Books never go out of style, so put down the toys and pick one of these smart tales for your niece, nephew, son or daughter.

A Clever Dog

By Jefferson Finney, illustrated by Pegge Hopper

Don’t blame menehune when your keys are missing. You’ll want to check for paw prints after reading the new book “A Clever Dog,” about a cunning canine that dreams of taking a joy ride in the family car while everyone is asleep. One dollar from each sale goes to the Hawaiian Humane Society.


Kula and the Old Ukulele
By Lance Wheeler and Jon Murakami

Sometimes the greatest treasure is the one you make on your own, as Kula discovers by reviving his Tutu Kane’s old uke in this charming story.

The Watercolor Cat
By Shelly Mecum and Peggy Chun

A tale for young and old about Hawai`i artist Peggy Chun’s imagination, paintings, struggle with ALS, and of course her beloved star cat. It’s beautiful and evocative.

Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed
By Emily Pearson, Fumi Kosaka

Wally Amos read me this book a couple of weeks ago–seriously. Even without his storytelling skills, this book will instruct children and adults about the importance one act can have on the world, and on our own hearts.

If You’re Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow
By Cooper Edens

My favorite Cooper Edens line is, If you forget the keys, throw away the house. This new gift set includes two of his classic books, with art and prose to get you thinking about possibility.

The Big One-Oh
By Dean Pitchford

If you’re nine years old, turning ten is a big deal–a momentous change from single to double digits. In this young adult novel, St. Louis School graduate and Academy Award-winning lyricist Dean Pitchford tells a universal tale of feeling a little bit different, but finding your own way through the challenge, and fun, of growing up.

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