Best Books


Expert judges and child testers have selected the most engaging books, magazines, apps, software, video games and websites for this year's National Parenting Publications Awards Gold Winners. This list will help you find the right gifts this holiday season.

The books start out for infants and then go up to above age 12.

Find all the gifts your kids will love among the NAPPA Gold and Honors winners featured at, where you can also shop for these products online.

By Helen Foster James and Rubin Pfeffer


Baby Einstein First Book of Puppies

You and your child will play peek-a-boo with adorable illustrations and real photographs of puppies. Susan Ring; Baby Einstein, 2011; $7.99;,


Count 1 to 10

A simple pop-up book of counting. Kees Moerbeek; Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011; $15.95;


The Splendid Spotted Snake

A clever story of a newborn snake whose spots change color as it grows right before the reader's eyes. Betty Ann Schwartz and Alexander Wilensky; Workman Publishing, 2011; $13.95;


Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney's illustrations will ease little ones to sleep. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; $16.99;



Bailey, the most enthusiastic student at Champlain Elementary, goes through the school day eager to please and achieve. Harry Bliss; Scholastic Press, 2011; $16.99;


Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond

Jo and young readers learn about the wild creatures at a pond. Mary Quattlebaum, illustrated by Laura J. Bryant; Dawn Publications, 2011; $16.95 ($8.95 paperback);


Look! A Book! A Zany Seek-and-Find Adventure

Everything is here-cowboys, pirates, submarines, robots, animals and ice cream. Bob Staake; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; $16.99;


Press Here

Press here, shake, brush and make this simple book come alive. Translated by Christopher Franceschelli; Chronicle Books, 2010; $16.99;


A Book for Black-Eyed Susan

Ten-year-old Cora loses her mother, and her father must give her newborn sister to Aunt Alma to raise. Then Cora and her father continue their journey along the Oregon Trail. Judy Young, illustrated by Doris Ettlinger; Sleeping Bear Press, 2011; $16.95;


Me … Jane

Simply told, this book presents a glimpse of the young girl who would become Dr. Jane Goodall. Patrick McDonnell; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; $15.99;


Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

A celebration of women and men who've made significant contributions to our country's social and cultural greatness. Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long; Random House Children's Books, 2011; $17.99;


Never Forgotten

A heartrending ode to the families of West Africa whose loved ones were torn away by slave traders, and then delivered to the harsh fate of slavery in North America. Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; Random House Children's Books, 2011; $18.99;


One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street

The children on Orange Street make surprising discoveries about themselves and their street. Joanne Rocklin; Abrams, 2011; $16.95;


Wonder Struck

Two stories, 50 years apart, are told in this "Novel with Words and Pictures." Ben's story is told in words and Rose's in pictures. Brian Selznick; Scholastic Press, 2011; $29.99;


The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy

Here's a book that is a kit with remarkably clever tools-a telescope, flashlight and sundial equipping young astronomers to explore the galaxy. Pat Murphy and the Scientists of Klutz Labs; Scholastic Press, 2011; $19.99;


Paper Covers Rock

Set at a boys' boarding school, in this book a student is killed in an accident and the surviving characters are left in a precarious position. Jenny Hubbard; Random House Children's Books, 2011; $16.99;


The Secret of Rover

An intriguing mystery thriller with spies, chases, kidnapping and stowaways. Rachel Wildavsky; Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011; $16.95;

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