GeekMom Gift Guide: Books, Books, and More Books!

Books Cooking and Recipes DIY GeekMom

You’ve likely started your holiday shopping, or at least feel guilty about not starting your shopping. But the whole process is a lot less work since the advent of internet commerce. Books are perfect for purchasing through this conduit, since one size fits all and they aren’t that fragile. Here are the GeekMom writers’ recommendations for books to buy your loved ones this holiday season. There are a very¬† large number of them, so be sure to click to see them all!

Image: Potter Craft

Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families by Natania Barron, Kathy Ceceri, Corrina Lawson, and Jenny Williams
First on our list of recommendations is the brand new Geek Mom book, written by GeekMom’s four editors! A great gift for any geeky mom (or, let’s face it, dad) on your list, this book is chock full of projects, activities, essays, history, and factoids about the world in which geeky moms reside.

Image: Candlewick

Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys by Matt Phelan
A graphic novel representation of the true story of three incredible journeys around the world, Around the World is a delight for history buffs, adventuresome souls, and those who appreciate fine illustration. This book is a great read for kids and adults.

Image: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

No Other Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
The third and final book in the series which started with A Whole Nother Story, this one is just as silly and hilarious as the first two. Meant for kids to read, it is no less fun for parents or other grown-ups. Go along for the ride as the Cheeseman family travels through time to rescue the mother of the family. Hilarity ensues. Dinosaurs and Neanderthals also make an appearance.

Image: Tor Books

Glamour in Glass by Mary Robinette Kowal
Think Jane Austen with magic, and you’re fairly close to this wonderful book, and the first one in the series, Shades of Milk and Honey. Adventure, war, romance, and propriety permeate Ms. Kowal’s well-researched novels.

Image: Writers Of The Round Table Press

The United States Constitution: A Round Table Comic adapted by Nadia Baer
Unless you are familiar with the musical 1776, you might possibly think that studying how the United States Constitution came about would be dry and boring. But if comics are your thing, this telling of an important piece of history is very interesting. The participants from the time take you on the journey of the creation of the foundation of our country, including plenty of detail and background information.

Image: Oxford University Press

From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages by Michael Adams
If you’re looking for a good overview of geeky languages, both fictional and spoken, this book is an excellent choice. It will fascinate the linguist in you, or give you a head start learning your favorite invented language.

Image: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, tells you much about her life in this autobiographical book. You’ll both laugh and cry, and understand where she’s coming from so much more.

Image: Clarion Books

First Mothers by Beverly Gherman
Featuring the mothers of all of our United States presidents, this book might help you understand why some of our presidents were the way they were. It’s also a great glimpse into the history of women, and what kinds of roles they played in their lives.

Image: Tor Books

Redshirts by John Scalzi
$10.19 – $14.36
Redshirts can be best described as a love letter, in book format, to the science fiction television genre. Even more specifically, it is a love letter to Star Trek, a television series that decided to boldly go, paving the way for many future science fiction television series. Redshirts both spoofs and pays homage to the genre, is filled with humor, will make you think, and has some of the best technobabble in science-fiction history.

Image: CBS Studios

Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years
On December 4, 2012, Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years will be released. Officially licensed by CBS Consumer Products, this historical volume will boldly take you where no-one has gone before; exploring new corners of Star Trek canon, while revisiting and correcting aspects that, as a fan, may have you bothered. It begins with the birth of Zefram Cochrane, and ends a few years after the death of James T. Kirk. It is written by David A. Goodman — credits include Futurama, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Family Guy. If you are a fan of any, or all, of the Star Trek series and movies, you must have this book. Read the full review here.

Image Credit: Abrams Publishing

Star Trek: The Original Series 365 by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann
Star Trek: The Original Series 365 is 744 pages of pure awesome. With an introduction written by Dorothy “D. C.” Fontana, this book contains never-before-seen images, remastered stills from the CBS archives, behind-the-scenes photographs, and information about Star Trek: The Original Series episodes that will increase your knowledge about the franchise.

