill
You'll dig this board book with flaps because your little ones get involved in the story by searching for Spot behind doors, inside a piano, underneath a bed...and so on. Another plus? You can start teaching your kid animal sounds with each page. ($7.99; Buy the book on Amazon: Where's Spot?)

Ages 3-5: Flotsam by David Wiesner

Flotsam is a Caldecott Award-winning picture book and the illustrations are absolutely out-of-this-world amazing. It tells the story of a little boy who spends the day at the beach with his parents. He finds an old underwater camera, has the film developed and discovers that life in the sea is surreal. Imagine puffer fish acting as hot air balloons and sea horses giving mermaids rides in the ocean. This book is gorgeous and a must-have in your preschooler's collection of reads. ($12, Buy the book on Amazon: Flotsam)

Ages 5-8: Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo
In this award-winning chapter book, Mercy Watson is a pig that believes she is human. One afternoon, her "dad" takes her for a car ride...and she ends up driving. You can't help but love this spoiled pig, even with all the trouble she causes. Warning: kids will want you to read the book all the way through instead of waiting for a day between chapters. ($10, Buy the book on Amazon: Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride)

Ages 9-12: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
I will confess that I read Chasing Vermeer a few weeks ago to see it if was age appropriate for my son. At 6, it's a little complex for my little guy. But I was hooked and can't wait until he's ready to read it with me. Tweens will dig it. The two main characters, Petra Andalee and Calder Pillay become unlikely friends as they find themselves solving an art scandal. In the process, they put themselves in great danger. Kids will also love the added challenge of solving. ($7, Buy the book on Amazon: Chasing Verneer)

Ages 13 and up: Watership Down by Richard Adams
If your kids don't have to read this book as part of summer reading or a high school English class, don't let them miss out on this literary classic. Watership Down might even be move them to tears. ($11, Buy the book on Amazon: Watership Down

For more information on this topic, visit shine.yahoo.com.

You can also find Charlene at crazedparent.org.


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