Monday, November 26, 2012

Good Reads for Gifting

by Kris Kahrs    

Hey, let's do something really radical this year and buy our Hannukkah and Christmas presents a little ahead of time instead of at the gas station while filling up two hours before the big event.  In this spirit, we here at The Pen and Ink Blog have some inspired suggestions from vintage books blogs, illustrators of kid's books, award shortlists, tucked away indie bookstores and more.

Peruse and delight in the variety you'll find and give to your favorite someone.

1) Twenty of the Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World by Emily Tempest via Flavorwire.  Are bookstores your place of worship and books your religion? Then check out this post featuring a bookstore in a former Dominican church in Maastricht, Holland and the Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a converted movie palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Ugh, so hard to go back to the Barnes and Noble in Burbank.

2) Book By Its Cover.  This blog features a carnevale of wonderful kidlit books with innovative illustration.  One of my son's favorites, the Follow the Line series is spotlighted here. Take a gander.

3) The Redhouse Children's Book Award Shortlist.  Not only can you vote for your favorites on this site, but you can also buy them and what better way is there to show your support?  My vote went to "Dog Loves Drawing" by Louise Yates.

4) Curious Pages.  For the rebels among us who need to get their freak on, there is Curious Pages.  A wonderful blog about 'recommended inappropriate books for kids'.  At this blog you will find all of the books you read as a kid, including the ones that are no longer deemed appropriate.

5) We Too Were Children.  What do Upton Sinclair, James Joyce and Langston Hughes all have in common?  Why they are children's book authors, of course!  At this blog, written by author, Ariel S. Winter, you'll be surprised to learn that many of your favorite classic literature authors also have a kid's book lurking in their past! 

6) The Art of Children's Picture Books.  Another blog for the Illustrator's out there or just for the lovers of wonderful illustration in all of us.  The illustrations alone are so detailed and fantastic that I felt I could tell the story from the image without ever having read the book.

And Now Some Places to Buy Your Faves:

7) Elwood & Eloise.  You don't get much more independent than an Etsy Shop.  Right now, E&E has a Cyber Monday sale on, 20% off your purchase of 2nd loved books.

8) The New York Review of Books.  At the opposite end of the book store spectrum, the NYRB has a 20% off special going on now also.

9) Books of Wonder.  This online catalog of a NYC bookstore also has an 800 number to make your ordering easy.  They claim they know 'just what your kids will love' and they are right.  They have new William Joyce, Mo Willems and Patrick McDonell.  They also sell backpacks, art and old and rare books too.         

Enjoy and remember to support your indie booksellers!


  1. Thanks for sharing all the resources. I'd love to go to Books of Wonder some day.

  2. Great Post, Kris. I plan spend time visiting every link. Thank you!

  3. Natalie--

    My dream is to sit in that beautiful Selexyz bookstore in Maastricht, Holland reading The Stupids Die with a hot chai in my hand. (sigh)

  4. Wonderful suggestions, Kris. Thanks for the post. Wandering New York City bookstores would be a treat.

  5. Fun suggestions! In downtown Los Angles, I also love The Last Bookstore @ 453 S. SPRING ST, GROUND FLOOR

  6. Hi Penelope--Yes, that is one of my favorite activities.

  7. Hi Megan--

    Thanks for the suggestion. We will definitely check this out!

  8. Thanks for the links! I can't wait to check these out!

    And Megan--thanks for the reminder about The Last Bookstore. I've been meaning to go there, too. :)

    1. Rita--

      We are so glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post. Thanks for joining us!

  9. I love this blog and what you do with it. Always such a pleasure to visit, and today is no exception. Brava!

    1. Nancy--

      Thanks for the lovely compliments. We're always happy to see you here!

  10. Wonderful selection of book choices Kris. Some take me right back to my early years. . . sigh!

    Books for Kids + FREE Book Catalog

  11. Hi Margot--

    I agree. So many of these choices are just classic books and they never fade from popularity. It's amazing, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!


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