One of the blogs I follow, MotherReader, has a great feature titled (currently) "150 Ways to Give a Book". I say 'currently' because she is always adding to it. Of course, we all love to give and receive books, right? We can make them even more special, though, by pairing them with other items (by which I do NOT mean the spin-off merchandise that makes the book seem like an afterthought.) For the rest of this year, when I review a book, I will try to also offer some gift suggestions to go along with it.
I already know who will be getting these two, the latest in Brian Biggs' Everything Goes series:
In this nice, chunky board book, Santa travels by everything BUT sleigh - with a single trusty reindeer behind the wheel, or perched on his handlebars. Kids will get a giggle out of some of the facial expressions of both Santa and his sidekick, and the passers-by.
Bright, cartoony drawings follow a young boy and his family in their hot pink car, as they leave the crowded traffic to board a ferry. Definitely meant for a slightly older audience, the boy's questions about why the boat doesn't sink are answered in fairly simple text bubbles with cut-away views. Other types of boats are explored (this busy river makes the roads look empty) throughout the pages. Trying to read from beginning to end in one sitting may prove to be a bit much, but it won't ruin the book at all to take it in pieces - or, just let your little one explore the pictures on his own, and use the text to answer questions as they come up.
Of course, anything involving transportation is a pretty safe bet for gift-giving. Toy cars or boats come to mind immediately, but consider some other options as well:
- If the little one already has a million toy cars, what about something to carry them in? Soft-sided lunch boxes are just the right size for a toddler to tote around, and can take a lot of punishing use.
- Do you live near a marina or bridge? Tuck a coupon inside the pages good for a day trip together to watch the boats go by. Better yet, have a friend with a boat that will take you out for a cruise?
- Look for related puzzles, like this sturdy one from Melissa and Doug:
- Is this a crafty kid? Look for big car-shaped beads to string, or a paint-by-numbers, or a wood car or boat that can be painted.
- Finally, boats just scream bath toys!
What other gift ideas could you put together with these titles?