105 Ways to Give a Book

Ways to Wrap a Book

I love matching picture books with gifts because there are so many fun choices! For teens? Not so much. Also, teens are more likely to truly appreciate the gift of a book without something extra. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a little fun. Here are ten ways to wrap a book for teens and tweens.

Wrap your book up in solid paper and tie a cool scarf around it. I love this red and white striped one, which would look great with red or green paper. I did this myself with a jersey scarf two years ago — seen here...

For just a little something extra, make these headbands the ribbons around your wrapped package. Red and white dots for Christmas, blue and white for Hanukkah.

Try reusable shopping bags — wrap in one, attach another in its pouch as a gift. These bags fold up into little strawberries. Cute! Or tuck a book or two in an Aeropostle tote. Three things to know. One, pick the solids for teens and logos for tweens. Two, don’t pay over $15 because these things are almost always on sale. Three, don’t think you can use another brand of tote unless you are very confident in your teen tote radar. Believe me, I know of which I speak.

Wrap your book up in a clever Threadless t-shirt. Want a literary theme? They’ve got that covered. But my favorite idea has to be giving the book Zombies vs. Unicorns with this most perfect t-shirt design... and conflict solved. (Though if you prefer, you can search for shirts with zombie or unicorn themes.)

Wrap a cookbook in photocopies of your favorite recipes. A knitting book with your own favorite patterns. Or hey, wrap a book about finances in real money.

If you’re going the book gift card route, give it in a Fair Trade recycled candy wrapper coin purse.

Maybe you just want to attach a little something to the gift for fun. I suggest a keychain, an ornament, bangle-bracelets, locker magnets, or lip gloss. You can find these online, but personally, I go to the very back of Claire’s stores where they often have incredible discounts on such little things. Often they will have a 10 items for $10 deal. We've found nice things that were originally priced at ten dollars!

Don’t have the time or energy to deal with the mall? Find a little booklight to tie on the package. I like the look of this one and in black it’s only $6. Good deal.

Give a magazine subscription with a recycled paper bead necklace. Write to WeBeadAgain@gmail.com to order a $12, sixteen-inch necklace made with beads from magazine pages. Prefer a favorite color? I’ve got that too. Yes, these are mine. I make them myself and my craft show selling has not been going well. Nor have I had the time to get my Etsy store set up, or to advertise it. But drop me a line and I’d be happy to send you a necklace of text beads like these or alternated with black paper beads. Or really any color you want.

Look to the 105 Ways to Give a Book: A Holiday Rerun for more ideas. And if you want to share your pairings or wrappings, I’d be more than happy to include them in my master list — coming soon!

(We’ll be back to the ABC Giveaway soon. I promise!)

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Ways to Give a Book: 2010 Picture Book Edition

