2016 Holiday Gifts for
Growing Readers Ages 6 – 8

by Laura Lambert

Early readers are my fave. Whether you’re reading longer books to them at night, or they’re digging into beginning books on their own, there are so many new characters, gorgeous illustrations, and increasingly nuanced storylines to explore.

Here’s my holiday shortlist of activity books, new titles, themed sets, and some particularly special books for the 6- to 8-year-olds in your life.

  • For the Treehugger

  • The Great Spruce

    by John Duvall, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

    Available from:

    As an arborist, John Duvall has a special relationship with trees — and he shares that in The Great Spruce, the story of a special tree and the boy who loves it. Any child who has marveled at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will gain perspective from this book.

    Also available from:
  • For the Future Art Star

  • Radiant Child

    by Javaka Steptoe

    There’s a room full of Basquiats at the Broad Museum, where I live in Los Angeles, and I’ve always been struck by the way his work speaks to kids and parents alike. So this book, a portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s life (and not so much his death), is not so shocking to my sensibilities. Kids easily embrace the textures, the raucousness of the mixed-media works. And it’s a wonderful celebration of an artist’s vision.

  • For the Future I Spy Whiz

  • The Lost House

    by B.B. Cronin

    Available from:

    At this age, seek and find books are still appealing — and this intricate one is a delight! Whimsical illustrations of Grandpa’s cluttered house, and the grandchildren have to help him find what he’s lost in each jam-packed room. You can take your time and spread the hunt over many nights.

    Also available from: