In the lead up to Christmas, I’m showcasing a few bookish gift ideas for the family. Most of the kids I know – including my own – have more toys than they really need, which is why I often give books instead. Of course, my kids also have many more books than they really need – but that’s another story! (Geddit).
Today, some special book gift ideas for the 7-11 year old crew. These kids can be hard to please, and reading levels at this age can vary immensely. Try one of these books for something a little bit different!
Bumper Book of the Universe by Terry Denton
Penguin Australia RRP $16.99
Terry Denton is the hugely popular author and illustrator known by many kids for books like Gasp! and his input into the 13(+) Storey Treehouse series. His ‘bumper’ books are perfect for holiday reading, including mini stories along with mazes, puzzles, codes, quizzes and more. This time, the theme is the universe. Can you draw your own Big Bang? Make it BIG and BANGY! Genuine facts about the size, nature and purpose of the universe, from solar systems to the human body, are explored alongside a totally, lovably ridiculous subplot involving monkeys who want to take over the book…and then the world! Language, science and history lessons are cunningly disguised as underpants gags in Denton’s trademark style, which encourages kids to read even when they think they don’t like reading. Going on a long drive or flight these holidays? Take his book and a couple of pens! Sorted.
Our Australian Girl: The Alice Stories by Davina Bell
Penguin Australia RRP:$24.99
I’ve reviewed the Our Australian Girl series elsewhere on the blog. This series of adventure stories examines the lives of Australian girls at different points in history. Each girl features in a set of stories that paints a picture of a troubled period on the Australian timeline, from colonisation to World Wars. The girls are heroes within their own social contexts, but also demonstrate timeless school girl qualities like jealousy, friendship dilemmas, hobbies and a love for animals. The series mixes drama and humour, making history more comprehensible, relatable and ‘real’ for young readers. This latest addition to the series is a hardcover collection of 4 stories about Alice, who lives in the Australia of 1918. Alice wants to be a professional ballerina, but war is tearing her family apart and changing the world around her forever. These books may require some contextualisation from parents, although the language itself is not complicated. This special edition is beautifully presented, with the hard cover including a magnetic seal – like a diary. My Miss 7 also picked up on the fact that each girl is represented by a charm motif (see the cover design) adding to the ‘collectible’ nature of the books, which is always appealing to tweens.
Stand by for more Christmas gift ideas for the family in the coming weeks!
With thanks to Penguin Australia for my review copies. All opinions are, as always, my own.