Giving Tree Book Suggestions

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Article in Category:Juvenile Fiction category.

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 in need of a great gift. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good Night 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 try The Neighborhood Sing-a-Long by Nina Crews.
  • No David! by David Shannon. A young boy is does naughty things for which he is repeatedly admonished, but finally he gets a hug.
  • Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales 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.
  • 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.