Our Top Picks: Perfect Pairings of Books & Toys

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Family, friends, gatherings, festivities, and shopping for loved ones.  While books are a frequent gift in and of themselves, they can also expand and enhance your child’s toys, too!  Both books and play allow children to learn about the world around them, so pairing a book with a toy can inspire and deepen play experiences.

Here are some traditional gifts for children and books that go along with them.

Bikes bikeonbear

Bike On, Bear! by Cynthia Liu

Bear is an extraordinary, genius bear, who can do anything except ride a bike. Can Bear figure out how to get on two wheels?

Bug on a Bike by Chris Monroe

The bug on a bike is riding somewhere, but no one quite knows the destination. That doesn’t stop all the other animals from following along.

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

A duck decides to ride a bike and soon all the other animals on the farm ride bikes, too.


builderBlock City by Robert Louis Stevenson

One rainy day, a child creates a world of his own which has mountains and sea, a city and ships, all from toy blocks.

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale

A clever introduction to architecture that shows children playing on one side and a photograph of a famous building on the other.

Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton

Children who love to construct, and those who love to destroy, will relate to this kid-pleasing tale that builds to a smashing finale.



monkeyandmeMonkey and Me by Emily Gravett

Excited about their trip to the zoo, a young girl and her stuffed monkey delight in mimicking all the animals they see.

Ten Rules for Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti

In this handy guide, Captain Magma and his trusty sidekick take young readers on an adventure to learn all ten rules of being a good superhero.

Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck

A girl climbs a tree in the rain forest to say goodnight to all the creatures, but it is really her bunk bed as she settles down with all her stuffed animals.

Musical Instrumentsrowboat

Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

The occupants of a rowboat enjoy seeing and making the sounds of different jungle animals.

Sing with Me! by Naoko Stoop

Thirteen familiar nursery rhymes and songs, each with accompanying actions, are presented in this interactive book.


wyntonmarsalisSqueak! Rumble! Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! by Wynton Marsalis

A rollicking, clanging, clapping tour through the many sounds that fill a neighborhood.

Vehicles bedtimeblastoff

Bedtime Blastoff! by Luke Reynolds

A young boy and his father use their imaginations before bedtime to transform an ordinary laundry basket into a variety of transportation vehicles.


Builder Goose: It’s Construction Rhyme Time! by Boni Ashburn

Nursery rhymes are refashioned to feature construction projects.












Vroom! Kevin’s Big Book of Vehicles by Liesbet Slegers

There are lots of wheels in this big book of cars, along with rhymes and questions to make the book interactive and engaging.


Need help finding that perfect match?  Youth Services staff at your local library will be happy to help you find titles that pair well with your child’s gifts.

*Book descriptions taken from the Jacksonville Public Library catalog: http://www.jaxpubliclibrary.org

Blog submitted by:

Susan Mankowski, Early Childhood Specialist, Jacksonville Public Library

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