Some book-related gift ideas

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Try one of these book-related items for a fun and unique holiday gift.

Boxed book sets

• Do you have a young mystery fan in your house? Try a six-volume "starter" set starring either Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys (Simon & Schuster/Grosset & Dunlap, $32.99 each set, ages 7-10).

• Teen readers will enjoy the three-volume "Sarah Dessen Gift Set" (Speak/Penguin, $26.95, ages 12 up). The set includes three novels by the popular author: "The Truth About Forever," "This Lullaby" and "Just Listen."

Audio books

• The 50 states decide to hold a party and comic chaos ensues in author-illustrator Laurie Keller's "The Scrambled States of America" (Macmillan, $9.99 for paperback book and CD, ages 4-7).

• In "Knucklehead," Jon Scieszka reads his laugh-out-loud autobiographical account of growing up as one of six brothers (Brilliance Audio, $19.99, ages 8-12, although adults also will enjoy it).

Book-related DVDs

• Weston Woods, now part of Scholastic, sets a high standard for translating the best children's books onto the screen. Three new DVD sets, all for ages 3-8, are available: "Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories" (28 stories on four DVDs, $29.95); "Treasury of 50 Storybook Classics: Animal Antics" (seven DVDs, $49.95); and "The Night Before Christmas: Special Edition," which includes Hanukkah and Kwanzaa tales (two DVDs, $19.95).

Book/art kits

"Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (Klutz, $16.95, ages 8 up) comes with lots of drawing tips, tracing paper and a pack of pencils. Young fans can extend their fun with "Heroes," a pop-up "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" book (Grosset & Dunlap, $24.99, ages 5 up).

• Kids can craft jewelry inspired by art masterpieces with "Artful Jewelry" (Chronicle Books, $19.99, ages 8 up).

• Preschoolers can stitch up a storm with "Super Simple Sewing" (Chicken Socks/Klutz, $12.95).

"Boom! Splat! Kablooey!" (Klutz, $19.95, ages 8 up) combines noise, mess and science in a way kids will love.

• With the "Hello, Snowman!" kit (Simon & Schuster, $9.99, ages 6-10), kids get a snowman ornament to paint, plus a little book filled with jokes and craft and recipe ideas.

• Kids will never have a dull moment with all of the crazy and fun activities in "The Encyclopedia of Immaturity, Volume 2" (Klutz, $19.95, ages 8 up).

• Give your friends a special keepsake with the help of "Fancy Friendship Bracelets" (Klutz, $19.95, ages 8 up).

Pop-up books

• Author-artist Mo Willems plays with the pop-up-book form in his whimsical "Big Frog Can't Fit In" (Hyperion, $19.99, ages 3-7).

• Antoine de Saint-Exupery's beloved book "The Little Prince" translates beautifully into a gorgeous pop-up book (HMH Books, $35, ages 8 up).

• Traditional children's poems take on a new look in Matthew Reinhart's "A Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes" (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, ages 3-5).

• Take "A Walk Down Sesame Street" (Candlewick Press, $19.99, ages 3-5) and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking TV show.

• Art comes alive in David Carter's "White Noise" (Simon & Schuster, $22.99, ages 3 up), a book that families can enjoy together. For younger readers, Carter offers a new book in his pop-up "bugs" series, "Snow Bugs" (Simon & Schuster, $11.99, ages 3-5).

• In "Snow White" (Candlewick Press, $19.99, ages 4-8), Jane Ray's exquisite art and intricate paper-engineering combine to produce a unique "three-dimensional fairytale theater."

• Young vehicle lovers will thrill to the hands-on delights in Stephen Johnson's "My Little Red Fire Truck" (Simon & Schuster, $19.99, ages 3-5).

Gift books

• Vampires are all the rage, and your reader can learn more about them in author Lisa Trumbauer's "A Practical Guide to Vampires" (Mirrorstone, $12.95, ages 10-14).

• It doesn't offer much new, but fans of Christopher Paolini's "Inheritance Cycle" still will love poring over the details of the series' landscape and characters in "Eragon's Guide to Alagaesia" (Knopf, $24.99, ages 9 up).

• Artist Melissa Sweet's illustrations expand the words of Peter Yarrow's song in "Day Is Done" (Sterling, $16.95, ages 3-6). This large-sized picture book includes a three-song CD.

• Lovers of the "-ology" series will revel in the newest volume, "Oceanology" (Candlewick Press, $19.99, ages 8 up).

• Your young dancer will get a hands-on, inside look at the world of ballet in "The Ballerina's Handbook" by Kate Castle (Candlewick Press, $14.99, ages 5-10).

• Dinosaur lovers will enjoy this trio: "Name That Dinosaur: A Puzzle Adventure" by Amelia Edwards (Candlewick Press, $17.99, ages 4-8), a book that invites readers to solve a mystery; "Dinosaur Science!"(World Almanac/Chronicle Books, $9.99, ages 5-7), a pack of activity cards; and "Dinosaurs" by Dennis Schatz (Chronicle Books, $24.99, ages 4-8), which includes "stereo sounds" of dinosaurs eating and battling.


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