Monday, December 5, 2016

Tammy and Paula's Most Wonderful, Best-Ever, Miracle at the Doucette Holiday Book List 2016

Here’s the pitch…

Want to impress the young folk in your life with an awesome book or two this holiday season?

Want to avoid the disappointed /horrified / mortified looks of these same young people with stunning gaffes with selections like Boy’s Body Book or Golden Girls Forever or A History of Interest Rates (4th ed.)?

Or perhaps you’re aiming bigger and want to turn them into life-long readers or at least temporarily redirect their attention to something other than social media, their phones or computer games?

Then this list may just get you on your way.

This is our Second Annual Holiday Children’s Book List and it was a blast pulling these titles together. So in anticipation to those of you who like to check in with Paula and myself about what to get for sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, kids of friends, kids with special interests or godchildren, we spent some time at a local bookstore and online to find books that we think will make great gifts.  The titles are linked to the Chapters website for book details, summaries and reviews.

We’ll be publishing our list over the next four days. Books recommended on days 2 to 4 are of mixed grade levels and likely to list both fiction and nonfiction titles.

Here’s the lineup:

Day 1.                   Picture Books & The Subversive Grinch
                              Middle Grade Novels
                              Young Adult Novels
                              Crossovers: Adult Books For Teens

Day 2.                  Seasonal best bets
                              Play, Play, Play (interactive books for all ages)
                              Making and Doing
Day 3.                   Nonfiction
                              Series (all level of readers)
                             Fan fiction

Day 4.                   Pretty Pictures (coffee table books and the like)
                              Kid Books for Supposed Grown-ups
                              Not Our Demographic Or Books That Are Cool Even Though We’re Not

If you are going to invest in books this year for a young person, these suggestions may help you find just what you are looking for.  Spend a few minutes with the list and at the store making someone very happy.

And, of course, have a wonderful holiday break everyone.  
Tammy and Paula


Pretty Pictures

For those who love to curl up in a big chair with steamy hot chocolate and take life at a slower pace during the Holiday Season, here are a few books to savour the pictures and the text on a snowy afternoon.

*Gr. 4-7  *Guidebook *Fairy Realm  *Rich Multimedia  *Good Gift Book

*Gr. 5 & up  *Guidebook  *Vivid Illustrations  *Dragons  *Unicorns  *Werewolves

*Gr. 5 & up  *CGI Artwork  *Facts, Stories  *History  *Mythology

*Young Adult  *Doodle Art  *Graphic Design  *Inspiration  *Technique

*All Ages  *Too Cute for Words  *Title Says it All

*All Ages  *Nature  *Animals *Insects  *Plants

*All Ages  *Photographs  *2016  *#Hashtag  *Nature  *People  *Animals

Not Our Demographic OR 

Books That are Cool Even Though We Are Not! 

Okay, we work in a library and we work with Education students who love picture books and middle grade novels and even the dystopia that is YA but here is the category that is a bit beyond our comfort zone.  Do you remember the Bay City Rollers, The Monkees, Boys to Men, The Back Street Boys?  We do but we choose to always, categorically deny it.  Here are those books that are the treasure of the preteen and teenage fan with names we do not recognize but we guarantee that if you recognize one name on this list, you should have that book under the tree.  You would be a hero!

*Gr. 6 & up  *Olympics  *Gold Medalist  *Gymnastics  *Sports

*Young Adult  *Cutie Patootie  *1D (One Direction)  *Music  *Memoir

*Young Adult  *Cutie Patootie  *Biography  *Fashion Model

*Young Adult  *Social Media  *Entrepreneur  *EBay Vintage Clothing   *Nasty Girl ™

G.L.G. (Good Looking Guys) that Teens Follow on Social Media

(but we don't know from a hole in the wall…)

*Young Adult  *3 Billion YouTube Views!  *Social Media

*Young Adult  *Social Media  *YouTube Personality

*Young Adult  * Vine  *YouTube  *Social Media

*Young Adult  *Social Media  *YouTube Personality

*Young Adult  *Social Media  *YouTube Personality

 Kid Books for Adults

Do you ever find that feeling of really enjoying a picture book 
even though you are a mature adult who doesn’t DO picture books any more?  Here are a couple of books, we think you might enjoy.

