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Great learning gifts for your first grader

Give fun and learning all in one with any of these 6 favorite toys, games, and books.

By GreatSchools Staff

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The Jewel Fish of Kranak

By Graeme Base

Ages: 5 and up

In ancient Egypt, two greedy and not-so-smart thieves, Ibis and Jackal, have been caught stealing in the town market. The Cat Pharaoh offers to pardon the two friends if they will journey up the Nile and retrieve a precious jeweled fish sculpture taken by the Crocodile Prince, but she warns the pair not to steal and not to let the fish get wet. Needless to say, the two ignore the warnings and disaster follows.  Base's drawings are sumptuous and the book is packed with Egyptian lore. But the real treat is the puzzle he's built into the story with Hieroglyphic tablets and an ingenious mechanical device on the back cover that holds the final key.

Bottom line: The Jewel Fish of Kranak is the ideal book for young puzzle-lovers.