(StatePoint) No matter who is on your list this holiday season, great books make for great gifts.
Here are five titles to consider giving knowledge-seekers to enjoy during the season, or as stocking stuffers:
Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution, “Gem” is a visual guide to precious and semiprecious stones, organic gems, and precious metals, and features over 1,000 specially commissioned images. “Gem” reveals the science, natural history, mythology, and true stories behind the most celebrated gems and jewel-laden artifacts, including the Hope Diamond and Queen Elizabeth’s pelican brooch.
Readers can learn about the exquisite jewelry of cultures around the world, find out what characteristics are needed for a record-breaking gem, and follow the history of the world’s most famous jewelry houses and designers.
Chart the wonders of the cosmos with “The Stars.” Packed with three-dimensional artworks of each constellation and new imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, ground-based observatories and more, this guide features fascinating objects like glittering star-birth nebulae and supermassive black holes.
The position, size and color of every night-sky object are revealed and a three-dimensional model of the celestial sphere that surrounds Earth charts all 88 constellations. From the Big Bang to the search for extraterrestrial life, astronomy and cosmology topics are covered in an easy-to-digest visual format.
Classic car collectors and enthusiasts will enjoy “Classic Car,” a visual guide created in association with the Smithsonian Institution. Featuring the most iconic classics of every decade from the 1940s to the 1980s from the Aston Martin DB5 to the Chevrolet Corvette, the book offers detailed profiles of trademark models, as well as the famous designers and manufacturers behind them, featuring more than 1,300 photographs and two prints suitable for framing.
Readers can build and explore 28 kid-safe experiments, crafts and activities with “Maker Lab.” Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution and supporting STEAM education initiatives, the book will get young inventors’ wheels turning, making science fun.
Explaining science through photographs, facts and real-world examples, each activity is appropriate for kids ages 8-12 years old. Requiring only household materials, young makers can build an exploding volcano; make bath fizzies; construct a solar system; and more.
Encourage builders to look at their LEGO bricks in new, creative ways with “365 Things to do with LEGO Bricks,” an interactive book featuring imaginative play and building ideas, from projects that take just a few minutes to those that keep one occupied for hours.
Activities include building a LEGO pet, challenging friends to make the tallest tower while working against the clock, and organizing a LEGO bricks treasure hunt.
American Girl Fans
Offer American Girl fans a treasured bookshelf addition with “American Girl: Ultimate Visual Guide,” which includes images of every BeForever and Girl of the Year doll, an expanded section on the TrulyMe dolls and a detailed timeline of the company. Readers can learn about favorite dolls, historical eras, outfits, pets, accessories and more.