Have some kids left on your shopping list? Here are some children's books that are sure to delight
The best books, by age group, according a McNally Robinson buyer
Are you holiday shopping for kids who already have enough toys?
A book may be a better option to delight, and even inspire, the young people in your life this holiday season.
Kathleen Bergen, buyer and sales assistant for the children's books department at McNally Robinson Booksellers, shared her top picks for kids of all ages with Weekend Morning Show host Nadia Kidwai.
Despite having to compete with the latest flashy video games and electronics, Bergen said the bookstore typically sees a bump in sales of children's books around this time of year.
"There's something so special about kids books. They're really whimsical and beautiful, and there's a quality to them that isn't found in adult books," she said.
"Maybe it's that they are for people who are still learning about the world. So they're a bit gentler although they don't really shy away from issues either."
Here are her suggestions, divided by age group, that are all by Manitoba authors:
Ages 3 to 6: The Reptile Club
The Reptile Club is a picture book by Maureen Fergus about a school club joined by real-life reptiles. The story was inspired by Fergus' real-life son, who was part of his very own reptile club complete with a secret password, Bergen said. (Hint: it's the sound a snake makes).
"It's quite a funny book. It's a really fun, visually illustrated book for kids and it also has some information about reptiles," Bergen said.
Ages 8 and over: The Land of Yesterday
The Land of Yesterday by K.A. Reynolds is a fantasy story about a girl named Cecelia whose little brother, Celadon, dies in a tragic accident, for which her family blames themselves.
Her mother decides to go off to the Land of Yesterday, a whimsical afterlife where Celadon's soul resides, "because she is so sad and she wants to see her son again," Bergen said. The book follows Cecilia as she goes after her mother to try and rescue her.
"It is really a story about grief but also about hope and healing," Bergen said.
Ages 10 and over: Surviving the City
Surviving the City is a graphic novel by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan that is set in Winnipeg and deals with some of the very real challenges some young people have to face in the city.
The book tells the story of two Indigenous teens, Miikwan, who is Anishinaabe, and Dez, who is Inninew, with references to missing and murdered Indigenous women and the child welfare system in Manitoba.
"It is a really beautiful, sort of tender look at the life of Indigenous women and girls in Winnipeg in Manitoba today," Bergen said.
"But above all, it's just a really beautiful story about friendship."
Ages 13 and over: Monsters
Monsters is by acclaimed Winnipeg author David Alexander Robertson, and is the second book in his The Reckoner trilogy. It centres around Cole Harper, who is struggling to settle into life in Wounded Sky First Nation.
Though he may have already stopped a serial killer, now he faces a mysterious creature who is lurking in the forest. Plus, trying to uncover the truth about his father's death, and dealing with the realities of high school.
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With files from the Weekend Morning Show