Image: Abrams Publishing

Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 (Star Trek 365) by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann
Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 is the second book in the Star Trek 365 series. It was published October 1, 2012, as part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation 25th anniversary celebrations. Like Star Trek: The Original Series 365, this book is 744 pages of pure awesome. With an introduction by Ronald D. Moore, Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 has a guide to all 178 episodes, contains both rare and classic illustrations and photography, and comes compete with a comprehensive index to help the Star Trek trivia buff locate information and specific stories.

Image: Abrams Publishing

Star Trek Vault: 40 Years from the Archives by Scott Tipton
Star Trek Vault: 40 Years from the Archives is a treasure trove of information, images, and 13 interactive products. There is information about all six television series, and 10 original Star Trek movies. This volume not only summarizes the different series and movies, but it also examines the impact of the Star Trek franchise on pop-culture, technology, merchandizing, society, and more.

Photo: Patricia Vollmer

The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas by Michael Keane, illustrated by Michael Garland
The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas is a must for any children of military families that are on your holiday shopping lists! We were pleased to have a sneak peek at this book just in time for this holiday season. The book starts with Santa on his usual Christmas Eve night travels, with NORAD keeping an eye on him, as always. Bad weather knocks Santa out of the sky… and off NORAD’s radar screens! Oh no! Jets are scrambled! Santa is found having crashed, and having wasted several hours of his precious Christmas evening while he and his reindeer were in distress. How will he get all the children’s gifts delivered? That’s where NORAD and their amazing command and control abilities come to the rescue! They mobilize not just the U.S. armed forces, but call upon Canada and NATO also. Readers are greeted with delightful images of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen coming to Santa’s assistance. The illustrations are vibrant, with a CGI-esque 3D quality. The colors are simple and the military members’ uniforms are left generic enough to let any military child relate that it could be his/her parent written right into the story. The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas is designed for children ages 4-8. The hardcover book retails for $14.95, and is available at major booksellers, such as Amazon. The book is available in both Kindle and Nook formats as well. Read the full review here.

Image: Random House

The Paladin Prophecy
Written by Mark Frost (co-creator of Twin Peaks), The Paladin Prophecy offers mystery and intrigue for the young adult set. As Will West strives to decipher the meaning behind his exceptional abilities, he discovers that there are evil forces at work — and it’s up to him to bring the details to light. The fantasy novel is a page-turner that will entertain teens with its excitement and sense of humor. Also, read the full review and the interview with the author.

Image: Random House

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill
$11.55 on Amazon
I picked up this book at random at the library and loved it! It features a girl who uses the scientific method to test all kinds of silly ideas. Example: “Can a kid survive the winter eating only snow and ketchup?” The answer involves a wavering love of ketchup! The 11 experiments equally quirky and amusing.

Photo: Ariane Coffin

How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
$8.70 on Amazon
How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is a compilation of The Oatmeal‘s best cat comics plus 15 new ones and a pull-out poster. It is full of the lovable raunchy humor Inman is renowned for, ensuring this volume isn’t an appropriate Christmas present for your grandma. And that’s just how we like it. After its debut in October, the book shot up to #1 best selling title
on Amazon, turning “50 shades of ladyporn” — as mentioned by Inman on Twitter — into 50 shades of so-five-minutes-ago. Read the full review.

A Parent's Guide to the Best Kids Comics book cover.
Image: Krause Books

A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics: Choosing Titles You Children Will Love by Scott Robbins and Snow Wildsmith
Written by two librarians, A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics: Choosing Titles You Children Will Love is a new guide book designed to make it easier for parents to find new and age appropriate comics for their kids. It contains 100 of the best kids comics available on the market today, and each is allocated exactly the same level of importance and amount of space. Each comic gets two pages, the first with details about the comic and the second is a full-page full-color sample page of the comic so you know exactly what to expect. Read the full review.

