Happy Day After Thanksgiving!

If you’re not out shopping for Black Friday deals today, you may at least be starting to think about what you are going to give this holiday season now that Thanksgiving is over.  As you might imagine, I like to give books. :)

Here are a few ideas for you to give books this year too.

Gift Books for Little Kids:


  • I like to stick with the basics.  The cute basics.  LMNO Peas and 1-2-3 Peas by Keith Baker are about as adorable as vegetables get, and they introduce numbers and letters as a bonus.  If your style is more retro than cute, try Apple Pie ABC and One, Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray.

Gift Books for Bigger Kids:

Gift Books for Future Scientists:


Gift Books for Grown-Up Science Buffs:

Gift Books for Artists, Poets, & Musicians:


  • Remember I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail from this post?  Perfect gift book for anyone interested in poetry, language, or design.
  • Record Collecting for Girls kind of limits the audience in the title, but it’s a great book for anyone interested in indie music (of either gender). I blogged about it here and here.
  • Everyone is talking about How Music Works by David Byrne.  I haven’t seen this one yet, but it may be worth checking out for the musician in your life.

Will you be giving books this year?  Which books do you like to give?

A portion of purchases made from Amazon.com links on this site benefit Proper Noun Blog.  Thanks for your support!  I might also point out that zines make great stocking stuffers.  My zines are available online here!  I also have books and blog related merch in my Cafepress shop.

Friday Finds – Gift Edition: For Bookworms, Writers, and Language Geeks

What do you get a bookworm besides books?  I have a few ideas…

  • This one is for my fellow librarians (and anyone who else reads YA) because #YAsaves. Stand up for the power of teen fiction with this print from Jennifer Alexis Design.

  • Or perhaps you just want to give a book as a gift, but you want to make it special.  Do not miss 150 Ways to Gift a Book from the fabulous book blogger Mother Reader.  She has some great ideas for kids of all ages.
  • I have all sorts of recommendations in my Amazon.com bookshop.  Buy one of my favorite books and support this site while you do it! :)

Happy Shop Small Saturday!

It’s no secret that I love my city, so for Shop Small Saturday, I’m featuring some local businesses with items that show hometown pride.  They just might make the perfect gift for the Twin Citian in your life! :)

I love this vintage locket with a Minneapolis map from Left Hand Originals.  She will also do custom map necklaces from anywhere in the world!  Perhaps a great gift for the world travelers or those who dream of it.

First Avenue is a well-known landmark in Minneapolis music history.  Many bands that play there, including M83 recently, comment on what an honor it is to play there when they visit Minneapolis.  I love all of Red Shoes 26 Design‘s local landmark prints.

Start young with MN pride with a MN onesie from Dianapantz!

You might also want to check out the local artisans I found recently at the HandmadeMN Market or at the Red Hot Art Fest this past summer, and I highly recommend this local blogger’s series on local businesses of all sorts to support for Small Business Saturday–or anytime!

Happy shopping!

The Poetry of Science (Books for Secular Families)

The Tree That Time Build: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination is one of my favorite poetry collections for young people.  From the book:

“Both poets and scientists wonder at and about the world.  Out of that wonder, scientists devise experiments to see whether they can verify what they think might be true, while poets craft language to examine and communicate their insights.”

I must admit that I am more of a poet than a scientist, so the poems in this collection are the perfect way for me to connect with science in a way that reinforces the idea that wonder doesn’t go away with explanation.  The poems are organized thematically to cover our origins, dinosaurs, plants life, animals, insects, and genetics.  The accompanying CD  includes many of the poems being read by the poets.  The book & CD would make a great gift for a family with an interest in nature.  Perhaps pair it with a tree planted in their name or other gift from the Arbor Day Foundation store.

This book will be a family treasure and a classroom favorite.

See more posts about science, religion, and secular family life on my Secular Thursday page.

Disclosure: Amazon Links are affiliate links.

HandmadeMN Market: Some highlights

Ladybug and I stopped in at the HandmadeMN Market this past Saturday, and we found so many lovely things.  Here is a shot of what we bought:

The hair clip for Ladybug is from Tauna Lane Design.  If you like cute & girly for kids, this is the shop for you.  In addition to the hair clips, she also has Lollidoll cake toppers and frilly aprons that little girls will love.  At the market, she had vintage children’s books re-bound into blank books.  I think they would make great journals for kids.

The brooch in the photo above came from KellyBot.  Her shop contains all sorts of cool creations from vintage buttons.  We also bought a bar of handmade soap from Bath n Beads, etc.

I love upcycled crafts.  These altered wall plates from Unique Art Pendants are very cool.  The shop also has art prints made from vintage dictionary pages, which I love.  While you’re checking out her shop, don’t miss the jewelry.  I love the cuff bracelets.

The photo pieces from Allison Marie Designs remind me of picture books like Minnesota’s Hidden Alphabet.  She will personalize the pieces with a child’s name too, which would be a great gift along with the book.

Speaking of kid stuff, Ladybug loved the crayons from Earth Grown Crayons.  Not to mention, it was nice to have a kid-friendly place where she could try  something out.

The Farmers Market Crayon Box Set would make a great gift with To Market, to Market by Nikki McClure or Rah, Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre.

These tiny prints of local icons are from Red Shoes 26 Design.   I’m a sucker for all things local, so these are perfect for me.  I also love this typewriter card: You’re my type.

These are just a few of my favorites.  See more local artisans from the market here.

My 15 Minutes

I’ve been blurbed.

I’ve been reviewing for Library Journal for several years now, and, to my knowledge, this is the first time my review has found its way to the back of a book. I have to admit: I’m proud.

I’m particularly glad it was this book. I’m more than happy to put my name/words behind Desmond Morris’ Amazing Baby. It is a fascinating look at infanthood from the eyes of a zoologist. As you might imagine from the author of The Naked Ape, everything relates back to human evolution. This is a great book for science-minded parents. I currently have Morris’ newest book, Child, out from the library, and it looks every bit as beautiful and interesting as Amazing Baby.

Need a gift for the new or expectant mom in your life?

Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
Nancy Tillman, author of On the Night You Were Born, has done it again. Her newest book is another super lovey-dovey picture book that will live forever as baby shower and holiday gifts for parents.