Books Give and Give and Give

Please welcome Barb from Youth Services to our blog lineup!

Have a young child on your gift giving list?

Give a book! When a child experiences happiness and laughter while reading with someone they will associate books and reading with happiness and love. What a gift!

If you need ideas for good picture books for giving, my list below will get you started. I picked some of my personal recently published favorites. Knowing that kids, like adults, have different personalities and preferences, I hope you see “just the one” for your special youngster.  If you wish to preview – or just read – any off the books on this list, they can be found at the Portsmouth Public Library. And, of course, your youth librarians are another great resource for good book ideas.

I Wish You Moreiwish by Amy Rosenthal. “I wish you more will than hill” and other sentiments paired with wonderful illustrations can give the recipient of this book your hopes for their life.

A Fine Dessertfinedessert by Emily Jenkins. I’m in total awe of this book. Simply traces families through multiple cultures and generations and how they prepped ‘blackberry fool’ for their gatherings. Uniquely combines historical fiction and family traditions and includes a recipe. A treat all around!

The Storm Whalestormwhale by Benji Davies. Charming! A boy finds a beached whale and tries to keep it but moreover this book depicts the life of a boy and his father, empathy and companionship.

This is Sadie3 by Sara O’Leary. Epitomizes how imagination and books can be a gateway to many worlds. You will get pulled into enjoying Sadie and her envisioned journeys.4

Wolfie the Bunny by Anne Dykman. Comical tale. Bunny is not as accepting as his family when they keep a baby wolf they found on their doorstop. I think Bunny is on to something, don’t you?

Nerdy Birdynerdybirdy by Aaron Reynolds. Full of personality. Nerdy Birdy is an outcast amongst his cool ‘friends’. What child has not or will not meet this angst in their life? Self-acceptance, friendship, belonging…this book has it covered with a light-hearted, humorous approach.

Extraordinary Janejane by Hannah Harrison. Jane is good and ordinary amongst a family that is extraordinary. This book is just enough and I hope you will feel that way too.

The Babies and Doggies Bookbabiesdoggies by John and Molly Schindel. (Board Book) PRECIOUS! I am certain babies will adore the real life pictures of multi-cultural baby face expressions with their furry dog friends.

Journey by Aaron Becker.journey What if you could draw a door on your bedroom wall and open it? This wordless book will deliver a fantastical journey. You are likely to follow it up with the sequel, Quest.

Last Stop on Market Street2 by Matt De La Pena. The theme to this book is finding the beautiful as depicted by a young boy and his grandmother’s chats while they travel from their church, through their community to their final destination.1

Before After by Anne Ramstein. Young and old won’t predict these clever ‘after’ pictures in this wordless gem of a book. Some are typical: bud turns to flower but many offer surprises.

Creature Features creaturefeaturesby Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Steve Jenkins does not disappoint. Animal lovers will learn unique features of 25 different animals in a fun and simplistic way. 

The Tea Party in the Woodsteaparty by Akiko Miyakoshi. Fairy tale fans try this story of a girl stumbling upon a tea party with sweet woodland animals. I have a hunch teddy bear tea parties will break out in your child’s house after reading this.

Families familiesby Shelley Rotner and Sheila M Kelly. Celebrate family and diversity with this real-life pictorial of modern families of all kinds.findingwinnie

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
by Lindsay Mattick. 
Just lovely! Layers of heartfelt tales about the real bear and his veterinarian/soldier who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.

BarbBarb Bourgoine loves planning events and crafts in Youth Services, and connecting people with the right book. If you have suggestions for something that should be included in a future blog post, email her at



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