Chronicle Books #GiveBooks 2014


Adorable #GiveBooks illustration by the super talented Lisa Congdon.

I am super proud and excited to be a part of this campaign. What’s the deal, you ask? It’s as simple as that: #GiveBooks.

Pledge to promote literacy, support your local bookstore, and spread the joy of reading this holiday season. For each tweet, pin, pledge, and share, Chronicle Books will donate a book to a child in need through First Book. Can we help get them to a 10,000-book donation?! Take the pledge here.

I picked some favorites to kick off my own #GiveBooks season, and here’s the greatest thing: you can win this crazy beautiful stack. All of them. And even if you don’t, perhaps they will be a good start to your shopping list this year? Stay tuned to the end of this post for more details.

For now, the books:

Flashlight #givebooks Flora and the Flamingo #givebooks For Just One Day #givebooks

1 // I chatted here with Lizi Boyd and am just head over heels over the way she views the world as one sublime story.

2 // Flora and the Flamingo won Chronicle’s first Caldecott, and this book is a fragile dance of friendship. It soars. Plus, Molly Idle is perhaps the most adorable illustrator that exists in this world, right?

3 // Remember when I wrote for Design Mom? This was the book that I first wrote about for her, so it’s got a mini-grip on my soul for starting such a fun celebration of picture books. And, that cover. Laura Leuck and Marc Boutavant spin a lovely dance here.

Good News Bad News #givebooks Open This Little Book #givebooks

4 // Jeff Mack’s book lets even the littlest read along, both to its simple text and rich-in-story pictures. A favorite about friendship and looking on the bright side of things (even when you get chased out of a bear cave by a swarm of bees.)

5 // If you’ve not flipped through this one, you are missing not one great book, but a whole handful. Want to see the magic of books at work? Flip through this one. Jesse Klausmeier and Suzy Lee made a little masterpiece.

Ivy + Bean #givebooks The Meaning of Maggie #givebooks

6 // These two. (Ivy and Bean.) Those two. (Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall.) The perfection of this series is out of this world and the sweetest intimacy all at once. (Side note: When my editor at Chronicle first told me how much she loved my book, she said it felt like the type of book that Ivy and Bean would hold dear and spark one of their epic and messy adventures. There aren’t words for how much I love that thought.)

7 // Have you met Maggie yet? Megan Jean Sovern crafted one of the very best books of this year (or any of them, for that matter.) Just open this thing. Like yesterday. Honestly.

Shadow #givebooks Sky High #givebooks Josephine #givebooks

8 // Suzy Lee showed up a bit earlier, and here she is again. Shadow is light and dark and adventure and imagination. For curious minds everywhere, any age.

9 // This is one of those oh yes and hmm and whoa kind of books, from the design to the story and the spare to the rich. Germano Zullo and Albertine are one genius duo, much like the dueling neighbors at the heart of this tale.

10 // Well, Josephine. What a way to wrap up this bunch, right? Patricia Hruby Powell is the rhythm and Christian Robinson is the tone and the whole thing is the loveliest book of 2014. Truly.

A good stack, right? And here’s how you can win them, thanks to the fine folks at Chronicle Books. In February, the sweetest little Valentine is arriving: I’m going to be an aunt! Tell me: what is your top pick for a baby’s first bookshelf? I’ll pick a random commenter a little bit into December, and this haul will be on its way to you.

Want even more great news? From now until the end of the year, Chronicle is offering you 30% off and free ground shipping (excluding personalized products) at from now through the end of the year. Just use this offer code: GIVEBOOKS.

Get over there and #GiveBooks!


P.S. – Check out these other bloggers for their #GiveBooks picks! Brooklyn Bride, City Sage, Design Milk, Everyone is Gay, Jason Good, Micah Player, SF Girl by Bay, The Sophisticated Gourmet, The House that Lars Built, and The Jealous Curator.






  • annabelle
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    My favorite Christmas tradition is giving my kids a new storybook. Its special for them and for me.

    Some favorites when they were really little

    I could keep going but I’ll stop.

    BTW – I can’t wait for your book, it sounds wonderful!

  • Jennifer
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    All my kids have loved Good Dog Carl as a board book.

  • Paula
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh so many. Currently loving Bark, George and Beware of the Frog, but I remember reading over and over and over again Ferdinand and Corduroy and House is a House for Me and Gloria and Once A Mouse. The Peter Rabbit series is a great one for a baby’s bookshelf as well. And then there are the simple picture books like Lion and the Mouse, Tuesday, Flotsam. My favorite one to read to my boys right before they went to bed was Prayer for a Child as a way to close the day and a kind of blessing on my boys. However, I haven’t read even ONE of the ones you suggested above. I am looking forward to it!

  • Posted November 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    What a fabulous stack! Chronicle is so generous.

    I really feel like everyone should have a copy of Goodnight Moon, but so does everyone else. I received three copies when my oldest daughter was born! My favorites are the board book boxed set of Little Pea / Little Hoot / and Little Oink by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. They’re so funny, yet gentle, and I was thrilled when they came out in board book form.

