I think it’s wonderful when people develop a love of reading at a young age. I think it’s so useful in all aspects of life that I’ve always encouraged my children and grandchildren to love books, from the baby board books they chew on all the way to mystery and young adult novels appropriate for their age and reading level! As a grandparent, I give the kids a present to play with and a present to learn with, so I’ve found a few titles for this year’s holiday season. I have found some for the younger kids and a few for the older grandchildren that I think they’ll love.
About Workman Publishing
Workman Publishing Co., Inc., is an independently owned family of publishers, including Workman Publishing, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Algonquin Young Readers, Artisan, Storey Publishing, and Timber Press. We are also partners with The Experiment and duopress.
We are publishers of award-winning cookbooks, parenting/pregnancy guides, books on gardening, country living, and humor, as well as children’s books, gift books, fiction, and the bestselling calendar line in the business. Located in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, in a converted printers’ building, our offices are high-energy and creative, filled with people who are passionate about what they do. We also have offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; North Adams, Massachusetts; and Portland, Oregon.
When we launched The Experiment in early 2009, we explained our name with this thought: Because every book is a test of new ideas.
Since then, we’ve been excited to see how the new ideas in our books have caught on. Most notably, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health became our first #1 New York Times bestseller! Its sequel, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, is also a New York Times bestseller, and has more than 580,000 copies in print. Both tie-ins to the 2011 feature documentary also called Forks Over Knives, these two books are helping to inspire and guide hundreds of thousands of people as they seek out the many benefits of eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Forks Over Knives has even been the subject of a question on the television show Jeopardy!
We look for books with one or more of the following qualities: They present highly proprietary information or a singular perspective. They are exceptionally useful, although sometimes in nonstandard ways. They address an urgent need on the part of readers—with regard to health, well-being, or simple curiosity. And they are competently written and distinctively voiced.
For the younger kids in the group, I went for a series of books from Workman Publishing called My Big Wimmelbooks.
These are picture books that are meant to cover several ages, from 2 to 5 or 6. They can start by finding the pictures in each scene by pointing them out. Then as they get a little more advanced, they can start finding characters in each scene, and finally the older kids can make up stories as they follow the characters from page to page! There are 4 titles that the kids can enjoy:
The next book I picked up is always a favorite with the kids because it’s about a hot topic. Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs – The Grand Tour, from The Experiment Publishing, is a terrific book about 300 different dinosaurs. It includes a ton of information including illustrations, history, geography, and even theories about how they lived. I like how it presents the information to a young audience without getting graphic and whether it’s an older child reading it on their own or a younger child reading it with me as we learn and talk about dinosaurs, it’s a great way to learn about these awesome creatures.
It can be difficult to pick up some skills from books, but for the young kids about 5-8, learning about basic yoga poses can be fun and easy! With Let’s Play Yoga!, from The Experiment Publishing, the yoga poses are broken down into easy to follow instruction and illustrations. It includes 13 poses for the kids to learn, while learning stories as they maintain those poses. They are designed to “foster a calm mind and a healthy body” according to the author. It’s a great way to combine reading with yoga, stretching, and concentration.
Whether you have a young budding reader/writer, one who can read and write basic words, or a more advanced writer who just needs a little prompting, I’d suggest checking out Adventures with Zap from The Experiment Publishing. An alien becomes a stowaway on a ship and needs to learn about our ways. You can help him by teaching him about our world while learning about Zap as well!
Plus, through reading and writing, the kids can work on their skills while developing new ones such as storytelling, brainstorming, and having a keepsake to save when they’re finished. I love that this covers several skill levels so it’s a perfect gift idea for several ages.
While I want all the kids in my family, both my own children when they were young and their children as they start their own families, to learn to love to read, sometimes just helping the develop their skills is enough for the time being. One of my daughters would say she didn’t like to read, but it was because she would get confused with some big words. Once we worked through that issue, she could always be found with a book nearby.
And even if these books are a stepping stone to other written works like comic books, that’s okay too! These are skills they can tuck away and use as they go through school and hopefully enjoy reading as they grow up.
We’ve added these titles to our 2018 MEGA Merry Christmas Gift Guide! Check it out here!