Yesterday I shared with you my top Christmas book selection, but if you’re looking for a picture book to gift that can be shared all year round then today I have a round up of the most beautiful and giftable books. Each of these have been exquisitely produced with sumptuous spreads and contain the most beautiful storytelling. So if you’re looking for a special gift this Christmas then let me invite you to take a look.
‘The Boy, His Stories and How They Came to Be,’ is a stunning collection of Oliver Jeffers classic picture book series featuring the boy. For the first time, ‘How to Catch a Star,’ ‘Lost and Found,’ ‘The Way Back Home,’ and ‘Up and Down,’ have been brought together in one edition. Within this book Oliver has shared his sketchbook pages from each of these stories and we discover insightful gems of information, like the true story of the boy and the penguin, discover how a starfish was inspiration for an ending of one of his stories and how a trilogy turned into four books from a sketch of the boy on stilts. Stunningly produced in hardback, I particularly love how the texture of the sketch pages is different from the rest of the book, it feels like you’re peering over Oliver’s shoulders looking into his actual sketchbooks. This is a real treasure trove of a book and would make a perfect gift not only for a child but for any lover of picture books, especially those with a fondness for understanding the process of idea development and how picture books are created.
I’m a huge fan of Fiona Woodcock’s stunning picture books, ‘Hiding Heidi,’ and ‘Poppy and the Blooms,’ both featured in my top picture books choices for the last two years. Fiona has an incredible talent for producing books with engaging storytelling and exquisite illustrations and ‘Look,’ is equallys as divine. What makes this book so special is that Fiona uses just words containing two Os to tell the story of a brother and sister and their eventful visit to the zoo. Fun and creative it is a wonderful book to share with your child and together you can think of so many different ways to tell this story. Bold, vibrant illustrations bounce off the page creating a visual masterpiece which is bound to excite and entertain younger readers.
‘Once Upon a Wild Wood,’ is an inventive and entertaining twist on a classic fairytale featuring beloved characters old and new. When Little Green Raincape is invited to Rapunzel’s party she must undertake a long journey deep through the wild woods, the way is long and dark and beset by danger. But Green is a smart girl, she isn’t foolish enough to eat an apple offered by a kindly old lady or accept directions from a friendly troll. Yet on her way she can’t help but intervene when she meets the Beast who is desperately missing his true love or help rescue the seven dwarves from being a witch’s Sunday dinner. Each spread is a feast for the eyes, Chris’s illustrations are filled with intricate details to engage and entertain the reader. Funny, feisty and filled with fairytale magic, a real classic in the making.
Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton have worked their magic once again and created a stunning and delightful retelling of J.M Barrie’s much beloved classic, ‘Peter Pan.’ Loving told in beautiful, lyrical rhymes Caryl’s glorious storytelling weaves a spell over the reader as we get lost in this wonderful story filled with excitement, magic and adventure. Sublimely produced, Sarah’s artwork whisks us away to the magical world of Neverland – a land of singing mermaids, lost boys and the dastardliest of villains Captain Hook. This is a story that will capture the hearts and imagination of children (and grown ups) and will become a much loved part of your bookshelf that you will want to hold on to long after your child has grown up.
‘The Girls,’ is an unique and thoughtful picture book that celebrates the power and strength of female friendship. We go on a journey with four friends who are distinctly different, strong individually but together they can achieve anything they want. They are there for each other throughout their lives, in good times and in bad and no matter how far from each other they may be, their bonds remains unbreakable. Lauren’s joyous storytelling is matched by Jenny’s delightful illustrations which are bursting with warmth and emotion. Refreshingly diverse, this is a story that at his heart has a very simple but powerful message about the enduring nature of friendship. Buy it to inspire a young girl in your life or give it to your best friend to say thank you for their friendship but above all enjoy it for the beautiful book that it is.
For me the most special part of Christmas is about spending time with loved ones. As long as I have my family (and pigs in blankets and lots of sprouts) on Christmas Day then I will be happy. So what better book to share at Christmas than ‘Joy,’ a story of a little girl called Fern whose Nanna seems to have lost her joy for life. Determined to restore her Nanna’s happiness, Fern assembles her very best collecting kit including a fishing net, a box and a saucepan and sets off to find some joy to bring back to her Nanna. Poor Fern is distraught when capturing joy evades her, how will she ever put a smile back on her Nanna’s face. Isabelle’s sumptuous illustrations cleverly capture the stark difference between the emotions using a contrasting palette. A true celebration of the bond between a child and their grandparents. Emotional, funny and ultimately uplifting this is a delightful tale filled with hopes, dreams and joy.
Thank you to Harper Collins, Little Tiger, Macmillan, Nosy Crow and Words and Pictures for sending me copies of these glorious books. All of these books are available to buy now online (click on the title) or from any good bookshop.