Because of the engine noise in the cabin, I find it difficult to read to the kids when we're flying, but books are great for passing the time at the gate while we're waiting for a flight, or for the kids to look through on their own. (My oldest is just becoming a reader, and that will change our habits some I'm sure!) Books are also a must for bedtime for both my kids, whether we're at home or away.
I use the library a lot with my kids, but we also buy books. And whatever the occasion, books do make great gifts. Here are some of my bookish reading tips and gift ideas for both traveling and non-traveling kids:
My kids had lots of favorite board books when they were younger, but two books by Eric Carle (who is a genius of the genre) were always their top picks:
My kids are slowly moving out of the picture book genre and into chapter books, but they still love picture books for looking through on their own, or for me to read aloud. Dr Seuss is very popular in our house, particularly:
Other favorites include:
- Flotsam- A really amazing picture book without any text to read, just some absolutely spectacular images that tell a fantastic story all on their own. My 4-year old daughter loves this book. Highly recommended!
- Llama Llama Red Pajama
- The Paper Bag Princess
Chapter books for kids to read & for reading aloud
My kids have two clear favorites in this genre of books:
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - My 8-year old son's all-time favorite story
- Chronicles of Narnia - My 4-year old daughter's newest book favorite. So far we've read The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
- The Harry Potter Books
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid Box of Books
- The Hobbit - A great introduction to the world and writings of JRR Tolkien, plus Peter Jackson's movie based on this book is coming out next year! I find with my own kids that a movie tie-in can often help get them interested in new books.
- The New Captain Underpants Collection - My own kids never got into these books, but I know many kids (including a couple of reluctant readers) who love the humor and style of Captain Underpants.
- Alice in Wonderland
My kids are not in this reading age-group yet, but in a few more years, they will be (scary thought!). There is a huge variety of wonderful books for young adult readers, in many different styles and genres. Here are some suggestions, including several great box-sets:
- Black Stallion Adventure Set - The books about the black stallion are great reading for any horse-crazy kids on your list.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set
- Nancy Drew Starter Set
- The Dark Is Rising (Boxed Set) - A fantasy tale that is based on old Arthurian, Norse and Celtic myths and stories.
- The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank's diary is a classic, and for good reason.
- The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner has written a lot of great fantasy, and if you have a fantasy loving kid, it's well worth it to introduce them to his books.
- Guardians of Ga'hoole Boxed Set - Owls as heroes and villains: now that's original! My kids loved the movie, and I am thinking of getting them the books eventually.
- A Wizard of Earthsea- This is the first book in Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea series. Highly recommended for fantasy lovers.
- His Dark Materials Trilogy
- The Hunger Games Trilogy - The movie adaptation of these books is coming out soon, and I've heard lots of good reviews of the books from both young adults and "old" adults.(I might be getting myself these books for Christmas!)