Give the gift that gives all year. An enchanting read-aloud, an illustrated moment in history, a story about a teacher who changed a child's world.
Here are six ideas -- for more gift ideas and close-ups of these covers, scroll down for a slide show or click here.
Watership Down, by Richard Adams, illustrated by Aldo Galli, Atheneum, $29.99, ages 10 and up, 496 pages. A band of rabbits flees its comfy warren to live in the Berkshire Downs after a psychic buck named Fiver predicts danger, in this first-ever illustrated version of the 1972 classic. Luminous pictures capture the magic of Adam's heroic tale -- originally told to his children over a long car journey.
Because You Are My Teacher, by Sherry North, illustrated by Marcellus Hall, Abrams, $16.95, ages 4 and up, 32 pages. A teacher takes her class on an imaginary journey to seven continents (by schooner, camels, helicopter and skis), in this beautiful, rhyming picture book by the creators of Because You Are My Baby. "If we had a schooner, we would have our class at sea / And study the Atlantic, where the great blue whales roam free," the book begins.
The Art of Miss Chew, by Patrician Polacco, Putnam, $17.99, ages 5 and up, 32 pages, 2012. A much-loved author and illustrator recalls her struggle with a reading disability and the teacher who stood up for her when she couldn't keep up. In this inspiring, autobiographical picture book, "Trisha" Polacco pays tribute to MIss Chew, a high school art teacher who refused to let a substitute teacher pull her out of art class.
Mr. Terupt Falls Again, by Rob Buyea, Delacorte, $16.99, ages 9 and up, 368 pages, 2012. Back on his feet after a coma, beloved teacher Mr. Terupt gets to spend one more year with his seven students before they graduate from elementary school. With energy and understanding, he helps them be their best as they try to pull off an extra-credit project. A heart-warming companion to the 2010 gem Because of Mr. Terupt.
I Have a Dream (Book & CD), by Martin Luther King Jr., illustrated by Kadir Nelson, Schwartz & Wade, $18.99, ages 5 and up, 40 pages. A gorgeous, intimate picture book of Martin Luther King's world-changing speech, "I Have a Dream." Up-close head shots of King speaking and a united crowd watching are paired with the last third of the speech. Nelson's paintings make King look as big as his message. A phenomenal series of paintings, which when paired with the entire speech on CD, take your breath away.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce, illustrated by Joyce and Joe Bluhm, Atheneum, $17.99, ages 4 and up, 56 pages, 2012. When a hurricane blows away all of the books in his house, a wayward bibliophile moves into a magical library where books nest, chatter, fly and whisper invitations to adventure. Based on the 2011 Academy Award-winning short film by the same name, this stunning picture book was inspired by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz and the curative power of books. Watch the trailer below! For more about this magical book, visit morrislessmore.com.