Books as kid gifts can be hit or miss - while the parents might be thrilled, unless it's a title that's on the child's wishlist, the present might be met with polite disappointment ("Oh, how ... nice"), or if he's under four, wild exasperation ("Books for Christmas?!"). They're sort of the ambrosia salad of children's gifting.
Not these, though. We've found five gift books that are sure to be opened with giddy excitement, passed around the room, and Instagrammed with abandon. There's something here for young page-flippers of every age.
What Does Baby Want? by Tupera Tupera
The baby in this book cannot be quelled by the shiny frivolities of the world, including his tambourine, his ball or even his teddy bear. No, this infant wants just one thing. (Pssssssst... it's boobies.)
See the video:
For Toddlers and Preschoolers
Book-O-Beards: A Wearable Book by Donald Lemke, illustrated by Bob Lentz
Beards are funny. On little kids, they're hilarious. Here's a whole book of them for children to try on. Try not snapping a pic of young Dexter looking like a scruffy lumberjack. You can't do it. It cannot be done.
For Primary Schoolers (and Up)
Disney*Pixar: A Pop-Up Celebration by Matthew Reinhart
For fans of Disney and Pixar, this brand new book by pop-up master Matthew Reinhart is a must-have for the collection. See scenes from Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, Cars and Finding Nemo come to life in awe-inspiring detail. Look closely to find Easter eggs to other Disney-Pixar films.
For Junior High Schoolers (and Up)
This Book Is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions by Kelli Anderson
As the title proclaims, this book is a planetarium - an actual, working, constellation-projecting planetarium. So neat, right? And it's even more than that. There's a built-in speaker (place your phone into the megaphone-like structure to amplify the sound), a spiralgraph, a message decoder, a geometric drawing generator, an infinite calendar, and a musical instrument complete with strings - all of it made out of paper. Creator Kelli Anderson writes that she hopes readers will consider the book "an interactive field guide to the invisible", allowing them to play with aspects of our world that are usually abstractions, like light, sound, time and space.
Pop-up Shakespeare: Every Play and Poem in Pop-up 3D by The Reduced Shakespeare Co., Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin (Author), illustrated by Jennie Maizels
If Shakespeare seems a little intimidating, this pop-up book will surely make it less so. Filled with cartoon-y illustrations and fun modern takes, it gives readers, new and old, an appreciation for classic works - violent deaths, invented words and all.