Last week, I put together a DVD movies gift guide. This week, I decided to put together a list of books that would appeal to many dads, moms, and kids.
If your children love superheroes, then they will also love the three superhero guides below. We purchased the DC Comics and Marvel encyclopedias a couple of years ago and they are getting a little beat up because my seven-year old son looks at them all the time. Plus he treats his books like he treats his baby brother — Rough with a capital R. Recently, my son checked out the Avengers guide at the library and likes it too, but there is a lot of overlap between the Avengers guide and the Marvel Encyclopedia. These three superhero guides feature pictures and interesting facts about superheroes and supervillains. I highly recommend the DC and Marvel encyclopedias. And if you don’t want to shell out the bucks for those two books, I would suggest going with the less expensive Avengers guide.
- The DC Comics Encyclopedia (List Price: $40, Amazon: $28.61)
- Marvel Encyclopedia (List Price: $40, Amazon: $26.40)
- Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide (List: $16.99, Amazon: $11.55)
Bakugan, Ben 10, and Pokemon Handbooks
My oldest boy (age seven) is into Bakugan and Ben 10 and my youngest girl (age five) is into Pokemon. Over the years, we either purchased or checked out the handbooks below. My kids love the Bakugan, Ben 10, and Pokemon guides. I’m not into Bakugan, Ben 10, or Pokemon but I find the guides useful when my kids start spewing the names of characters I have never heard of. Now I know how my wife feels when she rolls her eyes every time I talk about the Justice League. BTW, the Pokémon book even shows you how to pronounce characters names so you don’t sound like a complete idiot.
- Bakugan Ultimate Handbook ($9.99)
- Bakugan Vestroia Handbook ($7.99)
- Bakugan Battle Brawlers Official Handbook ($7.99)
- Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Complete Guide ($6.99)
- Pokemon Ultimate Handbook ($9.99)
Gag Gifts for the Twilight Infected
If your love ones has been infected with the Twilight virus, then consider giving the blood-sucking parodies below. I’ve only read the Harvard Lampoon parody and I found the humor only so-so. Read at your own risk.
- Nightlight: A Parody by The Harvard Lampoon (List: $13.95, Amazon: $10.04)
About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him – which I assumed was wildly out of his control – that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me. And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight.
- TwiLite: A Parody by Stephen Jenner (List Price: $12.95, Amazon: $11.65)
Love between a teenage girl and a vampire can be a beautiful thing. Then again, it can get a little ugly. Just ask Stella Crow. Stella is a clumsy but otherwise ordinary girl whose life takes a radical turn the moment she meets Edweird. Though perfect on the outside, Edweird Sullen is remarkably unrefined on the inside. He also happens to be a one hundred year old vampire, trapped in the body of a teenage boy, who has yet to finish high school.
- New Moan (The Twishite Saga) by Stephfordy Mayo ($9.99)
Heffa Lump is just a typical pale 17-year-old who doubts that anyone will ever see her true beauty and needs to grow up and get a life. Fortunately, the Spatula Academy of Fictional Excellence specializes in helping characters from kids’ books cross over into adult fiction. Unfortunately, she’s distracted from her attempts to leave adolescence behind when she meets Teddy Kelledy — an impossibly gorgeous boy who eats rare meat, is super-strong, and never goes out in daylight.
I don’t usually feature cook books on my dad blog because my wife has forbidden me from cooking ever again. I think it might have something to do with a kitchen fire. I’m not sure why she’s still mad about that. Accidents happen all the time when I’m in the kitchen. You would think my wife would be use to stuff like that by now. Anyhow, below are two cookbooks that were sent to me for review:
- Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook: 50 Favorite Recipes to Make in a Slow Cooker (List Price: $19.99, Amazon: $13.59)
I only got to glimpse this book for a few minutes before my ten-year old daughter stole it. She loves it and has been busy posting sticky notes all over the book. Apparently, the notes are for the stuff she wants to make it, which is just about everything in the book. The 50 recipes in the book are kid friendly, but adult assistance is needed for some of the recipes. The book features recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert.
- Fix-it and Forget-it Christmas Cookbook: 600 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes (List Price: $15.95, Amazon: $8.77)
As the title indicates, the book features 600 Christmas themed, slow cooker recipes. Recipes included are: appetizers, snacks and spreads; breakfast and brunch;soups, stews, and chili; main dishes; vegetables; beverages; and desserts and sweets. The titles of the dishes are descriptive, but I wish the book included photos like the Fix-It and Forget-It Kids’ Cookbook (above).
