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I mentioned last week in my non-toy gift guide that I’d be sharing some of our favorite kid’s books. If you’re looking for gifts to give as gifts, here’s a fantastic book gift guide. Books are my favorite gift to give (and get!). And while we are minimalists in a lot of ways, including our toys, we love our books around here. Many of these books I’ve mentioned in posts before, but here they are in one spot. These books are ones we love, and most that we’ve read over and over (and over) again!
I’ve divided our favorite books into a few sections – Adventure, Dragons & Dinosaurs, Longer Read Alouds, and Other Favorites.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
If there’s one book on this list I’d say is a “must-buy” for Christmas, this would be the one. It is a fantastic and amusing adventure story, and just plain fun to read aloud. It’s one of my go-to kid’s books to give as a gift, and I love reading it out loud to the boys.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole – The boys loved this book when we got it from the library. The illustrations are so neat, and I love the little funny details they put in. It wasn’t until we had read it a few times that I realized it was by the same author & illustrator another book we had borrowed that I loved, Extra Yarn. For a week after we got it, the boys were constantly going outside to dig a big hole in the yard. Of course, since they were using plastic shovels, it never got much deeper than six inches, but it was pretty fun to see them working together on something.
Earth Space Moon Base – This book was so fun to read, and the boys asked for me it again and again. There were a couple odd rhymes in it that through off the rhythm while reading, but overall we loved this book. The illustrations were super fun, too. Malcolm enjoyed just sitting and looking over it all the time.
Dragons & Dinosaurs
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
I had seen this book recommended several times and I finally got around to requesting it from our library, and we now own a copy. As excited as I was to get it since it seemed like a funny book people really enjoyed, I’m hesitant when there is food involved in a book. But Dragons Love Tacos was actually a fantastic book when it came to food because the dragons love tacos (if you couldn’t tell), but they can’t eat spicy salsa with jalapenos in it without disaster striking. It was neat to have a book where I could tell the boys, “Look, the dragons get upset tummies when they eat certain foods, just like you guys!” Instead of being a book that pointed out how different they are, like I thought it would, the boys could actually relate to the dragons. I highly recommend this book, and it’s one I can’t wait for the boys to own.
Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
I know I say this about a lot of the books on this list, but the illustrations in this book are fantastic. The boys love counting their way through the book as we follow the adventures of a little boy trying to find his dragon.
All Aboard the Dinotrain (and Dinosailors and Dinosauring) by Deb Lund
Follow these dinosaurs on their crazy adventures. These books are super fun to read aloud, with great rhyme and rhythm. We often cycle through reading the three we own.
Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon (audiobook version)
I found the audiobook of this one week at the library. I’d heard such good things about My Father’s Dragon, I thought it might be fun to try out. When we started listening to it, I didn’t think the boys would enjoy it very much. Sean (3) ended up liking it the most. We listened to it a little at a time, and he kept asking for it. After we listened to it for a while, he pretended that he had a blue dragon following him around for a while. I also requested the full book of My Father’s Dragon from the library to read, so I should get that soon.
Tip: If you haven’t signed up for a free trial of Audible yet, you can try Audible and get two free audiobooks.
If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur by Linda Bailey and Colin Jack
We all enjoyed this book. The drawing style is so fun, and the boys loved seeing all the silly different types of dinosaurs. I had way too much fun doodling their own dinosaurs in similar style to the book.
Longer Read Alouds
These take more than one night, but here are the longer read-aloud books our boys have enjoyed the most.
How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowel
After watching How to Train Your Dragon, we discovered the movie was based on a book series. My husband found an excerpt from the first book online, and by the time he had finished reading it we ended up ordering the entire series. It’s funny, quirky, and full of dragons. There’s some boy-humor we skim over since our boys are pretty young, but we have really enjoyed this series.
Dragonback Bargain by Timothy Zahn
We have this book (which has the first three books of the series in it). I really enjoyed reading them, and just started reading them aloud to the boys a couple weeks ago. They are constantly asking for me, and it looks like we’ll end up purchasing the rest of the series. It has dragons and a boy on an adventure with his spaceship, plus it’s by one of my favorite authors, Timothy Zahn, who is well known for his Star Wars books – what’s not to love?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This, as well as the entire Narnia series, is a great classic to read to kids.
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
I’m sure this one doesn’t need much explanation. A fantastic way to introduce your kiddos to the world of Middle Earth as you follow Bilbo on his adventure with his friends.
Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales by Terry Pratchett
A fantastic series of short stories for children by Terry Pratchett. We borrowed this from the library a while back, and the boys really enjoyed listening to the stories.
Other books we love…
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
This is a new addition to our library (one of the boys got it for his birthday). No other book can get them laughing so loud so quickly.
Introductory Calculus For Infants by Omi M. Inouye
While this isn’t really going to teach your kids calculus, it’s because of this book that our boys know words like “global extrema” and “unit circles.” This is a cute and funny story about how F befriends the lonely X, because together they can be anything.
Sheep Blast Off! by Nancy Shaw
We love all the sheep books we’ve read by Nancy Shaw, though I believe Sheep Blast Off is our favorite. With fun rhymes and amusing stories, these are just plain fun to to read aloud.
Where’s My Cow? by Terry Pratchett
We adore Terry Pratchett, and this book is most fitting for Terry Pratchett fans (otherwise you may not “get” most of it). It is one of our treasured nightly read alouds. We bought this before we were even married, and it was the very first book Tim read aloud to Malcolm when we brought him home from the hospital.
My Cat Likes To Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton
I remember reading this at my grandma’s house as a child, and finally was able to find a copy a few years ago. I love this book, and our whole family can say it from memory.
What are some of your favorite books to read to your kids?