Image: Klutz

The Star Wars Folded Flyers
I like that The Star Wars Folded Flyers book from Klutz works on so many levels. It’s a nice little guide to Star Wars space vehicles, but it also brings in some of the science of flight. There’s a lot of room for experimentation (in the angle of the wings and the flaps, for example), and the clever folding techniques are sure to spark kids’ own inventiveness. Available from Amazon.

Image: Klutz

The Klutz Book of Inventions
Let’s face it, what’s funny to a 12-year-old is often annoying to an adult — which is probably why that’s exactly what they (especially boys) love it. The Klutz Book of Inventions: Where Brilliant Meets Ridiculous by John Cassidy and Brendan Boyle is just funny enough to be annoying without becoming inappropriate, and will get that frisson of the forbidden reading about Sporta-Potty and Sling Socks Kids. And the afterword explaining “How We Did This Book” may just inspire them to come up with some goofy inventions of their own. Get it at Amazon.

Firefly: A Celebration. Image: Titan Books

Firefly: A Celebration
Firefly: A Celebration is a 544-page faux-leather bound compilation of the three companion books previously released by Titan. Even if you already have those books, you are going to want this one just for the beauty of having it all in one wonderfully thick volume. It includes all the show’s scripts, lots of behind-the-scenes photos and plenty of interviews with the cast and crew. There is even a bit of extra fiction from the show’s writers. Yeah, if you’re a Browncoat you’re already counting your coins and it will be worth every cent.

Doctor Who: Shada. Image:

Doctor Who: Shada
Back in 1978-1979, Douglas Adams was a Script Editor for Doctor Who. One of the scripts that he wrote, “Shada,” was never completed due to a labor strike and was left unfinished until now. Gareth Roberts, who has written scripts for the current Doctor Who series as well as spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, has taken what Adams started and finished it in this new novel. Join The Doctor and his old friend Professor Chronotis as they try to keep rogue Time Lord Skagra from getting an ancient tome that would allow him to rule the world!

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook. Image:

The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook
If the start of Season Three of Downton Abbey in January seems impossibly far off, then take consolation in having The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook so you can at least eat like the Crawleys while you await their return. There are seven chapters, each devoted to a different course, including tea time. You may not need to prepare a seven course feast for nobility, but with this book, you can make a dish or two that even Mrs. Patmore would happily serve.

The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook. Image:

The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook
The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook includes over 150 recipes inspired by the world of Westeros. There are suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as desserts and even brewing instructions for making your very own batch of “Targaryen Dragon Mead” or “Lannister Gold IPA.” Each recipe includes a paragraph showing the inspiration for the dish, as well as which book, chapter, and character are being referenced. Be warned, though efforts were made to avoid spoilers, if you haven’t read the entire series, then some of the names may give away a plot point or two!

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. Image:

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook
The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to “Groosling” – More Than 150 Recipes Inspired by The Hunger Games Trilogy features foods for every occasion, from breakfast to lunch and everything in between. What makes this even more fun is that the dishes aren’t just named after characters and places from the trilogy, but they actually aim to incorporate the types of ingredients that the characters used in their cooking, like dove breasts. In case that’s a bit too close to the games, there are easy substitutions with ingredients like turkey.

Image: Amazon

The Star Wars Cookbook by Robin Davis and Lara Starr
You can be the most powerful person in the galaxy, but Jedi mind tricks aren’t going to put delicious treats on your table. The Star Wars Cookbook features 30 different Star Wars-themed delicacies — and you won’t have to travel to Tatooine to track down ingredients, either. Instead, these are some fairly easy recipes with fairly nerdy names like Landonuts, Clone Scones, and Yoda Soda. Perfect for the sci-fi fan on your list, this specific set also comes with cookie cutters to make your creations resemble Darth Vader, Yoda, and R2-D2.

