Give a Book this Holiday: The Best Book Gifts for Every Age and Interest

December 20, 2022

Give a Book this Holiday

The winter holidays are only a few weeks away. Once the Thanksgiving leftovers are placed in the fridge, it’s time to start thinking about the gift-giving holidays. Adults might make a list of all their loved ones to ensure no one is left out.

Finding the perfect gift for everyone on the list, though, isn’t always easy. When in doubt, give a gift of reading. Pick out a special book or give a literacy-focused app subscription. Here are the best book (or reading) gifts for every age and interest.

Preschoolers: Focus on Early Reading Skills

Not all preschoolers are ready to read. However, some are already reading. What are the best book gifts for preschoolers? Those who are looking for the perfect book or reading present could opt for these great gifts:

  • Wordless books
  • Books featuring a favorite character
  • Easy-to-read books
  • Interactive board books
  • Word games

Since preschoolers are just beginning their reading journey, those who are shopping for the best book or reading gift should focus on materials that the child finds engaging. In addition, if parents or other gift givers are looking for stories that a child can use to learn to read, they should choose books at an appropriate reading level.

Preschoolers also could enjoy reading wordless books. These books only include pictures, and encourage children to create the story. Wordless books can be different each time the child reads.

Some preschoolers also love a certain show or cartoon. Look for books that feature these characters in new adventures. Some of these character books could be interactive with buttons children push to hear sounds.

To encourage children to practice sounds and letters, presents also could focus on literacy games. Some educational stores offer flashcards or games related to learning the alphabet.  

Early Elementary Age (K-2): Books, Magazines, Comics and More

Children in early elementary (kindergarten through second grade) might be advancing through reading levels quickly. Parents might know that their child prefers a certain book series or genre, which makes gift giving a bit easier.

However, parents also could think outside the book binding and encourage children to explore other types of reading materials. They could gift children with a magazine subscription that focuses on the child’s interests (like science or history).

Comic books or graphic novels also could be an ideal gift for children who might feel overwhelmed at the sight of too much text. Comic books and graphic novels can be focused on different reading levels; parents might need to research the best options for their child. Reader’s Digest offers a list of graphic novels that are geared towards kids.

Later Elementary Grades (3rd – 5th): Subscriptions and Book Series

As children progress through later elementary grades, they will be reading longer chapter books. Again, some children might have discovered a favorite book series or genre. Others might gravitate towards a specific author.

Those looking for the perfect gift for older readers could introduce children to a new book series and purchase the first few books for children to explore. If a child is interested in certain subjects, this also could help gift givers find the perfect book present.

Children in upper elementary grades also might like listening to books. Some children learn better when they can hear the story as they follow along. For children who like audio books, give a gift of an audiobook app subscription; Audible is a popular choice.

Give a Book this Holiday

Not Sure About a Book? Think About a Reading Shopping Spree

Back in the old days (the times before the early 2000s), book stores were plentiful in malls and shopping centers. While there are only a few bookstores with physical locations, they do still exist. When the perfect gift is up in the air, consider taking children on a book shopping spree.

Parents (or gift givers) can set a budget or even purchase a gift card for children and let them choose the books they want to read. Children can explore all their options to find the titles and authors they like and that interest them.

Letting children choose their books helps them feel empowered in their reading choices. Not everyone likes the same books; a book that sounds interesting to the gift giver might not resonate with the recipient. When children can explore the titles and the options, they can best find the books that speak to them.

Give a Book this Holiday

Gifts to Complement the Reading Experience

Parents might have differing opinions on toys and plushies. Some parents don’t mind action figures and plushies, others like to limit them in favor of more educational toys.

Many books have merchandise associated with the story and characters. Parents might be able to find plushies or action figures and other toys depicting characters from a book or book series.

These toys could complement the reading journey for children. Younger children might like reading the story with their plushie beside them.

In addition, some book series have become so popular that there are games, bedding and other accessories that are branded with the characters. If children are really passionate about a series, gifts might include lots of different branded merchandise focused on the book series.

Book Titles that are Beloved

Some books have been popular for generations. Gift givers who are stumped about which books might be a good fit for a child can find many resources for the perfect book via websites.

In fact, Time released its list of The 100 Best Children’s Books of All Time. The top five titles were:

  • “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
  • “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
  • “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown
  • “Blueberries for Sale” by Robert McCloskey
  • “Little Bear” by Else Holmelund Minarik

Gift givers can look through all 100 titles for the best books to give children. However, many of the titles are geared towards younger readers. The list also features “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein; the book is a collection of poems that children of all ages will enjoy reading (even adults still love the book).

A Gift of Reading Fluency

Some children have reading struggles. They may not be excited to pick up a book; in fact, they might try to avoid reading. Parents who want to help their child develop an interest in books and gain confidence and fluency can give a reading app subscription.

Readability is designed to help children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade become better, more confident readers. The reading program features an AI tutor that is programmed with voice recognition software; the tutor learns the child’s voice as the child reads stories aloud. When a child stumbles while reading a book, the tutor identifies the struggle and provides help.

Readability is leveled for each child’s abilities. Parents can set the baseline reading level or the program can identify the best level for the child. With Readability, children have access to a library of different books at each reading level. These books are designed to be read aloud, and children also can listen to them via a feature called Storytime.

The books featured in Readability’s libraries also are included in Accelerated Reader. Many schools use the AR program to help understand a child’s reading comprehension. Children earn points when they score well on comprehension quizzes via the AR program, and some teachers offer prizes for these points. Children who use Readability can take the AR quiz on the books they read on the program; Readability lets children meet their AR goals as they gain confidence and proficiency.

A Readability subscription can be used for up to three children; the monthly cost of the program is $19.99. Visit the Readability website to learn more about the program and how to give a subscription as a gift this holiday season.