Best Children's Gift Books of 2015Kitten playing with snowflake

This holiday season, give the special children in your life the gift of a good book. The books listed below were selected by WPL Youth Services Librarians.

Click here to download a printable brochure (PDF).

Picture Books | Chapter Books & Novels | Comics & Graphic Novels | Nonfiction

Picture Books

The Babies and Doggies Book, by John Schindel & Molly Woodward. Tots and pups mirror each other in this board book with beautiful photos. Ages 0–3.

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, by Bob Shea. A funny friendship story in early reader format, perfect for Elephant & Piggie fans. Ages 4–7.

Black Cat, White Cat, by Silvia Borando. Opposites attract in this story with a twist ending. Ages 2–5.

Buddy and Earl, by Maureen Fergus. A serious-minded dog and an imaginative hedgehog become friends in this gently humorous story. Ages 4–7.

Changes: A Child’s First Poetry Collection, by Charlotte Zolotow. Explore the seasons with these poems by a beloved classic author. Ages 3–6.

Hey, Seymour! by Walter Wick. Find hidden objects in this stunning seek-and-find book. Ages 4–7.

I Had a Favorite Hat, by Boni Ashburn. An old hat has gobs of potential for one visionary girl. Ages 4–6.

Interstellar Cinderella, by Deborah Underwood. A can-do Cinderella gives the tale a sci-fi twist, with rich retro illustrations. Ages 4–7.

I See Kitty, by Yasmine Surovec. A purr-fectly adorable seek-and-find story, now available in board book format. Ages 1–4.

It’s Only Stanley, by Jon Agee. Stanley’s a beagle with a mission—but what? This quirky book will surprise you. Ages 4–7.

I Will Chomp You! by Jory John. Turn the pages of this interactive book at your own risk! Ages 3–6.

The Princess and the Pony, by Kate Beaton. An irreverent lesson in silver linings—starring a roly-poly, farting pony! Ages 4–7.

Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall. A touching and triumphant paean to individuality. Ages 4–7.

Supertruck, by Stephen Savage. When a snowstorm strikes, one humble truck reveals its secret identity. Ages 2–5.

Toys Meet Snow, by Emily Jenkins. Three friends enjoy a gentle—and gorgeously illustrated—wintry adventure. Ages 3–7.

Where’s the Baboon? by Michael Escoffier. Wordplay is the key in this puzzle book. Ages 4–7.

Wolfie the Bunny, by Ame Dyckman. An adorable sibling story that will make you howl with laughter. Ages 3–6.


Chapter Books & Novels

Blackbird Fly, by Erin Morgan Kelly. An outsider discovers a way to shine in this uplifting story of friends, family, and finding yourself. Grades 4–7.

Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate. The emotional but ultimately heart-warming tale of a family facing homelessness. Grades 3–6.

Detective Gordon: The First Case, by Ulf Nilsson. This charmingly illustrated woodland mystery is an adorable family read-aloud. Grades 1–4.

Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, by Kate DiCamillo. Fans of Mercy Watson the pig will love graduating to this funny chapter book. Grades K–3.

Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible, by Ursula Vernon. This spunky, sparkling comic hybrid takes on “Sleeping Beauty.” Grades 2–4.

The Honest Truth, by Dan Gemeinhart. The poignant and heroic journey of a boy facing the return of his brain cancer. Grades 4–7.

I Am Princess X, by Cherie Priest. A web comic could be the clue May needs to track down her best friend, Libby, presumed dead. Grades 7 and up.

The Imaginary, by A. F. Harrold. A magical adventure, by turns delightful and spooky, with charming illustrations. Grades 3–6.

Kid Owner, by Tim Green. Inheriting the Dallas Cowboys is a sports dream come true for a bullied middle schooler! Grades 4–8.

The Marvels, by Brian Selznick. Hugo Cabret fans will love this exquisitely illustrated epic sweeping from the 1700s to modern times. Grades 4 and up.

Ms. Rapscott’s Girls, by Elise Primavera. Lessons in “How to Get Lost on Purpose” result in a series of fantastical adventures. Grades 3–6.

My Brother Is a Superhero, by David Solomons. A laugh-out-loud funny take on the genre, complete with sibling rivalry and girls. Grades 4–7.

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree, by Ellen Potter. A remote island in Maine is the setting of this sweet family story. Grades K–3.

The Pirate Pig, by Cornelia Funke. Is a treasure-sniffing pig more trouble than it’s worth? Find out in this humorous chapter book. Grades K–3.

Shadows of Sherwood, by Kekla Magoon. Robyn and her friends fight a malevolent leader in this futuristic reimagining of Robin Hood. Grades 4–7.

Switch, by Ingrid Law. Gypsy’s magical savvy flip-flops when she learns her mean and decidedly non-magical grandma is moving in. Grades 4–7.

The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other), by Geoff Rodkey. Sibling rivalry reaches hilarious heights through texts, art, and more. Grades 4–7.

The Tournament at Gorlan, by John Flanagan. Medieval fantasy lovers will eat up this action-packed Ranger’s Apprentice book. Grades 5–8.

