Inspiring Gifts for Grads

People all over the world are celebrating their graduations this spring so here’s a list of inspiring picture books that make great gifts for grads regardless of age.

Don’t Worry, Little Crab
By Chris Haughton
48 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536211191 | Candlewick Press
Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a tiny rock pool near the sea. Today they’re going for a dip in the big ocean. “This is going to be so great,” says Little Crab, splish-splashing and squelch-squelching along, all the way to the very edge. Then comes a first glance down at the waves. WHOOSH! Maybe it’s better if they don’t go in? With vivid colors, bold shapes, and his trademark visual humor, Chris Haughton shows that sometimes a gentle “don’t worry, I’m here” can keep tentative little crabs sidestepping ahead – and help them discover the brilliant worlds that await when they take the plunge.

Great Dog
By Davide Cali
Illustrated by Miguel Tanco
46 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919170 | Tundra Books
A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all? No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

If I Couldn’t Be Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499287 | Tundra Books
In this whimsical and magical picture book, Anne’s boundless imagination takes flight! She imagines being all the things she loves so dearly. If I Couldn’t Be Anne, Anne with an e, what would I be . . . Anne wonders what it would be like to be the wind dancing round the treetops. A tightrope walker, breathless and brave. A princess in a palace made of apple blossoms. A magical frost fairy or a plain little wood elf. . . . But even as Anne’s imagination soars far and wide, she comes back down to earth, recognizing that some things – like friendship! – are even better than the imagination.

Incredible Jobs You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
By Natalie Labarre
48 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212198 | Nosy Crow
Do you know what you want to do when you grow up? Why not work as a babysitter . . . for sloths? Or become a farmer . . . of corpses? You might even grow up to be someone who gets paid to actually sleep on the job! From taste testers to dinosaur dusters, there are all kinds of incredible jobs that you’ve probably never heard of – and one of them might be just right for you!

Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess
By Janet Hill
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499225 | Tundra Books
Miss Marcella Mink and sixty-seven of her favorite feline friends live happily in her big house by the sea. But there was a time when Miss Mink was not so happy. When Miss Mink created her own business – a feline-friendly cruise company for cat lovers and their furry companions – she found she no longer had time or energy for herself or her friends. For advice she turned to her cats, who always seemed so happy, healthy, well-rounded, well-groomed and well-rested. It was not long before the Cat Countess was feeling shipshape again. Collected here are Miss Mink’s twenty cat-approved lessons, from the benefits of a good grooming and an afternoon nap to valuable advice on friendship and diet.

Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess
By Janet Hill
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101917930 | Tundra Book
Miss Wilhelmina Moon is a dog governess. At her first placement, on a small island off the coast of France, her new charges – sixty-seven dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors – run wild. But armed with patience and a passion for teaching, as well as her companions, Mitford the monkey and Petunia the French bulldog, Miss Moon soon imparts twenty important lessons to her furry brood. Some are practical, some are playful, one or two are a little unusual, but all are necessary for the raising of happy, healthy and well-mannered dogs (and humans).

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
By Dr. Seuss
56 Pages | All Ages | Hardcover
ISBN 9780679805274 | Random House Books for Young Readers
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!

Petra
By Marianna Coppo
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262676 | Tundra Books
Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

Ray
By Marianna Coppo
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265776 | Tundra Books
At the end of the hall, near the staircase, is a closet. In that closet lives Ray, who is a light bulb. Ray spends most of his time in darkness, which is pretty boring if you don’t know how to fill it. So boring that Ray usually slips into a dreamless sleep. . . . Everything changes one day when Ray is migrated into a portable lantern and taken on the trip of a lifetime. He wakes up in a much larger closet (the outside), surrounded by incredible things – too many to count! Everything is super big, and Ray has never felt so small. And in the morning, Ray makes an incredible discovery which will change his life forever.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be
By Emily Winfield Martin
36 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780375973277 | Random House Books for Young Readers
From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gate-fold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids-both young and old. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes and makes a great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, Easter, and graduation.

Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink
By Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bram Morrison with Randi Hampson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264069 | Tundra Books
What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly – especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together.

She Persisted Around the World
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525516996 | Philomel Books
In this companion book to She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to a group of thirteen incredible women who have shaped history all across the globe. She Persisted Around the World is a book for everyone who has ever aimed high and been told to step down, for everyone who has ever raised their voice and been told to quiet down, and for everyone who has ever felt small, unimportant or unworthy.

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
By Watty Piper
Illustrated by Dan Santat
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593094396 | Grosset & Dunlap
The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new re-imagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Make sure you pick up one of these books from your local bookstore and help grads celebrate a new chapter in their lives!

Leave a Reply