Giving Tree Book Suggestions
Sometimes it can be hard to think of the right gift to get for a child for the giving tree. Here is a list of classic children's books and great new stories for children who are just learning to read. Also see below a list of titles available in Spanish and titles that are great for English as a second language.
Giving Tree Book Suggestions
- All the World by Elizabeth Scanlon. A family discovers the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.
- Bark George by Jules Feiffer. Why is George the dog making meowing, oinking, and mooing noises?
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. Animals enjoy themselves in the warmth of a cave, only to discover it’s inhabited by a bear! Any of the delightful Bear stories make a great gift.
- Chicka-Chicka-Boom Boom by Bill Martin. The alphabet is up to fun and excitement when the little letters race to the top of the tree. You can’t help but bounce along with this text.
- Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems. This former Sesame Street writer knows how to make great books for kids. Also consider any of his Pigeon Books.
- Food for Thought: The Complete Book of Concepts for Growing Minds by Saxton Freymann. Shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and opposites…oh my!
- Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. Silly Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary articles of clothing.
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. Harold can go anywhere and do anything with his imagination and his famous purple crayon.
- How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen. The Yolen Dinosaur books are fun read-alouds with great dinosaur characters.
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. Kids will really clue in to the narrative of this story as a mouse sends his human companion running around in circles.
- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback. Joseph creates a smaller piece of clothing each time the fabric becomes “old and worn.” Beautiful visual rendition of old song.
- The Mitten by Jan Brett. A wonderful winter tale of animals squeezing in a mitten until a sneeze leads to fun results.
- The Napping House by Audrey Wood. The peaceful slumber of those at Grandmother’s house is destroyed by a wakeful flea in this cumulative story.
- Olivia by Ian Falconer. Whether in the original book or any of the sequels, Olivia is a spunky pig who has a lot of personality maybe too much for her own good.
- Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Rosanne Thong. As a little girl discovers things round, square, and rectangular in her urban neighborhood, she is reminded of her Chinese American culture.
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. Each blind mouse “sees” the elephant as something different from the others in this retold Indian fable.
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. A preschooler delights in the simple pleasures of newly fallen snow.
Swimmy by Leo Lioni. Swimmy, a small black fish, finds a way to protect a school of small red fish from their natural enemies.
- Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema. West African tale which explains why mosquito, who is responsible for baby owl's death, buzzes in people's ears for forgiveness.
Great books for everyone and good choices for English as a Second Language
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert. Innovative color and shapes transform into different animals with each turn of the page. And other Lois Ehlert titles. Very visual.
Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five by Valorie Fisher. Fanciful photographs depict concepts for young children, such as opposites, weather, mixing colors, and seasons.
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman. It's bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who's that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin? Hop on Pop! by Dr. Seuss. Not only are many of his books great for the learning to read crowd, but the ones like this can really help build phonetic awareness.
Jump Frog Jump by Robert Kalan. A cumulative tale in which a frog tries to catch a fly without getting caught itself. Very simple text but excellent for building narrative skills.
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. This wordless retelling of an Aesop fable can be shared in any language and the pictures won it a Caldecott.
Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews. Classic, memorable nursery rhymes with fantastic photographs of modern children to bring them to life. Also, the Neighborhood Sing-a-Long.
No David! by David Shannon. A young boy is does naughty things for which he is repeatedly admonished, but finally he gets a hug. 26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban. Bright, eye-catching photography helps reinforce the letters and numbers.
Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairytales by Lucy Cousins. Little Red Riding Hood -- The three billy goats gruff -- The enormous turnip -- Henny Penny -- Goldilocks and the three bears -- The little red hen -- The three little pigs -- The musicians of Bremen. All told in simple text with bright bold illustrations.
Spanish bilingual books or books available in English or Spanish
Many children’s picture book classics and favorites are available in bilingual editions. Such as Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Where the Wild Things Are, Click Clack Moo, Mouse Paint, Curious George, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ask for your favorite at your bookstore.
Abuela by Arthur Dorros. A young girl imagines that she and her grandmother float up to the sky and fly over New York City.
Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto and Susan Guevara. Chato the cat prepares a feast for the neighborhood mice. De Colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for Children by Jose-Luis Orozco and Elisa Kleven. Bursting with color and spirit, this collection of Latin-American songs has songs for all occasions and moods. Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya. Eight animals add crazy ingredients together to make a very surprising cake and use the numbers 1-8 in English and Spanish.
Fiesta! by Ginger Fogleson Guy Join a wonderful group of children as they go throughout their town to purchase candy & toys to put in their piñata – and learn how to practice your 1,2,3’s!. Also available Siesta.
Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora, Translated by Adriana Dominguez. A young multiracial boy celebrates family, friendship, and fun by telling about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful.
My Way: A Margaret and Margarita Story = A mi manera: Un Cuento de Margarita y Margaret by Lynn Reiser. Parallel text in Spanish and English portrays Margaret and Margarita, who mirror one another as they fix their hair, greet their friends, and engage in other routine activities, each in her own special way.
Moon rope : a Peruvian folktale by Lois Ehlert. Fox and Mole try to climb to the moon on a rope woven of grass.
¡Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales / Animal Nursery Rhymes by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. Sixteen traditional nursery rhymes are presented first in Spanish and then English that captures the flavor of the original.