Have you started thinking about gift ideas for friends or family members and come up with a blank? Here are a few thoughts to get you started, whether you are ordering online or looking for a list to take to your favourite store...
- Moose That Says MooA Moose That Says Moo! by Jennifer Hamburg, Illustrated by Sue Truesdell. A little girl imagines a zoo in which animals can do whatever she wants: dance, drive, read, have pillow fights... When things get slightly out of hand, what can possibly calm things down in this hilarious romp?
- The Little Mermaid It's been 24 years since Ariel first ventured onto land to seek her Prince, enchanting audiences young and old to come along with her "unda da sea." This fall Disney has released her from the vault, in a new Diamond Edition Blu-Ray version sure to enchant both children unfamiliar with her, as well as anyone whose copies are too worn out from repeat viewings.
- Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan, Illustrated by Steven Kellogg. This beautiful picture book is the result of a collaboration between a Newbery winning author and the author and illustrator of over 90 books, including some of my personal favorites. It is dedicated to the children of Sandy Hook, and is comprised of a poem celebrating the circle of life and the ephemeral nature of snowflakes, amid doublepage spreads with children playing. It is a book meant to adorn a child's bookshelf and be shared among generations. Keep a kleenex handy when you read it.
- I am Blop! by Herve Tullet Tullet's last book, Press Here, provided a fun and interactive storytelling experience for children, that resulted in it being chosen in the top 50 of a poll of the top 100 picture books. His new board book, I am Blop!, explores everyday concepts as varied as counting and colours to the animal kingdom and seasons, by introducing them as something as ephemeral as a splotch.
- Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson The prolific and award-winning author of adult science fiction and fantasy writes a book for his teenage self. This YA fantasy finds a teen seeking revenge for the untimely death of his father at the hands of a madman with superpowers named Steelheart who has taken over Chicago, now called Newcago, at a time when random people have been granted amazing powers. These Epics have, unfortunately, all fallen into line behind Steelheart. Can anyone stop them?
- Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein The follow-up to Wein's Printz honour-award winning Code Name Verity packs just as much of an emotional punch. American ATA pilot Rose Justice is captured by the Nazis en route from England to Paris and sent to Ravensbrück. She recounts her stay in this notorious camp in her diary, in another three-hanky read.
- Allegiant by Veronica Roth For all the teens who will have seen Catching Fire more than once by the holidays, the final book in Veronica Roth's trilogy will be a must-read this holiday season (finishing up the series behind Divergent and Insurgent.) The trailer for Divergent, which opens in March, 2014, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet, looks pretty fantastic, too.
- Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson. Praise for this book is wide and unstinting: it was Amazon's August "Best Book of the Month", and called "the best work of military history in years" by the New York Times. A readable narrative nonfiction book traces many issues in today's Middle East back to a figure many people only know from an iconic Hollywood film.
- The Orenda by Joseph Boyden A book for serious bibliophiles and literary fiction lovers, this newest novel by the Scotiabank Giller prize-winner has already been named a finalist for the Governor General's award. Boyden presents a narrative with the stories of three characters in early 17th Century Canada: a Francophone missionary, a kidnapped Iroquois teen, and a warrior named Bird who is mourning the deaths of members of his family at the hands of the Iroquois.
- The Circle by Dave Eggers Dave Eggers' new dystopian novel has a young woman named Mae Holland getting a job with, and then pretty much turning her life over to the world's hottest Internet company. No prizes for guessing that it may resemble a company with your favourite search engine, maps, lettered email, etc.
- The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion There's no arguing that Professor Don Tillman is an expert on genetics. That's a good thing, as he has pretty much no awareness of anything else, which is evident to everyone around him, even the twelve-year-olds to whom he presents a lecture on Asperger's. His decision to find a wife comes as a shock to him, as he's never even managed a second date, but he decides to do it the way he has done everything else, by developing a Project using the scientific method, and a 16-page evaluation. It is hardly surprising then, that a bartending, drinking, smoker would be anathema to him, yet when he meets Rosie, she not only needs his help for her own project, she manages to teach him how to experience life.
Don't forget that many of these are likely available in our catalogue in alternate formats (BookCD, Large Print, etc.), or in Overdrive as an e-book or e-audiobook, if you'd like to add them to your own reading lists. If you've found another ideal gift, please feel free to add it to the comments.