Dee Ellman, programs manager at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St. in Los Altos, offers a holiday gift guide of books appropriate for children and teens.
As wintery winds swirl around us for once, the booksellers at Linden Tree Books are scurrying through the shop gathering all kinds of notable and new children’s books. Most of Linden Tree’s booksellers are teachers or librarians, and all are readers and book lovers with dozens of recommendations for the perfect book for holiday gift giving. Following are a few of our favorites.
“Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” (Little, Brown, 2013) by Peter Brown
Sameness and being prim and proper bore Mr. Tiger. He lives in a dreary city with all of the other animals who have excellent manners – but very little fun at all. Then one day Mr. Tiger has a very wild idea, which causes him to leave the gray-brown world far behind and find freedom, joy and wilderness and the bright pop of orange and green. This charming new picture book echoes the sentiments of Max in Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things” (Harper & Row, 1963), as Mr. Tiger goes home to his city, taking a little bit of that wildness and color with him wherever he goes.
“The Day the Crayons Quit” (Philomel, 2013) by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Duncan wants to color, but all of his crayons have left the box. Instead he is left with letters – all of his crayons have quit. Red is tired of all the fire engines, candy canes and Santas and needs a rest. Green congratulates himself on being chosen for all of the alligators and dinosaurs, while Blue despairs of being the favored color of oceans, rivers and raindrops. Blue is worn down to a stub. Beige is tired of being overlooked. Yellow and Orange squabble over which is the true color of the sun. This book will have kids thinking of color in an entirely new way.
“Spirit Animals Wild Born” (Scholastic, 2013) by Brandon Mull
Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual. Each of them develops a rare bond with a spirit animal – a wolf, a leopard, a panda and a falcon. The fate of their world Erdas depends on these four children and their spirit animals. Will they be strong enough to stop the coming darkness?
“Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” (Candlewick, 2013) by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell
Poetic writing, quirky characters and magical illustrations distinguish this book by Newbery Award winner DiCamillo, author of “Because of Winn Dixie” (Candlewick, 2000). Florabelle, a cynical and lonely 10-year-old girl obsessed with comic books, releases a neighborhood squirrel from a vacuum cleaner and finds a new friend. The squirrel has superpowers, and together they use his super strength to fight evil and restore truth and beauty to the world.
“Eleanor & Park” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013) by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor is a big girl with red hair, and Park is a half-Korean boy who loves punk music and comic books. They meet on the bus and fall in love. They are an original and unlikely Romeo and Juliet living in 1980s Omaha, Neb. What begins as a love story quickly becomes so much more. Eleanor lives in poverty with an abusive stepfather, her mother and younger siblings. Park’s parents don’t really understand him at all, but both undergo great transformation as they seek to help this pair of star-crossed lovers navigate a world that simply won’t accept their love for one another.
For more information, visit lindentreebooks.com.