kids book suggestions

So, my mom is asking for suggestions for books for hanukah presents for the grandchildren — my sons, who will be 7 and 9 (with the 9 year old a very strong reader and the 7 year old just really starting to read on his own), and my nephews, ages 2 and 4.

I futzed around online and came up with the following recommendations, but I thought I’d see what my readers had to add:

For the 2 year old:

The Quiet Book, Deborah Underwood
Can’t Sleep without Sheep by Susanna Leonard Hill

(I don’t know anything about these other than what I found online, but they look pretty good.)

4 year old: City Dog, Country Frog, Mo Willems
Knuffle Bunny Free, Mo Willems

(I love Mo Willems)

7 year old:  The Dinosaur Museum: An Unforgettable, Interactive Virtual Tour Through Dinosaur History, National Geographic Society
Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up, Robert Sabuda
Knuffle Bunny Free, Mo Willems
Rocks and Minerals (Eye Wonder)., DK books

(He’s at an awkward stage, not really into reading himself, but getting old for picture books, although I’ll make an exception for Mo Willems.  We’ve been reading the Narnia books and Paddington out loud.  He says he wants to be an archeologist, and loves rocks.)

9 year old: City of Ice, Laurence Yep  (not yet released)
Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume, Jeff Smith
Warriors: Power of Three Box Set: Volumes 1 to 6 Erin Hunter OR
Warriors Box Set: Volumes 1 to 6 Erin Hunte

(He loved City of Fire, and City of Ice is due out soon.  I have no idea which of the Warriors books he’s read, but he doesn’t mind re-reading, so I think the box sets are a safe pick.  And he liked the volume of Bone that I got out from the library for him.  I’d put the new book by Richard Riordan set in the world of the Percy Jackson books on the list, except that I assume he’ll want to buy it as soon as it comes out.)

So, what should we add to the list?

10 Responses to “kids book suggestions”

  1. Doug Says:

    For the 7-year-old: Going Rogue, by S. Palin

  2. Jennifer Says:

    For the two and four year old – Where is the Green Sheep, by Mem Fox (no idea whether you can get this outside Australia!) or anything from the Hairy McLary series (by Lynley Dodd, a NZ author), both of which are great reading aloud fun. I suspect I feel about Lynley Dodd as you do about Mo Willems.

    My 7 and 9 year old are both now loving Tintin and Asterix – they both need a reasonable reading level, but feel much less like a chore for the reluctant reader (which my 7 year old has been until recently) than your average early chapter book. For the 7 year old, I would also go for anything by DK that matches his interest, and roughly matches his reading level – I love those books, because they have such great factual information in them.

    I don’t recognise any of your 9 year old’s books, so I could get the level wrong, but my 9 year old has LOOOVED the Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart and will also read and reread Horrible Histories, Horrible Geography, and Murderous Maths – three great series which have an amazing amount of factual information, packaged up in bite sized chunks that both my boys find hilarious. Those last three are UK based publishers, so I don’t know if you can get them (we can’t get any of them on the kindle, much to our annoyance). He’s also quite enjoying the Edge Chronicles, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, but I find them hard going myself, so I’m not sure if I’d recommend them.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Oh, and I forgot to add Calvin and Hobbes – very well loved by both boys in this house.

  4. Lee Says:

    I haven’t heard of a single one of your recommendations for the older boys. I have some research to do before my three-year old gets older. For the nine-year old, what about Where the Red Ferns Grows and/or Summer of the Monkeys? Maybe A Dog Called Kitty. For the four-year old and up, what about an audio version of a classic or something they love? My kids get so much mileage out of books on cd, but they’re pretty pricey.

  5. Libby Says:

    I’m not so great with the littler kid books, but my son loved The True Meaning of Smek-Day (easy for 9-year-old, maybe read aloud to 7-year old?), the Asterix & Tintin series, already mentioned, Whales on Stilts (MT Anderson–very funny and high adventure; there are sequels, also good), and The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which is a novel-length picture book or a heavily-illustrated novel, depending on how you look at it. Fine for 7 or 9, anyway.

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    Ooh, some books I haven’t heard of. Fun.

    We listened to Hugo Cabret as a book on CD and enjoyed it, but might like the pictures as well. D started Benedict Society but stopped in the middle because it was getting too scary for him. (He’s also read the first 2/3 of the last three Harry Potter books.)

    I’ve been trying to get him to read some kids’s books that are older, but it’s definitely a challenge. The pacing of the older books is much slower, especially early on, than with more recent books — we noticed that with both Robin McKinley and Susan Cooper’s books.

  7. Theresa Young Says:

    I happened across a great blog with recommendations for children’s (and occasionally adult) books: http://thebooklion.wordpress.com/ Very intelligent reviews!

  8. Jody Says:

    Have you tried any of Gordon Korman’s series? There’s one about kids stranded on a desert island, one about kids trying to climb Mount Everest, another about kids going on a diving expedition, and a longer series about two kids whose parents are imprisoned for treason and they have to go on the run to try to clear them. I think they have a lot in common with the 39 Clues books, although I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t read the 39 Clues books. Gemma and Elba like the Bone-like series Amulet but Wilder thought it was too girl-oriented. All three kids like Sardine in Outer Space (another comic book series).

  9. Libby Says:

    It’s hard to imagine Hugo Cabret without the pictures! I’ve just made a list of book recommendations for slightly older kids–will try to post to my blog before too long. Almost all fantasy, and some definitely within range for your kids.

  10. Laura Radel Says:

    Here are some of our old favorites:

    For a 2 year old:
    One to Ten by Chuck Murphy (a pop up book)
    Color Surprises by Chuck Murphy (also pop up)
    Who’s That Scratching at My Door? by Amanda Leslie
    Flappy Waggy Wiggly by Amanda Leslie
    Who Hoots by Katie Davis

    For a 4 year old:
    Hieronymus Betts and His Unusual Pets by MP Robertson
    There are Monsters Everywhere by Mercer Mayer
    The Three Grumpies by Tamra Wight
    Bravo, Livingston Mouse by Pamela Duncan Edwards
    Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

    For a 7 year old:
    Ace Lacewing Bug Detective by David Biedrzycki
    Verdi by Janell Cannon
    The Worst Band in the Universe by Graeme Base

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