The Art of Assassin’s Creed III. Image:

The Art of Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III sends the franchise in a new direction to the Revolutionary War. Like previous games in the series, the buildings, people, and costumes of the time are captured in stunning detail, all of which is highlighted in this 144-page book. There are beautiful layouts of the cities, wintry landscapes, and images of the characters that any Assassin’s Creed fan will be sure to love.

Buffy: The Making of a Slayer. Image: 47North

Buffy: The Making of a Slayer
This beautiful hardcover book comes in a clamshell slipcase and is the first authorized, fully illustrated retrospective of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It’s full of pictures and commentary that give a behind-the-scenes look at everyone’s favorite slayer. You’ll learn about the characters and mythology of the universe and how it developed further with each season while you drool over the 120 images of the cast, props, and show memorabilia. There’s also a special envelope inside the slipcase called “Slayer Lore: Texts and Magicks for the Battle” with 13 replicas of the ancient spells and prophecies that were used on-screen. This fantastic look back for the show’s 15th Anniversary is a must-have for Buffy fans.

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones, Collector’s Edition. Image:

Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones, Collector’s Edition
This absolutely gorgeous collector’s edition includes one book loaded with glossy images from the show, a second with storyboard sketches for each episode, and two scrolled maps of Westeros and Esos. This all comes in a foil-stamped clamshell case that’s perfect for display and with the maps printed on archival, acid-free paper, they’re ready for framing to show off in your living room. If you’ve got a Game of Thrones fan on your list, this is the gift they’ll be talking about all year.

Image: Wendy Lamb Books/Random House

Liar & Spy
Newbery Award winner Rebecca Stead’s novel Liar & Spy is a real-life story about the alienation and confusion of tween life that effectively walks the line between gritty and hokey. And it does it all within the framework of a mystery adventure shared by a middle-school loner, Georges, and the quirky family he meets in his new Brooklyn apartment building. Stead’s writing is funny, smart, and warm, and geeky kids will love it. Available from Amazon.

Image: Continuum Books

Television’s Marquee Moon by Bryan Waterman
Waterman investigates the early New York punk scene that gave birth to such beloved bands as the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, and Television, and provides the first in depth close reading of this deservedly legendary album. There’d never been anything quite like it before and, 35 years later, there hasn’t been anything quite like it since.

Image: Candlewick

Robot Zombie Frankenstein
$16.99, currently $12.67 on Amazon
Robot Zombie Frankenstein! is a very simple story of one-upmanship between two robots who have a great costume box. The pictures are made from basic shapes and colors, which give you a little bit more to talk about with a small child. What color is that robot’s eye patch? What shape is his body? The entire book is a conversation between the robots, which means it can be a lot of fun for you and your pre-schooler (or two of your kids) to each be a robot and take turns reading lines. You can also download the Robot Zombie Frankenstein! Fun Kit, which includes 16 pages of activities to print.

Image: PopMatters

Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion
$18.99, currently $12.89 on Amazon
If you can’t get enough Whedon, there’s a little more to love in Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion. This self-described “essential guide to the Whedonverse” is 496 pages of essays compiled by PopMatters on nearly every aspect of Whedon’s work. About half of the book is devoted to Buffy and Angel, followed by smaller sections on Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible, Firefly, and his work in comics and other films. The introduction is slightly out of date as of the book’s release date, referring to the “future” releases of The Cabin In The Woods and The Avengers (released three days after the book in the US and weeks earlier in the UK), but the final chapter does include essays on these two movies. The essays admire Whedon’s work, but they don’t treat him or his work as flawless. The book is not a loving, uncritical, rave review. Rather it’s an in-depth examination of an already wide body of work, the themes that pervade them, and the mind behind them.

