Expert Buyers at Borders® Recommend Hottest Gifts for Kids
Top holiday book pick, ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard,’ to be celebrated with free in-store parties Dec. 4
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Borders has such a great selection of gifts for kids of all ages that Santa himself may dash to his nearest store to stock up for his holiday deliveries. To help Santa, as well as parents and grandparents pick the perfect gifts, the expert buyers at Borders are sharing their recommendations for enriching and entertaining books, games and puzzles that are sure to delight kids and teens this season.
For kids age eight through 17, Elizabeth Marotte, who is the children’s and young adult fiction buyer for Borders, has selected some great titles with the assistance of the entire children’s buying team. First on the list is “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J.K. Rowling. “This is an absolute must-have for Harry Potter fans,” said Marotte. “Anyone who loves Harry Potter will undoubtedly want this highly anticipated title for their collection.” The parties will kick off with a reading and discussion of “The Tales of Three Brothers,” an absorbing fable from the book that was first introduced to fans in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” After reading and discussing the fable, kids will have their knowledge of the characters, animals, spells and magical objects in each of the Harry Potter books tested during the exciting “Harry Potter Challenge” trivia activity. Then, the creative juices will flow when fans put crayons to paper and draw scenes from “The Tales of Three Brothers.” For those who cannot wait to buy the book, select Borders stores will stay open later than normal Dec. 3 to accommodate customers who want to buy the book immediately when it officially goes on sale just after midnight. To find a store with extended hours, visit the store locator tab on Borders.com. “It’s going to be a fun-packed hour full of lots of great activities for the kids,” said Marotte.
In addition to “The Tales of the Beedle the Bard,” Marotte also recommends the following:
# “Big Words for Little People” by Jamie Lee Curtis – “This is a wonderfully illustrated picture book geared toward kids age three to six that makes learning big words such as ‘consequences’ and ‘considerate’ a lot of fun. The words are introduced to kids in a meaningful and age appropriate context that is situation based, so they not only learn what the word means, but they also associate it with a relevant life lesson, which helps them internalize the words.”
# “Chaucer’s First Winter” – “This is a darling little picture book that’s great for kids age three to six about a bear named Chaucer. When customers buy the book, they can also purchase Chaucer the Bear, a cuddly toy rendition of the character in the book. It’s a great Borders exclusive gift set.”
# “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” by Laura Numeroff – “This is imaginative and kid-friendly book with spunky, brightly colored illustrations is a great picture book choice. ‘If You Give a Cat a Cupcake’ is part of Numeroff’s beloved ‘If You Give Series.’ If the kids on your holiday list aren’t familiar with these engaging books, this title is a great introduction to the series. It’s a wonderful gift for kids age two to eight.”
# “It’s Time to Sleep, My Love” by Nancy Tillman and Eric Metaxas – “This is a gorgeously illustrated bedtime book that is a wonderful gift for the new mom. The imagery is both beautiful and calming – it’s a perfect book to read to children age two to five at bedtime for lovely and peaceful dreams.”
# “How to Talk to Girls” by Alec Greven – “The pages of this book are filled with sage, practical advice from a nine-year-old boy who truly does know how to talk to girls, age eight to 80! Boys will find the advice both helpful and relevant because it’s written by a peer. With suggestions such as ‘comb your hair’ and ‘don’t wear sweat pants,’ kids and parents will find this book endearing and absolutely hilarious!”
Books for young adults age 13 and up include:
# The “Twilight” Saga by Stephenie Meyer – “’Twilight,’ ‘New Moon,’ ‘Eclipse’ and the final installment in the ‘Twilight’ saga, ‘Breaking Dawn’ are hands down the hottest books out there for young adults, particularly girls. The books, which tell the story of a high school romance between Bella and her vampire boyfriend, Edward, have great cross-generational appeal as well. Mothers and grandmothers love these books almost as much as girls do. Borders is the place to shop for ‘Twilight’ fans this holiday season. Not only do we have all the books of course, but we also have a full range of gift items related to the film, such as jewelry, apparel, posters, the film soundtrack, the “Twilight” calendar and others, many of which are exclusive to Borders.”
# Books by P.C. Cast – “Titles by P.C. Cast including ‘Marked,’ ‘Chosen,’ and her latest, ‘Untamed’ make great gifts for young adults who have read the ‘Twilight‘ saga and are ready to sink their teeth into another great vampire series. While the ‘Twilight’ books are appropriate for kids as young as 12, these books contain more adult themes and are a better choice for teens. They are highly entertaining and vampire enthusiasts will love them!”
