Any of the forthcoming Space Penguins books would make a fantastic gift. Because 1.) there are penguins fighting evil in space and 2.) it contains every fish pun you could ever imagine. Plus there are plenty of fun illustrations to match the book’s playful tone.
I’ll also recommend The Diamond Thief, which I got as a Christmas present for myself! I haven’t read it yet, but with a mix of Victorian England, steampunk, fantasy, circuses, espionage, mystery, and that beautiful cover — how could I resist?
Ali, Senior Editor:
I’ll be giving Finley Flowers to both my cousin and a family friend. They’re both the perfect age for it (8-10) and love books with girls as the main character. Finley is a ton of fun, and she’s a great role model for both of them — strong, crafty, creative, and funny!
I ordered a couple of drawing books for my son, who’s six years old: The Boys’ Guide to Drawing and Easy-To-Draw Animals; he’s really into drawing and has been frustrated by not being able to make things look the way he wants them to, so I think these books will help. I’m also getting a few copies of Peek-a-Boo Elves for my one-year-old daughter and one-year-old niece. All of the Charles Reasoner Peek-a-Boo board books would make adorable stocking stuffers.
Bob, Art Director:
I highly recommend the DC Super-Pets Encyclopedia. It’s chock full of detailed info on over 200 creatures from the DC Universe, some never-before-seen! Illustrated by the prolific Art Baltazar, this handy compendium is like a Pixar film: it’s got lots of fun stuff for the kids like animals and jokes, but caters to the grown-ups with really nerdy, obscure references to DC Comics continuity. A truly all-ages offering, and a must-have for the budding zoologist/comic book fan!
It is impossible for me to pick just one book (or set). I'll be giving the Sofia Martinez set to every child I know in the 5-8 age range. Sofia is adorable, relatable, and has just enough spunk to keep things interesting. Plus the illustrations are incredible, and the stories include Spanish words, which is a complete bonus. I have also ordered a huge number of Me and Grandma and Me and Grandpa from the Time Together series to give as baby gifts because they are beyond heartwarming and sweet.
I recommend any book in Michael Dahl’s Hello Genius series. They're perfect stocking stuffers for new parents and parents-to-be.
Eliza, Associate Editor:
A great gift for someone in the 9–12 age range would be Brian Falkner’s two middle-grade novels, Northwood and Maddy West and the Tongue Taker. They both have strong female protagonists and feature elements of adventure, fantasy, friendship, coming-of-age, and mystery. They also both have some amazingly fun illustrations.
I’ll be giving my seven-year-old niece her own copy of Katie Woo’s Big Idea Journal. As a new and budding writer, she should enjoy having a special space to collect her best ideas on everything from how to decorate her room to how to help her friends and family. Plus it’s filled with loads of cute pictures of Katie!
Kay, Art Director:
I'm giving Sofia Martinez to my seven-year-old daughter. My daughter goes to emergent school currently, and it’s very hard to find fun titles for her to read. Sofia is such a spunky and relatable little girl, and I love the illustrator’s style. The books turned out great top to bottom. They are such fun reads!
Sean, Senior Editor:
I bought all my little relatives copies of the Far Out Fairy Tales comic books — fairy tales with modern pop-culture twists. For example, Red Riding Hood, Superhero features a young girl who gains amazing superpowers when she dons an alien's red cape and cowl! In Ninja-rella, Cinderella doesn't want to marry the Prince — she wants to be his bodyguard! They've got robots, space travel, superheroes, and video game characters all in one package. AND three of the four books feature female protagonists.
So with that, I say, you can never go wrong gifting someone a book! Happy holidays to everyone, and may you settle down with a good book, a warm beverage, and some loved ones to share the season with.
— Eliza Leahy
Associate Editor, Capstone Fiction