Image: Titan Books

The Cabin in the Woods Visual Companion
$19.95, currently $13.57 on Amazon
The Cabin in the Woods is an exceptional showcase of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s mutual brilliance. And, according to this companion book, they wrote the whole thing in just three days, locked in a Santa Monica hotel room together, taking turns writing scenes. The first part of the book is an interview with the two of them about the creation process for the film. The book offers sketches and photos of many of the monsters–but not all of them. There’s also a photo of the functioning (and delightfully steampunk-esque) blood machine. It’s ten feet tall and, again, completely functional. Just in case later somebody needs to appease some ancient gods, it’s already built. You can examine the cabin, in and out, stage and location versions. The painting that covered the mirror? It was specifically made for the movie and takes up half a page of the book. Study a layout of the control room–and better, photos of the basement. Try to match items to monsters! And if you need to debate the finer points of dialogue, the book also includes the full script.

Image: No Starch Press

Super Scratch Programming Adventure
$24.95 (currently $13.92 on Amazon)
If you think you might have a future programmer on your hands, it’s time to introduce your kid to Scratch. It’s a programming language created at MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group for ages eight and up and teaches the concepts of programming to young kids while making it easy for them to create animations, games, and more, then share them all with friends online. Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games makes it even easier to get started by helping your budding developer learn to use Scratch with a comic book story. Each section begins with a continuing piece of a story that ends by giving the reader a problem to solve with Scratch. At the end of the book, they are rewarded with the fruits of their own creation, a game they can play knowing they made it themselves.

Photo: Ruth Suehle

Origami Yoda series of books (Origami Yoda, Darth Paper, Fortune Wookiee)
Origami Yoda ($12.95), Darth Paper ($12.95), Fortune Wookiee ($12.97)
This series of books by Tom Angleberger begins with the story of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, the paper creation of a sixth-grader named Dwight. He’s a little weird. No, he’s a lot weird. You remember that kid from your own sixth-grade class, I’m sure. But his Origami Yoda seems not only smart, but sometimes downright prescient. Dwight’s friend Tommy is dying to know how that can be. Is Origami Yoda “real,” so to speak?

In Darth Paper Strikes Back, without ruining for you the conclusions reached in the first novel, Origami Yoda is in danger. And he’s facing a dark paper-foe: Darth Paper, created by Dwight’s nemesis, Harvey. Those who believe in the good of Origami Yoda and Dwight need to save them both from the dark side of paper.

And in The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, Dwight is off to a new school, leaving no Origami Yoda to advise the students of McQuarrie Middle. Then paper-Chewbacca, the Fortune Wookiee, comes, and the girls of the school seem to have the power of the Force.

Image: Workman Publishing Company

Star Wars Origami
List Price $16.95 (currently $9.75 on Amazon)
A true master of The Force can fold her own lightsaber. Of course, it would help if she had instructions and pre-printed paper like those in Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away. This is a paper-folding adventure and Star Wars education folded up into one book. The projects are ranked in difficulty from Youngling to Padawan to Jedi Knight to Jedi Master. For those unfamiliar with origami, the book begins by describing folding terms and showing how the folds are made. For those unfamiliar with Star Wars (but somehow found themselves with this book), each project begins with a bit about the object or character being made. The foreword is written by Tom Angleberger, the author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and its sequels, Darth Paper Strikes Back and The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee. The back pages of the book are pre-printed papers that make your folded ball actually look like a Death Star and your five-sided box look like Han Solo in carbonite. Not only that, there are multiple copies of each page so that when your first Boba Fett is a Boba Flop, you can try again.

Image: No Starch Press

Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified
$17.95, currently $10.77 on Amazon
In Bunpei Yorifuji’s book, Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified, science comes alive as elements get personalities and become a lot more fun. If you’ve visited Tokyo in the last few years, you may be familiar with Yorifuji’s “Do It At Home” subway campaign. With a similar illustration style, he shows things like where you find potassium and what happens if you don’t have enough. You find out what Indium is and where it comes from. You learn to think of elements as clothing depending on their use–vital minerals wear only underwear “to show off their healthy physique,” while man-made elements wear robot suits.

