The gift of books

Some children’s books feel like true works of art, the kind that belong in a museum or — more important for the conscientious gift-giver — the type that kids won’t grow out of and give away in a few years. These treasures, which cover various age ranges, definitely have the power to last.

The Lost Cousins

Every page of this large-format book looks like it should be hanging in the Walker or maybe in a few of the rooms at Mia. Its stunningly bright neon colors and rich, complex scenes pull in eyeballs, which is apropos, since it’s a “seek and find” book. If you (or the grandparents) have the money, you could create a B.B. Cronin gift set to include the others in the series — The Lost House, The Lost Picnic and even The Lost Christmas

Ages 3–7 • $19.99

Home in the Woods

Minneapolis resident Eliza Wheeler, whose Miss Maple’s Seeds was a huge hit, took seven painstaking years to produce a story of her grandmother’s childhood in the woods of Wisconsin. The result captures the joys and struggles unique to a particular time and place, all in a manner reminiscent of a great novel.

Ages 5–8 • $17.99

My Heart

Appropriately, every page of Corrina Luyken’s book goes straight to the heart. With just a few words — and images consisting only of black, white and yellow — she conveys and celebrates a wide range of emotions, each on an epic scale. 

Ages 4–8 • $17.99

Star Stories

Gazing at the stars didn’t only inspire the ancient Greeks. This gold-tinted book compiles stories about constellations from Africa, Asia, Australia and around the world, along with illustrations that could decorate the inside of an ornate temple.

Ages 7–12 • $19.99

A History of Pictures

The budding artist on your list will get a lifelong keepsake with this fun Art 101 class in book form. Pop-art legend David Hockney collaborated with art critic Martin Gayford on the unpretentious, conversational text, which is accompanied by dozens of images of masterpieces and Rose Blake’s charming illustrations.

Ages 10–14 • $24.99

Ed Dykhuizen is an associate editor at Minnesota Parent and father of three who lives in St. Paul.