The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School by Judy Sierra and Stephen Gammel, tells a funny tale of near disaster. It's one of many books out there that may be just right for the young reader on your holiday list. Daniel Pinkwater, Weekend Edition Saturday ambassador to the world of children's literature, joins Scott Simon to read the story.
Meanwhile, Hanukkah gets under way this weekend, Christmas is a little over a week away, Kwaanza follows, and nestled somewhere in between is the winter solstice. Right now marks the quiet, snowy moment just before families gather to crowd the kitchen and steam the house windows.
Pinkwater has a pile of books under his arm to give, get or simply read and enjoy this winter. (You can print these titles, along with all our other year-end picks, using this master list.)
365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental, illustrated by Joelle Jolivet. Hardcover, 48 pages. Abrams Books for Young Readers, $17.95. For ages 4-8.
Eddie's Kingdom by D.B. Johnson. Hardcover, 32 pages. Houghton Mifflin, $16. For ages 4-8.
Zuzu's Wishing Cake by Linda Michelin, illustrated by D.B. Johnson. Hardcover, 32 pages. Houghton Mifflin, $16. For ages 4-8.
Flamingos on the Roof by Calef Brown. Hardcover, 64 pages. Houghton Mifflin, $16. For ages 7-10.
Mr. Maxwell's Mouse, by Frank Asch, illustrated by Devin Asch. Hardcover, 32 pages. Kids Can Press, $15.95. For ages 5-9.
A Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories , by Rudyard Kipling. Hardcover, 128 pages. Candlewick Press, $22.99. For ages 4-8.
Shlemiel Crooks, by Anna Olswanger, illustrated by Paula Goodman Koz. Hardcover, 32 pages. NewSouth Books, $15.95. For ages 9-12.