When you slide the dust jacket off, pieces of the adorable art are repeated, including Superman front and center. (It’s also how I realized that elements 17-19 spell ClArK!) A final, delightful touch is the inclusion of an attached ribbon bookmark. This book would make a great gift for any aspiring young scientist or even an adult who loves to learn. Even if you got high marks in every science class, I promise you’ll learn something new. And as the last page assures us, “In the future, everyone will be a scientist.”

Image: Aladdin

John Barrowman’s novels: Hollow Earth and Torchwood: Exodus Code
$16.99 (list), $10.98 (currently on Amazon)
Got a Torchwood fan–or more specifically, a John Barrowman fan–on your gift list? Did you know about his book? Hollow Earth is a children’s fantasy novel he co-wrote with his sister, Carole Barrowman. In it, twins Matt and Emily are able to use their imaginations to bring artwork to life. Those who are specifically Torchwood fans more than Barrowman fans would also enjoy Torchwood: Exodus Code, which is available in hardback in the UK or in audio and Kindle versions if you’re in the U.S.

Image: Thunder Bay Press

Vampire Doodle Diaries and Zombie Doodle Diaries
Whether it’s a kid or a grown-up on your list who can’t get enough of monsters, either of these books would be fun to find wrapped up with a bow. (Perhaps a slightly bloody bow.) They’re full of pages to–as the name implies–doodle on, as well as complete activities and assorted paper fun. The zombie one in particular is a little heavier on the gore, so keep your intended recipient’s age in mind. These are better for your teenage doodlers than a toddler who spent a month after Halloween giggling, “Braaaiiiins!”

Image: Titan Books

Awakening: The Art of Halo 4
Fans of movies and video games are increasingly discovering the number of books accompanying their favorite titles that delve into the artwork. Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 is an attractive, heavy, coffee-table-style hardcover for fans of the game. Not only is it page after page of amazing landscapes and other artwork, but gamers will see how concepts turn into their favorite gameplay and get a closer look at characters and creatures.

Image: Titan Books

Silhouettes from Popular Culture
If you’ve got a pop culture nut on your gift list, I can’t recommend this book enough. The title tells you exactly, 100% what it is. There’s not a single word (except for the introduction). Each turn of the page brings you to another Olly Moss silhouette of a character from popular culture. (If the name Olly Moss doesn’t ring a bell, you may recognize some of his alternative movie poster art.)

The silhouettes in the book started as an art show called Paper Cuts, and you can see many of them on the Paper Cuts blog, which is a great preview of what you’ll get in the book. And since there’s no “answer key,” so to speak, you’ll spend your time at the dinner table discussing who just this one you can’t quite get is.

Image: Smart Pop

The Panem Companion
$14.95, current Amazon price: $8.35
Sometimes three books, a movie, and two films yet to come just aren’t enough of a fictional world you really enjoy. If that’s how someone you know feels about The Hunger Games, take a look at The Panem Companion. It’s a deep analysis of the world Suzanne Collins built, from race relations and gender to the cultural meaning of names and class structure in Panem. Author V. Arrow builds on what we know of the U.S. today and what we’re given about Panem to build plausible explanations for how the world came to be that way and what’s happening below the surface of the words on the page.

Image: © 2012 by Richard Schickel, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective by Richard Schickel
If you’re a movie buff, this book by critic/writer Richard Schickel is a must-have for your coffee table. Just good luck keeping it there. Retrospective is a ton of fun to flip through, with plenty of photos, anecdotes, and other tidbits from one of Hollywood’s most celebrated directors. It’s 280 pages of glossy goodness, covering all of Spielberg’s films from 1971’s Duel through last year’s War Horse. There’s even a short blip on the recent release, Lincoln.

