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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gifts of Books -- Ideas for All Ages -- Crafts, Activities and Non-Fiction Books

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you love giving books as gifts? One of my sisters always gives Hazel books for a gift. I know I tend to love giving books to friends' children as well. Today I am sharing a variety of books for different ages and people in your life.


Books for the Younger Kids

Let's start with the youngest. Our first book is Hey, Baby! by Stephanie Warren Drimmer.




This book is perfect for your young animal lovers. It has amazing photographs of adorable baby animals along with poems and stories to go with  them. And of course since it is a National Geographic Kids book there is information about each of the animals as well. The recommended ages are 4 to 8 but even younger kids would enjoy the photographs. The perfect gift for any small animal lover!


Our next book is perfect for the young curious minds. Hazel always was asking me how things work when she was young. We often were going to the library to find books to explain things like how the toilet flushes. And guess what the answer is in this next book. It is How Does My Home Work? by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti. This book has how things work in your house as well as answers questions like where does natural gas come from? It is perfect for those little curious minds. The suggested ages are 5 to 8. 



Books for Kids who Craft

Our next group of books are for the crafty kids. These books have a variety from sewing and knitting to baking and clay and just about everything else. We will start with the amazing The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day by Dayna Abraham. 

Do you know a kid who complains about being bored? This book is for him or her. Or perhaps it is someone who wants action; can't sit still. This book is for him or her. There are activities to help with everyday things as well as learning. There are cool down activities, memory boosting activities, mealtime activities, waiting activities, learning activities, independence boosting activities, friendship activities, energy boosting and energy harnessing activities, mood-busting activities and so many more! It has something for every kid every day. It is written to the kids and not the parents. This book is meant for the kids to use and not the parents. Every kid is a superkid when he or she is given the help to control and entertain him or herself. This book trains them and gives the child the strategies needed. It is recommended for ages 5 to 12. This is a must give gift for kids!



Our next book is for the little baker in your life. It is Baking Class by Deanna F. Cook.  Now we have reviewed several books by Deanna F. Cook and love them!! In fact one of her books has been our go to gift for kids for a couple of years. This book is perfect for the child who is interested in learning how to bake and use things in the kitchen more. The recipes are easy to follow and have step by step instructions with photographs. 
The recipes range from breakfast, quick breads and crackers, yeast breads, cookies, pies, and cakes (and cupcakes). The first chapter is a wonderful introduction to baking and the kitchen. It includes the introduction to using the book, the tools, basic ingredients, baking vocabulary, measuring, serving, and beginning steps (like washing hands) as well as things like cleaning up after oneself. This book is the perfect first baking book. Get it for your little wannabe baker. 



Our next book is for all those creative kids who like to work with their hands. It is Clay Lab for Kids by Cassie Stephens. This book covers all types of clay--air-dry, polymer and homemade. You can model, mold and create with all these clays and this book gives you many starting points. From ideas with food, animals and history it is all in here. There is a pie shaped box to make as well as Egyptian sarcophagus. There are instructions for creating your own game as well as marionettes. From decorations to toys to useful items this book has many ideas and is perfect for your little creator. The suggested ages are 8 - 12 but could also be used with younger kids with some adult supervision (and less expectations). There are even those popular backpack charms for your tweens!!



Our final craft book for kids is Stitch Camp by Nicole Blum and Catherine Newman. This book features crafts using a needle. It has sewing, knitting, crocheting, felting, embroidery, and weaving. There are projects for each type as well step by step instructions for each type of skills. This book is amazing. Hazel is in love with it. It goes through everything she wants to learn lately!! How perfect is that? The book has creative projects that are perfect for tweens. It includes things like phone covers, badges, jump ropes and so many other great ideas!! It is a fun book with suggested ages of 9 to 12.


Non-Fiction Picture Books


Now some of Hazel's favorite books are books that teach her something and entertain her. Here is a collection of these types of books for you to consider for gifts. The best part is many of these are not just for girls or just for boys!!



Our first book is for the sports lover in your life. It is All-Star Activity Book by the editors of Sports Illustrated Kids. This book has it all--mazes, crosswords, connect-the-dots, spot the differences, word scrambles and more!! It has puzzles themed with baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, tennis, Olympics and All-Stars. All-Stars includes things like skateboarding, boxing, Nascar and a mix of sports and the greatest in them. Whether the kid plays a sport or just loves to watch them, this book is for him or her. There are some female athletes in it, but it is limited in the number of females in it. The recommended ages are 8 and up.



For the girls I always love to provide a little women's history. Our next two books are perfect for this. They are both part of the Little People, Big Dreams series. We have loved the others in this series that we have reviewed! The first is Audrey Hepburn by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Amaia Arrazola. This book lets kids learn about Audrey Hepburn and her life. It includes a bit about her childhood, her acting career as well as her work for UNICEF. Audrey Hepburn is not the same as today's Hollywood stars. Her life was about helping others and changing the world. 

