Books are the perfect stocking stuffer (or Secret Santa gift!) – they’re good for your brain, they don’t take up loads of room, they’re perfect to enjoy together, and they don’t make noise (Hooray!). But how can you be sure to find that book that the kiddos will love as much as the grown ups? You don’t have time to look at the hundreds of new books each year to find those that are destined to become dog-eared favorites.  Luckily, we do!  And we have a list of 15 fabulous books that are new, funny & clever – all guaranteed to be new discoveries and kid (and parent) pleasers.

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5 New Books From Favorite Authors
These kid-tested, parent-approved authors all have brand new books out, just in time for the holidays!  And if any of these writers are new to you, you’re in for an extra holiday treat, while you catch up on their earlier work!

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
Fans of the Caldecott winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, rejoice!  This is another gorgeously illustrated book from the husband and wife team.  The story is a simple one of friendship and patience, and also about how we all have stories to tell.  As bear prepares to hibernate, it’s a perfect winter bedtime tale. (Ages 3-6)

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Fans of the sly and wry I Want My Hat Back will be thrilled to read another hat-theft adventure.  The simple pictures and easy story appeal to the littlest of kids, while the humor and suspense keep big kids (and parents) guessing and laughing. (Ages 3-8)

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, retold by Mo Willems
Can the man who invented Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny and Elephant & Piggie do no wrong?  Now Mo Willems re-tells the story of Goldilocks, with a twist.  A big twist.  A dinosaur sized twist…(Ages 4-10)

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
First off, if you haven’t read any other Jeffers books (especially The Incredible Book Eating Boy and Lost and Found), you’re in for a delightful surprise.  His books are sweet, heartfelt, and funny while capturing the innocence, stubbornness and lovingness of childhood.  In this book, Wilfred is having moose trouble.  But is Marcel really even his moose? (Ages 3-8)

The Game in the Dark by Herve Tullet
Kids love interactive books – a book that lets you do things seems to get extra hours of play.  Tullet’s books are masters of pulling kids right into the book: Press Here is pretty much an ipad book app in book form!  This new one is even better for bedtime, as it glows in the dark.  Package this with a nightlight (to get the pictures really glowing) and you’ve got a wonderful gift! (Ages 1-6)

Image courtesy of Ailene Ettinger

5 New Books That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud
Nothing makes kids return to a book as much as humor.  Make ‘em laugh, and they’re yours forever (or the duration of a read aloud!).  These books are certain to tickle the funny bone and leave them roaring for more.

I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black
What parent hasn’t head that chorus a few million times?  This book by comedian Black will have you and your kiddo in stitches.  A little girl is bored.  Then she meets a potato that tells her kids aren’t bored – they’re boring.  Well, who is going to let a spud tell them that?  So she goes to great lengths to show that tuber just how much fun she is, and has a blast in the process.  A good go-to book to thrust at kids who break out that tired refrain. (Ages 2-6)

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries by David Levinthal
It’s school kid shamus story time!  Put on those deerstalkers and see if your little ones can match wits with Detective Binky as he solves the crime of the fallen egg, tracks down the mysterious porridge eater, solves the case of the poison apple and more.  (Read this one aloud in your best hardboiled detective voice!) (Ages 4-8)

Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
It’s another fractured fairytale, this time starring three butt-kicking pigs.  There are loads of reasons to love this book – the charming rhymes, the cool illustrations, the humor, the setting (Japan) and action – but many parents will also appreciate that the book appeals to boys and girls, and that it’s actually sister pig who saves the day with a combination of smarts and karate acumen! (Ages 4-8)

The Amazing Hamweenie by Patty Bowman
Hamweenie is a cat with big dreams.  The only thing standing in his way from being the greatest star the world has ever seen?  His life is too good!  The little girl he lives with is too loving.  His treats are too yummy.  He’ll never escape the good life.  Simple, sweet and silly, the whole family will read this over and over, both to more closely examine the pictures, and to just have another reason to say “Hamweenie!” (Ages 3-6)

The Armpit of Doom by Kenn Nesbit
The natural heir to Shel Silverstein, Nesbit writes poems that are funny, silly, rollicking rhymes.  Another great thing about his poems (besides the fact that kids love them!) is that they grow with kids.  Little ones who don’t quite get all the humor still love the rhymes and silly words, and as they get older, they learn to appreciate the humor and situations. For instant gratification, check out his website, which features new poems all the time. (Ages 3-8)

Image courtesy of Meghan Rose

5 Just Plain Fabulous, Brand New Books
That title kind of says it all – these are books that you won’t mind reading again and again for years to come.  And isn’t that the best Christmas present to both you and your kids?

Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman
A little boy and a robot become friends.  But when the bot accidentally powers off, the boy can’t fix him with any of his standby remedies (applesauce, stories…).  The boy eventually goes to sleep, and the bot turns on to find that he can’t “fix” his new friends with any of his favorite things (oil, the instruction manual…).  But they find that two friends can be different, yet still love each other very much. (Ages 1-5)

Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue
Bedtime is one of those problems that every parent can relate to, and every year the world needs a new bedtime book.  And this one is a beauty, where kids and parents can linger over the illustrations while they wait to “get tired.”  It’s the story of a little girl who is not-at-all sleepy, and her uber-understanding parents, who talk her into being ready for sleep. (Ages 2-6)

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes, illustrated by Sanjay Patel
Talk about a wild re-telling.  Mix a classic Hindu legend, some pop-art style images, a kid with the head of an elephant who rides a giant mouse and one wicked sweet tooth and you’ve got a fabulous addition to any bookshelf. (Ages 4-8)

The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf
When the Insomniac family has to move 12 time zones away, they end up staying up all night and sleeping all day.  A mesmerizingly different take on bedtime, the whole family discovers the beauty and magic that happens when most of the world closes its eyes. (Ages 3-8)

If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen
One part Jetsons, one part Seuss, all parts inventive little kid!  This book is great on so many levels and provides interesting discussions and ideas for post-book fun.  After you see what this little boy imagines a house should be like, you can talk with your kids about what cool inventions they’d like to see in your house – and then go create them with blocks, LEGOs, tinker toys, or any other building sets you have at home!  (Ages 4-8)

What are your favorite books to give as gifts– new or old?  Tell us in the comment section below!

Written by: Meghan Rose