Originally, I had hoped to have this done this morning for Cyber Monday, but once I started finding matches for 2010 picture books, I just couldn’t stop. With the forty-five options listed here, I have one hundred fifty ways to give a book. See the previous list of 105 Ways to Give a Book if you can’t find the perfect choice in this alphabetical list of picture books published this year — all MotherReader-approved. Enjoy!
  1. ABC, Baby Me! board book with letter links.
  2. Art and Max or Bridget’s Beret with a paint set.
  3. April and Esme, Tooth Fairies with a make-your-own tooth fairy box.
  4. Bats at the Ballgame with a bat and ball.
  5. A Bedtime for Bear with a personalized pillowcase.
  6. Big Red Lollipop with a big lollipop from the candy store.
  7. Brontorina or Miss Tutu’s Star with fancy tutu or two… two.
  8. Chalk with 3-D sidewalk chalk.
  9. The Cow Loves Cookies with a cookie counting game.
  10. Dancing Feet with Fisher Price: Disco Dance Party CD.
  11. Disappearing Desmond with a Look & Find Puzzle.
  12. Dog Loves Books with a bookstore gift card.
  13. Drum City with an old-time tin drum.
  14. Elephant and Piggie: We Are in a Book with the stuffed animals.
  15. Elsie’s Bird with a singing bird music box.
  16. Farm with Lace and Trace Farm Set.
  17. Feeding the Sheep with a wool sweater.
  18. Goal! with a soccer ball and a donation to Project Play.
  19. Goodnight, Little Monster with an Ugly Doll.
  20. Hot Rod Hamster with a Zhu Zhu pet hamster.
  21. I Don’t Want a Cool Cat with cat card game.
  22. Instructions with a book of classic fairy tales.
  23. Jackie’s Gift with both Hanukah gelt and chocolate Santas.
  24. Kindergarten Diary with fun school supplies.
  25. Ladybug Girl book with wings and antennae.
  26. Maneki Neko: the Tale of the Beckoning Cat with a lucky cat bank.
  27. A Night on the Range with a cowboy hat.
  28. The Nutcracker with tickets to a local performance.
  29. Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon with a cooking set.
  30. Pigs to the Rescue with the Pass the Pigs game.
  31. Pink Me Up! with pink clothes, headbands, or jewelry.
  32. The Pirate’s Guide to First Grade with pirate gear.
  33. The Quiet Book with homemade coupons for some quiet time together — coloring, snuggling, or making a wish.
  34. How Rocket Learned to Read with beginning reader books.
  35. Somewhere So Sleepy board book with Safari Security blankets (three of the animals are pictured in the book).
  36. Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale or Moon Dreams with glow-in-the-dark moon and stars — or go high tech with this Moon in my Room.
  37. The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale with Classic Tinkertoy Construction set.
  38. The Tree House with Littlest Pet Shop brown bear and polar bear.
  39. Bear in Underwear with underwear.
  40. The Village Garage with toy trucks.
  41. Water, Weed, and Wait with gardening tools.
  42. What If? with a beach ball.
  43. An Xmas book — maybe a personal favorite — with a special ornament.
  44. Yuck! That’s Not a Monster! with the Moody Monsters Memory Game.
  45. Zero with magnetic numbers.
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

105 Ways to Give a Book: A Holiday Rerun

For all of your holiday shopping needs, here are 105 Ways to Give a Book — 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 already have given several ideas for 2010 picture books within my ABC Giveaway. Oh, and by the way, if you won either of the sets of twenty-five picture books I’m giving away, you’d have an awful lot of presents on hand. The info for that giveaway is here.

  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 word 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 night light.
  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 a cute dragon.
  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 Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum 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 special 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's Special 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 toe socks.
  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: Cabin Fever 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 or The World According to Humphrey with a hamster?
  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 companion books Goth Girl Rising and 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 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 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...)
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Cybils Nominees ABC Giveaway: The Letter I

I’ve decided not have ABC Giveaway posts on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, but I will be reposting my 105 Ways to Give a Book list — so come by and do your holiday online shopping with a little help from your MotherReader.

I Dream of an Elephant
by Ami Rubinger

I Dream of an ElephantColor is the name of the game in this book. Well, color and rhyme. Lively elephants dance through the pages with participatory rhymes like, “Jumping and playing the whole morning through! I dream of an elephant whose color is...” Yeah, just keep yourself from saying “Blue!” in your head. The pages also give a huge hint as to what color is requested, which makes this a better book for toddlers. The one small surprise is how the author will handle the orange elephant, since it is notably hard to work the phrase “door hinge” at the end of a rhyme. The illustrations are cute and colorful, as one might expect for a book about colors, and a fun choice for storytime or a bedtime read.

Okay, this book is a bit of cheat for a letter I storytime, but it was nice to be able to include a book of colors and a book that could also be used for E (for elephant). Also, I’m reviewing the books that I was sent for the Cybils — as opposed to those I borrowed from the library — so that I am able to give them away. With this in mind, I’ll direct you to another title for older kids and maybe adults, and for possible gift-giving, and that is Instructions, by Neil Gaiman. You may have read his poem that offers instructions based on fairy tales — instructions that have meaning in real life. “Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before...” Give this with a book of classic fairy tales. You know what? Let’s stop for a moment before the rest of “The Letter I” for the video, which includes the entire book and the poem as read by Neil Gaiman. You’re welcome.

The Letter I

Book: Ish, by Peter H. Reynolds

Book: Incredible Me! by Kathi Appelt

Song: “What Begins with I?”
(to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)

What begins with I? What begins with I?
We all know, we’ll tell you so.
What begins with I?

