If you haven’t guessed it, books are my thing. When people ask what my hobby is, reading is the answer. So if I am buying you a gift, it’s likely you are going to get a book.

Here are a list of books that should be put under the Christmas tree this year.

Wild Things

There are more than 100 magical outdoor adventures in this beautiful book from Lonely Planet Kids ($23.99, Raincoast Books). The book makes me want to go outside and create. Kids can make a wild survival kit, complete with cat food to be used as bait and binoculars to see Wild things faraway, and then learn how to make secret messages and codes; magic potions and spells; and magical spell books, with ink created from walnuts and berries. The photography and layout of the book is amazing. There are so many ideas and fun crafts to make including mini worlds, monster feet and magic lanterns. As a kid, this would have been a favourite (and it’s pretty high up there as an adult, too).

Travel and outdoor

Front cover image of the red symbol on a Japanese flag, mountains and more
Be More Japan is a look at the art of Japanese living.

Be More Japan the art of Japanese living

If you ever wanted to go to Japan, DK‘s Eyewitness book ($26) offers an interesting look at this culture that mixes ancient traditions with new. Chapters including history, culture, including fashion, and innovation, among others. There are lots of pictures and information, that may make Japan go higher up on your travel list.

Front cover image of Family Field Trip, with blue skies, kite, airplane
Explore art, food, music and nature with kids with Family Field Trip.

Family Field Trip

Family Field Trip, Explore Art, Food, Music and Nature with Kids by Erin Austen Abbott ($28.95, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Books) offers 40 family friendly cultural activities and adventures families can take in their neighbourhood or while on vacation.

What’s great about this book is the suggestions aren’t a particularly city or place, but rather ideas you can do whether your neighbourhood is in a town in Ontario or one overseas.

There are sections including Raising a Cultured Kid (food and music appreciation); Cultivating Wonder (installing a Sense of Wonder and Art and Design Appreciation); and Travelling with Kids (making the most of each location and travelling off the beaten path).

Front cover image of a forrest with a river running through it.
Find out the best places to travel to in 2020 with Lonely Planet.

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020

If people are looking to travel, then this Lonely Planet book ($23.75, Raincoast Books) may be something to put under the tree. The book offers lots of pictures and information about the top countries, regions and cities to travel to next year, while also offering options for sustainable trips and lowering your carbon footprint.

Happiness and Gratitude

Front cover image of calm mindfulness for kids with various kids of diverse cultures doing yoga poses
Calm mindfulness for kids teaches little people how to bring calmness to their lives.

calm mindfulness for kids

This DK book ($21.99) introduces children to the concept of mindfulness, with each double page spread offering a pose that encourages children to slow down and become more aware of themselves.

In Feet, Seat and Hands Practice, for example, children learn to move their attention to different parts of their body by creating sensations to focus their thoughts on. There is also a tip for grownups, offering a tip to encourage more mindfulness: “After practising together, ask your child which was the easiest spot to move their attention to and ask why they think that.” Each page explains the steps through pictures and words.

In addition to poses, the book also offers crafts (glitter jar and slime) as well as tips to create mindfulness outside of poses including going for a walk or creating a mindful plan.

Front cover image of a young girl blow a dandylion.
Learn how to sustain happiness in this book.

The Happiness Bible

The Happiness Bible, The Definitive Guide to Sustainable Well-being by Cheryl Rickman ($19.95, A Firefly Book) offers a look at what happiness is and how you can achieve it. There are sections on positive relationships, appreciation interventions, including gratitude, and the power of wow, with a picture that makes me feel happy. Each chapter offers offers multiple ways to achieve happiness, with pictures, pullout facts and more.

Other books

Illustration of a girl with dark hair, a red sweater and a leather shoulder bag holding a wooden puzzle box in a forest.
A Box of Bones

A Box of Bones by author Marina Cohen ($22.50, Raincoast Books). Read my review here.

Illustration of the Black Panther on a red background
Learn about the Marvel universe, and the characters in it, in this DK Book.

Marvel, Absolutely Everything you Need to Know

For fans of the Marvel universe, this DK book ($12.99) offers Everything You Need to Know or want to know about this comic world. Chapters include Characters (good and evil); Superhero Teams; Locations; Science and Magic; and Key Events including world-changing wars and alternate worlds.

Each page is designed like a comic book so there is lots to look at – pictures, pop-out facts, did you know, fast facts and a whole lot other of information. It’s one of those books you can keep looking back at, finding new information about your favourite Marvel moments.

Front cover image, squres with old black and white photos of members of the Group of Seven and their landscape art.
Meet the Group of Seven

Meet the Group of Seven David Wistow and Kelly McKinley ($12.99, Kids Can Press). Read my review here.

Front cover image of various characters - humand ad animal - surrounded by pictures of real food such as blueberry panckages and syrup, brownies and bacon.
The Muncy Munchy Cookbook for Kids

The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids by Pierre A. Lamielle ($28.70, Raincoast Books). Read my review here.

A copy of these books were provided by A Firefly Book, DK Books, Kids Can Press and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.