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Over the years, my wife and I had amassed a pretty impressive library – one that had at some point grown too impressive, and the lack of space after becoming parents (despite a move to a larger home) forced a major downsizing. Now, as our girls get older, the library is increasing in size once more, and there is not a room in this house that is devoid of books (yes, that includes the bathrooms). Between purchases and review copies, we’ve had some interesting reads this year, and tonight I’m sharing a few that would make fine gift ideas this holiday season – titles you’re unlikely to find front-and-center, but should.

neigborbookThe GUESS WHO? Book Series by Howard Eisenberg
Mascot Books

Recommended for kids ages 3-6, the GUESS WHO series has become regular reading here at Rock Father HQ. Little Finley is especially fond of the GUESS WHO NEIGHBORHOOD, in which readers get to play along while discovering who or what lives where. All three books provide a lot of fun, with rhyming and guessing making for an interactive experience for grownup and child. I know that within hours of my typing these words, Finn will be handing me one of these with a simple request: “Read this, Daddy?”

Fun Fact: Mr. Eisenberg’s late wife and daughters are behind the WHAT TO EXPECT? series of books, a couple of which we’d purchased toward the beginning of our parenting adventures.

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Songs by Alan Mills; Illustrated by PsHier; Performed by Thomas Hellman and Emilie Clepper
The Secret Mountain

In this combination storybook and CD, new life is given to a classic more than a half-century old. The fantastic illustrations remind me in a lot of ways of some old Golden Books I had as a child, but with modern flair for a retro, yet contemporary style. A set for the youngsters (recommended for kindergarten+, though my 2-year-old digs it as well), the 40-minute album plays right in that sweet spot of attention span.

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