Monday, 8 December 2008

Great Children’s Books for Christmas

Stick ManPicture Books:
Little Beauty by Anthony Browne, published by Walker Books, 2008. Little Beauty will delight anyone who picks it up, be it the toddler who will love the classic Anthony Browne pictures or the parent or grandparent who will have a great time sharing it with their little ones. A simple story on the surface, its huge, uncomplicated images will appeal to very young children, while those at older level will appreciate the Beauty and the Beast theme.

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, published by Scholastic, 2008. The talented duo of The Gruffalo fame, Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler has produced another treasure! The winter snow scene depicted on the cover makes it an especially appealing Christmas read. That, plus an unusual entrance through the chimney by every child’s hero in red will have them waiting with bated breath to hear and see what’s on the next page. For a great story, lots of laughs and the very best illustrations you won’t beat Stick Man.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren Child, published by Puffin, 2008. Photographed toys specially created for this book along with enchanting hand-built sets produce startlingly real illustrations that bring Goldilocks and the Three Bears to life like never before. Lauren Child’s version of the much-loved fairytale is refreshingly different.Words and picture combine to produce an ideal Christmas gift that will be treasured forever by boys and girls.

Emerging Readers:
Paddington Here and Now by Michael Bond, published by HarperCollins, 2008. The characteristic blue duffel coat, red scarf and brown hat are still proudly worn by this loveable little bear who still gets caught up in all sorts of scrapes. Specially reissued to mark the 50th anniversary of the series, this beautiful hardback comes with an attractive and most appealing cover to make it all the more readable by children aged 7 and over.

Alfie Green and the Snowdrop Queen by Joe O’Brien, published by O’Brien Press, 2008. Alfie Green wishes more than anything that it will snow in Budsville on Christmas Eve. Only one person can help him and it’s not Santa. Alfie needs to reach the Snowdrop Queen who lives near the top of Arcania’s perilous peaks. How will Alfie and his trusted tools get there? Maybe they will have to appeal for Santa’s help after all. The Alfie Green books are ideal for newly independent readers. Why not also try Alfie Green and the Conker King or Alfie Green and a Sink Full of Frogs by the same author.

Marley: A Dog Like No Other by John Grogan, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2007. Getting a copy of John Grogan’s Marley: A Dog Like No Other is almost as good as getting a real puppy for Christmas. A specially adapted version for children of the author’s international bestseller, it tells the story of a yellow furball of a puppy who quickly grows into a large, rowdy labrador retriever. With full colour photographs charting Marley’s development from puppy to old dog and each chapter showing paw prints on the first line it’s just the book to get children reading for themselves. The movie Marley and Me is due for release on December 25th, starring Jennifer Aniston and Eoin Wilson.

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