EW suggests a selection of books, movies and games for the little ones

By Eileen Clarke
Updated December 27, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

A gift guide for your kids

For more great books, DVDs, music, and games for kids, see our online-only Holiday Gift Guide

(Ages 2-9)
Nothing beats sitting down with your child and reading a book together — and the excitement when they start to recognize words. Here’s a great complement to that experience: onemorestory.com, which lets youngsters choose from 40 books — including Caldecott winners, with 60-odd titles to come — and have it read to them, with each word highlighted. Emergent readers can go it alone, clicking on unfamiliar words; original music and sound effects add to the fun. Created by Carl Teitelbaum, a former Sesame Street producer, and his late sister, Rona Roth, a teacher, onemorestory.com can foster a love of reading and create a whole new generation of wired bibliophiles.

Flotsam, by David Wiesner (ages 5-8) A lavish, wordless book, whose art evokes pure magic: sea turtles encrusted with cities, starfish at play, octopuses in their living rooms.
SmartLab series (ages 6 and up) Part book, part experiment, these kits teach kids about the science behind the ordinary — like a microphone — and then provide the materials to build it.
Incantation, by Alice Hoffman (ages 12 and up) A beautiful coming-of-age novel about a girl in 1500s Spain who discovers her family is secretly Jewish.

Sesame Street: Old School Vol. 1: 1969-1974
Watching a young James Earl Jones count to 10 is reason enough to get this three-disc set, but how about Lena Horne singing ”How Do You Do?” with Grover? Your toddler may need to pry it from your hands.
As long as we’re kicking it old-school, there’s The Best of the Electric Company Vol. Two and The Original Television Christmas Classics. Got a tween? Hook her up with High School Musical Remix Edition, with its dance-along featurette.

Nintendo Wii
Parents looking (in vain) to score a PlayStation 3 are advised to check out this cool alternative. At less than half the price of the PS3, the Wii offers truly innovative gameplay, built around its special motion-sensing controllers. And as they hop and dance around the room, your kids will get something few other consoles can deliver: exercise.
Papier-mâché animals make Viva Piñata (Xbox 360), odd, trippy fun. And they’ll really chill out to Happy Feet (most consoles), based on the hit film.

All Together Now
Pass along your love and reverence for the Beatles with a CD/book that’ll send your tots on a magical mystery tour, with assists from Marshall Crenshaw and the Bangles.
For rockin’ out, there’s none better than Justin Roberts’ Meltdown!, SteveSongs’ Marvelous Day — watch out for the traveling elephant — and Welcome to Ralph’s World. For mellowin’ out, try Elizabeth Mitchell’s You Are My Little Bird. And for just plain groovin’ out, Putumayo Kids’ New Orleans Playground.

For more great books, DVDs, music, and games for kids, see our online-only Holiday Gift Guide