*Classics  *Retrospective

*Beautiful  *Sentimental  

*Beautiful Illustrations  *Writers and Writing  *Biography  *Race Issues  *Poem


Harkening to the olden days (Classics)

We all have favorites that we remember fondly from our childhoods and would love to share with the young folks in our lives.

*Gr. 5 and up *Orphans *Friendship *Beautiful illustrations

*Gr. 2 and up *Sequel to Winnie-the-Pooh stories *Pair with Finding Winnie (Caldecott winner)

Fan Fiction – For the Groupie in All of Us

If someone mentions a favorite author doesn’t it make your heart race, maybe just a little? Or maybe want you go ‘sqweee’ and then gush about how much you love said author? Just be prepared if you ask Paula about Bunjitsu Bunny. Fair warning… Sqweeee....

*Gr. K-3 *Picture book *Facing fears * Bedtime *Passions

*Gr.2 and up  *Interactive *Games

*Gr.2-5 *Humour *Life

*Gr.3-7 *Growing up * Family * Read alouds *Humour *Classics

*Gr. 8 and up * Fantasy *Death *Futurist world

*Gr. 9 and up *Fantasy *Romance *Series *Great cover

More, Please (Series)

Well, this kinda goes with Fan Fiction. For those of us who like to return to wonderful places and visit with ‘old friends’ finding a series to get immersed in, is the way to go. Let me introduce you to a few wonderful characters and their worlds…

Picture books

Jon Klassen trilogy: I Want My Hat BackThis is Not My Hat; and We Found a Hat(2016)
*Gr. 1-6 *Dark humour *Hats *Animals *Fantastic illustrations

Aaron Becker trilogy: JourneyQuestand Return (2016)
*Gr. K-4 *Wordless *Adventures *Imagination *Friendship *Fathers and daughters

 Tedd Arnold: Fly Guy series: Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas (2016)
*Gr. 1-3 *Chapter book *Picture book *Humour *Boy book *Insects


*Gr. 2-5 *Humour *Detectives (sort of) *Poultry *Hounds *Fun

*Gr.2-4 *Family *Everyday stuff *Humour

*Gr.2-5 *Family *School *Fear *Anxiety *Humour

Catherynne M. Valente : Fairyland series: The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (2016);  The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (2017)
*Gr.4-7 *Fantasy *Adventures *Fairies

*Gr. 4-7 *Yes, that Stephen Hawking *Science *Space *Universe *Illustrated *Humour

*Gr.4 and up *Graphic novel *Fantasy *Adventure *Strong female

Daniel Kraus: The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol.1 At the Edge of the EmpireVol.2 Empire Decayed
*Gr.9 and up * World Wars *American history *Fantasy *Humour *Second chances *Great cover

Michael Grant: Soldier Girl series:Frontlines #1
*Gr. 9 and up *Alternate history *WW Ii *Girl soldiers *Epic

Colleen Houck: Reawakened series: Recreated (2016)
*Gr.9 and up *Time travel *Ancient Egypt * Adventure *Fantasy *Romance *Great cover

Rae Carson: The Gold Seer Trilogy: Walk on Earth a Stranger

*Gr.9 and up *Fantasy *Historical *Magic

Just the Facts

Not everyone loves a great fiction story.  Some may love a great true story and here is a list for just such people on your list.  From dinosaurs to social media world record holders, we have something for everyone…

*Gr. 1 & up  *Dinosaurs  

*Preschool – Gr. 1  *Die cut Shapes  *Interactive  *Opposites  *Manipulatives

*Gr. 1-4  *600 Animals  *40 Categories  *Some Mythical  *Misc. Info  *Browsing

*Gr.4 & up  *Science  *Inventors  *History  *Updated  *Technology  *Computer Technology

