It’s getting close to Christmas and time is short for last minute shopping. Gift giving can be simple and cherished. So why not give books? Here are some new book sets, pop-up books, uniquely packaged books, books that compile many stories, and classics that have been reissued. All books, except where noted, are good for all ages.

N mapsMaps, by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, is an amazing and over-sized children’s atlas that reveals continents and countries in a glorious way. Each area opens to double pages and is filled with hand-drawn features such as mountains, manmade structures, native people, insects and animals. All ages will pour over this book again and again. Each time the reader will learn more information about our earth. This is the perfect coffee table book!

The Animal Book: A collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and most Surprising – Animals on Earth, by Steve Jenkins, is a book rich with gorgeous illustrations done with Mr. Jenkins’ trademark use of bright cut and torn paper and packaged with interesting factual information. There are seven topical chapters and a few extinct animals are included. There is a wide variety of information detailed in both picture and facts that include animal families, senses and predators. The index of animals has small illustrations and notations that reflect size, habitat and diet. Be sure to check out the appended section found in the back of the book that relates Jenkins’ process of ideas, research and making the illustrations.

The Goods: Games and Activities for Big Kids, Little Kids and Medium-Size Kids, by McSweeny, will surely take your family back to the time when family entertainment consisted of playing games together. This large book is full of fun games, silly games, thinking games and brain joggers. There were many notable illustrator contributions making the overall design very enjoyable! The only thing you need to do is: make time to participate!

Walk this World, by Lotta Nieminen, takes you through several international cities with a full-spread on every page. The heavy board pages are filled with details unique to that city and colors, done with mixed medium, bring each city to life. The rhyming text is limited and every spread has many flaps to open and peek more into the life of the city. I only wish the author placed the name of each city on each sheet.

N journey1Journey, by Aaron Becker, is a wordless book that instantly brings to mind the classic “Harold and the Purple Crayon”. When a lonely girl uses a red crayon she is able to draw her way out of her location and into a magical world where her journey begins with adventure and excitement. The pen-and-ink and brilliant watercolors used fill each open double-page spread and showcases a girl who finally discovers friendship.

Baby Einstein: Alphabooks, by Disney Storybook artists, is actually a smallish box best suited for ages 1 to 5 with 26 mini board books that feature each of the letters in the alphabet. Some of the pictures representing each letter are painted and some are actual photographs.

Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks, would be the perfect book for the aspiring artist or animation designer. This box features nine small flip books with original animators that helped design classic Disney classics. One of the books features an iconic scene with Lady and the Tramp eating the same spaghetti noodle. By flipping the pages quickly, these scenes “come alive.”

Klutz Publishers has some new and uniquely packaged books to give girls fun activities. Toolbox Jewelry, by Kaitlyn Nichols, contains the materials and instruction booklet to help girls transform the hardware included into bracelets, necklaces and much more.

Nail Style Studio, by Eva Steele-Saccio, includes easy to follow instructions along with 25 designs and special peel-off polish. Girls are going to love this!

Fashionably Me: A Journal That’s Just My Style, by Karen Phillips, is a fill-in-the-blanks type of journal with each page decorated and full of color. Girls will be motivated to begin their journal writing with this book.

Simon & Schuster Publishing just reissued some favorite classics that are beautifully bound and packaged, each with the original brilliant illustrations sprinkled throughout:

The Yearling, by Marlorie Kinnan Rawlings. and illustrated by N. C. Wyeth, The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper, and illustrated by N. C. Wyeth, Watership Down, by Richard Adams, and illustrated by Aldo Galli and lastly Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and illustrated by N. C. Wyeth.

Special Edition Harry Potter Series, by J. K. Rowling, and illustrated by Mary Grandpre, is newly redesigned with new cover artwork by Kazu Kibuishi. Please note when lining up all seven books together a magical vista will appear.

N folktaleThe Folk Tale Classics Treasury, retold and illustrated by Paul Galdone, contains five favorite folk and fairy tales: The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, The Gingerbread Boy and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. This over-size book is lush with colorful pictures enlarged on every page. The attached ribbon bookmark and beautiful jacket makes this a perfect gift.

Spot the Dot, by David A. Carter, is another of his pop-up books that is sturdy with board pages so small hands can enjoy it. This smallish size book features colorful pages as youngsters, ages 2 to 5, search for the dot. There are flaps to lift, wheels to turn, tabs to pull and a giant pop-up at the end.

Transformers: The Ultimate, by Matthew Reinhart, showcases Reinhart as a paper engineer at his best – and he is one of the best in the pop-up industry! Every page has a different transformer that amazingly pops out and then just as amazingly goes back inside the book.

N mermaidThe Little Mermaid, by Robert Sabuda, is from another notable paper engineer. He takes the classic to see-worthy explosions off each page. The amount of detail that explodes off the pages are breathtaking. This book will be cherished by all!