Gifts for readers

2011 Books Issue | Four books to give on special occasions

Issue: "2011 Books of the Year," July 2, 2011

How to Get a Job by Me the Boss (Random House) is the latest effort by Sally Lloyd-Jones (WORLD, Nov. 1, 2008, and July 4, 2009). In it a precocious narrator explains secrets of work such as, "If you are a Doctor, you need to get a White Coat and some Patients," and "Here's what isn't a job: Sitting in your chair eating cookies." Playful illustrations accompany sage advice in what is a picture book for children but also one that recent graduates could enjoy and learn from: "A good job to get is something you love. . . . But it must be something you're GOOD at or no one will want you to do it for them."

At Your Baptism (Eerdmans), by Carrie Steenwyk and John D. Witvliet, is a board book that includes, along the tops of its pages, words from the French Reformed liturgy of baptism: "At your baptism, God tells you that. . . . For you Jesus Christ came into the world. For you he lived and showed God's love. For you he suffered the darkness of Calvary and cried at the last, 'It is finished. . . .'" Along the bottoms of pages is a brief explanation of those words. Bold Modigliani-styled drawings illustrate the text.

Morning Song: Poems for New Parents (St. Martin's), edited by Susan Todd and Carol Purington, includes poems from all over that "speak to the inner life of mothers and fathers." The poems give us language and new ways to think about the common human experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, parenting, and raising children. Some are funny. I love the beginning of "In the Realm of the Mothers" by Kate Barnes: "When I was twenty-three, I got up in the morning peculiarly dizzy, and thought, 'I can't be pregnant, I'm not educated, I've never even learned German!'"

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Children will be fascinated by Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs (Master Books). The book, written from a creationist perspective, is filled with maps, flaps that open, and envelopes with treasures. It tracks down dragon myths, seeks to sort the true from the fanciful, and examines familiar dragon tales, including Beowulf, St. George, Leviathan, and the Loch Ness Monster, as well as obscure ones.

Buy the book: Links to purchase the books featured in WORLD's 2011 Books Issue

Browse through our library of annual Books Issues dating back to 1999.

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.


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