105 Ways to Give a Book

105 Ways to Give a Book

For all of your holiday shopping needs, here are 105 Ways to Give a Book — now updated and grouped by (approximate) age. Within categories, the books are generally in order, with newer books first. Sometimes I pick up the paperback version in that calculation, and sometimes not. Keeps it interesting. Will I be doing more book matches? I doubt that I’ll be able to resist.

  1. Give an experience like a trip to a zoo, aquarium, museum, aviary, arena, or city. Put the passes, tickets, or homemade gift certificate with a relevant book to make it feel more tangible.
  2. Take a road trip to a state or national park with Could You? Would You? or Ask Me so you can use the driving time to ask each other the interesting questions from the book.
  3. Give a book with a movie theater gift card to see the upcoming film.
  4. Give a book with a gift card to rent the movie. Include a box of microwave popcorn.
  5. Give One Hen — How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference with a loan to Kiva or a donation to Heifer International to buy chicks. For more charity and book matches, look to this list from Abby the Librarian.
  6. Pair any book with another book from the bargain section, maybe something silly or crafty or gimmicky.
  7. Pair a detective book with a magnifying glass.
  8. Match poetry books with poetry beads or magnetic poetry.
  9. Pair a picture book with a related stuffed animal.
  10. Give an interesting, insightful book with a restaurant gift card and a date to discuss the book together over a meal.
  1. Give Jeremy Draws a Monster with a pack of fat crayons and a stack of copy paper from an office supply store.
  2. Pair The Curious Garden with gardening tools and seeds.
  3. What else can go with Monkey With A Tool Belt and the newer Monkey With A Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem but a tool belt?
  4. Pair Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of the Girl Who Floated) with a kite.
  5. Give Mighty Casey with a bat and ball. You can throw in a coupon book for practice sessions.
  6. Take a bedtime book like The Sleepy Little Alphabet or At Night and add a personalized pillow.
  7. Pair Bubble Trouble with touchable bubbles.
  8. Give little superheroes SuperHero ABC along with a superhero cape.
  9. Pair Monsters on Machines or Building with Dad with toy construction vehicles.
  10. Who can resist that match-up of Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek with Lincoln Logs?
  11. Give your little dragon-lover Hush Little Dragon or Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood with the cutest dragon ever.
  12. Is there a doctor in the house? There will be with picture book Doctor Ted along with a doctor kit.
  13. Future firefighter instead? Give Firefighter Ted along with Firefighters A to Z and firefighter gear.
  14. Pair picture book stunner How I Learned Geography with an inflatable globe.
  15. What else can go with Lester Fizz, Bubble Gum Artist other than gum — and perhaps an early apology to the parents.
  16. Cat lovers can enjoy picture books Grumpy Cat, Katie Loves the Kittens, and Wabi Sabi with a cat card game.
  17. Inspire young builders with Iggy Peck, Architect and a building set.
  18. Nature lovers will enjoy Birdsongs along with a guidebook like Backyard Birds and some binoculars.
  19. For more nature, pair Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly with a butterfly garden kit.
  20. Give your favorite girly-girl Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy with dress-up jewelry and/or a fancy poodle.
  21. Give your rough little boy Pirates Don’t Change Diapers along with genuine pirate gear.
  22. Take sweet picture book Lissy’s Friends and pair it with an origami kit.
  23. Picture books The Zoo or Pssst! would be perfect with a zoo animal collection or game.
  24. Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy is a book that deserves its own bathrobe and/or bubble bath.
  25. Looking for something a little different? Maybe Cowboy and Octopus with a cowboy hat or an octopus.
  26. Take a special book, like Wow! It Sure is Good to Be You (which is about an aunt loving her far-away niece), and make a CD recording of you reading it.
  27. Give picture book The Moon with a flashlight and a promise for a nighttime walk or two.
  28. Pair Duck and Goose with a bright spotted ball (fans will know why).
  29. The funny wordless book Once Upon a Banana is a perfect fit with a stuffed monkey — but show your sense of humor by throwing a banana into the gift bag.
  30. Give The Snow Globe Family with a snow globe.
  31. Pair Lilly’s Big Day with dress-up clothes.
  32. Pair Bubble Bath Pirates or Beasty Bath with a cool rubber duck, even a huge rubber duck.
  33. Give the wonderful The Day the Babies Crawled Away with a baby doll.
  34. Everyone needs Mo Willems’ book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, maybe adding a toy bus and a cargo truck.
  35. Pair classic A Bargain For Frances with a tea set.
Early Elementary
  1. Pair a nonfiction book about dinosaurs, like Boy! Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, with a bunch of plastic ones.
  2. Expand the idea of giving with Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival and a Pawsitively New Orleans T-shirt, and throw in some Mardi Gras beads.
  3. Pair silly beginning reader book The Monster in the Backpack with a cute backpack (monster additional).
  4. Give beginning reader books Amazing Sharks! and Chomp! A Book About Sharks for beginning readers and throw in a shark on a stick.
  5. Take to the ice with book choices Katie Kazoo, On Thin Ice and passes to the local ice-skating rink.
  6. Pair Toys Go Out with a red bouncy ball, or a stuffed stingray or buffalo.
  7. Pair Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs with a kazoo.
  8. Give early chapter book series books Ella the Rose Fairy or Rose and the Delicious Secret with a lovely Rose Fairy.
  9. Blooming fashionistas will appreciate Paper Fashions (Klutz) (all thirty-five Amazon reviews gave five stars!) along with Fashion Kitty and the Unlikely Hero.
  10. Combine sweet Jenny and the Cat Club with a red scarf (don’t worry if it’s too long — so is Jenny’s) and a black cat.
