The holidays are fast approaching and our kids are strutting around in their warm jackets, giddy with excitement about what might be under the tree on Christmas morning. Although it seems like gaudy gadgets or tools like an iPad are the “it” present to give children, nothing is more impactful to give your child than a great book. They will learn the joys of reading and get to cuddle up next to a warm fire devouring the pages of an amazing book. This holiday season I came up with a list of three upcoming books that are perfect gifts for your children.

The first book we have is perfect for early readers ages 3-7 years old who are getting started with reading more than just picture books. The upcoming book “Me and My Family Tree” By Joan Sweeney, breaks down a complicated topic and simplifies it by presenting it from a child’s point of view. A young girl uses easy language, relatable drawings and fun diagrams to help her understand her family tree. It even has a fill-in family tree for your own child to understand their own unique family dynamics.

Reminiscent of the Beezus and Ramona or Judy Moody books from our own childhood, comes a new chapter series starring the rambunctious and spunky Ellie May. The Ellie May Children’s series by Hillary Homzie may be exactly the tool you need to help guide your kid through rights and wrongs. Why is Ellie May a good role model for your kids? Because she is not perfect. She makes mistakes and is learning and growing, right along with your child.

This book is perfect for the emerging reader, ages 5-9. The reading level is challenging, but not daunting. It is the ultimate chapter book to transition your child from picture books to novels. So not only will it encourage your kids to act on their best behavior, but it will encourage them to become a star reader!

Do you remember the heartwarming tale of Because of Winn Dixie? Just like that childhood favorite, “Saving Marty” by Paul Griffin shows the power of friendship between humans and animals. It stars 11 year-old Lorenzo as he discovers what friendship is and what it takes to be a hero. The beautiful story of a kid who courageously adopts a pig who thinks he’s a dog is unique and will teach your kid about friendship, responsibility, and more!

This book is a little bit more challenging and is perfect for 10-14 year-olds or for advanced readers!

These three books are great for encouraging your little ones to become star readers, but also to help them become the best possible versions of themselves. So this holiday season give your kids the gift of reading!

– Anna Burke


Ever since she was a small child, Anna Burke’s father read her bedtime stories, resulting in a lifelong  passion for books and reading. Anna has been working with a professor at Sonoma State to promote her books, after reading her Ellie May children novels and loving them. She was inspired to create a small book list of great children’s books because books made such a huge impact on her in her childhood.