  • Posted November 17, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh so many good books for babies!
    I like the board books at that age…(I love how I say that like I have kids!)
    I LOVE anything Raffi, but it’s probably because I love singing.
    Baby Beluga is just about the sweetest.
    So Many Bunnies too.
    Anything Sandra Boynton.
    Ah! So excited for you to be an aunt! It’s a blast!
    (That I actually am qualified to talk about!)

  • Carrie Finison
    Posted November 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    What a great campaign and GREAT stack of books, Carter! Congratulations on your impending auntie-hood. For shower gifts, I try to go beyond title like Goodnight Moon (though obviously, no baby can be born without a copy). I really like 10, 9, 8 by Molly Bang – good, high contrast pictures babies can see. Also Sylvia Long has a nice version of Hush Little Baby that is so sweet – you can sing along with the book and the words are so much nicer than the original song (the words of which I could never remember anyway). Jamberry and The Going to Bed Book were our nightly reading from about 6 months old. So many good choices. I have the feeling you’ll have no trouble filling that baby’s shelf!

  • Posted November 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    So cool Carter! Chronicle has so many great books, how did you choose?
    My favorite baby book would be pretty much anything by Nina Laden. Peek-a-Zoo, Peek-a-Who, Grow up. So simple, but genius.

  • Posted November 17, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    BOSS BABY! Parents will love it, too. :-)

  • Joseph Miller
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    My top pick for a baby’s first bookshelf would be: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt. 😉

  • Posted November 18, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Without a doubt, Horton Hears a Who.

  • Elin
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Whenever someone is born or graduates, depending on when I meet them in life, they get “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” Still one of my all-time favorites.

  • Posted November 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Books are always my top pick for presents, and this stack is a great one! My favorite books to give for new babies are the Indestructibles series from Workman that feel like paper but don’t rip when babies chew on them.

  • Erin O'Brien
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on becoming an aunt! It’s a fabulous job with lots of fun perks :) There are two picks from my kids’ bookshelves that I will have to keep forever: Time for Bed by Mem Fox and Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. I’ve read both a million times, and they’re wonderful every time.

  • Linda Logan
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    There are so many to choose from; but lately I’ve been sending “The Little Blue Truck” by Alice Schertle to new parents in our family!

    Thank you!

  • Posted November 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE and collect children’s books. One of my recent favorites is Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau.

  • Posted November 19, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    My recommendation is Chicka chicka boom boom. I swear that book is why I love typography today..

  • Posted November 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful selection of books! They truly are the best gift, especially for young & growing minds (which, I suppose, would be all of us!). I’m trying to remember the books that have stuck with me through all of these years.. Three Billy Goats Gruff, Are You My Mother?, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and How Much I Love You. Oh! And my all time favorite, Silly Sally. I can still sing it to this day.

  • Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Only one? I’d have to go with Where’s My Teddy?

  • Posted November 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Only one? Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough I read this one 3.2 million times to my daughter.

  • Posted November 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carter! This is a FANTASTIC list! It’s so, so tough to choose just one, but anything by Emily Gravett is a perfect gift for a young reader–her wordless adventures are versatile for children beginning to learn animals to children who can tell their own stories with her books.

  • Joy
    Posted November 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I have so many favorites for a new baby. I love to give a copy of Peek-a-Who by Nina Laden and a bunch of the fun Leslie Patricelli board books like Big Little, Yummy, Yucky, and No No Yes Yes.

  • Posted November 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I cannot tell a lie — my favorite first book to give is the BABY PENGUINS EVERYWHERE board book! :) But I love many more besides that, especially Goodnight Gorilla!

  • Posted November 24, 2014 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    A wordless book! I always think I don’t want to read them when the littles hand a wordless book to me (because Tired Mom just wants to rest and I can’t read lazily and get away with it) but by page 2-3 in totally into it and making up new lines like a boss. Congrats, Auntie. Thank you for the generous book offering. I love book lists!

  • Lea Anna
    Posted November 25, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I always give The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Harold and His Purple Crayon and The Snowy Day to new babies.

  • Posted December 3, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Old-fashioned and wonderful: Peek-a-Boo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Congratulations!

  • Cheryl Napoli
    Posted December 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    This list is awesome. My 5 year old is obsessed with Good News Bad News right now, and I am hoping to get it under the tree for him this Christmas.

    The book I always pick for baby’s first bookshelf is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We still have the board book copy from when my big boy was a baby, and it is very well loved. I would say we probably read it at least once a week with my 2 year old.

    A lovely gift we got when my Violet was born was the book Violet the Pilot. The gift giver said that she seeks out books that feature the name of the child being born. It was so lovely and thoughtful. I have tried to follow suit now.

  • Paula
    Posted December 18, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Did you announce the giveaway winner? Such a lovely gift.

  • carterhiggins
    Posted January 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    So sorry for the late response! I did, and contacted the winner, Peter McCleery on Twitter. Apologies for not bringing that back here! I got bit by the holidays. Happy New Year!

  • Posted May 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on ckdbgddcfdkfeeac