Friday, December 8, 2017

Last Minute Gift Ideas -- Check Out These Great Children's Books from Candlewick Press That Will Make Great Gifts for Under the Tree for Kids of All Ages (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?  I don't want to scare you, but there are only 17 days left until Santa arrives.  I am all done with my shopping, now for the dreaded wrapping.  If you are looking for some last minute fun gift ideas, why not consider picking up a few children's books from Candlewick Press. I love Candlewick Press and have been sharing there books for kids for years. So, as I wind down my holiday gift guide, I wanted to share a handful of recent releases that would make great gifts for under the tree, as well as two books that are great for crafty families as they get ready for Christmas with some fun make and decorate your own gift boxes and a really fun "Make & Play Christmas" book that includes 20 play pieces, plus songs, recipes, activities and more.  

Gift Boxes to Decorate and Make: Christmas

More about this book:

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 50 pages
  • Publisher: Nosy Crow; Clr Csm edition (September 19, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763696374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763696375
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.4 x 10.6 inches

"Each page of this brilliant book can be colored and made into a box! Simply tear out and fold to create a gift box perfect for storing all kinds of Christmas treats. The boxes are beautifully decorated with festive black-and-white designs, which you can color in with pens or pencils to make sure your gifts are extra special this Christmas."

My Thoughts:

We just finished making and sending out the rest of our handmade Christmas cards to some of our homeschooling friends. I was sent a color your own Christmas cards book that I reviewed earlier, and it was a hit with my girls, just like the new "Gift Boxes to Decorate and Make Christmas" book was.  This DIY Christmas box book includes 24 books to color and make, and you can seal them closed with the cute gold foiled glossy stickers, which are at the end of the book.  

Having just finished the color your own Christmas Cards with matching envelopes that we made and sealed shut with stickers, the stickers were on a roll with coloring and wanted to try their hand at making a few gift boxes to use for handmade gifts they are making for family and friends.

Even though this book is from a children's publisher, this color-your-own gift boxes book is perfect for kids and adults.  If you love doing those fancy coloring books, then you will love this book.  We have only colored and made a few boxes, but plan to make some more over the next week or so.  I wish I could show how cute the gift boxes the girls colored and made, but they didn't want photos taken as they want to add special gifts to family in them, and those people read my blog and would see it.  So, these gift boxes are under wraps until Christmas. :-)

In addition to this Christmas themed book, you can also pick up the Easter or Every Occasion Make Your Own Gift boxes books, also available now from Candlewick Press...

Gift Boxes to Decorate and Make: EasterGift Boxes to Decorate and Make: For Every Occasion


Make and Play: Christmas

More about this book:

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 26 pages
  • Publisher: Nosy Crow; Act Csm Sp edition (September 19, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763696161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763696160
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches

"This innovative new activity book includes ten press-out pieces to play and decorate with. The simple die-cut shapes, including Santa, a reindeer, and an angel, are easy to press out and slot together. The book also includes lots of activities, songs, and recipes to help celebrate Christmas!"

My Thoughts:

I was really impressed with this book made especially for young children in mind as they gear up for Christmas.  Kids will love the 20 pop-out die-cut shapes that are really durable and can hold up to day-to-day play, which include a jolly Santa, pretty angel with blue, Frosty the Snowman, beautiful ornaments, decorated Christmas trees and boy and girl gingerbread people.  My girls have been using these pop-outs to put on fun holiday plays they have thought up.  They have really gotten into the plays they thought up that they drew backdrops and scenery to go with their stories. It was really nice to see how these cute die-cut shapes could spark their imagination like it did.  

The girls would have been pleased with just a book with these cutouts, as they have provided hours of enjoyment, and they continue to play with them every day since receiving this book the other day. But, this Christmas activity book is filled with so much does an easy gingerbread cookie recipe sound? Yum! Or, popular Christmas carols to sing as you get into the holiday spirit like "Jingle Bells."  There are also fun activities like making your own paper chains, reindeer prints and even your own wrapping paper.  If you are looking for a fun all-in-one activity/recipe/craft/song book, then this is the book for you. Jam packed with fun Christmas themed activities, you and your kids are bound to get into the holiday spirit, if you aren't already.


The Princess in Black: Three Smashing Adventures

More about this book:

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Princess in Black
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Box Stk Pa edition (August 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076369777X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763697778
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches

"Fans of princesses and superheroes, rejoice! Here comes a handy boxed set offering an irresistible introduction to Princess Magnolia and her monster-fighting alter-ego, the Princess in Black. Humorous and action-packed, these early chapter books written by Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham are a hit with young readers. Look out for inconvenient monster alarms, royal birthday parties, and a case of monstrous cuteness in a collection that includes The Princess in Black, The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, and The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde.

Who says princesses can’t wear black? This instant collection of the first three adventures in the New York Times best-selling series makes a perfect gift."

