A Snowfall of Books

Elizabeth Bluemle -- December 21st, 2015

Like many indie bookstores with similar “book angel” holiday drives, the Flying Pig’s Snowflake Giving Program helps local children receive wonderful gift books every December. Our customers look forward to this as part of their own tradition each year, and it’s especially fun to see parents and kids conferring earnestly and happily about which family book favorites they most want to share with another child.

While we won’t list all 160 titles people bought, we thought it might be interesting to gather a sampling of the choices that people purchased for one of the organizations, who supplied us with gender, age, and a special interest of each child (family, animals, fairy tales, humor, farm, space, etc.). Sometimes customers ask for help choosing books, but most often, they choose their own. Here’s what went out to these kids, from the sublime to the silly:

Babies (ages 0-2): Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, I Get Dressed and I Play by David McPhail, Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allen Ahlberg, Touch and Feel Baby Animals (Scholastic), Sassy Zoom! Things That Go (Grosset & Dunlap), All Fall Down and Tickle, Tickle by Helen Oxenbury, Hello, Animals! by Smriti Prasadam and Emily Bolam, What’s Your Favorite Animal? by Eric Carle, Under the Sleepy Stars by Stephanie Shaw and Rebecca Harry, Time for Bed by Mem Fox and Jane Dyer, Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli.

Toddlers (ages 3-4): The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Bear & Hare Snow! by Emily Gravett, The Animals’ Santa by Jan Brett, I Really Like Slop! by Mo Willems, Bear and Bunny by Danial Manus Pinkwater and Will Hillenbrand, Cinderella by Amy Ehrlich and Susan Jeffers, Fancy Nancy and the Wedding of the Century by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, Sweet Pea and Friends: The SheepOver by John and Jennifer Churchman, A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban.

Young Children (ages 5-6): Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems, Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky, National Geographic Readers Hoot, Owl by Shelby Alinsky, Goggles by Ezra Jack Keats, Sweet Pea and Friends: The SheepOver by John and Jennifer Churchman, Goodnight Already! by Jory John and Benji Davies, Heidi Heckelbeck and the Christmas Surprise by Wanda Coven and Priscilla Burris, Lift-the-Flap Hide-and-Seek Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Daniel Hannah, Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen, Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling, Usborne’s My Very First Space Book.

Ages 7-9: Jack and the Beanstalk by Paul Goble, Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot and Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury by Dav Pilkey, A Mouse Called Wolf, The Water Horse, and Pigs Might Fly by Dick King-Smith, Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers by Megan McDonald and Peter Reynolds, Adventures of a South-Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz, The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up by Jane Tomlinson, Friendship According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr, The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, Geronimo Stilton: Watch Your Whiskers, Ramona the Brave and Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary, Dear Dumb Diary: Can Adults Become Human? by Jim Benton, Lionboy by Zizou Corder, Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick.

Ages 10-15: Clementine for Christmas by Daphne Benedis-Grab, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Timber Ridge Riders 01: Keeping Secrets by Maggie Dana, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Wereworld 01: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling, The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker by E.D. Baker, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Goodbye, Stranger by Rebecca Stead, Unbroken (Young Adult Edition) by Laura Hillenbrand, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Russell Munroe, and Earth: The Book: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart.

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I was interested to see how many of the titles were very recent books. Usually, we see a lot more longtime staples. What would your top picks be for any of those age groups?

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