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It’s always fun for me to make this list, because I get to look back on all the great books I’ve read this past year. Some of these I’ve reviewed, and some I haven’t. But I think any one of these would make a great gift for your loved ones. I’ve got book suggestions for everyone from picture book age kids to teens reading YA. I’ve even included a few gift ideas for yourself! Plus, there’s a sneak peek at some of the books my kids are getting this year.

Picture Books

Library’s Most Wanted by Carolyn Leiloglou (me!) illustrated by Sarah Pogue–So, this title is not actually available until May 2020, but I couldn’t resist sharing it with you because it’s available for pre-order now!

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost illustrated by Vivian Mineker–This is a beautifully illustrated picture book version of Robert Frost’s beautiful poem.

Unicorn Day by Diana Murray illustrated by Luke Flowers and/or Unicorn (and Horse) by David W. Miles illustrated by Hollie Mengert–Unicorns were super big this year, so I had to include one unicorn book. But I couldn’t choose a favorite, so here are my top two! You can read my reviews of these and others in this post on Unicorn Picture Books.

Pluto Gets the Call by Adam Rex illustrated by Laurie Keller–This picture book is just the right combination of science and sweet, not to mention funny! Plus the illustrations are adorable. I absolutely loved it.

Triangle, Square, Circle trilogy by Mac Barnett illustrated by John Klassen–These books are simple, funny, and make you stop and think.

Because by Mo Willems illustrated by Amber Ren–If music is a big part of your family, like it is ours, you are going to want this book!

The Amazing Idea of You by Charlotte Sullivan Wild illustrated by Mary Lundquist–This is the perfect gift or baby book! Beautiful words, lovely art, everything you want in a snuggly, I-love-you, read-aloud.

Lola Dutch When I Grow Up by Kenneth Wright illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright–This is such a fun book for young kids thinking about what they want to be. I love the use of imagination and the way it takes the pressure off kids to have to decide now.

Chapter Books

Noah Green Junior Zookeeper and the Garage Sale Pet by Carolyn Leiloglou (me) illustrated by Jay Guida–I’ve had so many parents tell me this book got their reluctant readers reading. How can I not recommend it? (Even if I am a little biased). If your kid loves animals or mysteries, this book would make a great gift!

The Light Princess by George MacDonald illustrated by Ned Bustard–This is a beautiful, leather-bound reprinting of a classic story. The linocut illustrations are stunning! This makes a great gift.

Anne Arrives and Anne’s Kindred Spirits by Kallie George illustrated by Abigail Halpin–Introduce your young readers to Anne Shirley with these delightful, illustrated chapter books! My daughter loved these. I’m really hoping they publish more!

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins–A young girl in India uses her art to help her family. I can see this being a book new readers would want to read over and over.

Middle Grade

The Bootlace Magician (and Circus Mirandus, if you haven’t read it) by Cassie Beasley–This two-book series is one of my favorite middle-grade reads. Start with Circus Mirandus, but The Bootlace Magician is a superb sequel.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang–I LOVED this book. Read my review HERE.


Wildflowers–This is a beautiful, sturdy magazine for girls 8 – 12. I had the privilege of being the poetry contributor for it’s inaugural year (2018). Kids love getting something special in the mail, and these magazines are made to stand up to multiple readings.

Young Adult

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes–Historical fiction with magic! Need I say more? This is a reimagining of the Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot. You won’t know who to trust… until the end.

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins–I loved this young adult novel and reviewed it HERE.

The Ascendence Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielson–My daughter and I devoured these this year after I heard about them on the Read Aloud Revival Podcast.

A Gift for Yourself

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy–I loved this reimagining of Marilla Cuthbert’s younger years. I highly recommend it for any Anne Shirley fan.

Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson–This is one of my favorite reads this year. This book is for anyone ever inspired to be creative, whether in their career or every day lives.

The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in an Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon–This book provides well-researched science and anecdotes on the power of reading aloud. If you need some motivation to pick up a book and read to your kids, this is a great one (as is the Read-Aloud Family).

A few of the books my kids are getting for Christmas (shhh!)

I haven’t pre-read any of these (except for A Year in the Big Old Garden and The First Fowler), but I’m sure they’re all going to be great!

Tell me what kids books you’re excited about giving this Christmas!

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