*Gr. 5 & up  *Birds – North American  *Nature  *Scaled Photography  *Fun Facts  *Bird Guide

*Gr. 5 & up  *History and Landscape  *Interactive  *Lonely Planet Book  *Maps  *Nature  *City  *Fascinating Facts

*Gr. 5 & up  *Magic and Magicians  *Boy Book  *Interactive  *3D pop-ups  *Tricks

*Gr. 5 & up  *Trivia

*Gr. 7 & up  *History  *Berlin Olympics  *Rowing  *True Story  *Sports  *Underdogs

*Crossover  *Science  *Universe  *Life  *Invention  *Knowledge  *Civilization

*Crossover  *Exploring  *Solar System  *History  *Space  *Planets  *Science


Seasonal Best Bets

Not necessarily for Christmas but more to get into that winter mindset of snow days, hockey, and, perhaps, a little romance to keep us warm …

*Preschool – Gr. 3  *Classic  *Play  *Winter  *Red Hooded Coats

*K- Grade 2  *Winter  *Snow Day  *Beautiful Illustrations

*Gr. 1-3  *Humour  *Grandparent  *Snow Day  *Play  *Animals

*Preschool – Gr. 2  *Winter  *Giving  *Empathy  *Generosity  *Animals

*Gr. 1-6  *Christmas  *Songs  *Canadiana  *Humour  *Animals
*Preschool – Gr. 5  *Songs  *Hockey  *Canadian  *Classics

*Gr. 1-6  *Novels  *Dogs  *Humour  *Magic *Read Aloud

*Gr. 10 and up  *Dual Voices  *Sequel  *Contemporary  *Romance  *Humour  

Making and Doing

For those people who love to have a book under the tree but love, also, to do, not just read.  This list of books with have you making and doing as a family or as individuals clear into the New Year. 

*All Ages  *LEGO  *Enough Said

*Gr. 3-6  *Boy Book  *Science

*Gr. 3-7  *Family Activity Books  *Transportation  *Things that Move

*Gr. 3-7  *Family Activity Book  *Science  *Easy, Medium, Hard Rating

*Gr. 3-7  *Art Activities

*Gr. 7/8 & up  *Drawing  *Artist Based Masterpieces

*Young Adult  *Cookbook  *Humour  *Healthy Eating  *Kickass Kitchen Primer

*Young Adult  *Crafts  *Hobbies  *Sewing  *Steampunk
*Crossover  *Puzzles  *Mathematics  *Problem-Solving  *Illusions  *Paradoxes

 Play, Play, Play

Play, Play, Play is a category that engages those on your list who like to interact with what they read.  Our favourite book from this year’s list is here and we both, immediately thought how much most kids (and some adults) would love this book.  Look at the YouTube video of Illuminature to see what we mean.  Giving one of these books is an ongoing conversation with the person who gets it about what they find out.

*All Ages  *YouTube Video  *Animals  *Habitats  *Special Effects  *T&P Favourite

*All Ages  *Art Masterpieces  *Game Book  *See also Fan Fiction – Where’s Waldo

*Gr. 1-5  *Fossils  *Flaps  *Games  *Activities

*Gr. 1-5  *Facts  *Universe  *Space 

*Gr. 5-8  *Illustrated Journal  *Technology Inventions  *3D Model Building  *History

*Gr. 5-9  *Codes  *Puzzles  *Spies and Spying

*Young Adult  *Art  *Colouring Book  *Fashion Designing


Picture Books – PreK – Grade 3

 We both love reading picture books and funny picture books are our favourites.  We have tried to find something that appeals to most picture book buyers like grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles but there is a definite bias that Storytime should be fun as well.
*Senses  *Imaginative Thinking  *Animals *Perspectives

