An Unconventional Librarian’s Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

Holiday Gift Guide for Kids


If you’re all things Nat Geo and wild animals like I am, you’ve got to check out this list of books for your little animal lover!


National Geographic Kids:

Just Joking Jumbo


Bet You Didn’t Know!


Hey Baby!


Ultimate Dinopedia


100 Things to be When You Grow Up by National Geographic Kids

100 Things to be When You Grow Up
by National Geographic Kids

If I had read 100 Things to be When You Grow Up I probably would have had an even tougher time making a career choice! From beekeeper to snake milker to pet food taster, there are so many more jobs to choose from than I could have ever imagined as a kid.

When I was a kid I wanted to be (in no particular order):

  • Carol Burnett
  • Forensic pathologist
  • singer
  • circus performer
  • actor
  • US President

Realistically, most of these jobs were unattainable for me, but it was certainly fun to daydream, right? That’s what so great about 100 things book: one woman, Shannon Walker, never imagined that as a young girl she could grow up to be an astronaut, but yep, that’ exactly what she became. It’s a dream come true for her and I’m sure many other people feel the same way about the jobs that they have. Especially the wacky and wild jobs noted in the book.  I mean, what IS a snake milker anyway?

I’m not telling.

You’ll hafta read the book for yourself.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Bibliographies, Information, General Books


I don’t know how or where the photographer got so close to so many animals but I am AMAZED by reading

Animal Ark

A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate mix of poetry and prose of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world.
Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature’s markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore’s lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.”

The photos inside are amazeballs and the poetry, written by Kwame Alexander, will delight even the youngest animal lover. The sloth, frogs, creepy snakes and bugs to leopards all get center stage with these beautiful full color images. So much animal goodness!

Many thanks to National Geographic for bringing us photos of animals we may never see in real life.



For International Women’s Month: Motor Girls by Sue Macy

Once again, National Geographic has brought us a great book to share with you. It’s called

Motor girls: How Women Took the Wheel and Drove Boldly into the Twentieth Century.

Come along for a joy ride in this enthralling tribute to the daring women – Motor Girls, as they were called at the turn of the century – who got behind the wheel of the first cars and paved the way for change. The automobile has always symbolized freedom, and in this book we meet the first generation of female motorists who drove cars for fun, profit, and to make a statement about the evolving role of women. From the advent of the auto in the 1890s to the 1920s when the breaking down of barriers for women was in full swing, readers will be delighted to see historical photos, art, and artifacts and to discover the many ways these progressive females influenced fashion, the economy, politics, and the world around them.

It’s hard to imagine a time when women didn’t drive cars, isn’t it? Well believe it or not, just one hundred years ago, women were mostly passengers in these new automobile things. Naturally, once women saw how great the motorcar was, they took ownership of it. Not only does Motor Girls discuss the beginning of the car, it provides little known information about the first motoring laws, an all female car sales team, and even participated in car races.

Motor Girls is a must add book to your library, especially if you want to inspire girls to live their dreams. Everyone will get a chuckle at the ridiculous riding clothes early motorists wore and will be amazed at the significant impact women of color made in the history of the automobile.

Books Children

NatGeoKids Real or Fake? by Emily Krieger

NatGeoKids Real or Fake?

Real or Fake

Far-out fibs, fishy facts, and phony photos to test for the truth


Here’s a fun book from National Geographic KiDS that kid will LOVE. Like all NGK books, Real or Fake contains great color photos with fun facts and wild interesting information that you might not learn about otherwise.  Here’s an example: An octopus that lives in trees in the US Pacific Northwest. Real or Fake?  The answer? Fake! Why? Because just like Bigfoot, it’s a made up thing. How about Chester the chimp who can play a guitar specially designed for him. The answer? Fake! As funny as it sounds, chimps can do many things but they sadly, cannot learn to play and sing because they don’t have the fine motor skills that humans have. But how funny would that be?

Is there really a place called Humpty Doo, Australia? Yes. What about Batman, Turkey? Yes. Cheeseburger, Wisconsin? Fake. What about Firenadoes? Is that a thing?

You’ll hafta Google it to find out.  In the meantime, grab several copies of this book because when you bring this book home everyone’s going to want to read it!

Did you know you can get a job as a pet food taster?




Books Children

Fun in the Kitchen with Edible Science (Nat Geo Kids)

Do you have a budding scientist in your house? Well if you’re like me, you love food, but did you know that cooking is a form of science?

Also, what did you think of Brain Games? Pretty interesting, right?

Don’t you love the brain?

Both books are perfect for homeschoolers!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Children

Get the Kids Back to School Ready with NatGeo Kids and a Safari!

I love NatGeo! They have the best books for kids who love nonfiction. If your little one doesn’t like to read or only likes to look at the pictures or will only read nonfiction, National Geographic has something for them. So here’s an idea, why not celebrate the end of summer with a Safari Party starring National Geographic books? Think of it as a bookclub with cake.

First grab these two books.

Hoops to Hippos: True Stories of A Basketball Star on Safari!

NatGeo Kids and a Safari!

This clever book is an easy to read chapter books that chronicles Boris Diaw’s journey to become an NBA player with his love of photographing animals.  It’s such a cute book and who doesn’t love the name Boris?

Then add

National Geographic Kids Animal Records

National Geographic Kids - Animal Records

This book has your name written all over it: the grossest, biggest, ugliest, fastest animals are all documented in this gem. The photos are so amazing (and gross) that your kids will return to this book forever! Who knew learning could be this fun?

Then, after you’ve collected these two books, pick some facts from the book, head out to the backyard and set up a safari for your young animal lovers.

Send kids on a scavenger hunt in the back yard. Have them find items that are:

  • smooth
  • scratchy
  • brown
  • blue
  • wet
  • cold
  • noisy
  • etc, use your imagination!

Kids can either collect these items in a paper bag or (even better) encourage them to draw these items as they find them in their natural habitat.  What’s more fun than sitting in the backyard drawing and coloring?

Teach kids how to use binoculars so they can see birds and bugs from far away.

Teach kids how to read a compass. Draw a map and have kids search for treasure (ok this is like a pirate but who doesn’t love pirates)!

Serve plenty of water and have lots of sunscream (as my little one called it) on hand because the jungle is sunny and hot. Also, be sure to discuss how we don’t want to interfere with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. This is a great opportunity to talk to them about preservation, conservation, and anything else you think is vital to keeping these gorgy creatures alive.

There’s always room for a teachable moment, right? While you’re at it, why not develop their budding photography skills like Boris did? You might not capture a wild dog like Boris did, but maybe you’ll capture that wild friendly pooch of yours doing something silly?

This is a safari everyone can enjoy and what a way to start back to school, right?