Book and Gift Pairings for the Holidays

Books make great gifts any time of year. But what's even better? Books paired with a items meant to extend the enjoyment of the story! This Read, Discuss, Do! Gift Guide pairs some of our favorite books with other gifts meant to help extend the fun of the story beyond the last page and maybe even encourage some new experiences. We hope you find some good ideas for readers and doers in your life on this list. For Babies and Toddlers Hey, Bruce! by Ryan T. Higgins. Pair this super fun (and funny) interactive picture book with a black bear plush, such as this First and Main 10-inch Bear .  Stomp, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap: My First Book of Dance  by Rachel Burk and illustrated by Alyssa De Asis, a book that encourages imaginative play. Pair this book with a musical gift such as a music box or instrument. Or maybe a dance costume! More books for active babies and toddlers For Little Makers The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Kristyna Litten will be a sure hit with lit

Twelve Easy Art Projects to Pair with Your Favorite Books

Today we welcome picture book author and illustrator Patricia Keeler for a special Read, Discuss, Do! post featuring twelve ideas for extending story time with art! Patricia Keeler has written and/or illustrated over a dozen books including Scoop the Ice Cream Truck, Sky Pony Press 2018 (which was on this summer’s ice cream-themed book list),  Lizzie and Lou Seal, Sky Pony Press 2017, and Drumbeat in Our Feet, Lee and Low Books 2014. She received the Christopher Medal in 2011 for her illustrations in Would You Love Me If..., written by Wendy LaGuardia, sharing the spotlight with other recipients such as the writers of Toy Story and Laura Hillenbrand. Would You Love Me If... also won the New York Book Festival and the Best Overall Purple Dragonfly Award.

Now enjoy TWELVE EASY ART PROJECTS with Patricia Keeler!  Thank you, Patricia.


1. Draw a picture in the air with your finger from your book. An ice cream cone or a balloon works well. Have others guess your 'air' illustration.


2. Fill a straw with water. Draw an animal from your book on a piece of paper, using your thumb at the top of the straw to control the flow of the water. 


3. Breathe on glass to make fog, then send your main character a disappearing drawing.


4. Draw a picture of where the main character in the book lives. Expand it to add special elements like a vegetable garden or a pool.


5. Trace your character from the book. Add clothes for your character to go on a hike. Draw what supplies he/she would need.


6. Pretend that after you've gone to bed, the character from your book leaves the pages and goes out to meet a friendly animal in the night. Draw a picture of that animal.


7. Introduce yourself to the main character in your book. Draw yourself, your pet and your favorite toy. Put the drawing between pages of your book. Leave the book under your bed that night.


8. Create a graphic novel page. Pick one page spread from the book. On a piece of paper draw three boxes. In the first box, draw what happened 10 minutes before that page spread. In the second box, draw the page spread. In the third box, draw what happens 10 minutes after the page.


9. Your main character is coming for a visit. Draw the horse, train, airplane, car or boat he/she is using for transportation.


10. Your main character needs a pet. Is it a big dog or a little dog? Does your character live in a small apartment, and maybe prefer a cat? 


11.  Reimagine the story in your book taking place underwater. Your main character is a mermaid or merman. They have their cat or dog with them--a mercat or a merdog.


12. Make a map. Include all the places your character went. This may be the park, school, a friend's house or a zoo. Draw your character on your map.

Learn more about Patricia here:

Instagram - @patricia.keeler.books
Twitter - @patriciakeelerbooks


Mindy Baker said…
Great ideas! Thank you so much!
Rebecca Gomez said…
Mercat or merdog. I love that!