Savvy Gift Guide: Top 10 Books for Young Readers

Whether you’re buying for a toddler who wants to watch Frozen for the 487th time, or a pre-teen who won’t put their phone down, we’ve picked the best books to entertain the little, and bigger, kids in your life.


Garbage Delight by Dennis Lee

Best for kids ages 2 and up

Garbage Delight is back… And now as a board book! From the author of Alligator Pie, this picture book is filled with silly sing-a-long rhymes and a mischievous little brown bear with a big appetite.

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick

Best for kids ages 4-8

Finding Winnie is the touching true story of Winnie the Pooh. Even lovelier, it’s written by Lindsay Mattick, whose great-grandfather rescued real Winnie the bear at the onset of World War I. Little kids will love the pictures (Sophie Blackhall’s illustrations are precious), and it makes the perfect bedtime read.

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer

Best for kids ages 4-8

This book is all about Fred. Fred is imaginary, but he loves making new friends. So when a lonely boy wishes for him, down Fred goes and they become the best of friends. But the story doesn’t end there… This is a great book to talk to kids about friendship, both real and imaginary, and with the quirky writing and illustrations, you won’t be upset when they ask you to read it again.

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Best for kids ages 4-8

 In Waiting, five animals sit on a windowsill—all waiting for different things. The puppy is waiting for the snow, the owl, for the moon, and the rabbit just likes looking out the window. Waiting is a big part of childhood, and this little book will help kids with the big concept.

Elementia Chronicles: An Unofficial Minecraft-Fan Adventure by Sean Fay Wolfe

Best for kids ages 8 and up

 For fans of Minecraft, Elementia Chronicles feature the cubic characters that have made the video game a world-wide phenomenon. With novels one and two already out, and the third on its way, you can show kids that you can read and play video games: it’s the best of both worlds.

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester

Best for kids ages 8 and up

 Weird in the most wonderful way, Curiosity House follows four orphans who have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. When the museum’s shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. What follows are twists, turns, a rather attractive bearded lady, and one very unexpected ending.


The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon

Best for kids ages 8 and up

 For kids that can’t get enough of Lemony Snicket, enter: The Doldrums. It’s full of mysterious characters, whimsical illustrations and writing that makes the reader eager to uncover the next chapter. This novel will have kids asking for “just ten more minutes” to read before bedtime.

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Best for kids ages 10 and up

 If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, you’re about to. Kenneth Oppel has written one of the biggest books of the year–a novel that fans of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline will devour. In The Nest, young Steve worries for his sick baby brother, and when a mysterious wasp queen comes to him in his dreams offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his problems are solved…

 Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams

Best for kids ages 9 and up

From the illustrations to the characters, David Walliams’ books feel like Roald Dahl classics. In Grandpa’s Great Escape, Jack’s grandpa starts to forget things, lots of things, and soon he thinks he’s back flying fighter planes in the War. The only person who doesn’t mind this one bit is Jack, who is ready for an adventure.

And SavvyReaders, just because kids get a kick out of them, it doesn’t mean those of us with a few more years can’t love them too. This holiday, I’ve got a date with The Doldrums. Which one piques your interest? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @savvyreader

Happy holidays!

Follow me on Twitter @teaaep

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Digital Marketing Coordinator at HarperCollins Canada. Film, fiction and fashion blog enthusiast. Follow me on twitter @SavvyReader & @ktvncnt.

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