Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads, Uncategorized

Last-second stocking stuffers!

I know, the clock is ticking down, and you need stocking stuffers. I’ve got stocking stuffers. Read on.

Show-How Guides: Friendship Bracelets, by Keith Zoo, (Aug. 2020, Odd Dot Books), $5.99, ISBN: 9781250249968

Ages 6-11

Remember friendship bracelets? Wow, I made so many of those back in the ’80s. Well, they’re back! Odd Dot’s Show How Guides are a series of quick and easy, step-by-step books that walk readers through the steps in making different crafts, like hair braiding, making slime and sand, hand-lettering, and making paper airplanes. Odd Dot was kind enough to send me a copy of Friendship Bracelets, which I loved. Two-color illustrations include friendly shapes that talk to the readers; materials needed for each craft are up front, as is a short table of contents. These guides are all about the essentials: the basics needed to get started on your journey. You can always look for more complex stuff when you’re ready to move on. These books are no pressure. There are 10 types of friendship bracelets included here: macramé, zipper, twist, wrap, butterfly, box, fishtail, diagonal, chevron, and braid, and each bracelet has an illustrated, numbered, step-by-step series to complete the bracelet. It’s a great gift idea, especially if you want to pick up some materials (embroidery floss, a tape measure, pair of scissors, and a binder clip or tape) to put together a little starter kit.

Perfect stocking stuffer, and for me? Perfect make and take craft idea to put together for my library kids. Enjoy!



Brain Candy 2: Seriously Sweet Facts to Satisfy Your Curiosity, by National Geographic Kids, (Oct. 2020, National Geographic Kids), $8.99, ISBN: 978-1-4263-3886-1

Ages 7-12

More facts, more photos, more fun! Brain Candy 2 is the second Brain Candy book from NatGeo Kids. It’s digest-sized, fits nicely into schoolbags and Mom’s purse, and is chock-full of the coolest facts about just about everything and anything. Misleading animals names, sneaky animal predators, and wacky whale behaviors are just a few of the facts readers will find in here. Facts go from the giggle-worthy: birds, octopuses, and sloths don’t pass gas – to the spooky: visitors to a German castle report hearing the armor of the knights who once protected it. NatGeo always maintains a respectful sense of conservation and preservation, too, including facts about how much plastic has been pulled from our planet’s waters (hint: A LOT). Always informative, always fun, these digest-sized books are great gift ideas, are worth their weight in gold for my circulation, and are almost impossible to sneak out of my Kiddo’s room so I can review them.

Bundle this with some actual holiday sweets and call it a stocking stuffer. Ta-Da!



Nerdlet (A Little Book of Nerdy Stuff): Animals, by T.J. Resler, (Sept. 2020, National Geographic Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 978-1-4263-38724

Ages 8-12

I’m going to take a moment to bask in the fact that being called a Nerd is having its moment. Okay, I’m done. NatGeo Kids’s Nerdlet is a little book made for “animal nerds”: kids who can’t get enough of reading cool facts about animals. Digest-sized like Brain Candy and Brain Candy 2, Nerdlet has all of the NatGeo-famous gorgeous color photos, with slightly denser text for a more middle-grader reader. Fun Facts and Nerd Alerts – callout boxes with bizarre and brainy facts – run throughout. Nerds of Note introduce readers to animal researchers and professionals. Discover an island of cats on Taiwan, follow a flow chart to discover what type of fox you’d be, and learn to tell the different types of spotted cats apart. Nerdlet has it all and then some. Perfect for animal fans! Buy a little plush or some animal toys (Kiddo has so many of those animal tubes laying around his room) and you’ve saved Christmas.

Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Two stocking stuffers from NatGeo Kids: Brain Candy and Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff

NatGeo Kids has two digest-sized, chunky little books loaded with fun facts and pictures that will be perfect for a stocking stuffer or last-minute gift!


Brain Candy: Seriously Sweet Facts to Satisfy Your Curiosity, by National Geographic,
(Oct. 2019, National Geographic Kids), $8.99, ISBN: 9781426334375
Ages 7-13

Brain Candy is so much fun because it’s loaded with facts, but it also connects facts together. Each spread presents one big fact – “A million is a lot”, for instance – and then connects other facts to that main fact: “A million days ago, the first Olympics were taking place in Ancient Greece”; “A million ants weight as much as one human”; “If you live a million hours, you will be 114 years old”. Taste buds, birthdays, pizza, animals, and trash are only a few of the subjects covered in this jam-packed book that will give kids endless things to think about, and tons of fun facts to spout off during dinner time. These little digest-sized books are great to stick in your bag, and they’re good for hours of entertainment. My second grader has a growing collection of them that he loves; he’ll just slip one off his shelf, curl up on the couch, and start reading them, because the facts are presented in bright, bold color and they’re easily read. Fun fact: One of my library kids once stood next to me with a NatGeo Kids joke book and read jokes to me for 30 minutes. He loved it, I had a good laugh, and other kids immediately wanted in on where he found the book. Reading is contagious!


Surprising Stories About Everyday Stuff, by Stephanie Warren Drimmer,
(Sept. 2019, National Geographic Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 9781426335297
Ages 7-13

Ever wonder how blue jeans became so popular? Or where soap came from? Surprising Stories is all about how things we use everyday found their ways into our homes and our lives. Organized into 10 chapters, readers can see where the most popular toys, food, fashion, tools, household objects, holidays, and more came to be. Each chapter has a spotlight on fads throughout the years, and there are loads of callouts with even more quick facts. You know that Slinky jingle? It’s the longest-running jingle in the history of TV advertising. Cowboy boots have heels for guys and gals alike, because those heels keep a cowpoke’s foot from slipping through the stirrups. Once again, NatGeo Kids creates a quick-take book loaded with absolute fun.