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Wisconsin Parent

DIY Book Gift Sets

Nov 05, 2014 10:00AM ● By Tiffany Malloy
I'm always looking for a way to give the gift of reading to the little (and not-so-little) ones in my life, and I think one of the perfect gifts is to pair up a good book with a fun toy of the same theme. Not only is it just plain 'ol fun, but we're encouraging them to play out what they just read about—helping them to understand that good books often lead to real-life application. I put together a few book and gift thematic sets to get your brainstorming juices going:


Can You Say It, Too? Roar! Roar! By Sebastien Braun

For the littlest of book lovers, this board book with big flaps is a brightly illustrated book with sturdy flaps (Do you know how many flaps my 18 month old has ripped off of library books? A whole lot. But not from this book.). Couple this book with Melissa & Doug Safari Chunky Puzzle and you got yourself a fun, yet brain-building combination.

around the world

Littleland Around the World by Marion Billet

Littleland Around the World is the (stand alone) sequel to Littleland by Marion Billet. The cute little ones are leaving home to take a trip around the world. In each location kids are invited to spy a few objects that are unique to that geographical local. While this book probably doesn’t need a toy to go along with it (it’s nearly a toy in itself!), World GeoBlocks would make a great gift companion. While the youngest of this age range will only appreciate these blocks as stackable cubes, the beauty of this toy is that it grows with the child. Before you know it, kids are asking you questions about the various countries represented.


The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty by Karla Strambini

What’s better to do after reading a book about a fantastically creative inventor who couldn’t keep his ideas to himself? Why, create, of course! This toy pairing is a bit unusual (as it should be for this book)—a more, do it yourself, if you will. Take a trip to the hardware store (or rummage through your basement) and create a kid-sized tinkering kit! Of course you can do it however you want, but Katydid and Kid offers up some great suggestions.


Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton

Have a child that is interested in the minute, the tiny details of life that can’t be seen? Tiny Creatures is a great book for a budding scientist. Pair this up with the My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope and you’ve given a gift that opens up a whole new world. It’s a bit pricey, but how frustrating would it be to give a kid a cheap microscope that doesn’t work well?


Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Katie DiCamillo

In this new series, Katie DiCamillo (award winning author) introduces us to a Leroy, a wannaby cowboy. The book is a hoot and is sure to be a favorite. Pair this tale with pretty much anything from the Western Playmobil set and you’ll have one happy kid.


What are some other ideas that you have? Need help pairing the perfect toy with one of your favorite kid books? Leave a comment and I'm happy to offer some suggestions! 

Thanks to Candlewick Press for these book review copies.