Candlewick offers the best books for young readers on any shopping list!
Who is on your list this year?
For little ballerinas who dream of the Land of Sweets:
The Nutcracker is one of the world’s most popular ballets, telling the captivating story of Clara and the Nutcracker prince as they journey into a land of fantasy. Inspired by Marius Petipa’s sets for the original production of the ballet, Niroot Puttapipat’s delicate silhouette illustrations dance across pale, watercolor-washed backgrounds in a unique interpretation. Starkly beautiful, this keepsake edition evokes all the magic and anticipation of Christmas Eve as Clara and the prince waltz between worlds—and culminates in a 3-D spread bringing the dreamlike Land of Sweets to life.
For little ones who can’t fall asleep without a bedtime story:
On the first night of winter, Little Miss Bear will not go to sleep. She simply refuses. “Winter is for sleeping,” Mother Bear tells her. “But why, Mother?” Little Miss asks. “Because that’s what bears do. All bears sleep, all winter long.” All winter long is much too long for Little Miss Bear. She is going to miss her stars and her moon, and she is going to miss rolling on hills. Most of all, she is going to miss Mother Bear. But Mother finds a special way to assure her that they will all be there waiting for her—the stars, the moon, the hills, and especially Mother Bear—when she wakes in the spring. From author Amy Hest and artist Lauren Tobia comes a warm and emotionally resonant story that is sure to comfort little bears everywhere.
For tiny tots who march to the beat of their own drum:
Far away, near the South Pole, a blue penguin is born. It is not something you see every day. “I feel like a penguin,” says Blue Penguin. “But you’re not like us,” the others tell him. Blue Penguin can’t jump or dive very well, so the others wander off and leave him behind. In his loneliness, Blue Penguin begins to dream, and he starts to sing. Will he ever convince the other penguins that he is one of them? Beautifully illustrated in icy blue hues, Blue Penguin is an affecting ode to self-expression and connection by a picture book creator whom the Washington Post has called “the thinking tot’s Eric Carle.”
For anyone who wants to get into the Christmas spirit:
It’s late on Christmas Eve, and the little fir tree is the only tree left in the shop. What a poor thing I am, it thinks. But then a young boy enters the store, drawn in from the damp by the warmth and lights and the wonderful smell of Christmas, and he doesn’t seem to mind that the scrawny tree isn’t tall and straight like the others. . . . This magical story, beautifully illustrated by Emily Sutton, captures an unexpected and unforgettable moment of happiness that brings a whole city together.
For paper engineers and pop-up lovers:
Long ago in the town of Bethlehem, on a bright and starry night, a baby was born, a child who was called the son of God. Announced by an angel, born in a humble manger, laid in a bed of straw, visited by shepherds and wise men—the age-old, awe-inspiring story of the birth of Jesus is lovingly brought to life by master pop-up artist Robert Sabuda in six gorgeously imagined scenes, culminating in a 3-D manger sheltering humans and beasts, guarded by an angel above. Glinting with touches of gold and pearlescent foil, The Christmas Story is a visual feast, a holiday treasure to be shared with the whole family.
*A product was provided.