BookKids: Jen’s Holiday Picks!

We’ve got a few great holiday gift recommendations from Jen, a member of our Bookfairs Team and avid kidlit reader! Check out the books she’s been loving below…

The Dragon Ark

By Curatoria Draconis
Illus. by Tomsilav Tomis

The mother of dragon books! Climb aboard The Dragon Ark, an enormous sea-faring vessel that fits more dragons than you can imagine. As a new Apprentice, you’ll join Curatoria Draconis, The Dragon Protector, and the Ark’s dedicated dragon research team to search for an elusive (and nearly extinct) species. Collect clues as you navigate the world, exploring the continents’ vast and varied dragon species. The gorgeous illustrations and fascinating details will have dragon fans flipping pages in pursuit of the celestial dragon… and possibly making a new discovery along the way.

How We Got to the Moon

By John Rocco

For space enthusiasts, history fans, and anyone that’s ever gazed up at the moon with curiosity or wonder, How We Got to the Moon is a must-get. It’s packed with detail and gorgeous illustrations, making it both a highly-informative read, and also one I just want to have on my coffee table in our MER by the RCU (don’t worry, it comes with a guide to commonly used acronyms too!).

The Silver Arrow

By Lev Grossman

If I needed to reach for a book with a hint of sibling squabbles, a mysterious uncle in a banana-yellow suit, a train that tells jokes when it’s nervous, and a grumpy porcupine from Michigan, I would reach for The Silver Arrow. If I wanted to reach for a magical adventure that’s fun for the whole family, well, I would also reach for The Silver Arrow. Now, you do not need to be a train devotee to love this book. (Though, to be honest, trains are wonderful, so you should really get on board.) If you’re more devoted to receiving mysterious birthday presents, talking to animals, or pondering how it might feel to be a tree, you may also love this book! The adventure begins when Kate sends a letter to her uncle (without an address or a stamp), asking him to send her a birthday gift. She is caught quite off guard when he arrives with a full-sized locomotive engine. What does one even do with a full-sized locomotive engine? And how does that grumpy porcupine factor in? The true heart of The Silver Arrow (its firebox?) is allegory, helping us question how we interact with our world and its many living creatures, while showing that through our own hard work, admitting to our mistakes, and persevering through our pitfalls, we humans can accomplish remarkable things. While The Silver Arrow reads like a wonderfully-told bedtime tale, the cast of characters, fantastical imagery, and humor throughout make this a perfect pick for independent reading or a raucous read-aloud/read-together at any time of day. The audio book is equally as engaging, wonderfully read, and would make any travel adventure all the more exciting. In short, “Click-bing! I THINK YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK.”

Skunk and Badger

By Amy Timberlake
Illus. by Jon Klassen

Paw pies and chicken whistles! This chapter book is a delight for the senses. Between its sounds (“Clunk! Thump! Beed-el-lee-bing! Bockety-bockety-bock-bock!”) textures, and descriptive action, this odd-couple tale is easy to feel immersed in. As different as can be, Skunk and Badger start off on the wrong paw as they find themselves suddenly sharing a brownstone… a brownstone with very little room for Skunk, what with all of Badger’s rocks and empty boxes. These quirky characters’ earnest emotions play-out like a Wes Anderson film for young readers, telling a tale of rash behavior, self-realization, regret, and redemption… oh, and a rocket potato.

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