Batteries Not Required, Great Picture Book and Beginning Readers to Give as Gifts This Holiday Season – Part 1

Batteries Not Required

Batteries Not Required

By Noelle, Librarian Extraordinaire

We have just finished with the reviews of the hottest toys for the holidays, but how about giving a lasting addition to your child’s life: literacy! Yep, I know, a lofty goal.  However, did you know that if your child enters kindergarten without basic print literacy, for example,  knowing the alphabet or recognizing print is in more places than in a book, then your child is likely to have a difficult time learning to read and will also have these issues haunt him or her through the rest of their school lives?  Check out the research at Reading Rockets ( for more information if you don’t believe me.

No Illiteracy On My Watch!  12 Incredible Books For the Little Ones

In an effort to make your children brighter than buttons, here are some of the newest titles out this year that you will love, right along with your kids.

It's Christmas David

  • It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon. The star of No, David! fame is worried that Santa will pass him by if he doesn’t follow the many rules laid down to follow during the holidays.  Never read No, David!? Then get cracking!  Actually, your kid will probably be able to instantly read it to you.

Santa Duck

  • Santa Duck Gets Help by David Milgrim. Nicholas Duck has been Santa’s helper, but what happens when Duck gets his own helpers in the form of his younger siblings?  The true meaning of Christmas, that’s what!  The follow up to the hilarious Santa Duck.

We Are In a Book

  • We are in a Book! By Mo Willems. The latest in the Elephant and Piggie series has the pair realizing they are actually being “read.”  If you haven’t read any others in this series, where have you been?  Not only are they funny for adults as well as kids, but they are perfect beginning readers.

Knuffle Bunny Free

  • Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems. Yeah, I’ve got a Mo Willems crush.  The third and final (?) entry in the Knuffle Bunny picture book series, beginning with Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny, Too.  And that is pronounced “Kah-nuffle,” by the way.

Shark vs Train

  • Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton. If you pit a shark versus a train in various fight situations, who would win?  Is this a boy’s dream picture book?  Yes, yes, it is.


  • Dotty by Erica Perl. If you’ve had an imaginary friend—or even if you haven’t—you will connect with this story that is about fitting in as well as friendship.

Pig Parade

  • A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black. It is one of those giggle inducing picture books where stating the obvious is a riot.

Dust Devil

  • Dust Devil by Anne Isaacs. This is the follow up to the excellent award-winning Swamp Angel.  In this original tall tale, Swamp Angel is now living in Montana and needs to rescue the state from some money-grubbing desperadoes who ride giant mosquitoes.  Sound crazy?  That’s why we call it a tall tale, my friend!  Illustrations are excellent.  If you get this, you should get Swamp Angel as well—I still consider that the slightly better story.

Art and Max

  • Art and Max by David Wiesner. This guy has walked away with multiple Caldecott medals for his remarkable storytelling through his illustrations; he just is able to think visually outside of the box.   The characters are both lizards and Art is an artist while Max wants to be one…Max’s attempt at art causes his friend some rather large problems.  It is really a book about the creative process as well as about art—and it is amazing I can say that with the minimal amount of text in the book. Look at it, you’ll see what I mean.

Buzz Boy and Fly Guy

  • Buzz Boy and Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. The Fly Guy books are one of those beginning reader series that kids eat up.  Very simple for kids to start picking out words to read by themselves, and fun stories to boot.  In the latest adventure, Fly Guy’s owner Buzz invents a comic where the both of them are superheroes and must vanquish pirates.  Yeah, I think there might be a demographic that likes that out there.

Ladybug Girl

  • Ladybug Girl at the Beach by David Soman. There is just something about the Ladybug Girl books—is it the charming illustrations?  Is it the dealing with common childhood issues in a straightforward manner?  Is it the fact that Lulu must always be dressed like a ladybug?  Any way you slice it, these charmers are perfect for your little one.

Olivia Goes To Venice

  • Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer. Yeah, so Olivia became a tv show and suddenly there are all these “fake” Olivia books out there.  But creator Falconer is back with a REAL Olivia book—and she is just as funny as ever as she peruses and demolishes Venice.  If anyone has a slightly difficult darling child at home, they’ll relate to Olivia.

Let The Holiday Book Buying Begin!

So load up your cart and get buying for your kiddos!  Part 2 of this series will focus on chapter books for your older ones who can’t get enough good books to read.

NoelleNoelle has been a children’s librarian for over 15 years. She’s also been a student teacher, worked as an online account manager, worked in a pet shop and as a supermarket checkout clerk, and as a dishwasher and fry cook. She is the proud mom of a beautiful daughter. You can read more of Noelle’s book reviews at Rave Reviews Log
Noelle can be reached at “Noelle @ DadDoes.Com”

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