Under a Painted Sky, by Stacey Lee. An orphan and a slave escape into the frontier in this rip-roaring historical adventure. Grades 7 and up.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones. This quirky story packs a surprising emotional punch. Grades 3–6.

The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. A poignant novel of World War II and the true meaning of family. Grades 4–7.



Comics & Graphic Novels

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, by Judd Winick. Mutant robots from space? That’s a job for D.J., Gina, and their new pal. Grades 2–6.

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson. A shapeshifter becomes a villain’s sidekick, with hilarious and surprising results. Grades 7 and up.

Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson. This graphic novel of a girl diving into the sport of roller derby is perfect for fans of Smile. Grades 4–7.



101 Things to Do Before You Grow Up: Fun Activities for You to Check Off Your List, by Laura Dower. Hands-on projects for every kid. Grades 3–6.

Ancient Egypt, by Ken Jennings. An entertaining intro to long-ago life by the Nile. Grades 3–6.

The Artful Year, by Jean Van’t Hul. Seasonal cooking and craft projects for families with toddlers through elementary schoolers.

Breakaway: Beyond the Goal, by Alex Morgan. The Olympic Gold Medalist shares wisdom from both on and off the soccer field. Grades 6 and up.

Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!), by Deanna F. Cook. Includes place cards and recipe cards. Grades 3 and up.

Dinosaurs from Head to Tail, by Stacey Roderick. Learn to identify dinosaurs by their unique features in this colorful picture book. Preschool–Grade 1.

Do Nice, Be Kind, Spread Happy: Acts of Kindness for Kids, by Bernadette Russell. This creative book inspires kids to “pay it forward.” Grades 2 and up.

The Fashion Book, by Alexandra Black. History meets style meets career advice in this handbook for your favorite fashionista. Grades 7 and up.

How to Be a Space Explorer, by Mark Brake. Budding scientists will enjoy this overview of the known universe. Grades 3 and up.

Lego Awesome Ideas, by Daniel Lipkowitz. Whet your young builder’s creativity. Grades 2 and up.

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, by Adam Bray, et al. From AT-AT to Zabrak, study up for the new movie here! Grades 3 and up.

The Travel Book, by Malcolm Croft. Visit every country of the world with fascinating facts and photos. Grades 4 and up.

True or False? by Andrea Mills. This myth-busting book is full of surprising facts and perfect for browsing. Grades 4 and up.

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh, by Sally Walker. Unbearably cute! Preschool–Grade 2.


E-books and E-audiobooks

The Library offers electronic books and downloadable audiobooks for Wilmette and Kenilworth patrons through two services, My Media Mall and OneClickdigital. There are many children's and young adult titles available, which you can locate on those sites or through the Library catalog.

ebook iconWhat is an e-book?

An e-book is a text- and image-based publication you can download onto your computer, e-reader, or other portable device such as a Nook, Kindle, or iPad. You read an e-book.

audiobook iconWhat is a downloadable audiobook?

A downloadable audiobook, also called an e-audiobook, is a recorded publication you can download onto your computer or portable listening device such as an mp3 player, iPod, or iPhone. You listen to a downloadable audiobook.

Why Download?

E-books and downloadable audiobooks can be a convenient alternative to traditional books and audiobooks. After some initial set-up on your computer or device, you can download them for free, 24/7. You can download many titles onto a single device, creating a portable library.

When you download an e-book or audiobook from the Library, it is "checked out" to you for a one-week or two-week period, as you choose. After that, the file simply becomes unavailable to you—no overdue fines!

Library Download Services

My Media Mall and OneClickdigital have different catalogs, so if you don't see the book you want in one, the other may have it. They also have slightly different technology requirements. E-books and downloadable audiobooks also appear in the Library catalog.

My Media Mall

Sign into My Media Mall using your library card number. Before you start, you may want to read this introduction. Depending on your device, you may also need to download and activate free software onto your computer before using it. For instructions, consult the Help section.

To find items specifically for young people, click "Advanced Search." Choose the type of file from the Format dropdown menu. Then choose Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile Literature, Juvenile Nonfiction, or Children's Video from the Subject dropdown menu.

My Media Mall also has videos, especially documentaries, available for download.


The first time you use OneClickdigital, you will need to create a free account using the link in the upper right-hand corner. For instructions on downloading e-books and audiobooks, consult the Help section.

We know that downloading e-books and audiobooks can be initially confusing, so please do not hesitate to call or visit the Library. We will do our best to assist you!

E-readers for Check-out

Even if you don't own an e-reader, you can try one at the Library. The Youth Department owns a Sony Reader and a Nook Color which are available for in-library use; sign them out at the Youth Desk. The Library also has Nooks available for check-out to Wilmette and Kenilworth patrons. All e-readers are pre-loaded with books for children and adults.

Write a Book Review

Read a good book and want to tell the world? Post your thoughts about it here! After your review is approved by a Wilmette Youth Librarian, it will appear in our Kids' Book Blog. Thanks for sharing!

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(Write 2 or more sentences about the book. What was it about? Did you like it? Why or why not? Try not to give away the ending!)

How Would You Rate This Book? 5   (1 = worst, 5 = best)
May We Post This Review Online? yes  no 

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