Our second book is Emmeline Pankhurst by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo. 

Have you heard of Emmeline Pankhurst? She was a British suffragette. She watched her parents be activists and was inspired at a young age. During World War I she encouraged the women to fill the position the men left to fight the war and she inspired many to help change the world. What an inspiration. The books in this series are recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Some books to teach kids about the world that are not so gender specific are next. We will start with Inside Out Human Body by Luann Colombo. 
This book is so neat!! It is a three-dimensional model of the human body. As you turn the pages you explore the different things in the human body. You have the muscular system, the skeletal system, joints, digestive system, circulatory system, urinary system, respiratory system, and nervous system. The pages show your the front with each of those systems and the back of the page shows the back side. Each page is full of information about the system in the body. It is perfect for answering those questions about how the body works. It is recommended for ages 6 to 9.



What do you know about the White House? Our next book is perfect for the child who loves to learn a bit of history and politics. It is 1,000 Facts about the White House by Sarah Wassner Flynn and it has everything there is to know about the White House in it. It goes through things like the buildings and gardens, rooms, art, perks, treats, history, fashion, inauguration and more!! This book will give the reader trivia of all parts of the White House past and present. Come learn a bit about the house of our President.  The book is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 


Let's take a look at more history and this is really long ago history!! It is The World of the Bible by Jill Rubalcaba. This book is fascinating. It shares various Bible stories (summarized) and then what is known about the location and truth to the story. It explains how the historians, archaeologists, and scholars have been studying the world to find the locations and evidence of the stories. Throughout the book there are short Did You Know? with quick things about the stories and what is believed to be true about it. There are also beautiful pictures of famous artwork of the story. It is packed full and so interesting to read and learn more of the story behind the Bible stories. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.




 Speaking of looking at the past and trying to figure things out our next book does just that. It is History's Mysteries by Kitson Jazynka. Are you ready to solve all the huge mysteries of the world? Things like what happened to Amelia Earhart or the Mayan Civilization are looked at. Each mystery is explained and then there are theories as to what may have happened and what clues and evidence there is. This book covers civilizations that have vanished, unexplained deaths and disappearances, creatures of myth and legend, freaky phenomena, mystifying monuments, cryptic codes and lost languages, and treasure troves. Is there a mystery in history that has intrigued you? If yes, it is probably in this book. This one is perfect for the history and mystery lover. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.



Our next book is Bet You Didn't Know! by the editors of National Geographic Kids. Now Hazel and her class have been loving the lunch notes I have been sticking in her lunch that start with "Did you know" and share an interesting fact. I found the first batch here and have been working on my own plus have been making some local history as well as history about the holidays fact ones. This book is full of all those kind of facts!! I wish I had it before I did my own. It has fun facts about everything from desserts, animals, the color red, numbers and more!! For example did you know there are about 1,000 grains of salt in a pinch? This book is great for all those curious minds or people who love trivia (or if you are planning a trivia challenge). It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 



Our next book is for those kids who love to tell jokes or solve riddles. It is Just Joking Jumbo by the editors of National Geographic Kids. With chapters like Far-Out Space Silliness, Hilarious History, Comical Cuisine, Funny Bones, Sidesplitting Science, Nutty Nature, Amusing Athletics, Gross Gags, Giggles to Go and Jokes You Can Count On, you can tell there are jokes about every topic in here. And they will have you and your child laughing. This is such a fun book to share and would be perfect for reading at a family Christmas party to get everyone in a great mood! The suggested ages are 7 to 10. 


Adult Books


Now I promised books for all ages so I saved the adult ones for last. These two books are for specific personalities as well. The first is for the chocolate lover!!



Are you a chocolate lover? Do you like pure chocolate? Have you gotten into craft chocolate yet? This book explains it all. It is Bean-to-Bar Chocolate by Megan Giller.  It follows the chocolate from the plant to be a bar and more. Did you know chocolate changes like wine does depending on where the beans are harvested, the growing climates, etc. This book even includes recipes to make some favorite things with the various craft chocolate that is available. 


This book takes the reader through the process of making the chocolate to the various wrappers full of artwork as well as more. It looks at all aspects and then ends with a list of favorite craft chocolate makers. It is the perfect gift for a chocolate lover and for someone ready to begin making chocolates or learn more about the bean-to-bar industry.


Our final book is The Ayurveda Way by Ananta Ripa Ajmera. Now this book is for people who are looking for a healthy lifestyle or who are into holistic healing and mindfulness. Ayurveda is an ancient health system from India. This book goes through a bit of history to steps to bring it into your life. It looks at the preventive side of Ayurveda and not the medicinal. This method examines your entire life from your food, your body, your mind, and your spirit. Are you ready to give yourself the gift of health and happiness?


So if you are considering gifts of books I hope you will consider these (even if it is a gift for yourself)!!