Give your friends and family a break from the computer. Give a book:
For Kids (and Intelligent Adults)
It's one of the most famous books ever written for children, and it has been reissued with Arthur Rackham's turn-of-the-century drawings. It's ''Grimm's Fairy Tales'' (SeaStar Books, $19.95 hardcover), by Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Carl Grimm, with a new afterword by Peter Glassman. The favorites are here: The Frog Prince, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, The Golden Goose, Hansel and Grethel, Tom Thumb, and more.
Speaking of Tom Thumb, there's a new take on this character, in ''The Adventures of Tom Thumb'' (SeaStar Books, $15.95 hardcover), retold by Marianna Mayer, with pictures by K.Y. Craft. Tiny Tom perseveres and triumphs yet again in this telling, with illustrations inspired by 12th century illuminated manuscripts.
And yet another Grimm tale is retold in ''Mother Holly'' (North South Books, $15.95 hardcover), by Johan Warren Stewig, with illustrations by Johanna Westerman.
Many children today are far removed from the immigrant experience, but ''Apples and Angel Ladders'' (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $20 hardcover), by Irene Morck with illustrations by Muriel Wood, tells them what it was like for a Danish family celebrating its first Christmas in North America.
Inspired by the master of the lowercase, Chris Raschka celebrates capitally with ''Little Tree'' (Hyperion, $16.99 hardcover), e.e. cumming's poem about a little tree, ''more like a flower.'' Raschka starts with the poem, then builds (and illustrates) a story about how a Christmas tree leaves the forest and comes home in a taxi to a city family.
''Martin's Big Words'' (Hyperion, $15.99 hardcover), by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier, recaptures the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recalling his words, including an excerpt from his legendary ''I Have a Dream'' speech.
''Dumpy Saves Christmas'' (Hyperion, $15.99 hardcover), by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton, with illustrations by Tony Walton, tells how Dumpy the Dumptruck saves the day (or night) for Santa's holiday deliveries.
For Adults (and Intelligent Kids)
American folk art -- primitive painting, decorated furniture and pottery, religious decoration, sculpture, scrimshaw, woodworking, and other forms -- are surveyed in ''American Radiance'' (Abrams, $75 hardcover), by Stacy C. Hollander. They're all from the Ralph Esmerian collection recently given to the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.
''American Impressionism'' (Abbeville Press, $85 hardcover), by William H. Gerdts, has been reissued in an updated edition of the 1984 original. It shows how American artists such as Childe Hassam, Edmund Tarbell and others were influenced by and held their own against the impressionist masters in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
''Magnificent Tiffany Silver'' (Abrams, $60 hardcover), by John Loring, surveys the iconic work by the artists of Tiffany & Co., from John C. Moore to Elsa Peretti. Loring, design director for the company, traces how its distinctive style evolved. Illustrations show trophy, exhibition and commemorative pieces, but also offer a look at designs in tableware and jewelry.
There's nothing as pleasurable as curling up with a chilling horror story. ''Dead Good Read'' (Reader's Digest Books, $24.95 hardcover) includes 21 classics, such as ''Frankenstein'' by Mary Shelley, ''The Body Snatcher'' by Robert Louis Stevenson, and ''The Pit and the Pendulum'' by Edgar Allan Poe.
''Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight'' (DK Publishing, $19.95 hardcover) is for afficionados of this mid-century comic book hero.
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