Debbie Gonzales here, proud ReaderKidZ contributor, with a list of four great books that I’ve given away as gifts this year, all very well received.
Desire to buy a book for the active, energetic young man in your life? A book that will both engage his full interest while tickling his funny bone? Looking for a book written by authors who know what a boy really likes? Then Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka is just the book for you.
Guy’s Read: Funny Business is a collection of ten short stories written by some of today’s best kid-lit writers, each loaded with laughs, surprises, and a whisper of a life’s lesson to be learned.
Funny, yet profound, Fiona Finkelstein, Big Time Ballerina will suit your delightful dancing diva to a T. Shawn Stout’s Fiona must overcome the strangle of stage fright to pursue her dream of dancing in The Nutcracker. In her quest to do so, Fiona encounters the ridicule of three girls in her dance class, discovers creative techniques to overcome self-doubt, and in the end becomes a television star!
Eventually, Fiona learns that constant focus on her problems only makes things worse. To quote Madame Vallee, Fiona’s ballet teacher, “Worry gives the small things a big shadow…It’s best to stay in the sun, Fiona dear .”(6)
On a more somber and sublime note, The Underneath written by Kathi Appelt is a marvelous choice for a mature reader. Any child who has known a dog’s soulful, unconditional love will fall in love with lonesome Ranger, you just can’t help but to do so.
The Underneath is a masterful tale of an unconventional family comprised of a soulful hound dog and two orphan kittens, as well an oppressive master named Gar Face, ancient shape-shifters Hawk Man and Night Song, a hungry alligator, and a mother’s love that runs as deep as eternity.
Compellingly written, this is a book that will stay with a reader long after the last page is turned. Keep a box of tissues nearby. They just might come in handy.
In it, Scanlon’s poetics ribbon through Frazee’s illustrations creating an illusion of strolling through life’s peaceful pleasures. Families at play. Vividly colored sunrises and sunsets. Stormy weather surrendering to the triumph of sunshine. Babies and children, mamas and daddies…a world of different types of people marvelously laced together with love.
This holiday season all of us at ReaderKidZ hope you will consider books such as these as gifts for the young readers in your life. Whatever book you choose, we hope that, amidst the busyness of the season, you will find the time to sit with a child and share in the delight of a great story.
All the very best to you and yours,