The Season for Reading: Why Books Make Great Gifts

Jenette DeanBy: Jenette Dean
Early Childhood Manager

Are you looking for a meaningful and thoughtful gift to give a child? Buy a book.

I love giving books to children. Each year, my nieces and nephews know there is an excellent chance they will get a book from Aunt Jenette. My children also received books when they were younger. One of our proudest moments was when William, our oldest, was in second grade and told Santa, “Please just bring me lots of books this year!”

unnamedI like to choose a book that has special meaning for me or my relationship with a child. I made all my nieces and nephews quilts when they were little. When I finished the quilt for my nephew John, I bought him The Quiltmaker’s Gift. It’s a beautifully illustrated children’s book about a selfish king who is looking for material goods to achieve happiness. He meets a quilt maker who tries to teach him the meaning of true happiness. Before giving this book to my nephew, I wrote a special message on the inside cover and I included a picture of myself with his quilt.

Think of a special topic for you or the child and find a book with a similar topic. Then you can write a special message noting why you chose the book and include the date the book was given. This will make the book a gift the child will treasure forever.

If you don’t know where to begin looking for a children’s book, Caldecott or Newberry Award books are always excellent choices. Caldecott books have outstanding illustrations, while Newberry Awards are based on wonderful stories. A great resource children’s books is Scholastic’s List of 100 Best Books for Kids, which recommends outstanding books and categorizes them by ages and genre.

When we give children books, we demonstrate a love for books and a respect for literacy. While many books are available electronically, children need experiences with books that can be held. Real books provide special opportunities to bond with little ones as you read the book holding both the child and the book.

Books and the time spent reading them to children are gifts that can be treasured for a lifetime.

What are your favorite children’s books to give or read to a child? Please share in the comment section below.

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