I don’t know about you, but I sometimes struggle to come up with new ideas for Christmas gifts for my kids. We’re in a small house without a playroom and it’s hard to keep the toys in check. The thought of adding several more toys to the mix is…well, frightening.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some awesome toys out there. (I’m loving these magnetic tiles, this Little People Nativity Set, the Little Tikes Splish Splash Sink & Stove and this dish set made from recycled milk jugs.) But sometimes, I just want to get some non-toy gifts.
Christmas is the perfect time to invest in some nice books for your kids (or grandkids, or nieces, you get the picture) and these are some of the nicest sets and collections out there, and many are surprisingly affordable.
This comprehensive list has something for everyone — sets of board books for babies, storybook collections for young children, and sets of chapter books to read aloud or for independent readers to enjoy.
Board Book Sets for Babies
- This set of three My First 100 Books is great for babies with chunky covers, thick pages, and bright colors. They are my 1 year old’s favorite books.
- I love this classic Brown Bear and Friends Gift Set which has all four books by Bill Martin, Jr. with Eric Carle’s whimsical illustrations.
- Richard Scarry’s Books on the Go is a perfect set for little boys, with books on Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Boats.
- My baby loves to carry around The Little Red Box of Bright and Early Board Books, a set of four books featuring P.D. Eastman’s famous dogs that comes in a sturdy box with a handle.
- Your baby will love this cuddly bear and his little adventures found in the five book set Corduroy’s Tiny Treasury. And you’ll love that it’s under $9!
- This Moo and Who Peek-a-Flap Set is the only set I’ve found with thick, sturdy flaps that babies can lift but not rip off. There are lots of things to see as baby explores the forest and farm.
- The Bear and Friends Collection is one of my favorite sets of stories by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman, featuring the beloved brown bear and his forest friends.
- This adorable Curious George Board Book Set is under $10 and contains four of the best Curious George stories and are the perfect size for little hands.
Best Storybook Collections
- No bookshelf is complete without The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh.
- This beautiful (and affordable!) hardback Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury contains the original art and text from all four classic books by Arnold Lobel and is a favorite in our house.
- The Complete Adventures of Curious George is a must-have with the seven original stories housed in one big book for George’s 75th Anniversary. There’s also a scrapbook biography of H. A. and Margret Rey’s creative journey which I loved reading.
- If your kids love silly books, this George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends will be a wonderful addition to your family library. These adorable hippos are highly entertaining!
- I cannot speak highly enough of this beautifully illustrated A Little House Picture Book Treasury containing six stories adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved novels.
- If you love classic stories, this A Beatrix Potter Treasury is perfect. It contains ten of Beatrix Potter’s beloved tales accompanied by charming illustrations.
- This Little Golden Book Collection: Farm Tales is a fantastic collection of nine stories set on farms or involving farm animals. It contains some of my favorite children’s stories and is under $11.
- If you’re looking to get the most for your money, look no further than Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever. This book is nearly 300 pages, filled with 82 of Scarry’s wonderful stories and illustrations. And it’s only $12.99!
Best Chapter Book Collections
- This E.B. White Box Set holds his three beloved classic novels with the original black and white illustrations: Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan.
- Kids of all ages will love reading about the adventures of the four Alden siblings in this Boxcar Children Set containing the first four novels of the series.
- This year would be a perfect time to add a Little House Box Set to your home library because these timeless stories are ones you will read again and again. I’m in my 30s and I’m still reading mine.
- My four year old son can’t get enough of The Penderwicks, and I can’t either. These modern classics featuring four sisters (and later five sisters, one brother, and many best friends) are sure to become favorites in your home too. This Box Set holds the first four books. The fifth and final book was just published this year.
- I’m still reading this series every other year or so and need to invest in this Anne of Green Gables Box Set for myself so I can start reading it to my children.
- I can’t get over how beautiful this Puffin in Bloom Collection is. A perfect gift for older girls, this set comes with Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, and Heidi.
- You can’t go wrong with Harry Potter. And if your paperbacks, like mine, are falling apart, invest in this beautiful Special Edition Box Set with all seven novels.
- C. S. Lewis’ stunning fantasy series is a must-read for every child and I love this affordable Chronicles of Narnia Box Set containing all seven novels.
There you have it! Books for everyone! Now get shopping so you can get reading!