It is officially the giving season! What better way to prepare than with a few great reads for your little loved ones? This year’s Holiday Gift Guide picks include some visually captivating, feel-good picture books that are perfect for the tenacious toddlers on your list.
★ “The jolly, fast-paced, rhyming verse propels readers through diminutive Gertie’s harrowing, wind-swept rescue mission and matches the upbeat mood of her quest for “bigness.”. . . Whimsical scenes of hairy, wide-eyed, comical yaks of assorted shapes and sizes sporting amusing cold-weather headgear will trigger chuckles and reinforce the message of individuality. A real little winner.”—Kirkus Reviews
Gertie is the littlest yak, feeling stuck in her smallness. She wants to grow UP with the hugest of hooves and humongous horns! Because there isn’t anything a BIG yak can’t do. So Gertie devises a growing-up plan. She eats her veggies, exercises every day, and reads lots of books. Still, she isn’t any bigger. But when the other yaks come calling for Gertie to help them with a daring and dangerous task, could it be because it’s something only a small yak can do? Lu Fraser’s debut picture book is a heartwarming and relatable story of individuality, self-esteem, and the joys of being young and small. Bestselling illustrator Kate Hindley has created a delightful wintry landscape, packed with adorable yaks in woolly hats and coats. Readers won’t be able to resist snuggling down with this charming read aloud.
★ “It is hard not to be charmed by this simple tale of a novice ice-skater’s first lesson. . . . The illustrations are just as charming as the text. Sterling captures both Claire’s emotions and the movement of the skaters in her cheerful artwork. . . . perfect for nervous newbies at just about anything.”—Booklist
Claire can’t wait to get out on the ice and skate, skate, skate! She’s going to jump, leap, and twirl! Just you wait—pretty soon she’ll be on TV and dazzling audiences everywhere. But when Claire and her mom arrive at the Ice Center for Claire’s very first skate lesson, it’s not everything Claire was dreaming it would be. Beginners wear ugly brown skates, and who wants to practice marching in place when you can get right to it? But not so fast, Claire! One overeager foot on the ice, and…Wibble. Wobble—BOOM! In this humorous tale of expectation meets reality, Claire discovers beautiful performances require lots of skill, and it’s going to take many small failures and perseverance if she wants to skate like a pro.
“This Nordic fairy-tale with a feminist twist promotes how sometimes the smallest voices have the most important ideas.”—School Library Journal
Someone—or something—is CRASHING and BASHING near a village of Viking folk! Chickens are disappearing, trees are falling down, and there are awfully big footprints leading into the woods…Three little Viking girls know just what the trouble is, but the silly chieftain won’t listen to them! Can this gumptious trio work together to raise their voices and prove who knows best, after all? A master of fractured fairy tales with feminist twists, author-illustrator Bethan Woollvin uses strikingly bold graphics that pop with vibrant colors and are perfect for read alouds. Gather around for a romping, stomping story with gripping tension and lots of silly mischief and mayhem.
“The book offers a solid message. . . . the artwork is compelling.”—Kirkus Reviews
Ellie, the littlest elephant, is in a big hurry. She’s just learned to swim, and she’s excited to get to the water. She better get dashing if she wants to be the first one in! But as she crashes through the jungle, Ellie doesn’t stop to see all the creatures she’s knocked out of the way. Until…she steps on a tiger tail. ARRRGH! Kate Read depicts a rich and lush setting, which hosts a delightfully colorful cast of friendly animals. This social-emotional tale is an excellent pick for introducing young ones to concepts of shared spaces and boundaries.