Christmas isn’t Christmas unless I find a book inside my stocking on Christmas Day. At this time of the year I can’t resist a Christmas story for sharing with my girls, reading at Storytime or for spoiling myself with some peace and quiet and a festive read. Today I am sharing with you my pick of some of my favourite Christmas books for younger readers. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift then all of these are just wonderful.
I’m a huge fan of the adventures of the brave baker dogs Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam, so was thrilled to discover they have a new festive adventure in their illustrated fiction series ‘Jingle Bells.’ As soon as I put these books on the library shelves they mysteriously disappear, sounds like a case for Shifty and Sam to investigate. Yet again they’re packed with thrills, spills and mysteries as our dynamic duo try to solve more wacky mysteries. Dealing with a present-grabbing red panda, an illusive sea-monster and a not so lucky cat these hilarious stories will captivate the imagination of newly confident readers. A combination of marvellous storytelling and sublime illustrations ‘Jingle Bells’ is just divine I absolutely loved it.
‘I Killed Father Christmas’ is pure Christmas magic. It’s more Christmassy than a room full of reindeers, tinsels and baubles with carol singers singing ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas.’ It’s Christmas Eve and Jo-Jo’s mum and dad are having a huge argument over his excessive Christmas list which is so long surely it will stop Father Christmas being able to deliver to all the children in the world. Convinced he’s killed Father Christmas he sets off to take on the big man’s job dressed up in his Mum’s red coat with pillowcases stuffed with his old toys for his whole street. But things don’t go exactly to plan and Jo-Jo soon learns there’s more to Christmas than expensive gifts, in this wonderful tale stuffed with heart and humour. I absolutely love the Little Gems series and this has to be one of my favourites this year.
‘The Happy Christmas’ is the latest story in the ‘Polly and the Puffin’ series by Jenny Colgan. They feature Neil the puffin who first made an appearance in one of Jenny’s books for adults the ‘Little Beach Street Bakery. This series has been a huge hit at school, it’s constantly on loan from the library. In ‘The Happy Christmas’ Polly is waiting not very patiently for Christmas she can’t believe it’s only November. To make matters worse, Neil is helping keep an egg warm so doesn’t have much time to play. Children will be enchanted by this heart-warming Christmas tale which is perfect for snuggling up and sharing together. It’s stunningly illustrated by Thomas Docherty in a palette of black and orange which perfectly compliments the striking colours of a puffin. His illustrations capture the warmth and joy of this tale and his ability to capture the mood in the characters expressions help engage younger children who may not be able to read all of the text. Inside there are festive recipes, rhymes and activities which really enhance the story and bring it to life for children.
So on Christmas Eve the expectations are high that somebody will be coming down your chimney laden with lots of treats, what you don’t usually expect to find is a pair of dragons! That’s exactly what happens to Eric and Pan when they hear voices inside their chimney and out pops Pan’s Mum and Dad. It’s difficult enough to keep one mini-dragon hidden how ever will Eric manage to keep three whole mini-dragons secret. But it turns out that they’re not the only unexpected visitors and soon their house is fit to burst with even less hiding room for a family of dragons. There are plenty of laughs in this chaotic, crazy adventure which are brilliantly captured in Sarah Horne’s lively and energetic illustrations. Why not open your doors and welcome a dragon into your home for Christmas but warning they’ll probably melt your snowballs, flame-blast your turkey and get you struck off Santa’s Nice List.
A huge thank you to Barrington Stoke, Little Brown Books, Nosy Crow Books and Stripes Publishing for these fabulously festive books. All of these books are available to buy now online (click link in the title) and from any good bookshop.