Sometimes I catch myself reading car books only to Junius and doll books only to Pippi -- then discover that they both like listening to "boy books" and "girl books." It's a good reminder not to pigeon-hole their reading interests so early.
If you're looking for other suggestions of children's books to buy for holiday gifts, check out the blog's "books" category -- it's mostly books for kids, but there are some grown-up titles thrown in, too.
- Roy Makes a Car by Mary E. Lyons and Terry Widener based on a story collected by Zora Neale Hurston: If you're a fan of the writing that came out of the Harlem Renaissance, then you must have this book. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you'll still enjoy the great illustrations and the clever story in this book about a man who can make a car fit for the angels.
- Fanny by Holly Hobbie: From the author of Toot & Puddle comes this sweet book about a girl named Fanny who makes her own doll after her mom says she won't buy a "Connie" for the her birthday (Connies look like a scary cross between Barbie and Bratz dolls). Fanny's doll comes to life in a lovely way and reminds Fanny that girls can be more than just an overly-stylized, pretty face.
- Pssst! by Adam Rex: The concept, the dialogue, the illustrations, the style... everything about this book is funny and clever. But what sold me completely was the chuckle that bubbled up from Pippi the first time we got to the part about the sloths. You'll have to read the book to find out what secret project these zoo animals are up to.
- Sunny Boy: The Life and Times of a Tortoise by Candace Fleming and Anne Wilsdorf: Inspired by the true story of a tortoise that went over Niagara Falls, this silly book follows a tortoise named Sunny Boy from his early peaceful life to death-defying adventures with a daredevil named Biff. There's also reading Latin, collecting stamps and growing orchids. Somehow, it all works.
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney: Yes, it's too early for Christmas books. But the kids picked this one out and it ended up being really sweet. The illustrations are lovely and the sweet story, which takes place in 1918, tugged hard at my mama-heart-strings. It also takes place in the North Carolina mountains and references details familiar to those who know the area.
As always, all links take you to Quail Ridge Books & Music -- it's the best independent bookseller around, but you can order from their website if you don't live close enough to wander in. They don't compensate me in any way for linking to them. I just love them.