# Books in Verse by Ellen Hopkins – “‘Crank,’ ‘Identical’ ‘Burned,’ ‘Glass’ and ‘Impulse’ are all teen-focused novels that masterfully tackle some heavy and emotionally-wrought subject material. What’s interesting about them is that they are completely written in free verse. Teens —especially teen girls —love them. This isn’t poetry that you would associate with Robert Frost or traditional poets. The words and verses flow in a way that the reader forgets after a while that it’s poetry and becomes completely engrossed in the story.”
# “Paper Towns” by John Green – “This is a book about a teen girl who has mysteriously vanished and the boy who searches for her by using the clues that she’s left behind. Green’s prose is witty and cleverly constructed and readers will enjoy the book’s hilarious dialog.”
# “Burning Up: On Tour with the Jonas Brothers” – “This is a book that appeals to kids and teens alike. Fans of this musical group will definitely want to see this book among their holiday presents this year. High-quality behind-the-scenes photos of the Jonas Brothers warming up, performing and having fun on their ‘Look Me in the Eyes’ tour adorn the pages of this coffee table quality book. As an added bonus, the performers themselves penned a candid narrative about life on the road, the song writing process and other topics near and dear to their hearts. This is an especially personal gift to give Jonas Brothers fans.”
It’s not all about the books at Borders this year. According to the retailer’s buyers of games, Megan Hinterman and Melanie Rhodes, puzzles and many games provide a high entertainment value and make great gifts, too. “Board games and puzzles can be enjoyed month after month, year after year and can even be passed from one generation to the next,” said Hinterman. “It’s cool to play a game that your parents or even your grandparents played when they were young. So many memories, laughs and conversations are wrapped up in games.”
Hinterman recommends the following games and puzzles for kids ages eight and above:
# Quiddler – “A fast-paced and challenging word play game that is both entertaining and educational. It’s great for kids as well as their parents, and because as many as eight people can play at one time, it’s a great reason to order a couple of pizzas and have a bunch of friends over instead of going out!”
# Lokulus – “This is great tactile puzzle game that young, aspiring engineers will love or any kid who demonstrates spatial aptitude and who loves to be challenged will appreciate. It’s an individual game that is both engaging and absorbing —and something that is really good to play between homework assignments to really get kids’ minds working in a way that is different from reading and writing.”
# Scrabble Onyx Edition – “A beautifully crafted, heirloom-quality Scrabble game. Scrabble is always a great kids’ gift because it gets them spelling and introduces them to new words in a fun way.”
# Apples to Apples – “This is a perennial favorite party game that is a big hit year after year! I received this as a gift last Christmas and I continue to have a great time playing this with my friends and family on our ‘game nights.’ Once the cards are dealt, everyone is involved in each round and you’re never waiting for ‘your turn.’ The comparisons that are made throughout the game are silly, outrageous and always entertaining!”
# “A Christmas Story” Monopoly – “Anyone who’s seen or even heard of the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ will appreciate the inventiveness that went into creating this game that celebrates the classic movie. With collectible pewter tokens of Santa’s boot, the Ralphie bunny suit and the infamous leg lamp, kids and their families will have a great time playing this game.”
# The Borders Exclusive “The Family Guy” Puzzle – “This a great gift for kids who are fans of the TV series, ‘The Family Guy.’ With over 500 pieces, this will keep kids busy for hours assembling a picture of the colorful and hard-to-forget Griffins.”
# Wits & Wagers – A very hot party game right now, this is best described as a fun, fast-paced-Rummy-meets-Trivial-Pursuit game. It’s a great choice for the family who loves to gather around the coffee table and play exciting and interactive games.”
Buyer Melanie Rhodes recommends the following games for kids ages five and above:
# Grinch, Sing Your Heart Out – “This is a fun game for not only kids, but also the whole family. A wonderful complement to the Dr. Seuss books, the game fosters teamwork, cooperative play and positive family interactions.”
# Lego World Explorer DVD Game – “The board game, which takes players through various Lego worlds, comes complete with an interactive DVD and six Lego brick playing pieces. It’s a wonderful gift for kids who love Legos.”
# Lego 50th Anniversary Building Set – “This is a reissue of the very first Lego building set. The nostalgia factor will bring you back to why you ever fell in love with Legos.”
# Zingo – “Bingo with a ‘zing’ is the best way to describe this game. Each player gets a Zingo card to fill using matching picture tiles from the Zingo Zinger machine. The first player to fill his or her card wins.”
# Creativity for Kids Craft Kits – “A perfect choice for girls who love to engage in a wide assortment of craft activities from making jewelry and messenger bags to lip balms. The products in this line are very versatile and parents will undoubtedly find something wonderful for the child who likes to express herself creatively.”
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