Note: I was sent products for inclusion in my Holiday Gift Guide. There are some affiliate links in this article.
My holiday gift guide has book recommendations for all ages. Why do I love giving books as gifts during the holidays? Books can transport you to another place and time, plus expand the vocabulary of a young reader! I also have a couple of items for the health & wellness enthusiast, as well as a unique idea for gift wrapping!
For Kids Ages 4-9:
Roma Downey, Emmy-nominated actress and New York Times bestselling author has written a children’s book inspired by her own story of losing her mother when she was just ten years old and the comfort her father brought her. Years later, when Downey left home for college, her father pointed to the full moon and told her, “Whenever you feel alone, always look into the night sky, and you’ll be reminded of how much I love you. I’ll leave a message for you in the moon.” That simple comfort remains with Downey today, and now she is passing it on to parents and children alike.
The ABCs of Asian American History is an inclusive compilation of the holidays, famous figures, traditional dress, cuisine, and other interesting facts from nineteen Asian American groups (as defined by the 2020 United States Census), including Korean Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Pakistani Americans, Japanese Americans, Hmong Americans, and more.
This is a great book for kids ages five and up! The book explores Asian Americans in the US cultural landscape, from the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal to the first Indian American woman to travel to space, as well as the names of famous Asian American inventors, artists, and political leaders. Kids will also learn about traditions, from Diwali to Chinese New Year; music and fashion styles, from the tabla to the kimono; and signature dishes, like laksa and pho, giving greater visibility to Asian Americans for the youngest of learners.
Focusing on themes of social justice, immigrant rights, labor rights, and the dignity of working people, I’m Gonna Paint offers picture book readers a glimpse into the life of visionary folk artist and labor organizer Ralph Fasanella. Anne Broyles taps into Ralph’s indomitable spirit to show his evolution as an artist, while Victoria Tentler-Krylov’s energetic art leaps off the page with wonder and homages to Ralph’s style.
Where’s Waldo? meets My Neighbor Totoro in this highly detailed and adorably illustrated counting book. 100 floors. 100 new friends. 100 stories. Readers will open this towering book vertically to climb and count with Tochi as he tries to discover who lives at the top of a strange, magical house. Each floor features its own mini story as the reader counts with Tochi from 1 to 100. Packed with fun, hidden details, young readers will discover something new with every read.
In 1787, aspiring yet unknown composer Ludwig van Beethoven arrives at young Nannette Stein’s home. What follows is a decades-long friendship that persists whether life hits a low or high note. Acclaimed nonfiction writer Laurie Lawlor deftly depicts how these two fascinating friends—a composer with hearing loss and a woman who became an innovative piano maker in a time that discouraged female entrepreneurship—fought the odds and worked together in perfect harmony. This entertaining nonfiction picture book explores musical history AND herstory.
For the Middle-Grade Reader:
It’s 2008, and ten-year-old Montgomery “Monty” Carver is out to find the origin of a golden key found in his South Side Chicago community—which may or may not host the next Olympic games, or supply the next President of the United States, or…have a potential ghost hanging around. Join young Monty as he embarks on a heartwarming mystery adventure through the vibrant Southside community of Washington Park.
Montgomery and the Case of the Golden Key is a terrific story for middle-grade mystery enthusiasts and for those who are a kid at heart! Check out my mini Q&A with the author here.
For the Japanese Pop Culture Fan:
Embark on an adorable manga-style illustrated adventure to Japan and its unique neighborhoods, delicious street food, and more in this one-of-a-kind travel guide and memoir. The book is filled with cute illustrations, funny commentary, and collages of memorabilia. This delightful travelogue will transport you to Japan!
For the High School Senior:
This book is a must-read for college-bound high school seniors, new graduates and people of all ages. Having been the principal of four separate high schools, Dr. Shear has compiled over 70 life lessons in this book. You’ll gain insights into how to be a better, happier person in life.
For the Foodie:
Do you love a good charcuterie platter? I can’t resist a yummy snack board and if you’re like me and shop at Trader Joe’s® on a weekly basis, then this is the perfect cookbook for you!
With The I Love Trader Joe’s® Snack Boards Cookbook, you won’t find your average cheese boards—instead, you’ll learn to make 50 scrumptious recipes for a variety of meals and snacks to share on platters or boards. From quick and easy butter boards to affordable lunch platters and elaborate holiday spreads, you’ll be amazed by all the creative recipes you can make after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s®!
For the Artist:
Personalize your gift wrapping with custom drawings! You’ve read how Scribble Creativity can transform your children’s artwork into a keepsake book. Now you can customize your wrapping paper with your kid’s drawings! I took my daughter’s dog drawing, uploaded it to the Scribble platform and then picked out a red gift wrap color. This is perfect for birthday gifts, holiday gifts or “just because.”
For the Health & Wellness Fan:
I first learned about GiBoard while at IDEA World in Los Angeles. This fun and challenging balance trainer is safe for all ages.
Take fitness to the next level by using the GiBoard Balance Trainer to do push-ups, side planks, balance exercises and more! You can find a variety of workout videos on GiBoard’s website and on YouTube.
Staying hydrated is important and while it’s tempting to drink coffees and lattes during the winter months, it’s especially important to drink water throughout the day. I’ve found that hydration is easy with Cirkul!
Cirkul is an innovative bottle that allows you to flavor your water sip by sip. You can go from drinking plain water, to drinking your new favorite beverage, all with the turn of a dial. On a standard setting the flavor cartridges (also known as Sips) last roughly 6 full 22oz bottles of water. There are over 100 unique flavors and contain zero calories, zero sugar and have no artificial flavors.
So, there you have it! This is my holiday gift guide that’s great not just for Christmas, but year-round! Happy shopping…
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I received complimentary samples which helped facilitate this review. All images are my own unless otherwise noted. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.