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Oregon Family Magazine

Duck Store's Literary Duck Children's Book Gift Ideas

12/16/2010 ● By Anonymous
The Literary Duck staff at the Duck Store got together to pick some of their favorites for holiday gift ideas for the kids on your holiday list.

Stocking Stuffers:

Mad Libs -- Roger Price

Just for fun! Fill in the blanks and read the silly silly story!

Beatrix Potter Classic Stories, mini books – Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit, Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck, Tale of Miss Tiggy Winkle, etc.)

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of "The Tales of Peter Rabbit, " all 23 of Beatrix Potter's original tales are now available in small special editions, which take the very first printings of Potter's works as their guide, and introduces favorite characters to a new generation. Full-color illustrations. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

Indestructibles – chew proof, rip proof, nontoxic, 100% washable baby books!

Here is a book babies can really sink their gums into. Built for the way babies read, Indestructibles are printed on an amazing paperlike material that can't be ripped, torn, or punctured. Indestructibles are 100 percent safe and nontoxic, and if they get too funky, just throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland -- Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by Camille Rose Garcia

Since its publication in 1865, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has delighted the world with a wildly imaginative and unforgettable journey, inspiring children of all ages to suspend disbelief and follow Alice into her fantasy worlds. This new gift edition presents Carroll's tale fully unabridged with a unique visual interpretation by renowned artist Camille Rose Garcia. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

Castle in the Attic – Elizabeth Winthrop

One of the classic fantastical adventures of all time!

"William has just received the best present of his life—an old, real-looking stone and wooden model of a castle, with a drawbridge, a moat, and a fingerhigh knight to guard the gates. It’s the mysterious castle his housekeeper has told him about, and even though William is sad she’s leaving, now the castle is his! William can’t wait to play with the castle—he’s certain there’s something magical about it. And sure enough, when he picks up the tiny silver knight, it comes alive in his hand! Sir Simon tells William a mighty story of wild sorcery, wizards, and magic. And suddenly William is off on a fantastic quest to another land and another time—where a fiery dragon and an evil wizard are waiting to do battle. . . . "An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice (blurb from publishers marketing)

Puff the Magic Dragon (Book with CD) – Peter Yarrow

"Puff, the Magic Dragon" is one of the most beloved songs ever written… Now, this gorgeous multimedia set is available in paperback… It's as magical as ever, with Eric Puybaret's stunning illustrations and the exclusive CD featuring "Puff" and other songs performed by Peter Yarrow, his daughter Bethany, and cellist Rufus Cappadocia. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

For Babies and Toddlers:

Goodnight Oregon board book – Dan McCarthy

Children's book with thick, chunky pages. Simple message greeting many of the recognizable locations and sites throughout the state, moving from morning to night: from "Good morning, Pacific Ocean and Haystack Rock" past the Portland rose gardens, Crater Lake, the Cascades, Multnomah Falls, Smith Rock State Park, OMSI, the Pendleton Round-Up and on and on.  Great art work. 20 pages.

Heads – Matthew Van Fleet

This touch-and-feel companion to Van Fleet's bestselling Tails (2003) is interactive even before page one, with a pull-tab cover in which animals move letters into place to spell out the title. The book is stuffed with myriad textures, detailed watercolor illustrations, and playful rhymes. (Publishers Weekly)

Picture Books:

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters – President Barack Obama

In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America's children.

Breathtaking, evocative illustrations by award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans and the innocence and promise of childhood.

This beautiful book celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans, from our nation's founders to generations to come. It is about the potential within each of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths. It is a treasure to cherish with your family forever. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

Olivia Goes to Venice – Ian Falconer

In her first brand-new adventure in three years, Olivia takes her discerning eye for style to beautiful Venice on a family vacation that involves dodging pigeons in the Piazza San Marco and "barely" staying afloat in a gondola. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

It’s a Book – Lane Smith

This wickedly funny picture book has only three characters: a monkey, a mouse, and a donkey, the last of whom goes by a different name, and it's not hard to see why. Poor Monkey is trying to read, but a jackass with a laptop keeps interrupting him with puzzled questions about the object he's absorbed in: "What do you have there?"

