With swathes of the country already enjoying some snow and with more promised, why not make the most of it as part of home learning and get children outside and enjoying themselves? This clever picture book lends itself brilliantly to some screen-free science (states of matter, the water cycle...) and also raises some interesting questions … Continue reading ‘The Snowman and the Sun,’ by Susan Taghdis, illustrated by Ali Mafakheri, translated from Persian by Azita Rassi.
To round off this year’s book advent, I have a lovely picture book from Little Door Books. Everybody loves the stars but have you ever loved them enough to steal them? Not just one or two, but all of them? When a little girl decides she wants a real star of her own, she writes … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 23 ‘The Girl Who Stole the Stars,’ by Corrina Campbell.
The brilliantly magnificent Mabel is back in a new title with a festive twist. It features three chucklesome short stories which would be perfect for readers who are developing in confidence. Life often doesn’t seem for to Mabel Chase. School is always so sameish, no-one wants to let her look after her baby cousin, and … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 22 ‘Magnificent Mabel and the Christmas Elf,’ by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Julia Christians.
Today’s choice is a lovely story about a little mouse searching for a new home on Christmas Eve and all the creatures she helps along the way. ‘It’s Christmas Eve, and Mouse is trying to find the perfect place to call home. But by the time she’s helped Bunny, Fox and Bear, the sun has … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 21 ‘A House for Christmas Mouse,’ by Rebecca Harry.
When Book Boy was younger, this imaginative dinosaur series was on constant bedtime story repeat. Although he’s now a very grown-up Year 7, he couldn’t resist having a peek through this new Christmassy title when it dropped through our letterbox. When Santa’s sleigh gets stuck in a snowdrift on Christmas Eve, there’s only one team … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 19 ‘Dinosaur Christmas,’ by Penny Dale.
The 7-9 age group can be tricky to find appropriate books for. This illustration-packed comedy sequel to ‘The Great Reindeer Escape’ would be just the ticket! There’s trouble on Yule-1 (the real home planet of Father Christmas) and the Trubshaw family are being flown back there from Earth to help. Once again, siblings Sadie and … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 18 ‘Trouble on Planet Christmas,’ by Kate Saunders, illustrated by Neal Layton.
I love this series of chapter books aimed at readers aged 7+ Animal stories are perennially popular so it’s fantastic to have such a high-quality series to recommend. And now there’s a Christmassy addition! Jasmine has always planned to build an animal sanctuary on the family’s farm when she is older and has already rescued … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 17 ‘A Donkey Called Mistletoe,’ by Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon.
If you haven’t already discovered this excellent time-slip adventure series featuring siblings Alex and Ruby, nows your chance as they slip through their aunt’s mirror and head off for a Victorian Christmas. Ever since discovering that the mirror in their aunt’s hallway is a portal to the past (see - ‘A Chase in Time’), siblings … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 16 ‘A Christmas in Time,’ by Sally Nicholls, cover illustration by Isabelle Follath.
Today I have a beautifully-illustrated story which skilfully combines a hopeful Christmas message and a powerful warning about conserving our planet for future generations. Every Christmas, after all the presents have been opened, Mia and her family read a precious letter left to her by her grandfather. In it, he recalls the wonderful times they … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 15 ‘Grandpa Christmas,’ by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Jim Field.
This is a brilliantly fun lift-the-flap book to let little ones to join in with the hunt for Santa. It’s Christmas Eve and Mouse is hunting high and low for Santa. He’s searched in the house, in the snowy garden, and behind the twinkling Christmas tree but he just can’t find him anywhere. Doesn’t Mouse … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 14 ‘Can’t See Santa!’ text by Mandy Archer, illustrated by Chris Jevons.
How about giving something a little this Christmas - the gift of poetry. This beautiful volume would be the perfect introduction to the world of poetry for any teenager or adult. Every day from the 1st December through to the 29th February has at least two poems for readers to enjoy and be inspired by. … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 13 ‘A Poem for Every Winter Day,’ edited by Allie Esiri.
Today I’m sharing a great board book for babies and toddlers which follows the adventures of a rather magical snowman. Head off on a sparkling magical adventure with Snowman and his elf friends as he goes to help mend Santa’s sleigh! There’s lots to spot in the festive illustrations and a whole host of lovable … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 12 ‘My Magical Snowman,’ illustrated by Yujin Shin.
Sometimes it’s nice to read a Christmas book which reflects on the meaning of Christmas beyond flashy lights, Santa and baubles. This heart-warming story is one of those... It’s Christmas morning. Esme and Bear have opened all their present except for one last red-wrapped gift hidden beneath the tree. When they read the gift tag, … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 11 ‘The Most Wonderful Gift in the World,’ by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Lucy Fleming.
Celebrate fifteen years of ‘Dear Santa’ with this special edition of Rod Campbell’s Christmas classic with an extra sparkly gold-foiled cover. Join Santa as he wraps and packs the perfect present for each and every child. For generations, children have loved joining in with the simple text and repeated refrains, lifting the flaps to see … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 10 ‘Dear Santa,’ by Rod Campbell.
On the ninth day of book advent, my true love gave to me... a shiny gold edition of Ben Miller’s Christmas book! Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer; he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop; he knows about the magic which allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 9 ‘The Night I Met Father Christmas,’ by Ben Miller, illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.
Any child of the eighties (and onwards) will be familiar of the tale of ‘Dogger,’ a beloved favourite toy who goes missing then reappears in the most unexpected of places. I am absolutely beyond delighted to be able to report that the legendary Shirley Hughes has created a magical new Dogger adventure: ‘Dogger’s Christmas.’ “It's … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 8 ‘Dogger’s Christmas,’ by Shirley Hughes
Today have a fabulously festive romp for your reading pleasure as little ones are encourage to help Santa find his pants! It’s Christmas Eve, the sleigh is packed and the reindeer are ready to go. But as Santa starts getting dressed to head out, he can’t find his pants! As his spare pairs blown off … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 7 ‘Can You Find Santa’s Pants?’ by Becky Davies and Alex Willmore.
As with all of Zommer’s gorgeously illustrated titles, wintery treat A Thing Called Snow,’ focuses on the beauty of nature and encourages readers to discover the wonders of the great outdoors. Fox and Hare have grown up together and become best friends but they have yet to experience snow. When winter comes, they are desperate … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 6 ‘A Thing Called Snow,’ by Yuval Zommer.
Emma Yarlett creates the most beautiful picture books so I was very excited to see that she’s created a rather wonderful Christmas story with fold-out letters and plenty of laughs. Every year, Santa gets thousands of letters full of Christmas wishes from children all over the world and he is usually able to find the … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day 5 ‘Santa Post,’ by Emma Yarlett.
Today’s advent pick is a wry, clever and downright hilarious journey towards finding the real meaning of Christmas. The International Postal Service is in the red and this spells bad news for seasonal worker, Santa. He’s going to have make some cutbacks: reindeer hire and insurance is a major expense, and as for some of … Continue reading Christmas Advent – Day Four ‘Santa Gets a Second Job,’ by Michele D’Ignazio, illustrated by Sergio Olivotti, translated by Denise Muir.