Archive for the ‘recommendations’ Category

Holiday for Grown Ups: Funny Girls

Two books at the top of my holiday wish-list are Cool, Calm and Contentious by Merrill Markoe and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling.

I love funny books by funny ladies, and these two come highly recommended. (Here are some reviews, in case you’re on the fence about whether you want them too.)

Funny ladies are so in right now, with the success of Bride’s Maids and a slew of new female fronted comedies on the TV. If you’re looking for a gift, or if you’re into keeping all the good things for yourself, here are a couple of suggestions:

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Books as Gifts: Recommendations for Kids Ages 10-13

Note: All the books on this gift list are at a 6th-8th grade reading level, but are so good they can be enjoyed by teens and even adults. I tried to include books for kids with all different interests including reluctant readers.

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Books as Gifts: Recommendations for Kids Ages 8-11

Again, this may seem like a large age range, you’ll also notice some overlap with the ages. The truth is, children’s reading skill levels can vary wildly, especially middle reader ages (around 9-13). I’ll try my best to give you an idea of skill level with all my picks so you can really tailor your gifts to your child’s reading level and interests.

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Books as Gifts: Recommendations for Kids Ages 4-8

Tis the season for gifting amazing books.

With the overwhelming selection you find in most store’s children’s sections it can be difficult to know what books are good and what are, well, really not. Here are some ideas for 4-8 year olds. This may seem like a large age range in terms of skill level. Keep in mind that the great books that children enjoy hearing read to them at 4 can be the very ones that are amazing for them to read to you (or whoever) at 7 and 8.

Level One character books (you’ve seen these, a lot of cartoons like Dora and Blue’s Clues are featured, with very simple language. They can be called level one, beginning reader, or ‘I can read’ books, depending on the publisher) are great for K-1st children learning to read full sentences and comprehend what they’ve read. You can get a whole set here and they really are very useful. They help children learn sentence structure and basic words, they go up several levels, it’s all very special. The truth is, you should buy some when your child is learning to read. The other truth is, they’re typically not that quality in terms of storytelling. Let’s be honest, they’re a very small step up from ‘See Spot Run’. Most children are going to tire of them quickly, the stories, while great for learning to read, just aren’t all that engaging. (Not all of them are bad, but a lot are.)

So, by all means buy a handful of Level 1’s (and 2’s, after that abandon all levels). But if you’re going to invest more than $10 in your child’s book collection (and I hope you are) please buy them some quality reads. Dynamic storytelling and engaging illustrations go a long way toward making children enjoy books.

My recommendations (with a small attempt at ordering them by difficulty):

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