The conversation (the text is all dialogue) occurs in a sleek, minimalistic living room environment, where design elements such as varying fonts and computer-generated onomatopoeia add to the collision of techno and non-.

By process of elimination Jackass determines what Monkey's object does not do: tweet, text, blog, scroll down, or require a password. Finally he rips it from fuming Monkey's stylized paws -- only to get completely caught up in the story.

Kids will enjoy feeling superior to the donkey, who's still ignorant enough to call out, "Don't worry, I'll charge it up when I'm done!" And older ones will relish the naughty punch line -- Mouse pops out from under Monkey's hat to announce, "You don't have to [charge it up]'s a book, Jackass" -- which, really, is just calling it like it is. (Horn Book Magazine)

Children Make Terrible Pets – Peter Brown

Check out this rollicking, humorous, and heartwarming twist on the classic "first pet" story about a young bear and her favorite pet boy!

When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy in the woods, she's absolutely delighted. She brings him home and begs her mom to let her keep him, even though her mom warns, "Children make terrible pets." But mom relents, and Lucy gets to name her new pet Squeaker.

Through a series of hilarious and surprising scenes, readers can join Lucy and Squeaker on their day of fun and decide for themselves whether or not children really do make terrible pets. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

New and Notable for Middle Readers and Up:

39 Clues #9 Storm Warning – Linda Sue Park

Throughout the hunt for the 39 Clues, Amy and Dan have encountered some of the darkest aspects of history . . . and had to deal with the role their family played. But are they ready for the truth? In this thrilling ninth installment, Amy and Dan hit the high seas as they follow the trail of some infamous ancestors to track down a long lost treasure. However, the real prize isn't hidden in a chest. It's the discovery of the Madrigals' most dangerous secret and, even more shockingly, the true identity of the mysterious man in black. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5 The Ugly Truth – Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it's cracked up to be? Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older--all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the "ugly truth"? (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson fans can rest easy: this first book in Riordan's Heroes of Olympus spin-off series is a fast-paced adventure with enough familiar elements to immediately hook those eager to revisit his modern world of mythological mayhem. Clever plot devices--like gods who shift back and forth between their Greek and Roman personae--keep the book from feeling like a retread of Riordan's previous novels.

Jason, Piper, and Leo, three students at a wilderness school for troubled teens, are transported to Camp Half-Blood after an unexpected encounter with evil storm spirits on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Not only do they discover that they are the offspring of ancient gods, but they also learn that they are three of seven demigods mentioned in the Great Prophecy uttered by Rachel in The Last Olympian.

Wasting little time acclimating to their new lives, the three embark upon a quest to preserve Mt. Olympus and the divine status quo, by rescuing an erstwhile enemy. Rotating among his three protagonists, Riordan's storytelling is as polished as ever, brimming with wit, action, and heart--his devotees won't be disappointed. Ages 10up. (Publishers Weekly)

Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking "The Hunger Games" trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

Other Excellent Ideas:

Paula Deen’s Cookbook for the Lunch-box Set – Paula Deen

From the bestselling team that brought you "Paula Deen's My First Cookbook" comes a cookbook for the busiest families. When the school and work days end, what better way to connect with your family than by cooking in the kitchen? And when the school bake sale calls for volunteers or you need ideas for your sleepover party, "Paula Deen's Cookbook for the Lunch-Box Set" has the simplest, most delicious recipes for the fun activities that happen all school year long. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)

Potato Chip Science Book and Stuff – Allen Kurzweil

This wildly imaginative kit introduces more than 30 experiments using potato chips, potatoes, chip bags, tubes, and lids. In addition, more than a dozen items used in the "snacktivities" are packaged in the bag. (blurb from publisher marketing)

Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary

Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Luke Skywalker are brought to life in this full-color volume containing dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos. Fans learn about the history, manufacture, and construction of the mini-figures of the Star Wars galaxy, and come away a LEGO Jedi Master. (blurb from publisher’s marketing)