For the kid who loves animals and mysteries (not necessarily in that order), the gift of The Great Pet Heist, by Emily Ecton, art by Dave Mottram, might be the best thing this holiday. It’s the story of Butterbean the Weiner dog, his fellow pets, and what happened on the day that Mrs. Food fell and hurt herself. Will someone come to take care of them, or will they have to make other plans?
The princess on your list will love Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror, by Natasha Farrant, and illustrated by Lydia Corry. It’s the story of a mirror cast by an enchantress, and in it are eight princesses who flat-out refuse to act princess-like but instead are brave, fierce, and tough.
If there’s a football fan on your list this year, wrap up Gridiron: Stories from 100 Years of the National Football League, by Fred Bowen and James E. Ransome. It’s a book your young fan will read again and again. Here’s another book that young readers will reach for repeatedly: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021. Filled with photos, sidebars, graphs, and fun information, it’s one of those I-know-this-and-you-don’t kind of books, and it’s perfect for your child’s stocking.