Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff – Children’s & Young Adult

At the Elliott Bay Book Company we believe that there is no better gift than a book, and we have the perfect one for everyone on your holiday list this season. We look forward to serving you and wish you Happy Holidays!

I have been obsessed with the work of Shel Silverstein since I first heard that fantastic cautionary tale about shirking your chores, “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.” I was young and impressionable and Uncle Shelby’s poems and illustrations helped me become the voracious reader and diligent chore-doer I am today (To be honest I’m more of a voracious reader than a diligent chore doer, but I certainly would never let my garbage get that high). Every Thing On It includes never-before-published poems and drawings by the man himself. It’s the perfect gift for people that grew up with Uncle Shelby and for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced his genious. —Casey S.

I cannot think of a better way to show your children how a wonderful relationship can be fraught with misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and silly jokes that backfire, yet only grow stronger. In this splendid volume, all thirty-five of James Marshall’s stories are brought together to celebrate friendship and two of the most lovable characters ever created —Leah

This oh-so-clever rhyming picture book from debut author and illustrator Shaskan is a splendid read aloud! Follow the quintessential brown and white pup; naughty or nice, skinny or fat as he unzips himself and becomes—a cat! Watch the tubby feline as he hisses or purrs, in trouble for something he did or didn’t do as he unmasks himself and becomes—a truly unexpected treat! Youngsters will delight in the silly rhymes, the goofy possible guesses, and the fun illustrations. —Holly

This book is adorable and just plain fun! What could be more delightful than the story of a baby and a piglet who get switched at birth? Lively colorful illustrations and a recurring theme make it a great read aloud and the playful tone manages to both tease and embrace storybook tradition. Eat your heart out Mark Twain! —Jamil

In appearance this book recalls the Golden Nature Guides however it’s a little more playful. Both the illustrations and the text describe the wonders of the natural world with liveliness and a sense of humor. It will be a sure delight to all young readers and the older readers may even learn a thing or two! —Pamela

Little Mist the baby snow leopard confronts the big, beautiful world for the very first time, with the help of his mom. Along the way he meets the animals of the great Himalaya, and discovers that this wonderful world will soon be all his to savor, without limits… Absolutely darling! —Jesse

Bear has lost his hat and embarks on a quest to ask all of his little woodland friends if they’ve seen it. But one of these cute, innocent seeming creatures isn’t being completely honest with Bear. In fact, he could be outright lying to him. What will Bear do when he the truth is revealed? Will the forest ever be the same? —Rich

I’ve always loved pop-up books, and what better gift idea for children of all ages?—It’s like giving a book in 3-D. Out just in time for the holidays is this charming new rendition of the classic tale by Roald Dahl, featuring the unique illustrations of Quentin Blake. Wonka fans will delight as they read through the story and get to open a Wonka bar and find a golden ticket or help with the demise of all the naughty children. This pop-up book is simply scrumdelicious. —David

The first story in this 1940s Newberry Honor trilogy involves Elmer Elevator, a young boy who runs away to a jungle island in order to rescue Boris, a baby dragon. He utilizes the twenty pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum and fine-toothed comb that he packs for his journey as he encounters the wild inhabitants of this magical place. Somewhat nonsensical and in the same vein as The Phantom Tollbooth, these stories will delight. Good for boys and girls ages 6-10 and parents of any age… —Tracy

Need a gift to tell someone that they mean the world to you? This adorable story of an orphan baby and a remarkable elephant named Birch is simultaneously smile-inducing and tear-jerking, and may just be the perfect gift to show that person how you feel. The relationship between this unlikely duo is heartwarming (think The Giving Tree but a lot more reciprocal) and the wonderfully playful illustrations bring to mind Jules Feiffer’s illustrations in Roald Dahl’s stories. Overall there is no better way to say “I am what I am because of you.” This also makes a great gift for adoptive parents and what could possibly make a better white elephant gift than a story about a white elephant? —Jamil

