With the world encouraging graduates to be productive, ambitious, effective, and, most of cheap money clips, very very busy, I like to provide balance with a gift of M. B. Goffstein's A Writer, which celebrates lying on the couch, and thinking; or, for a more detailed approach to the same idea, How to Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson. I'm not sure it works. Everyone I've given the Hodgkinson book to has told me that they look forward to reading it one day but that right now they just don't have the time. SARAH ELLIS
Our first son was already a book lover when he graduated from being an only child. At two, he was well versed in Mother Goose and enjoyed identifying the bright pictures in Bruno Munari's ABC; still, he had yet to follow a real story. The advent of a baby brother precipitated a tenacious case of insomnia. How to calm him so we could all sleep? Night after night, I recounted his own day - familiar enough to follow, eventful enough to mimic plot, with a soothing happy ending: sleep. It worked. Better yet, it prepared him for the more complex cheap necklaces of what now became his favorite story: The Three Billy Goats Gruff, as illustrated by Marcia Brown. Each night, as the first two goat brothers outwitted the troll, he drew in his breath, holding it until the biggest billy goat tossed the troll into the river. Then he let out a great cathartic gust of a sigh, and was ready to snuggle down for a good night's sleep. JOANNA RUDGE Long
Of all the books we sell at the children's specialty toy store in Brookline Village, Massachusetts, where I work part-time, I repeatedly recommend one book besides Oh, the Places You'll Go! to customers looking for a great graduation gift: Watty Piper's and Loren Long's The Little Engine That Could. Typically I find our customers are looking to give a book to young children and this usually fits their request, but die book's nostalgic story and message are equally suitable and appealing to teenagers and adults.
This book exudes positive thinking, determination, and perseverance - lessons worth cheap pendants readers of at any new phase in their life. Not only is the Little Blue Engine humble and willing to play the Good Samaritan role - helping others when they are in need - but she is also confident and hard-working as she repeats the book's famous mantra to herself: "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." In her triumph getting over the mountain top, the Little Blue Engine smiles and puffs, "I thought I could," just as graduates celebrate their ability to turn their "I think I can" experiences into "I thought I could" successess. CYNTHIA K. RITTER