Top Books to Buy as Gifts for Kids | Books We Love

Book Recommendations – Top Books to Buy for Kids of All Ages

Most of the Play & Go team are avid book readers – we either read a lot or we wish we had the time to read more. We love to encourage children to read, and one of the best ways is to give a book as a gift. We’re huge fans of putting books under the Christmas tree each year.

We’ve had a great time (and a lovely trip down memory lane) coming up with this list of books that we either loved ourselves when we were younger or our children have enjoyed at different ages. Both of our younger Play & Go team members, aged at 18 and 19 years of age had a huge input into this list – and being so young themselves, these books are still quite fresh on their minds. Much of the commentary is by these girls.
We have provided links below to Dymocks online bookstore. You can still get books delivered by Express Post in time for Christmas if you order before Monday 18 December 2017. We love to support Dymocks as it’s an iconic Australian bookstore, founded in 1879.

Picture Books

Some of the classics we loved when we were younger were:
Possum Magic by Mem Fox
The Rainbow Fish by Pfister Marcus
Animalia by Graeme Base
David A Carter pop up books – they are so clever and we have given many little kids these books as gifts over the years. The School Bugs one for kids starting school or the Big Bug Book  (pictured at the top of the page.
A new release which is proving to be popular is No One Likes a Fart by Zoe Foster Blake (We’ve read some of her books for adults and they’re fun), we think any age could enjoy it.
Clarice Bean series by Lauren Child when we were younger (maybe when we were 7-8 yrs old), as well as the newer series that spun off from that, the Ruby Redfort series which is probably for older kids age 10-12 yrs. Plus any of Lauren Child’s other picture books like Charlie and Lola are fantastic for younger readers.
Julia Donaldson books  like The Gruffalo, What The Ladybird Heard, Room On The Broom.

Hairy Maclary series by Dame Lynley Dodd

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

Press Here by Herve Tullet is a clever interactive book that’s so simple but so much fun for kids.


Book Recommendations for More Confident Readers

I used to love The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton when I was young (good for ages around 7-10 years) and they have a bind-up of all three at Dymocks which is a great gift.
Anything by Roald Dahl I adored
The Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton

A really recent popular release is Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend which is for the 8-12 age group. This would be good for someone you know has a lot of books as it is unlikely they already have it since it was only released in October 2017 this year.

For the slightly older age group, the Percy Jackson series is great (9-12 year olds)
When I was around 10 or 11 I also loved The Dragonkeeper Series by Carole Wilkinson which have lovely covers now.
My brother was a big fan of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books as well which I know is popular for boys especially.

Wonder by RJ Palacio is one of the best books we have ever read, and it is adored by all ages and of course the movie has just been releasedd. We would put it on the must-read list. Probably best for ages 9+


Book Recommendations for Ages 12 and up

When I was 12 I read The Hunger Games series and Divergent series sort of books. I recommend The Potion Diaries series by Amy Alward also.
Some of the John Green books like The Fault in Our Stars (made into a movie in recent years) is also appropriate from 12 to 13 years old.
A more educational and deeper themed book is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak which is something everyone should read.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is also sad but a great story. There’s also Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children which is a more “creepy” read. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon which was made into a movie is also appropriate for 12 and up.
Those that have read and loved Harry Potter may like to graduate to the classic The Magician by Raymond E Feist.


Some of the books on our list you’ll find in the Dymocks Top 101 Books of All Time (as voted by Dymocks booklovers). Here are the Top 10:
1. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
2. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
3. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
4. Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
5. The Light Between Oceans – M.L.Stedman
6. Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
7. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
8. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion
9. The Happiest Refugee – Anh Do (we also love his series of books for kids)
10. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

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At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.


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