Books make brilliant holidays gifts. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Every year (save for the last, ’cause I’m a dummy and forgot) I buy the girls each a book. I don’t need to do this, as we get many sent to us for free, but I do. Traditions, ya know.
Here are the best books for the youth of today that we’ve seen & read in 2012.
A VERY BOOKISH CHRISTMAS
The Bear has fallen madly in love with these mini-superheroes. Think Muppet Babies meets Justice League! In fact, there isn’t a single thing — book, toy, game, CD, whatever — that has had as big an impact on her 8-year-old-self than the Tiny Titans. She has burned through many of the Super Pets! graphic novels and is now tearing through the hilarious and more robust Tiny Titans series of comic paperback books. She was even Super Girl for Halloween this year because of these comics. The Tiny Titans comics are a riot, with laugh-out-loud funny stuff on nearly every page. The traditional Tiny Titans comics, of which I think there are nearly 50, are collected here in these nifty books, 7 right now with the 8th due in April ’13 (can’t wait!), and should be owned by everyone, whether you already dig Superman, Batgirl, and Beast Boy, or not.
I reviewed it here, and now that the Bear has just finished it herself I’m going to double down on my admiration and fondness for Christopher Healy’s debut novel, the first in a series of three Hero’s Guide books. You simply have to read this one and discover the untold story of the Princes Charming, er, Prince Charmings, oh you know who I mean!
Now into the 8th volume, this series of graphic comics from Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Punk Farm) continues to have legions of grade school kids wishing their cafeteria help was 1/2 as interesting as Thompson Brook’s crime solving Lunch Lady. The newest addition tackles picture day and a sudden acne breakout, meaning pimply middle school kids will likely get all the references too.
Easily our favorite series of books ever, these gentle and warm tales are quietly funny and impossibly charming. There are close to 20 books in the long-running series by Cynthia Rylant (Henry & Mudge), and we’ve read them all, and all are wonderful examples of great, evocative, simple writing.
For the inquisitive, and the potentially inquisitive, the TIME Books of How, Why, & What will be the gift that is still being enjoyed long after the tinsel and lights come down. And for your pre-reader little siblings, they can get in on the act too with the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why. The Bear holds her 2012 Kid’s Almanac close to her heart, and keeps it in her bed all the time, pouring over the weird facts and statistic again and again. She will be getting this entire book series this year — I might not see her for months!
Like with everything else in the OWTK 2012 Gift Guides, many of the products highlighted above can be found cheaper locally, and maybe even at a local small indie bookstore. But in case not, or in case you don’t want to leave your home and deal with the bad park jobs and general rudeness of others, here’s some Amazon linky love to make things easier for you.
(OWTK will get some cash kickbacks should you buy anything from Amazon through these links, which helps keep this thing afloat. So thank you!)
*One day, I’m going to be able to list my own picture book here. Fingers crossed.