A couple of days ago, I received a bunch of books for teens and tweens from Egmont Books for review. My daughter (she’s sick) has not had time to read them all yet, but here are some more books to consider this holiday:
- Vordak the Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World (List Price: $13.99, Amazon: $10.07)
Nice title. It makes me want to buy the book and then conquer the world. The book targets kids that love comics or the Wimpy Kid series. It provides step by step instructions on how to ‘bring out the EVIL’ and ‘build a Top-Notch EVIL organization.’ The villainy manuscript will also help readers improve vocabulary and explain how to engage in witty repartee with disgustingly chipper superheroes. Reading level: Ages 9-12
- The Invisible Order, Book One: Rise of the Darklings by Paul Crilley (List Price: $16.99, Amazon: $11.55)
This is the first book of a new series that blends history and fairy folklore. Rise of the Darklings features a resourceful heroine, dubious alliances, secret societies, dark alleys, clandestine meetings, betrayal and bogeymen. The book is suppose to appeal to tweens who love the Spiderwick Chronicles or Percy Jackson series. My daughter must really like this book because she took it to school to share with her friends. Reading level: Ages 9-12
- The Jaguar Stones, Book One: Middleworld by J&P Voelkel ($8.99)
This is the first book in the Jaguar Stones series. The main character is fourteen-year old Max Murphy. In order to save his parents, he has to travel through the jungles of the Maya and deal with haunted temples, zombie armies, and human sacrifice. Kids who read this book will learn about the Maya culture and interesting facts — such as the give-and-take tree, which gives pain with its spines and relieves pain with its bark; the howler monkey, which is the loudest land animal; and the reasons for blood sacrifice. Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Barnes (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $12.23)
Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents, fifteen-year old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two. But when her curiosity gets the better of her, she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes. The horrific memories of her parents’ murders return and Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered. Reading level: Young Adult
- Siren by Tricia Rayburn (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $12.23)
The story opens as Vanessa Sands’ sister Justine dies in a cliff diving accident in Maine. Looking for answers, Vanessa returns to her family’s summer house only to discover that more and more victims are washing ashore grinning from ear to ear. As Vanessa works to uncover the mystery behind the creepy drownings, she discovers a secret that will change her life forever. Reading level: Young Adult
- The Dark Divine by Bree Despain ($9.99)
Grace Divine is torn between her loyalty to her brother and her attraction to the mysterious Daniel. Her family never talked about the night her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood and his best friend Daniel disappeared — that is until Daniel returns three years later. As Grace gets close to Daniel, her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must find the cure that can save the ones she loves. Reading level: Young Adult
Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
Last year, my ten-year old daughter and I discovered the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. We loved them and the books are a lot better than the movie. The Percy Jackson books are kinda like the Harry Potter series, but instead of wizard magic, the Percy Jackson series is about the magic of Greek gods, goddesses, and demigods. The reading level of the series is ages 9-12. You can purchase the Percy Jackson Boxed Set (List Price: $89.99, Amazon: $52.64) or get the five books individually:
- The Lightning Thief (Book 1) (List Price: $16.85, Amazon: $11.46)
- The Sea of Monsters (Book 2) (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $12.23 )
- The Titan’s Curse (Book 3) (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $12.23)
- The Battle of the Labyrinth (Book 4) (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $12.23)
- The Last Olympian (Book 5) (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $9.95)
My daughter and I were a little sad when the Percy Jackson adventures ended after only five books, but we were glad Rick Riordan wrote two other similar books:
- The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One) (List Price: $18.99, Amazon: $10.25)
This new series includes some of the characters from the Percy Jackson books and takes place after the Percy Jackson series. My daughter and I like this new series, but we didn’t think it was as exciting as the Percy Jackson series. In the Lost Hero, three new heroes (Jason, Piper, and Lucy) go on a quest to free Hera and save the world from doom.
- The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) (List Price: $17.99, Amazon: $10.52)
This new series has nothing to do with the Percy Jackson series, but they are a little alike. Percy Jackson involves Greek gods while the Red Pyramid features Egyptian gods. In this book, Carter and Sadie Kane (siblings) are trying to rescue their father, Dr. Julius Kane, after the Egyptian god Set banished him to oblivion.