*Rhyming Text  *Exuberant  *Eating   *Read Aloud

*Read Aloud  *Identity  *Father and Son

*Baby Board Book  *Canadian

*Flaps  *Bedtime  *Animals

*Canadian  *International Intrigue  *Humour  *Boy Book

*Boy Book  *Humour

*Buddy Books  *Humour  *Read aloud 

*Friendship  *Caring  *Read Aloud

*Humour  *Dinosaurs  *Pirates  *Knights  *Family Road Trip

*Humour  *Read Aloud  *Pets  *Sheep *Baby Brother

*Grandparent  *Gift Book

Subversive Grinch in Picture Books

Not necessarily the usual picture book fare – Are the sweet, sentimental, nicey-nice stories getting to you over the holidays? Give these a try to cleanse your palate. Good fun with a bit of a bite.

*Humour *Over-the-top funny *Nathan Lane people!!! *Dogs *Friendship

*Kids books for adults *Humour *Life lessons *Perspectives

*Snort - Humour- Snort *Animals *Tricksters *Gags *Fecal matter

Middle Grade – Upper Elementary/Junior High 

– Grades 5 to 8 or 9 Novels

How do we choose just a few to post this year.  This category is always rich with plenty of good reading in a variety of genres.  Pick a book that fits the reader in your life.

*Gr. 3-7  *Beautifully Illustrated  *Animals  *Newberry Award Winner  *Read Aloud

*Gr. 4-8  *New York City  *Fairy Tale Re-Telling  *Graphic Novel  *No Dwarfs *Art Deco

*Gr. 3/4 – 6  *Identity  *Contemporary  *Family  *Humour  *Strong Female *Read Aloud

*Gr. 3-6  *Video Gaming  *Contemporary  *New Kid at School  *School Dynamics

*Gr. 5-7  *Modern Day Fairy Tale  *Magic  *Fantasy  *Awesome Writing

*Gr. 3-6  *Read Aloud  *Robots  *Survival Story  *Deserted Island  *Illustrated

*Gr. 5 and up  *Family Secrets  *Magic  *Humour  *Mystery  *Adventure

*Gr. 4-7  *Animals  *War  *Friendship

*Gr. 4-8  *Gender Issues  *Contemporary  *Afghanistan  *Breadwinner Read Alike

*Gr. 6-8  *Mystery  *Contemporary  *Friendship/Romance  *Disappearances

*Gr. 5-8  *Mystery  *Suspense  *Family Dynamics  *Identity  *Strong Female

YA – Young Adult – Teens – High School Novels

We tried. We really, really did try to find lots of light-of-heart, quirky, comedic novels for this age group.

BUT— there just seem to so many more titles that are intense, dramatic, about teens who come from dysfunctional families or are struggling to figure out their identities and their place in the world.  But then again, who isn’t in this crazy Trumptonia POTUS-in-waiting, world? Just saying…

The Reader by Traci Chee
*Gr. 8 and up *fantasy *strong female *adventure * world-building *pirates

*Gr. 9 and up *contemporary *gender issues *identity *gaming *romance

*Gr. 8 and up * contemporary *mystery *romance *identity *Canadian author

*Gr.10 and up *psychological thriller *murder mystery *multimedia format

*Gr. 8 and up * fantasy *LGBTQ *murder, mayhem, magic + horses *romance

Replica by Lauren Oliver
*Gr.8 and up *science fiction *flip book (2 stories) * human replicas (think Westworld) *identity

*Gr. 10 and up * science fiction *robots (duh) *futurist world *identity *love vs. fear

*Gr. 10 and up *humour *contemporary *escapades *spontaneous combustion

*Gr. 9 and up *contemporary * romance * identity *second chance *tragic ending

*Gr. 9 and up *sea adventure *romance *dystopia * time travel *music *great cover

*Gr. 9 and up * contemporary *family *travel *summer of love and loss (but not necessarily in that order)


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