Just in Time for the Holidays – Top 5 Disney Books of the Year

I love books.  I think books are the gateway to a better world and studies have shown that reading improves empathy in both young and old.  I also love Disney and have found that there are a lot of great books out there that talk about one of my favorite subjects.  So if you have a bibliophile in your house who also loves Disney these might be great gifts for them this holiday season.

Disney Dragons features a fearsome image of Maleficent in all her black dragon glory on the cover
Disney Dragons features a fearsome image of Maleficent in all her black dragon glory on the cover

Disney Dragons: If you love dragons and you love Disney, this is the book for you.  What appealed to me the most about it was that it included lots of conceptual art and ideas for things that might have been.  I’m a pushover for that stuff.  It’s interesting to see some of the attractions that were on the drawing board that didn’t quite make it.  In addition to that, there was just some fantastic art and stories in the book that made it a great read for anyone who is interested in those things.

Maps of the Disney Parks: While not the book I imagined (thought it was going to be a history of those little maps they hand out when you enter the park), it was really well done.  It shed light on the history of the theme parks through maps.  It was filled with interesting tidbits including the never built Mickey Mouse Park (the precursor to Disneyland), original concept designs for Disneyland (including areas never built), and the maps illustrated on the walls of the attractions.  Someone who loves theme parks will love this book.

Maps of the Disney Parks is filled with colorful and intricate maps like this one illustrated here
Maps of the Disney Parks is filled with colorful and intricate maps like this one illustrated here

The Art of Moana: The “Art of…” books are always so well done, but this one in particular was a beauty.  I haven’t had time to do a write-up on it yet because I just got it in my hands, but was so engrossed by the art I had to go through the entire book to see it all.  Done a little differently than other “Art of…” books, this one has much more detail about translating the culture of Oceania to the big screen.  Things like color scheme, materials used to create clothing, the architecture of the island and the buildings on it are all explored and serve to provide even more rich context for the film itself.  Look for my review of the book coming soon.

Journal 3: If you’re a fan of Gravity Falls pretty much nothing else needs to be said.  If you’re not, then this book (while visually stimulating and fun) might not be your cup of tea.  And while this book could easily fit within the kids or young adults category, there is so much to it that adults have become just as much of a fan of the show as the kids.  In fact, this book is so cool they are releasing a special limited edition variant of it with real parchment paper and black light effects, a magnifying glass, removable photos and notes, and even a signed note by the author Alex Hirsch.  Overall, this book is a treasure for anyone who is a fan of the show.

Journal 3 is filled with great details that add to the show and to the lore of Gravity Falls.
Journal 3 is filled with great details that add to the show and to the lore of Gravity Falls.

Be Our Guest: This is the absolute best book ever for business inspiration. Focusing on guest service and the ways in which service is the key to success, this is a great guide to how to run your business right – no matter what business that is.  Written by the folks at the Disney Institute it literally is a guide for Disney success.  Not only that, but it has some great insight into Disney theme parks and other aspects of the company.  A great read!

Because there are so many awesome books in the world, I did not include all of the Star Wars novels out there that are deserving of accolades since I decided to do that as a separate blog post.  The same goes for children’s books.  There are so many great reads out there that I needed to separate them.  Also, these are all books I actually read.  So there may be some awesome books out there that I haven’t read yet that should make the list.  If so, please let me know about them!  Hope this helps.

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One thought on “Just in Time for the Holidays – Top 5 Disney Books of the Year

  1. I have read two of the twisted tales so far and enjoyed them, the first in the series is A Whole New World by Elizabeth Braswell, and I also read A Take As Old As Time. Those are probably considered young adult but then I also read the first in the Disney After Dark series and enjoyed it even though it’s probably written for junior high kids!

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