Get out of The Doldrums! The 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth is cause for celebration! Milo is the recipient of a mysterious tollbooth that delivers him first to the outskirts of the Kingdom of Wisdom. And who doesn’t remember the journey through Expectations, navigating the Mountains of Ignorance, and reaching the Island of Conclusions, landed on, of course, only by jumping. This book was my childhood introduction to the delight of wordplay and puns, and 50 years later I still feel a little tremble of happy just holding this wonderful story, replete with Jules Feiffer’s fabulous illustrations, in my hands. —Laurie

Marjane Satrapi burst on to the scene with Persepolis and attracted international attention and admiration. With her new graphic novel, The Sigh, she solidifies her place at the top. Told with a wink to both Psyche and Beauty, The Sigh is the story of Rose, the youngest daughter of a traveling merchant. When her father returns from a trip without a gift for her, Rose whispers a soft sigh of resignation, which sets her on a path filled with magic, love, grief, and redemption. A truly beautiful tale. —Leighanne

This holiday season give the gift of timeless literature to the young readers or collectors on your list. Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, The Call of the Wild, and many more classic Puffin titles are now available in gorgeous, illustrated hardcovers. Pick out a single beloved title or join them all together in one collection to be enjoyed throughout the cold winter nights, into the spring, and well into the future. Share the tales you loved as a child and pass on the gift of enduring literature with these classic works of art. —Casey S.

Written by the Decemberist’s Portland-based frontman Colin Meloy, and illustrated by the ridiculously talented Carson Ellis, Wildwood is destined to become a family favorite. When her baby brother is snatched by a murder of crows—yes, you read that right—Prue and her friend Curtis must venture into the forbidden Impassible Wilderness—a magical forest which lies at the heart of Portland. Testing the allegiances of the I.W.’s warring creatures, Prue and Curtis unwittingly step into a battle for the very forest itself. —Leighanne

This is a wonderful illustrated reference for any child’s library. Gombrich’s Little History of the World incorporates in its precious narrative the history of human envelopment and the beliefs of many of the worlds major religions. His goal was not to replace or supersede history books but present one in an approachable manner that retold many of history’s great stories. It’s the kind of book that stays with a family for generations (really—it was originally published in 1936!) —Holly

Growing up, the books I liked best were stories of parent-less children solving puzzles, discovering magic, saving the world. The Emerald Atlas has it all, and more. Siblings Kate, Michael and Emma have been bounced from one orphanage to another for the past decade—each one more bleak than the last—until their final destination, Cambridge Falls. Here they discover a green leather book that has only blank pages. But once the book is open, the children find themselves in an entirely different place and their thrilling adventures begin. The Emerald Atlas is perfect for independent readers who have enjoyed the likes of Rick Riordan, as well as the entire family for an engaging bedtime read aloud. Open up and let your thrilling adventures begin. —Holly

Karoo is a beguiling mystery to her art school friends in Prague. She’s been known to run off for weeks without notice, returning only to nurse vague excuses and bruises, her sketch pads are inhabited by the most curious horned and winged creatures, and she has the uncanny ability to make wishes come true. Raised by a creature named Brimstone, Karoo has no clue who her real family is, where she came from, or that she might have a pivotal part to play in an ancient battle between good and evil. Readers of The Golden Compass will devour this gorgeous urban fantasy! —Leighanne

In a distant future, the United States has collapsed into two separate lands: the Republic, a country of order and class, and the Colonies, a land in perpetual war with its neighbor. Day and June both live in the Republic but lead very different lives. June is a prodigy brought up to take her place among the nation’s elite. Day, a child of slums, was destined to die before his wits and cunning led him to the top of the Republic’s most-wanted criminal list. When an act of murder throws their worlds together, Day and June both discover that the Republic may not be all that it seems. Fans of The Hunger Games will love the first book of this trilogy. —Casey S.


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