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Children make this time of year special; there’s something about seeing the holidays through a child’s eyes that fills the season with wonder. That’s why giving the little ones in your life gifts that help them grow means so much. One of our mDesigners recalled receiving a basket of children’s books one Christmas after her oldest child was born. The present was a godsend because, like most new parents, she didn’t have an extensive library of children’s books. So, as gift-giving season begins, I’ve curated a list of new and classic children’s books that are sure to be a hit with the under-5 set.
Skip the wrapping paper and use mDesign’s Hyde Organizer Bin
to gift the books. Made of sturdy steel wire with a durable finish, these open front bins are perfect for organizing children’s books and keeping them easily accessible. They come in a variety of playroom-friendly colors and the easy-carry handles make the bins great for storing nursery essentials once the books are on the bookshelf.
These classic children’s books — all on Time Magazine’s 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time — have delighted generations of young readers.
The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein’s moving story of a young boy and a loving, generous tree who grow up together has been teaching children about friendship and respect for nature for almost 60 years. (Harper Collins)
The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats’ groundbreaking 1962 picture book follows a curious young boy named Peter through his neighborhood after the first snowfall of the season. (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Parents have been reading children to sleep with Margaret Wise Brown’s timeless bedtime story since 1947. Brown’s book is so popular, it’s spawned a score of grown-up parodies, including Goodnight, Mom for frazzled new moms; Goodnight, Mr. Darcy for Jane Austen fans; and Good Morning, Zoom, a pandemic-inspired take for remote workers. (Harper Collins)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
According to Amazon, someone buys Eric Carle’s classic picture book every 30 seconds! That’s a lot of little children falling in love with a ravenous caterpillar who becomes a beautiful butterfly. (Penguin Books)
Kay Thompson’s 1955 tale of a mischevious little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York City is so iconic, a portrait of Eloise hangs in the famous hotel and guests can book a stay in Eloise’s very pink suite! (Simon & Schuster)
I’m happily child-free, but I enjoy spending time in the picture book corner of the indie bookstore where I work and I’ve noticed books that have become modern classics. Here are some best-selling, newer titles that are always in stock because they’re always in demand.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Mo Willem’s delightfully silly, Caldecott-winning book was published in 2004. It follows a pigeon who’s desperate to drive a city bus once the driver steps away. (Hyperion)
I Want My Hat Back
Jon Klassen’s 2011 picture book about a bear in search of his lost pointy red hat has a twist at the end that’s anything but saccharine. (Candlewick Press)
This interactive book by Hervé Tullet features simple dots that invite pre-literate little ones to use their imaginations. (Chronicle Books)
This perennially best-selling 1977 book from Japanese children’s author Tarō Gomi normalizes bodily functions and helps ease toddlers into the idea of potty training. (Kane/Miller)
Millennials are parents now and they want books for their children that are as diverse and inclusive as the world is. Here are some recent, wonderful, award-winning books that will have a place on babies’ bookshelves for years to come.
Derrick Barnes’ beautifully written (and gorgeously illustrated by Gordon C. James) multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling “ode to the fresh cut,” about a trip to the barbershop, was published in 2017. It positively affirms young boys and encourages healthy self-esteem. (Agate Publishing)
Julián is a Mermaid
This 2018 children’s book, written and illustrated by Jessica Love, is an exquisitely rendered story of a spirited child who dreams of being a mermaid. Hailed as a celebration of individuality, this Stonewall Book Award recipient joyously centers around a gender non-conforming child. (Candlewick Press)
Eyes that Kiss in the Corners
Joanna Ho’s story of a young Asian-American girl who learns the true meaning of self-love from the wise women in her life is at the top of Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2021. (Harper Collins)
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Picture Books of 2019, Kevin Noble Maillard draws on his Seminole heritage to show how food brings people together to create community. (Roaring Brook Press)
Lisa Langford is a Senior Copywriter at mDesign
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Dec 8, 2021