  1. Pair Operation YES! with green army men.
  2. Be a hero and give Percy Jackson and the Olympians Boxed Set with Heros, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths.
  3. Pair fantasy book Savvy with with an assortment of temporary or henna tattoos.
  4. Give What the World Eats with a promise for an international dinner out or in.
  5. Pair Every Soul a Star with The Kids Book of the Night Sky and plan a date to look at the stars together.
  6. You can’t go wrong with the funny poems and outstanding art in Frankenstein Takes the Cake along with a cake-baking session, followed by reading the book together. As a matter of fact, throw in Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and make a whole day — and a meal — of it.
  7. Speaking of the amazing Adam Rex, give the hilarious book The True Meaning of Smekday with a the related T-shirt Regarding Stickyfish Teams, I Favor the Bigfield Fighting Koobish.
  8. For business-minded kids, pair The Lemonade War with a coin counter bank.
  9. All the elementary school kids will love The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but you can pair it with tin wind-up toys for extra flair.
  10. Give Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little with um, Stuart Little.
  11. Give Kimchi & Calamari with a promise for a dinner out Korean style, or Italian style, or both.
  12. Wrap up A Crooked Kind of Perfect with excellent socks like those on the cover.
  13. Perhaps Fabulous Hair with a collection of hair accessories will make someone smile.
  14. 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 with fun pens.
  15. For a boy, how about Diary of a Wimpy Kid with a the Do It Yourself Journal?
  16. Or maybe Here Be Monsters! with a Nightmare Snatcher Journal.
  17. Have fun with Clarice Bean Spells Trouble and a game of Scrabble.
  18. Pair Phineas MacGuire... Erupts! with a science kit, or the next book in the series, Phineas MacGuire... Gets Slimed! with the slime science kit.
  19. Look to fantastic nonfiction, giving 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.
  20. Give a drawing book like Draw 50 Airplanes, Aircrafts, and Spaceships or Draw 50 Cats with a couple of nice sketch pads.
  21. Pair a spy-themed book like Harriet the Spy (chapter book) or The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy (nonfiction) with rear-view sunglasses and/or a fingerprint kit.
  22. Bigger girls like stuffed animals too. How about Hoot with an owl, The World According to Humphrey with a hamster, or Room With a Zoo with a puppy?
  23. Select a magic book and fun magic tricks.
  24. Pair The Crafty Diva’s D. I. Y. Stylebook: A Grrrl’s Guide to Cool Creations You Can Make, Show Off, and Share with a gift card to a local craft store, and maybe some shopping and crafting time together.
  25. Match the book and the movie, like The Spiderwick Chronicles with the DVD.
  26. Pair a theme book like Katie and the Mustang with a horse charm and a satin cord from a craft store.
  27. Or maybe Fairy Realm with a charm bracelet.
  28. Give the first books of The Series of Unfortunate Events with a brass telescope.
  29. Pair The Art Book for Children with watercolor paints or an art set.
  30. Give Poetry Speaks to Children with hot chocolate, a mug, and a gift certificate for time to read it together.
  1. Give the new book Goth Girl Rising with the first book, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl , and maybe throw in How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains.
  2. Pair a book that you and a teen can enjoy with a gift card to Starbucks and a promise to talk about the book over coffee. Some suggestions? Liar, Candor, or The Adoration of Jenna Fox have interesting issues. Geektastic could open up conversations about your inner geek.
  3. Give Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer and Faeries of Dreamdark: Silksinger with a fairy diary.
  4. Rock out with Beige along with a mix CD of the songs in the chapter titles (or an iTunes gift card).
  5. Buy a teen My Life the Musical or Dramarama along with tickets to a show.
  6. Pair House of Dance with ballroom dance lessons.
  7. Give delicious book A La Carte with personal cooking lessons.
  8. Match casino gambling themed Drop with a deck of cards and a family game of penny poker or blackjack.
  9. Pair King Dork with a CD of The Mr. T Experience.
  10. Treat a tween to Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf along with pink nail polish, lipstick, post-it notes, and special bubble bath, as mentioned in the book.
  11. Pair Knitgrrl: Learn to Knit With 15 Fun And Funky Projects and/or Chicks with Sticks: It’s a Purl Thing with yarn, knitting needles, and a promise for some lessons.
  12. Give Ductigami: The Art of Tape with... well, rolls of duct tape.
  1. Give nonfiction book Fruitless Fall with real honey from a whole foods store.
  2. Buy two copies of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World  — one for you, one for a friend — and make a lunch date to talk about the book and one’s personal quest for happiness.
  3. Pair Life is Sweet with chocolate, any kind.
  4. Give This I Believe II with the first book This I Believe and a journal to capture great revelations of inner truth.
  5. Recapture that exciting election year with Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope or Life’s The American Journey of Barack Obama and throw in an Obama finger puppet just for fun.
  6. Match travel memoir-themed books with the... um, drink of the region. Like In a Sunburned County with Yellow Tail wine from Australia or The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific with coconut rum. (Adults only for this gift, obviously.)
  7. Colbert fans and soon-to-be converts need I Am America (And So Can You) along with the greatest gift of all, the DVD A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All.
  8. Give The Devil Wears Prada, Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office, and This Little Piggy Went to Prada in a Prada bag (from eBay! C’mon, a girl can dream...)
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post are affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.


