Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman (Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night) and Caldecott artist Beth Krommes (The House in the Night) team up in this exquisite "invocation," a wish for snowfall in the busy city, the kind of snow that transforms the world overnight into a slower, softer, lighter place. In Before Morning (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Sidman chooses just the right words: feathers, sugar, swaddled. Find more snowy picture books on our Freshly Fallen Snow list.
In my house growing up, the holidays weren't the holidays without a good reference book to curl up with in some cozy corner. Animal!(DK/Smithsonian) will truly wow middle-graders who revel in all creatures great and small, from the tiniest baby seahorse to the chest-beating mountain gorilla.
This oversized, full-color encyclopedia teems with photographs and dramatic photorealistic computer-generated images. Evolution, extinction, adaptation and more are explored in lucidly written, visually arresting pages. Find more spectacular reference books on our Did You Know?list.
There's a certain jolly, red-cheeked fellow who looms large in many a child's mind at Christmastime. In Taro Gomi's delightfully offbeat holiday story Presents Through the Window (Chronicle), a helicopter-traveling, pink-suited Santa peers through house windows to determine which gift he will deliver to the animals inside, but gets it wrong every time. Preschoolers will giggle gleefully at Santa's mix-ups. Find more Santastic picture books here. And now, scroll down to see 20 more heartfelt gift-book recommendations for babies and teens and in-betweens. Enjoy! --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness