105 Ways to Give a Book

Twenty-One Ways to Give a Book

I can be a little bit obsessive. When I get an idea in my head, I can’t let go. And lists... oh, am I obsessive about lists. So after thinking about the idea of books as gifts and talking it over with my ten-year-old daughter about how to make it more exciting, we came up with a few ideas. Then I thought of a few more. And then I thought how cool it would be if I found some of the places these items could be found. And then the list took on a life all its own, after successfully taking over my life for most of yesterday afternoon and a good part of this morning. Now, while I don’t approve of Scholastic packaging trinkets with books to make kids buy them, in terms of gifts, I come down solidly in favor of pairing a book with something extra to give it that fun factor. The links to products are to make it easier for devoted online shoppers. Many things could be found cheaper at discount and even dollar stores. Anyway, here are some suggestions.
  1. Pair a classic Raggedy Ann or Winnie-the-Pooh book with its character stuffed animal.

  2. Pair a book with a related stuffed animal, like Where’s My Teddy? with a teddy bear. Or Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type with a stuffed cow — or if you prefer, a slingshot cow.

  3. Pair Bubble Bath Pirates or Beasty Bath with a cool rubber duck at Captain Quack... or hey, even a rubber duck version of the nativity.

  4. Pair The Snow Globe Family with a snow globe.

  5. Pair Lilly’s Big Day or Fancy Nancy with dress-up clothes.

  6. Pair Toys Go Out with a red bouncy ball, or a stuffed stingray or buffalo.

  7. Pair a nonfiction book about dinosaurs, like Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, with a bunch of plastic ones.

  8. Pair Amazing Sharks! and A Shark Pup Grows Up for beginning readers and throw in a shark on a stick.

  9. Pair a book like The Spiderwick Chronicles with a gift card to a local movie theater to see the movie when it comes out.

  10. Pair a theme book like Katie and the Mustang with a horse charm and a satin cord from a craft store.

  11. Pair a theme book like Fairy Realm with a charm bracelet.

  12. Pair a detective book with a magnifying glass.

  13. Pair Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon with a homemade coupon for a visit to the Air and Space Museum (okay, this might only work around Washington, DC) or astronaut ice cream.

  14. Pair any book with another book from the bargain section, maybe something silly or crafty or gimmicky.

  15. Pair a diary-format book like Lucy Rose: Big on Plans (3rd/4th grade), Amelia’s Notebook (4th/5th grade), or The Princess Diaries (6th/7th grade) with a journal and a cool pen or two.

  16. Pair a book like Eragon or Charolotte’s Web with a gift card to rent the movie.

  17. Pair The Art Book for Children with watercolor paints or an art set.

  18. Pair Poetry Speaks to Children with hot chocolate, a mug, and a gift certificate for time to read it together.

  19. Pair a teen or tween poetry book with poetry beads, alone (provide some stretchy cord) or in a kit.

  20. Pair a special teen favorite with a gift card to Starbucks and a promise to talk about the book over coffee.

  21. Give a book all on its own, carefully picked and lovingly wrapped, with no excuses and no guilt.
Update: The list continues with Twenty-One More Ways to Give a Book!


Anonymous said...

MR, you rock. Wonderful list. A stuffed stingray! I didn't even know there was such a thing. GREAT gift for little Mr. Beach Guy here. Gracias.

Little Willow said...

Great list!

I could go on for days, but I'll just add one: Harriet the Spy with a composition book. :)

Bill said...

At first glance, I was sure that "shark on a stick" was going to be some kind of state-fair food item...

Which would also be pretty cool, though I imagine a little difficult to keep fresh until Christmas morning. Not to mention maybe a bit in poor taste -- "A shark pup grows up... and then you eat him."

Anonymous said...

Fab list, MR. I'm posting about it now!

Susan: We have a stuffed stingray. My son named it "triple tall non fat latte" after my favorite Starbucks order, for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous list!! I'm bookmarking it for further gift-giving occasions, since we often give books.
Teeny-tiny quibble - there's no admission fee to the Air & Space Museum (all the Smithsonians are free), but astronaut ice cream or a toy astronaut would be great.

Kelly, I'm cracking up at the idea of a stuffed stingray named Triple Tall Nonfat Latte.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this list! We had a big bookshare in our class today and so many of the kids shared books they loved that were gifts from someone--books that they kept around for a year or two and then fell in love with them when they were ready. LOVE these ideas! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice job!

dhamel said...

And don't forget: Buy a Friend a Book Week is coming up (http://www.buyafriendabook.com).

Gino said...

Great ideas!! Did you know that 'The Oddies' picture books - www.oddieworld.com - come with odd sock characters from the stories. so children reading the books can literally step into the characters they are reading about!

Kairi said...

Last year Scholastic had an article on this in their Parent and Child Magazine. Check it out @ http://www.scholastic.com/familymatters/parentguides/holiday/foodgifts.htm

Kairi said...

for some reason it cut off the end of the website. Let me try again

Anonymous said...

love this and sent it to all my friends!

Olugbemisola (Mrs.Pilkington) said...

great list! thank you. i often pair books with a handmade gift -- clothespin/peg people, felt stuffed creature, finger puppets...

Anonymous said...

Fabulous list and ideas. I know some people who consider 'books as gifts' to be barely a step above clothes... these pairings would certainly turn their heads!!
I'm disappointed the "Nativity Rubber Ducks" are currently unavailable, but searching "rubber duck" at Amazon brought up so many great alternatives!
And.. we have a stuffed stingray named "Ray USA".

Carrie said...

You have some very good ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

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