Image: Hyperion Books

Chloe and the Lion
This hilarious picture book is great for little kids, kids who think they’re too old for picture books, and any adult who’s either a writer or an illustrator. What begins as a simple tale about a girl and a lion quickly spins out of control when writer Mac Barnett and illustrator Adam Rex enter the book to debate who is more essential to a picture book, the writer or the illustrator. Watch this video and you’ll realize you have to have this book.



Image: Penguin Group

Llama Llama Time to Share
Llama Llama Time to Share is the newest book in Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series. Llama Llama has trouble sharing his favorite toy when he has a play date. This is a great book for any child who also has problems understanding why they should share their toys because it’s told with colorful characters that kids can relate to.

Image: Penguin Group

The Insomniacs
The Insomniacs is a new children’s book that tells about a family who gets their days and nights mixed up. After trying to stay up, they decide to live their lives at night. This book is great because it shows that not everyone lives a 9 to 5 life and that being different is okay.

Image: Penguin Group

This Monster Needs a Haircut
This Monster Needs a Haircut tells the story of Stewart, a monster who loves his hair. But he is afraid to get a haircut so he just lets his hair grow to the point that he has trouble doing his favorite things. This is a great story for any kid who is worried about getting a haircut.

Image: Titan Books

The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania
You can pre-order the Hotel Transylvania DVD, but unfortunately it won’t be available until after the holidays. However, if you enjoyed seeing Hotel Transylvania with your kids in the theater, give them a closer look at the monsters and a deeper appreciation of what goes into a movie like this through The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania. Author Tracey Miller-Zarneke has several animation credits of her own and has written several other behind-the-scenes animation books, The book shows the evolution of art that goes into an animated feature-each character goes through many iterations and different looks before what you see on the screen. You’ll also see some of the story and characters that were cut from the movie, like a beautiful drink-dispenser system behind the bar and details you’d never be able to catch, like the headlines on The Daily Inquisition, the spirit-world newspaper. Interspersed with storyboards and sketches, you’ll read insights from those who worked on the movie, including a foreword by Genndy Tartakovsky about his dream of working in animation and the experience of his first feature film. The book is art-heavy, which makes it friendly to your younger fans as well as interesting to the older ones, particularly the aspiring animators in your family.

Image: Penguin Group

Dragons Love Tacos
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin is an adorable children’s book that tells how dragons love tacos and parties, but how they hate spicy salsa. This book fast became my three year old daughter’s favorite and she requests that I read it to her nearly every night. The story is perfect for younger kids and matches well with the great illustrations by Daniel Salmieri. Read the full review.

The My First DC Super Hero Range © DC Comics/Downtown Bookworks
Image: DC Comics/Downtown Bookworks

My First Superheroes Books
$9.99 each
This series introduces some of your favorite DC characters (more are due to come out next year) through touch and feel interactive board books. There are pull tabs, glitter, and glow in the dark elements, although the Wonder Woman book could benefit from less focus on her clothing. Read the full review.

The BabyLit Book Series © Gibbs Smith
Image: Gibbs Smith

BabyLit Classics Board Books
$9.99 each
This series introduces counting and colors through your favorite classic literary characters. Dickens, Austen, and Shakespeare are among the authors whose works have been converted to beautiful board books (more will be added to the series next year) which retain the language and feel of the originals whilst simplifying down enough to suit a preschool audience. Read the full review.


Sandman Box Set
$125.37 at Amazon
One of the most critically-acclaimed series in comics history, Neil Gaiman’s magnum opus just got even better. Released in one big, gorgeous box set, these trade paperbacks feature the recoloring done for the Absolut editions. An amazing gift for someone who’s never read Sandman before but would like to get into comics or, given how much better it now looks than ever before, a treat for a long-time fan.

Image: Continuum Books

Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me by Nick Attfield
Attfield analyzes the Amherst trio’s finest album, deftly tracing many of the elements of what would later be called grunge to its roots here. Nirvana before there was a Nirvana, Attfield illustrates how Dinosaur Jr married punk rock to classic rock with explosive yet gloriously melodic results.

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