2019 Holiday Book Gifting Guide

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Books. They are our favorite type of gift, and we never grow old of giving them to others, either! This year, we found some great book ideas for all ages. We have personally read and enjoyed all of them; you'll find them on our own personal bookshelves!

For the cook


Cookbooks are everywhere these days, and it's hard to justify buying a new one that will just take up cupboard space. The Vintage Church Cookbook: Classic Recipes for Family and Flock is one book you won't keep in your cupboard long. It will be out on the counter! It's full of those tasty recipes we all remember our moms and grandmas using (the ones in the spiral binding.) With favorites like French Onion Chicken Casserole, Corn Pudding, Shoo Fly and Pimento Cheese Spread, you'll feel like having a potluck just so you can try them all out!


Bottom line: If you're looking for a cookbook that has recipes you already love, but gives you quick shortcuts (like using a few pre-made ingredients), don't miss this tasty book of memories. It's a keeper! Buy it here. 

For the fanboy (or fangirl)


Tolkein is a literary giant, and yet there is so much to learn about his life and works. An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: The History of Mythology That Inspired Tolkien's World (Leather-bound Classics) by David Day is a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the history, lands, and inhabitants of Middle-earth.


Those who can't get enough facts and backstory surrounding J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth will spend hours and hours with this beautiful leather-bound treasure. It's full of more than 200 black-and-white illustrations, has gold-leaf page detailing, and features a satin ribbon bookmark. Tolkien scholar David Day presents four decades of research and writing on the lands and inhabitants, including discussions of the beasts, heroes, maps, and mythology.


Bottom line: This is probably the most complete look at the world Tolkien creates for fans and includes an appendix of three primary legends that served as sources for Tolkien’s creations—the Volsunga saga, the Nibelungenlied, and Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. You won't find a comparable resource anywhere else. Buy it here. 


For the Brave


Have you seen the spooky movie Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? This creepy flick was inspired by an amazing book that kids who adore dark fiction will enjoy receiving this holiday. In addition to containing some very original tales, the illustrations are beautiful and haunting. This treasure can be unearthed for a new generation!


Bottom line: While this book was designed for kids to enjoy, it's a thrilling collection of dark stories that adults will enjoy, too. Snag it for anyone who is a horror fan or who saw the film and wants to know how it came to be! Buy it here.

For the adventurer



If you aren't familiar with John Hunt's Primitive Technology YouTube channel, you should check it out! My kids adore it, watching hours and hours of him explaining how to build a shelter, start a fire, and live in the wilderness. It's one of the most engaging ways to learn!

His new book Primitive Technology: A Survivalist's Guide to Building Tools, Shelters, and More in the Wild has been a popular read at our house, as well. It engages the younger and older kids by teaching them some of the most basic survival tools and tricks with pictures and easy explanations. It's one that I frequently found on the couch where a kid will pick up and start rereading again and again!

Bottom line: Curious minds and fans of the channel will find this book a delightful read. It's great for all ages and comes with plenty of ideas. Don't be surprised if your kids start asking to weave waterproof baskets or build shelters in the backyard after reading it. Get it here

For the Minecraft Fan



You probably have one in the house -- if not more. Minecraft is still increcibly popular and the new series of books has made it fun to learn and strategize. The Guide to Ocean Survival is one in the series that my kids like best, giving them tips for breathing underwater, finding more loot, and staying safe against enemies.

Bottom line: If you still have Minecraft mania in the home, why not use it to get them to read? This guide a favorite that my sons ages 6-9 read again and again. It's a well-written strategy guide with colorful illustrations and tips for fans to implement right away. Get it here. 


For the Learners

Early childhood education doesn't have to be boring. In fact, most kids learn so much from their favorite books! If your child is a fan of either Peppa Pig or Peg & Cat, you'll love these two titles that we had to put under the tree this year:

Peg Up a Tree

This level 1 reader is perfect for those just starting to sound out words on their own and still need some help with larger words. The colorful illustrations accompany the charming humor that we know from the Peg and Cat television show. This BIG PROBLEM involves Peg getting stuck in a tree with her yo-yo, and Cat gets stuck, too! Can Ramone help them?



Bottom line: Fans of the show will find this story to be a must-read for their collection. As with all the Peg and Cat books, there's a simple math lesson that builds on that STEM knowledge we all want our kids to have. Get it here

Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play

Everyone's favorite, lovable pig is back, and her class is putting on the play. Santa said he will be there, but can he make it on time? In this story, kids can experience the anticipation of Santa Claus and read lines from their favorite Peppa Pig characters.



Bottom line: Everyone needs a new book at Christmas. If tradition calls for a Christmas-themed book you can't do better than this lovely, illustrated hard-cover titles for kids. It's a sweet story with a wonderful holiday message. Get it here

Wanna Win? We are giving one lucky winner the Peg & Cat and Peppa Pig titles we mentioned in this guide. To be entered to win, use the form below. (U.S. only, please!) You have until December 20th at 11:59 pm EST to get your entries in.


*Some titles were received to review. Opinions are my own. 

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