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to receive this box set as my oldest daughter, Savannah, loves the popular "The Princess in Black" series. This box set includes the following The Princess in Black, The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, and The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde.  Even though Savannah read The Princess in Black book which got her hooked on this popular chapter book for young readers, she was excited to have the cute box set to store her now favorite The Princess in Black books together and show off on the top of her bookcase.  Fans of this book series will love the bonus 12 stickers included with the purchase of this box set.

If you have young children who have moved onto chapter books and love adventure books, then you will want to check out this New York Times Best-selling series today. And, what better way to check out this series, which I know you and your child will love, than will a nice box set, that is perfect for gift giving this holiday season.  Your child will get three popular books in this series, which they will love.

Where’s Waldo? Destination: Everywhere!

More about this book:

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Where's Waldo?
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (September 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763697265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763697266
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 0.4 x 11.8 inches

"Have you ever wondered which of his many adventures Waldo loved best?

Everyone's favorite bespectacled explorer has been many places — the land of dragon flyers, a Jurassic arena of sports-loving dinosaurs, the set of black-and-white movies in Hollywood. Join Waldo as he handpicks his favorite journeys of all time, revisiting twelve of his most fantastic travels in a new format that includes a surprise at the end of the book. 

New eye-boggling games await Waldo-watchers alongside every scene in this fresh tribute to Waldo's many years wandering the world."

My Thoughts:

Who doesn't love Where's Waldo? books?  I grew up loving these books and am happy to see that they are still around, and better than ever.  And, now I get to share these books with my girls.  My youngest daughter is a huge Where's Waldo? fan, so she was all smiles when she saw this book arrive at our doors.  But, then she opened the book and said, "Oh my, these are going to be tricky."  But, she was up for the challenge and we have been having so much fun tackling a scene a day trying to find Waldo.  If you stare long enough your eyes will start playing tricks on you and you will think everyone is where the infamous red and white striped sweater Waldo is known for. :-)  

This book, which features 12 classic scenes like you have never seen them before would make a great gift ideas for kids and adults of all ages who love Where's Waldo? as it will have them staring at the pages for hours trying to find Waldo.  When you think you have found him, you look a little closer and realize it isn't him.  This really is a fun book and one my girls and I will enjoyable for quite some time.  We aren't stopping until we find Waldo in all the scenes.  Then, we plan to pass this book along to family and friends so that they can get stumped looking for Waldo. :-)


A World of Information

More about this book:

  • Age Range: 8 and up 
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Studio (September 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763693480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763693480
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 0.5 x 14.9 inches

"From Morse code to the bones in the human body, this visually stunning collection of facts and figures puts a world of information at your fingertips.

How much do clouds weigh? Who invented the pencil? How many ways can you tie a knot? Discover the answers to these and many other questions in this elegant and absorbing miscellany of general knowledge. From music notation to Roman numerals and from the skeleton to the solar system, essential facts are brought to life by stylish infographics and fascinating commentary. Perfect for all ages, this book is sure to amuse and intrigue even the most curious minds."

My Thoughts:

I requested this book after learning about it from the Candlewick Press website, and thought it would be a great book to share as part of our schooling.  While this book is perfect for kids ages 8+ and would be a great reference book for them, younger children will also enjoy having you read this book to them and share fascinating facts about the world around them.  I don't know about you, but my girls are always asking me questions, especially my youngest who is never short of breath to get in a "Why is this? or "What causes this?" question throughout the day.  I can't believe how much thought the girls put into their questions, and have to admit that some of their questions have truly stumped me, and had me reaching for my phone to look it up and see if I could find an answer for them.

When you start flipping through this jam-packed book of oh so fascinating facts for the curious mind, you will be amazed at what you will learn.  Each page is filled with detailed facts that will have you scratching your head and saying, "Wow," along with diagrams and illustrations to tie the topic and facts together.   We just started looking through this book, and I love seeing the girls get excited about what they are learning.  Whenever my husband comes home from work, they quickly run to him and start spouting out facts they learned on such topics as atomic structure, impossible shapes solstices and equinoxes.  My husband says when they start talking it is like they are walking encyclopedias.  And, you know, he is right, as they really are getting down many of the facts, and it truly is remarkable at what they can absorb, comprehend and share, at such a young age.

If you have a child who is always asking "Why?" with things or loves interesting facts, then you will want to check out this new book from Candlewick press.  The facts in this book with astonish all that read it.

These are just a handful of recent releases from Candlewick Press, that I thought would be fun to enjoy this holiday season, and would make great gift ideas.  You can check out the full catalog of children's books now available from the folks at Candlewick Press by visiting their website today --  You will find their books online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Indiebound, as well as at local bookstores.

Stay up-to-date on all things related to Candlewick Press including upcoming children's book releases, news and more by following their social media channels below:

Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


  1. Where's Waldo would make a great gift for one of my kids - I used to love these books when I was a child. I had forgotten all about Waldo, thanks for the great gift suggestions!

  2. Those gift-box books would be great for presenting presents!