Terry Doherty said...

Thanks, Pam! These are such wonderful ideas and I can't imagine how much work went into making it so easy for us.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Holy wow, that's a list! Thanks. I always look forward to this.

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

What a lot of work! Thanks so much for gathering this - it's a FANTASTIC resource!

Brimful Curiosities said...

My daughter is receiving a FurReal Friends Lulu My Cuddlin Kitty Cat from Santa. I have a feeling he is also bringing her the book "There Are Cats in This Book" by Viviane Schwarz. Even Santa knows to pair a book with a gift!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful ideas - thanks! I'm going to put a couple of them on my list right now.

My personal favorite is the last one. Minus the books.

Sara said...

Thank you, Pam, for doing all the hard thinking for me! Now if only you would come over and wrap all my presents, too. :)

And thank you so much for mentioning Operation Yes paired with little green army men. Whenever I bring any LGM to a signing, the kids (and adults) want to play with them..

Margo T said...

Thanks so much for your recommendation of the Geography of Bliss--I wasn't familiar with it but immediately ordered it for myself! I was fortunate enough to spend a year traveling in Europe after college on a Watson fellowship and it brought back many memories of those days sitting in cafes and talking to strangers...the book not only made me laugh out loud but also made me think, two attributes that don't always go together!

Kirby Larson said...

What a complete list! But I couldn't resist adding one suggestion: a copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, along with a homemade pie (preferably not the potato peel variety).

Playing by the book said...

This is such a great list :-) My girls are each getting a quilt from me with various owl fabrics in, and the youngest one is getting Zzzzz: A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na to go with her quilt, whilst my soon to be 5 year old is getting Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr. The older one is also getting a load of moon themed lego which I'm pairing up with Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca.

Sarah Stevenson said...

These are always great, Pam! I'm going to put up a post on the Cybils blog about this...

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

What a fun and awesome list! I'm going to link to it on my Ink Spells blog.

Deb Lund said...

Wow! You really put your heart into this one. Thanks so much for this amazing resource! I'll be sending parents your way. I'm just shaking my head at the time it must have taken to do this. You're a sweetheart.

Kirsty said...

Fantastic post and some great ideas! I've just posted the link back to your blog on our FB page, I think a lot of our readers will love this.

Jean Reidy said...

I've used at lease 5 if these ideas so far. Hoping to use 100 more.

Unknown said...

Thank you for grate inspiration.


Miss K said...

What an excellent resource...I'm so happy I found it!