12 gift ideas for children’s books 2022

With fall in full swing and people soon buying gifts for various winter holidays (religious and secular), it’s the perfect time to share some of my favorite recent children’s books! Like last year’s list, I’ll be excluding celebrity books, and these books were chosen for their ability to serve as a literary springboard for future feminists and geeks – books that I’m super jealous, I don’t have grew up reading and which were also recommended by librarians!

Each book selection notes general themes and age recommendations. However, all of these books were aimed at children in primary school or entering middle school. While you know what’s best for the kids in your life, it can help if you’re looking for help or want to donate a book to a family you may not know. not.

Run, little Chaski! by Mariana Llanos & Mariana Ruiz Johnson

Run, little Chaski!  by Mariana Llanos & Mariana Ruiz Johnson (Image: Barefoot Books)
(Barefoot books)

This story follows a child who has the opportunity to convey a very important message from the Qoya (queen) to the Inka (king). Along the journey, he encounters animals that need his help, causing him to worry that he may not be on time to deliver the message. This is a great introduction to Inca heritage and history in an adventurous setting.

This story touches on Mesoamerican indigenous heritage and values ​​like kindness. The recommended age range is three to seven years old, or those in kindergarten through second grade. This book is available in English and Spanish.

owl and penguin (I like to read comics®) by Vikram Madan

Owl and Penguin (I Love Reading® Comics) by Vikram Madan.  (Image: holiday home)
(vacation house)

owl and penguin is a great entry for both early readers and early comic book enthusiasts, as it follows a simple panel format. The duo find creative ways to address their difference and crack lots of jokes along the way.

This story touches on friendship, diversity and the science of birds (in bulk). The recommended age range is four to eight years old, or those in kindergarten through third grade.

Gibberish by Young Vo (Image: Levine Querido)
(Levine Querido)

There are few books that can capture the frustration of learning a new language at such a young age, that also manage to tell a gripping story. Gibberish is one of those stories. He is in a new school, in a new country, and has to learn a new language. In this story, he overcomes his fears and makes new friends as they find other ways to communicate.

This story touches on friendship, school and moving. The recommended age range is four to eight years old, or those in kindergarten through third grade.

Bonnie's Rocket by Emeline Lee and Alina Chau (Image: Lee & Low Books)
(Lee & Low books)

Inspired by the story of the author’s grandfather, Bonnie’s Rocket follows a young child’s dream of becoming an engineer as her father works on the Apollo 11 moon landing module. Through correspondence with her Baba, she builds and tests her own mini-rockets.

This story touches on history, failure and science/space. The recommended age range is four to seven years old, or those in kindergarten through third grade.

Where do you come from?  by Yamile Saied Méndez & Jaime Kim (Image: HarperCollins)
(Harper Collins)

This year, I learned that the famous author YAmile Saied Méndez also writes children’s literature! As a lot, not just this heartwarming story that serves as a great introduction to lyric poetry. While adults (most often) use questions like “Where are you from?” in another way, children often ask this question unfiltered and with as little baggage as “Why is the sky blue?” because they have little notion of space, time, politics, etc. While awesome, that makes the question quite difficult to answer. This story features a young girl who asks him this question and gets a long and beautiful answer.

This story touches on migration, prejudice and family. The recommended age range is four to eight years old, or those in kindergarten through third grade.

The Ghoul Hardcover by Taghreed Najjar & Hassan Manasra (Image: Crocodile Books)
(Books about crocodiles)

Inspired by Arabic folktales, this story takes an important message and wraps it in an adventurous tale. After hearing about this mysterious and deadly “ghoul” at the top of the mountain, Hassan decides that he is going to confront this creature. Instead, what he discovers is that this creature is just as afraid of his neighbors as they are of him.

This story touches on fear and prejudice. The recommended age range is three to eight years.

Bessie the Motorcycle Queen by Charles R. Smith Jr. (Image: Orchard Books)
(Orchard books)

I’ll be the first to admit that these holiday lists – and really, The Mary Sue, in general, are devoid of sports (with the exception of the rare eSports article.) However, now I present to you a book about motorsports and historical figure Bessie Stringfield! She became famous for avoiding danger and riding in style, alone, on a motorcycle across the country at 18! Later in life, she also served as a household courier for the United States Army during World War II.

This story touches on lesser-known American history, courage, and geography. The recommended age range is five to eight years old, or first to second grade.

The Hospital: The Inside Story by Dr Christle Nwora and Ginnie Hsu (Image: Neon Squid)
(Neon Squid)

I bought this a few months ago as a gift for kids who will spend much of their lives with doctors due to an inherited condition, however, it really is a must have for most kids. From routine visits to others, hospitals are often seen by children as a place where scary things happen. Written by a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital, this book demystifies this place by showing the range of types of care and occupations in a hospital. Those kids who have 1000 questions you don’t always know what to answer? Yeah, this is the book for them.

This book covers anatomy, health and family. The recommended age range is six to eight years old, or first to third grade.

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith (Image: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
(Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

After a devastating coup destroys their family, a pair of royal twins are forced to adopt new identities to survive and join a magical order of reality-chaining women. While in hiding, the siblings plot to avenge their families and make plans for the future. The only problem is that while one wants to reclaim her previous identity, the other finds that going underground has finally given her the freedom to live like the girl she is.

This book features fantasy/adventure and addresses gender identity. The recommended age range is eight to twelve, or third to seventh grade.

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega & Rose Bousamra

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega & Rose Bousamra (Image: First Second)
(first second)

Between Ghost squad and Wizards, Claribel Ortega is a rising star in children’s literature. This graphic novel follows a young Dominican girl, Marlene, who disagrees with her mother’s insistence on going to the salon and straightening her hair every weekend. After all, every hour spent in the chair and under the hot iron is an hour she could be spending time with her fun aunt, her best friend, or reading. (Shout out to books about book loving kids!) As someone who wasn’t entirely comfortable with my hair texture until I was almost 19, I can’t recommend this enough. book.

This book deals with self-esteem, hair politics and family relationships. The recommended age range is 9 years and up, or third to seventh grade.

1-2-3-4, I declare a thumb war by Lisi Harrison & Daniel Kraus.  (Image: Union Square Kids)
(Union Square Kids)

On the 100th anniversary of the death of an infamous murderer in the town of Misery Falls, Oregon, a text leads a group of girls to that killer’s graveyard. What they find bonds the girls and is the start of a spooky but adventurous book series. This book is perfect for children who love troll hunters and Tales of Arcadia (Kraus’ previous work with Guillermo del Toro) and is the first of a new series!

This book is centered on friendship and death. The recommended age range is eight to twelve, or fourth to seventh grade.

The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron (Image: Square Fish)
(square fish)

Magic Imperfects is an excellent choice for adult readers who enjoy down-to-earth fantasy novels or reluctant readers, as the book is very intimate. The main character Etan has had selective mutism since his mother left him, and everyone who loves him is unable to help him. While running an errand, Etan encounters another ostracized child, Malia, whom many refer to as “the creature.” Outcasts together, they form a solid friendship.

This book is centered on friendship, identity, fantasy and Jewish identity. The recommended age range is 10 years and up, or fourth to sixth grade.

Honorable mentions

Something that helped whittle down a massive list was including books and bookish giveaways throughout the year. Here are some articles that make great gifts for young readers.

(featured image: collage from various publishers)

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