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Which Children’s Books Make the Best Gifts?

June 25, 2012

By Matt Bushlow

As a guy who’s in his mid-30s, I’ve noticed that every year brings a new wave of birth announcements. And as those wee tykes grow up a little bit, I find myself looking for great gift ideas for kids – even though I don’t yet have any of my own.

I’ll admit that though I sometimes hit a home run, I’m not batting 1000% in the gift department. But my time at CLiF has taught me about the power of books… as gifts!

There’s just this one thing. Even though I’m aware of the classics, and I have plenty of resources here at the office – where we have a book list with 849 entries – I’m still not all that certain about which books really get kids excited. I’m interested in the ones that work almost every time, that really light kids up when they open the wrapping paper.

So I’m putting it to you, dear readers. What do you recommend? Are there certain books that you think really win kids over every time? Do you have a literary ace up your sleeve?

Let me know and I’ll test your recommendations in the upcoming year. I need all the help I can get.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    June 25, 2012 9:32 pm

    For baby gifts I like chunky board books that have a nice rhyming cadence like The Bear Snores on, Sandra Boynton, and Dr. Seuss. I also like for babies really nice hardcover copies of classic childrens books like Robert McCloskey or Maurice Sendak. There is a beautiful book called On the Day You Were Born that makes a great newborn or birthday gift.

    • June 26, 2012 2:12 pm


      These are great, especially the board books as baby gifts. I’ll put some of these on my list for newborns ASAP! Thanks.


  2. Kendra permalink
    July 19, 2012 10:29 pm

    “Where the Wild Things” is always a hit with young kiddos! I also love the “How Do Dinosaurs” series by Jane Yolen.

    • July 20, 2012 1:03 pm

      Sweet! I know about “Wild Things,” of course, but I hadn’t heard of “How Do Dinosaurs.” Thanks!

  3. Therese Quigley permalink
    September 29, 2012 5:02 pm

    I would always feel comfortable giving “The Gingerbread Man” and “Goodnight, Moon.” Some newer books I would recommend are the McDuff books by Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers.

    • October 1, 2012 1:57 pm


      Thanks for your recommendations. We plan to compile these soon and post them for everyone to read – and recommend.

      – Matt

  4. October 10, 2012 2:52 pm

    A very hungry caterpillar for young children is the best book gift – they love it

    • clifonline permalink*
      October 10, 2012 3:11 pm


      Thanks. We’ll add it to a forthcoming compilation of great book gifts for kids that we hope to publish on our (almost finished) new website.


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