Christmas gift ideas

Books of course! I have put together a range of new children’s books that would make great Christmas presents. In fact, you might even want to keep them for yourself. (I will be providing more information on each book as I go along but you can follow the links to find out more).

Picture Books

Oi Frog by Kes Gray (ages 0-5). A very funny rhyming picture book and great to read aloud. See my previous post for a longer review.

Is There a Dog in This Book? by Vivianne Schwarz (ages 3+). An interactive and humorous picture book featuring 3 cats who attempt to hide from a (un)scary dog. Children will enjoy lifting the flaps to find the cats.

Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey (ages 5+). An intricate book featuring a mouse detective with lots of clues and details for the eagle-eyed child to spot.

Willy’s Stories by Anthony Browne (ages 5+). This book follows Willy the chimp as he dives headlong into the action of 10 classic books at his local library. Each double page spread features clues to which well-known story is being referenced and Willy invites the reader to speculate what is going to happen next in the story.


Over the Hills and Far Away collected by Elizabeth Hammill (ages 3+). A beautiful collection of multicultural nursery rhymes illustrated by a range of children’s book illustrators including Jon Klassen, Emily Gravett, Shaun Tan and Catherine Rayner.

Graphic Novels

Jim’s Lion by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Alexis Deacon (ages 7+). This powerful story about a boy about to undergo a serious operation in hospital has been re-published in semi-graphic novel style and Alexis Deacon’s illustrations have expanded and altered the story to make a much more surreal and imaginative book.

Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (ages 11+). A teenage girl is being bullied by her former friends and her despair mirrors the character in the book she is reading, Jane Eyre. A chance encounter with a fox marks a welcome change however. Told almost entirely through pictures with sparse text, this book makes a lasting impact.

Plumdog by Emma Chichester Clark (ages 9+). A brilliant book for children and adults alike about the exploits of the author’s dog, Plum. It’s told from the dog’s perspective and is based on Emma’s blog about Plum. A great present for dog lovers.


Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway (ages 5+)

Frank Einstein and Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Brian Biggs (ages 7+)

Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen (ages 9+)

Bird by Crystal Chan (ages 9+)

The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Emily Gravett (ages 9+)

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (ages 14+)

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (ages 14+)

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (ages 14+). So, so much better than The Fault in Our Stars. This love story between two unlikely teens is set in the 1980s and features comics and a lot of mixed tapes, however the story hints at and gradually reveals the serious issues that Eleanor has been dealing with at home. One of my favourite books this year.

Fairy Tales

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell (ages 9+). A dark twisted fairy tale revision featuring a modern-minded Snow White, a deceptive Sleeping Beauty, dwarves and… zombies. Riddell’s black, white and gold illustrations make this a particularly desirable book.

Christmas related books

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Britta Teckentrup (ages 3-5). A intricate picture book following the Christmas carol which includes cut-out pages gradually revealing items from the lines of the song.

Ernest and Celestine: Merry Christmas by Gabrielle Vincent (ages 3-5). A sweet picture book which shows that a good Christmas party is powered by friends and fun, not money.

The Nights Before Christmas edited by Tony Ross (ages 7+). An excellent collection of short stories to read each night during the countdown to Christmas. The book features 24 new and classic Christmas related stories.

Christmas Poems edited by Gabby Morgan and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (ages 7+). A selection of poems new and old, including many you will recognise as carols. A lovely celebration of all the nice things about Christmas.

The Christmas Truce by Carol Ann Duffy (ages 10+). Not necessarily a new release but this little hardback poetry book, based on the December 25th truce 100 years ago during World War 1,would make an ideal and relevant stockingfiller for children (and adults).

One thought on “Christmas gift ideas

  1. What a great list Lucy. Some new titles for me to discover. The 2 texts I reach for at this time of year are The Oxford Book of Christmas Stories, a collection of short festive stories from classic and contemporary authors, some favourites and some new and The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems, again classic and modern verse set out chronologically to take you from Advent through to the new year. Great. Pamela

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *