Welcome to Part II of our bookish gift guide series! This time, we’re sharing our favorite gifts for kids ages 6-8. This is a fun age to shop for and they have more personality and preferences and may already be confident readers. You’ll find picture books, early readers, chapter books for stronger readers, informational picture books, toys/games, and cute, practical reading accessories for kids between ages 6-8.
30 Best Bookish Gifts for Kids Ages 6-8
The picture books in this section are some of my favorites this year, and they’re pitch-perfect with maximum kid appeal:
Published: May 2, 2023
This book blew me away. A baby girl is cheered on for growing bigger—until she isn’t. Until her bigger body becomes something to hide. Thankfully, she reclaims herself before it’s too late. Hand to kids and adults everywhere—especially those who can’t catch a break because of the way their bodies look. I loved, loved, loved this book!
Grandpa Is Here
Published: August 29, 2023
Author Tanya Rosie celebrates the achingly brief visit of a grandfather whose granddaughter can’t wait to show him her world. Grandpa’s visit brings extra warmth, community, and comfort to the girl and her family’s lives, warmly depicted by Chuck Groenink’s illustrations. This gorgeous book is the perfect gift to celebrate grandparents (especially those who live far away).
Sometimes I Cry
Published: September 26, 2023
Too many kids, particularly boys, get the message that they shouldn’t cry (often because it makes parents and other adults uncomfortable), but this picture book provides warm affirmation that sometimes we cry–and it’s OKAY. The boy in this story cries after an accident on his bike, out of anger during a bullying incident, and because he’s disappointed by his performance in a game. He also cries tears of joy and of nostalgia–all valid reasons to tear up. Gift this book to any kids who should know that crying is simply an appropriate emotional release.
Published: September 12, 2023
Rarely do I enjoy celebrity picture books, as I did this one by McConaughey. This picture book celebrates the beauty of life’s contradictions and highlights the idea that two things can be true at once. It is beautifully illustrated by Renée Kurilla and will appeal to kids ages 6+ more than it will younger readers.
Giraffe Is Too Tall for This Book
Published: October 17, 2023
What happens when a group of animal friends gather for storytime, but one’s too tall to fit? The others try to help, resulting in chaos, laughs, and a surprisingly effective solution. With speech bubbles, this picture book is one step behind graphic novels and perfect for young readers developing a love for the format. I dare you not to be tickled by this new release.
Brave Little Bear
Published: October 24, 2023
“Being brave when you feel afraid is the bravest brave of all,” is the heartwarming message at the center of this new picture book starring Arlo, a young bear with a love for the familiar. After a long winter hibernation, Arlo, his mother, and sister Eva have to move to Spring Valley. But they get caught in a snowstorm and Eva gets left behind. Can Arlo look out for her despite his fears? This is a sweet spring/winter picture books for the kids who need a little belief in themselves.
Lila Greer, Teacher of the Year
Published: November 7, 2023
Anyone who’s ever had a life-changing teacher knows what a gift it is. Lila Greer is an anxious child constantly pondering many what-ifs, but a kind teacher helps her find friends and self-confidence. Now that she’s a teacher, Lila finds a way to be that person for her students, even though her self-doubt never completely disappears. This is a moving picture book with tons of kid appeal, perfect for the anxious kid on their first day of school, after a big move, or just any day the what-ifs strike.
Early Chapter Books
The selections in this section are shorter chapter books for younger readers ages 6-7. They also make for great read-alouds for younger kids.
Bear and Bird
Published: May 9, 2023
Follow Bear and Bird through life’s mishaps as they deal with a talking flower, a blanket named Suzie, a barely-saved picnic, and an emotional painting session. I truly love this duo. This series is so clever and sweet and is brilliant at depicting flawed characters making life better for each other through friendship. Truly charming and speaks greatly to the skill of its creator.
Shermy and Shake
Published: May 9, 2023
When a new kid comes to stay with his grandmother at the house next door, Shermy’s plans for a quiet, relaxing summer are completely upended. That’s because Shake is nothing like Shermy. And Shermy is nothing like Shake. Shermylikes to read quietly in the shade of a tree. He knows the proper way to do a puzzle. He collects treasures in the pouch he wears around his neck, and the books on his shelves are alphabetized by author. Shakelikes to play street hockey or space explorers. He gobbles up rocket ice pops and Toaster Tarts. He shows up unannounced and plays board games by his own rules. As the two boys are forced to spend more and more time together, will they learn how to get along? Or will it be one long countdown until Shake goes home?
Published: June 28, 2022
Meet Ember, a rescue Chihuahua who has just been adopted by the Chin family. Ember is no ordinary dog: he thinks he is an evil overlord, destined to rule the world. He enlists the help of the other pets in the house, like Smelly Steve the hamster and Neo the canary, to take over the neighborhood. Their first mission is defeating Masher, the mean squirrel who lives next door. But to his shock, Ember finds himself growing attached to his “minions”, the Chin family―especially Lucy. Does Ember still have what it takes to control of the neighborhood… and the world?
The Party Diaries
Published: January 3, 2023
This is another Branches series strongly reminiscent of the Owl Diaries format (except with humans, of course). Priya is taking on her first party planning gig for an aunt whose favorite color is orange. As she finds the best orange decor and navigates her anxieties, will her first party come off without a hitch? And most importantly, will her aunty like it? There are also great environmental connections for animal-loving kids and plenty of South Asian cultural references. I liked this cute story, and I think it’s a great blend of fun and learning for emerging readers.
Chapter Books for Stronger Readers
These chapter books are wonderful for kids who can read independently.
King of the Ice #1 (Miles Lewis)
Published: July 19, 2022
Miles Lewis loves science and sports. But when his teacher announces a class field trip to an ice skating rink to learn about physics, he isn’t so excited. He’s never ice skated before, and his friend RJ won’t let him forget it. RJ even challenges him to a bet: If Miles skates without falling, RJ will put a “Miles is the man” sign on his backpack. But if Miles falls, he has to put one on his that says the same about RJ. Miles can barely focus on the bet, though, because he suspects his beloved Nana has plans to move out of his family’s house—and that’s just too much to bear. Can he keep his cool with all the pressure from RJ while finding a way to make his grandma stay?
Dory Fantasmagory: Can’t Live Without You
Published: September 26, 2023
Dory is back! I was not a huge fan of the first Dory book, but the latest installment is my favorite, hands down. Maybe because Dory is growing up? After getting lost at the hardware store, Dory is struck with a case of separation anxiety. With her trademark offbeat humor, a new obsession with teenagers, and some real and imagined changes, readers are in for a treat in the new Dory Fantasmagory.
Blast Off: Abby in Orbit
Published: November 22, 2022
It’s the first day of third grade, and Abby Baxter is determined not to make any mistakes. It’s a little trickier than it was last year, though, because Abby is starting school on the OASIS International Space Station, where her parents are scientists. Abby is so focused on getting used to microgravity, watching her little brother, Nico, and meeting her new classmates that she almost messes up Mami’s big experiment. Can she figure out how to make things right, or is she destined to be sent back to Earth?
Graphic Novels for Early Readers
Graphic novels are such an enjoyable experience for younger readers. Here are my favorite young graphic novels:
Wombats: Go Camping!
Published: April 4, 2023
Friends Albert and Pickles are off on a camping trip but sadly have very different expectations. Albert is prepared for the great outdoors, while Pickles is expecting more of a glamping situation. So, imagine the drama when they arrive in the woods for a true camping experience. Add in a lost baby koala, a surprise visit from their platypus friend, and a potentially scary monster(?) in the woods, and the wombats are in for many surprises! I laughed out loud several times while reading this one, and it is exceptional! Older kids in the second and third grades will also enjoy it.
Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths
Published: April 10, 2018
This very funny graphic novel is both hilarious and heartwarming. Readers will love the contrast between the anxious Peter and the spontaneous, impulsive Ernesto. All about friendship, trees, jaguars, and polar bears, this graphic novel will be on repeat at bedtime. Never fear – there are three tales in the series so far and counting!
Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!
Published: June 29, 2021
Geraldine Pu looks forward to lunch at school every day. She loves her lunchbox and everything her Amah packs her for lunch until a kid named Nico starts poking fun at her lunches. Soon Geraldine starts to avoid eating lunch at school, even asking Amah to pack her a sandwich instead. But when another kid gets mocked for bringing a stinky dish to school, Geraldine finds her voice. This is a graphic novel style book designed to help early readers understand the format and enjoy the reading, and I loved this story!
Non-Fiction Picture Books for All Interests
Nonfiction picture books are usually a hit with this age group. Our recommendations include browsable options and several ones to read from cover to cover.
Butt or Face?: A Hilarious Animal Guessing Game Book for Kids
Published: July 11, 2023
If your kids like silly picture books that just happen to be a touch educational (especially for animal lovers). Each page features a picture of an animal’s butt or face? Readers have to guess whether it’s a face or a butt and find the answer on the following page. I have to say: some animals’s faces truly resemble butts. I gifted this to a friend’s son, who now makes every house guest guess whether each page shows a butt or face! I love that despite being packed with fun facts, this book has a very readable font, even for younger readers.
What’s Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon?
Published: September 5, 2023
Butterflies and moths might seem as different as day and night or as similar as twins, depending on how well you know them. This slim, gorgeous, nonfiction picture book is what science textbooks can only dream of being. It beautifully explores the differences between these two insects as well as their differences and the awe-inspiring process of metamorphosis they experience. Each page is a wonder that will leave young readers breathlessly hungry for more.
Wacky Weather: All About Odd Weather Events
Published: October 17, 2023
The Cat in the Hat takes readers on a rhyming adventure through 17 wacky–but very real—weather events. Although this book is perfect for emergent readers, adults will learn a lot as well. I had never heard of “ball lightning,” “sun dogs,” or “red sprites,” and didn’t realize that a tsunami could be made of ice! Wacky Weather is a super fun non-fiction book for Dr. Seuss lovers.
Yoshi and the Ocean: A Sea Turtle’s Incredible Journey Home
Published: May 24, 2022
In 1997, fishermen rescued a tiny loggerhead turtle with an injury to her shell. They named her Yoshi and brought her to an aquarium in South Africa, where she made a complete recovery. After twenty years of care, the aquarium released Yoshi back into the ocean with a tracking device on her shell. Marine biologists and turtle lovers followed Yoshi’s transmitted data as she traveled over 25,000 miles to find her way home. The combination of lyrical prose, gorgeous illustrations, and awe-inspiring details of Yoshi’s journey make this book a perfect read-aloud.
Tee Time on the Moon
Published: July 25, 2023
It is 1971, Apollo 14 has just landed on the moon, and Astronaut Alan Shepard has a surprise up his sleeve…er, in his spacesuit. He takes two golf balls out of his pocket, twists a golf club head onto his rock scooper, swings—and misses. Eventually, Shepard hits a ball into space. But how far did it go? “Miles and miles and miles!” Shepard says, but no one knew for sure for almost 50 years. This carefully researched picture book brings attention to a story rarely mentioned in histories of the Apollo 14 mission. The end includes an overview of all the Apollo missions and more information about Shepard’s lunar golf experiment. A great pick for kids interested in sports, science, and space.
Come and Join Us!: 18 Holidays Celebrated All Year Long
Published October 17, 2023
Just in time for the holidays…all year round! Expand your child’s horizons and celebrate throughout the year. With beautifully illustrated and informative paragraphs, this is a fun book to dip in and out of, especially if your child makes friends from different cultural backgrounds, this will spur a sense of curiosity and connection that will further cement those bonds.
A Shell Is Cozy
Published: May 9, 2023
Know a kid who can’t get enough of sea shells? This is the book for them. Young readers will be pleased to learn all the wonderful things a shell is–cozy, artistic, and even athletic–as they discover different kinds of shells and the beautiful creations inspired by their structure and function. This one is designed to be dipped in and out of, and even if all kids do is look at the pictures, it’s an enriching experience.
We can’t forget the good ol’ toys! Here are two fantastic bookish toy offerings from Katie.
Bananagrams is a fast-paced game where players race against one another to build crossword grids and is such a fun way for kids to practice their spelling and vocabulary skills. The letter tiles come in a small, portable, banana-shaped pouch, making Bananagrams perfect for holiday travel. There are several versions of Bananagrams so everyone can join in the fun–check out My First Bananagrams and Bananagrams Party Edition.
Lulu Jr. Illustory Book Making Kit
With this book making kit, kids can write and illustrate their own story. The kit comes with a writer’s guide, story and illustration templates, and markers. The kit also includes a postage-paid envelope to turn their creativity into a professionally printed hardcover book. My kids were so excited and proud when they received their books and became “real” authors, and I loved having their hardcover books as special keepsakes. This is a wonderful gift for any child who loves to create stories.
For this last section, we’ve rounded up our favorite accessories to enhance your kids experiences with books.
The Yoto is a brilliant little device for parents looking for screen-free entertainment. You can add songs, books, podcasts, and more to Yoto cards, and kids can listen at bedtime or while they work on puzzles. It also works well with Bluetooth and corded headphones and can be nifty during road trips for younger kids who want to listen to their own audiobooks. It also functions as a cute bedtime clock and night light. We can’t sing the praises of this player enough.
Kindle Paperwhite Kids
I am a huge fan of Kindles and after moving from a basic Kindle to the Kindle Paperwhite, I can’t believe it took me so long to try the Paperwhite! While the basic Kindle is just fine, the Kindle Paperwhite is backlit and water-resistant (which I think are two key features for kids this age). If you have more questions about kids Kindles, I did a whole post about them here.
This is the top recommended Bluetooth headphones for kids, and many parents love its protective features. It was designed by a family impacted by preventable hearing loss, and it regulates the volume to prevent exposure to sounds over 85 dB. If you’re looking for a safe and snazzy (available in many colors) option for your kids, this is the one.
I love a good book fort–and I’m an adult. Give your kiddos the gift of heightened imagination and coziness with this simple reading fort.
Personalized Book Stamps
For the child who loves going to the library, they will LOVE seeing their own name in print! Choose from 5 different elegant designs. This will give the reading-obsessed child in your life the satisfaction of stamping each of the personal books in their own library. The tangible feel of the stamp, whether it is the self-inking type (neater for children prone to mess) or the smooth wooden stamps (more fun!) the simple beauty of this gift will be timeless.
Bookish Kindle/Waterbottle Stickers
This gift will appeal to all readers who love a little humor and pithy sayings. A great stocking stuffer or classroom gift, these bookish stickers will appeal to young readers as they display their love of reading. Get a few for each child, or get a pack to share or distribute! These are also adorable gifts for children to earn as rewards, maybe as reading points or behavior currency. Finally, this is also an excellent choice for caregivers or families who don’t see each other too often or for those who need to send gifts abroad. No need to worry if your child already has this particular book or whether they will like the book; matter how many stickers a child has, they ALWAYS love more.
There they are: 30 of the best bookish gifts for kids ages 6-8! Which of these will you be gifting? Any other recommendations for this age group?
More Gift Guides
- Great gifts for kids who like to read
- Gifts for babies and toddlers ages 0-5
- Gift guide for tweens ages 9-11