Seeking ideas for gift-worthy children’s books

E.B White collectionThis past Friday my niece Grace Elizabeth celebrated her first birthday. Even though I know she can’t read yet, I got her this set of books from our library’s book sale earlier this summer:

  1. Charlotte’s Web
  2. Stuart Little
  3. The Trumpet of the Swan

all by E.B. White, and two of them favorites of mine when I was a child. I’ll be honest that I’ve never read The Trumpet of the Swan.

I believe I once got this same collection for a cousin for Christmas when she was younger. I’ve always liked giving books as presents for Christmas or birthdays to younger cousins and my sister and now I’m continuing the tradition with my niece. I sadly don’t remember if I gave any books to my nephew Jonathan as presents for either his birthday or Christmas. Luckily, he’s young and I still can continue the tradition later with him if I didn’t (which, according to my sister, I didn’t).

Hobbit_coverMy sister said she already has The Chronicles of Narnia for him and I’m thinking about The Hobbit for him for later. I’m not sure about this year, but if any of you have ideas for a third grader, let me know.  I found a list on Goodreads, but it’s a long list and some I don’t think he’s ready for yet. I’ll be honest I don’t remember much reading from when I was in third grade. I think when I was in fourth grade, our teacher read The Hobbit to us, but I’m not sure.

Besides books for third graders, what other gift-worthy children’s books do you recommend I start getting or storing up for my nephew and niece?

As for what I’ll be reading today, it probably won’t be anything as we’re going to my parents for my niece’s birthday party. However, tomorrow, I’ll probably start reading the book I bought for #Diversiverse as I mentioned Wednesday.

Also: I recently restarted a Tumblr I have. FYI.

Putting my money where my mouth is

A More Diverse Universe 2015The criteria for participating in the A More Diverse Universe event (click through here or at the button at left for the sign up post) are these:

  • Read and review one book
  • Written by a person of color
  • During the first two weeks of October (October 4th-17th)

For me, the difficult part isn’t reading one book written by a person of color as I already have increased my reading in that respect this year, thanks to committing at the end of July to reading more diversely within the crime fiction genre that I normally read than I have in the past. The difficult part is reviewing a book, since I don’t know the last time I reviewed a book here on this blog or any other blog for that matter. In fact, I almost eschew writing reviews, so much so that I refuse to write reviews for a newspaper column that our library has in a local newspaper, because I don’t want to be reading the latest “thing.” I’d rather read what I want.

beautifulplace_ebookThat said, I am signing up for #diversiverse and will read and review one book by a person of color between Oct. 4 and Oct. 17. In addition, I have decided to put my money where my mouth is and have bought a book. My choice, as recommended by Aarti herself, I think (although I can’t find where she recommended it), is A Beautiful Place To Die, the first Detective Emmanel Cooper mystery, by Malla Nunn. Although she now lives in Australia, she was born in Swaziland in southern Africa, with the Cooper series set in 1950s apartheid South Africa. As much as I want to start this now, I’ll be waiting until Sunday to start.

So how about you? Are you participating in this event? If so, what are you reading? If not, that’s okay too. Any books by authors who are people of color that you can recommend.