I'm enjoying a trip to my local indie bookstore to pick up a few beginning chapter books for my first and third grade boys for Christmas gifts. Here's what they're getting:
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls... Written by Lenore Look, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. I got a couple Alvin Ho books because they are such fun adventure stories about a quirky second grader with just enough anxiety balanced by creative problem solving.
Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite (with Audio CD) by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by Don Tate. I've heard so much about this book! I am really looking forward to sharing it with my 9 year old, who is always asking for more biographies.
Zac Power books: Poison Island and Deep Waters, by H. I. Larry. Exciting spy kid with super crime fighting powers! A fun website with games and parent-friendly forums! Total boy appeal!
Freddie Ramos Takes Off and Springs Into Action by Jacqueline Jules. A kid with superpower sneakers - what fun! "An ordinary boy in a city neighborhood learns how to use his new-found powers for good. Illustrations by Miguel Benitez lend just a touch of comic-book style to this chapter book adventure." (Author's website quote).
And to balance the reading material I've made some Japanese fabric balls called Temari. Perfect for playing keep-away, indoor soccer, or hoops in the upstairs hall when the weather outside is frightful. I learned how to make these in the book omiyage by Kumiko Sudo. If you are handy with a needle and thread they are quick and easy, all made from scraps and so fun to stuff in a stocking.