Ice begins with I...
Islands begins with I...
Book: My Name Is Not Isabella, by Jennifer Fosberry

Book: An Island in the Sun, by Stella Blackstone

Song: “The Waves on the Island”
(to the tune of “The Wheels On the Bus”)

The waves on the island go up and down...
The crabs on the island crawl back and forth...
The clams on the island will open and shut...
the lobsters on the island go snap, snap, snap...
(Hand motions can follow the directions of the song.)
Alternate Books: Iggy Peck, Architect, by Andrea Beaty; Isla, by Arthur Doros; and Ice Cream Bear, by Jez Alborough.

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Cybils Nominees ABC Giveaway: The Letter H

Alpha Oops!: H is for Halloween
by Alethea Kontis, illustrated by Bob Kolar

Alpha Oops!: H is for HalloweenYes, it’s an ABC book, but not in alphabetical order. This time H goes first to set the stage — and stage would be the right word here — for Halloween words. The letters themselves portray the words or concepts, so you’ll find the letter P with an eyepatch and sword and D with horns and forked tail (see, they’re a pirate and a devil!). Along with the spooky, Halloween-themed words, the reader enjoys some backstage banter among the characters. Bright illustrations make this fun to share, but know your audience before you blurt out “U for Undead.” Just fair warning.

It feels strange to review a Halloween book just before Thanksgiving, but for the purposes of the ABC Giveaway I wanted to put together a mini-library for year-round entertainment. Plus, if you start ABC Storytime at the beginning of a school year, you will probably hit the letter H around Halloween, so it works. Moving on.
Yeah, there is no easy way to give this book as a gift this holiday season, so just check out 105 other ways to give a book.
The Letter H

Book: Harry’s Home, by Catherine and Lawrence Anholt

Fingerplay: “Houses”
Here is a nest for robin
(Cup your hands.)
Here is a hive for bee
(Put your fists together.)
Here is a hold for bunny
(Form a circle with your hands.)
And here is a house for me.
(Form a peak with your hands.)
Book: Happy Bees, by Al Yorinks

Song: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

Book: I Call My Hand Gentle, by Amanda Haan

Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”

Book: Hamsters to the Rescue, by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Rhyme: “Hickory Dickory Dock”
Hickory, Dickory Dock
The hamster ran up the clock.
The clock struck one
And down he run.
Hickory, Dickory Dock.
(I tell them I’m replacing the traditional mouse with a hamster.)
Alternate Books: Little Hoot, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; Hiding Hoover, by Elise Broach; Hungry Hen, by Richard Waring
Go here for more on how to win twenty-five picture books in the ABC Giveaway.
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Cybils Nominees ABC Giveaway: The Letter G

Goodnight, Little Monster
by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Bonnie Leick

Goodnight, Little MonsterThis is a typical bedtime book with bath, snack, and favorite toy in bed. Well, typical except for the fact that bath includes a debugging, snack is worm juice — now with fresh worms! — and monster’s favorite lovely is a stuffed slug. The cuteness of the little monster himself provides a great contrast to the creepier, gross-out elements tucked into the illustrations — like the bowl of “candy” that is instead... um, eyeballs. The rhymes make for a fun read-aloud, though the boys will be scrambling over each other to get a closer view of the pictures. Also a fun and different bedtime book for your own little monster.
Consider giving this book with an Ugly Doll — this is just one of the many weird-cute varieties — or look for 105 other ways to give a book.
The Letter G

Book: Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae

Book: Gorilla! Gorilla! by Jeanne Willis

Song: “What Begins With G?”
(to the tune of Farmer in the Dell)
What begins with G?
What begins with G?
We all know, we’ll tell you so.
What begins with G.

Giraffe begins with G...
Gorilla begins with G...
Girl begins with G...
Book: The Three Silly Girls Grubb, by John and Ann Hassett or Goldilocks and the Three Bears, by James Marshall

Book: Grandmother Winter, by Phyllis Root

Action Rhyme: “Grandma’s Glasses”
These are Grandma’s glasses.
This in Grandma’s hat
This is the way she folds her hands.
And lays them in her lap.
Here are Grandpa’s glasses
And here is Grandpa’s hat,
And here’s the way he folds his arms
And takes a little nap.
(Add motions to the rhyme — dainty for Grandma, bigger for Grandpa.)
Book: The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldon
Go here for more on how to win twenty-five picture books in the ABC Giveaway.
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.