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Suggestions for Books as Gifts


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I have a tradition of getting each of my kids a book for Christmas. I'm having a hard time finding one for DD (12). She doesn't like to read, so it's tricky. A novel would be kind of a waste- she might read it but I'd do just as well to save my money and let (make) her read it from the library. She would never re-read a novel/fiction.


Anyone have suggestions for beautiful books for non-readers that are worth owning? She likes cool things and pictures, so if it was a really special book in some way, she may appreciate it. I don't want to give up and not get her a book like everyone else. In the past, I've gotten her graphic novels and pop-ups like Sabuda's, but she's not really into those anymore. 


She likes:

animals of all kinds and especially things having to do with animal protection and conservation


art, drawing, crafts, etc.


doing things- active activities






She dislikes:



scary or creepy things






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Some books by John Muir Laws -- not sure if this would be good for a 12 year old since I haven't seen them in person but I've been browsing the store for someone I know who is into nature and drawing. He has a lot on Youtube, too.

Pounce -- if one is into cats. I am not so I don't know if that is kid friendly but if she has a favorite animal, maybe a coffee-table type book full of beautiful animal pictures?

The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins

Since you mentioned travel -- again, not sure if these are too childish or too much:

Not For Parents How to Be a World Explorer by Lonely Planet -- one of the reviews mentions kids a bit younger (10 & 11) but also not into reading that liked this one

National Geographic National Parks book
Lonely Planet Kids Travel book

I agree about Magic Eye and Dk books. DK has a Maker Lab book with activities, not sure if for the same age group.

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You mentioned science, so I'll suggest The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray. It's a visually stunning book!



"An eye-opening, original collection of gorgeous, never-before-seen photographic representations of the 118 elements in the periodic table.

The elements are what we, and everything around us, are made of. But how many elements has anyone actually seen in pure, uncombined form? The Elements provides this rare opportunity. Based on seven years of research and photography, the pictures in this book make up the most complete, and visually arresting, representation available to the naked eye of every atom in the universe. Organized in order of appearance on the periodic table, each element is represented by a spread that includes a stunning, full-page, full-color photograph that most closely represents it in its purest form. For example, at -183°C, oxygen turns from a colorless gas to a beautiful pale blue liquid.

Also included are fascinating facts, figures, and stories of the elements as well as data on the properties of each, including atomic weight, density, melting and boiling point, valence, electronegativity, and the year and location in which it was discovered. Several additional photographs show each element in slightly altered forms or as used in various practical ways. The element's position on the periodic table is pinpointed on a mini rendering of the table and an illustrated scale of the element's boiling and/or melting points appears on each page along with a density scale that runs along the bottom.

Packed with interesting information, this combination of solid science and stunning artistic photographs is the perfect gift book for every sentient creature in the universe."




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We have a child who loves the Good Job, Brain! podcast as well as the Brain Games t.v. show on Nat. Geo (I think?) and so we are getting him the books that are made by the makers of those!  Just fun trivia, puzzle type books based on them.

Edited by 6packofun
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World Wildlife Fund Coloring Book?



Or, depending on where you live, are there conservation groups around that have gift shops/books? Buying something there would support the animals' care. Many, many years ago, I bought my dd the book Lootas (about an orphaned sea otter that was adopted by the Seattle Aquarium) & when we were in Seattle a couple of years ago, we actually got to see Lootas (she's a grandmother now). So fun & neat.

Edited by Stacia
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The first book that came to mind is exactly the same as Kareni. The elements book is really a beautiful book.


My science living kids have held on to that book in tbeir bedrooms much longer that most books. For my kids, that is a place of honor lol.

Edited by Tap
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