Celebrate summer and the joy of learning by gifting one or more of these great reads. We’ve got selections for all ages — from baby through to tweens. (Maybe even teens — but no guarantee with that age group liking anything, right?)
The Grumpy Frumpy Croissant
Croissant isn’t happy, and he’s taking it out on the breakfast plate! Toast, Scone and Milk think he’s being mean, but Croissant thinks they’re being mean to him. A sip of Milk and ten deep breaths help everyone calm down and talk to each other. The Grumpy Frumpy Croissant is a children’s picture book with fun and colorful hand-drawn illustrations that teach a lesson about misunderstandings any child can grasp. Croissant learns how to let anger pass, and that yelling hurts others’ feelings. It’s a simple story for parents to introduce ideas of managing feelings to children, illustrated by Korey Scott. The book also features a delicious croissant recipe that parents can make with their children, and full-page coloring activities featuring the characters in the book. (Kindle and e-reader compatible too!) Ages baby-11. From $7.99
The Teensy Weensy Virus Book and Song for Preschoolers
COVID-19 is a big deal — but with all that adults have to worry about, it’s easy to overlook the pandemic’s impact on children. This book provides a great way for parents and caregivers to introduce and reinforce the importance of safety measures to children, while giving kids the opportunity to ask questions and share their feelings. Embracing the latest science, The Teensy Weensy Virus pairs simple, kid-friendly explanations with bright, colorful illustrations, while offering additional resources for adults and an informative song to help lighten the mood as families engage with this serious topic. Ages 2-10. $10.27
Flip Flap Snap! Dinosaurs (plus, Farm Animals coming soon)
What do you get when you mix a T-rex with a triceratops? A Tyrannotops! Flip the vibrant mix-and-match flaps of Flip Flap Snap! Dinosaurs to come up with fun combinations that put a new twist on dinos. Every page spread has a huge pop-up that forms the dinosaurs’ mouths.
Farm animals are handled equally adorably in Flip Flap Snap! Farm (available July 13), the second of this pair of Abrams Appleseed board books that you won’t be able to choose between them. (We couldn’t!) The mix-and-match pages make for hilarious combinations and are sure to be a hit. Ages 3-5, P-K. $12.99
A New York Times bestseller from superstar duo Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham with a delightful kitty and unicorn story that celebrates the magic of friendship—and being exactly who you want to be. Ages 4-8, Grades P-3. $18.99
365 Words for Clever Kids
Help young readers discover a new and exciting word every day of the year with this book (publishing July 13), which is arranged into 52 seasonally themed spreads. The scenes, featuring characters you can follow through the book, provide a fun and supportive platform to introduce little readers to 365 big words. Compiled in consultation with a Harvard professor of early learning and development, each word in this book is explained in a panel beneath the artwork to aid understanding and inspire a love of language. Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3. $19.99
Code Breaker, Spy Hunter
In this picture book biography, young readers will learn all about Elizebeth Friedman (1892–1980), a brilliant American code breaker who smashed Nazi spy rings, took down gangsters, and created the CIA’s first cryptology unit. Her story came to light when her secret papers were finally declassified in 2015. From thwarting notorious rumrunners with only paper and pencil to “counter-spying into the minds and activities of” Nazis, Elizebeth held a pivotal role in the early days of US cryptology. No code was too challenging for her to crack, and Elizebeth’s work undoubtedly saved thousands of lives. Extensive back matter includes explanations of codes and ciphers, further information on cryptology, a bibliography, a timeline of Elizebeth’s life, plus secret messages for young readers to decode. Ages 6 and up. $18.99
Let’s Eat Snails!
Let’s Eat Snails! celebrates Italian-American culture through a story that introduces kids to its familial and culinary traditions. When Margie visits the Barcellona family home, she isn’t ready for what the Sicilian family is bringing to the table: snails! Margie embarks on a culinary adventure in harvesting, purifying, and cooking snails to find that they are, in fact, delizioso! Savor this heartwarming tale from author Barbara Barcellona-Smith’s childhood, delightfully illustrated by the Karen Lewis. Let’s Eat Snails! recognizes our differences and shows that what sets us apart also brings us together. $18.95
Dude Perfect: 101 Tricks, Tips, And Cool Stuff
The Dude Perfect team — Coby Cotton (Twin #1), Cory Cotton (Twin #2), Garrett Hilbert (The Purple Hoser), Cody Jones (The Tall Guy), and Tyler Toney (The Bearded Guy) — has amassed a fanatical YouTube following with over 55 million subscribers and more than 12 billion views, making it one of the world’s most-subscribed YouTube channels. Displaying never-before revealed tips and tricks through high-quality photos and Dude-worthy graphics, this book gives readers an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look into Dude Perfect’s favorite stunts, stats and personal lives. Ages 8-12. From $12.99
The Ship of Stolen Words
Sam has always relied on his magic word, “sorry,” to get him out of trouble. But when goblins steal his ability to apologize, Sam will have to enter the goblins’ world to get his “sorry” back. Nebula Award-winning author Fran Wilde is back with a new middle grade hardcover fantasy that’s sure to be a summer hit. Ages 10-14. $17.99
One of the pleasures of publishing a lifestyle magazine like Texas Lifestyle Magazine is that we receive invitations to attend events, travel and review products. We accept and write about a small fraction of these offers, always with a view to what would be interesting or helpful to our readers. You may notice that our reviews are generally positive, which is because we don’t enjoy writing negative ones, and therefore choose only to write about the things we can recommend without reservation.