One of the greatest things about running a book blog is the regular deliveries of books dropping through your letter box. This is never truer than in the run-up to Christmas when little festive treats are delivered to me by the book elves. My ‘to be read’ pile is suddenly awash with gold, red, green and glitter – perfection! So now I’m going to share with you some of the newest picture book releases I’m enjoying this Winter.
Snow by Sam Usher (Templar Publishing)
This is a special mini hardback edition of the best-selling ‘Snow,’ a story which perfectly encapsulates a young boy’s impatience to hurry up and get onto the pristine white blanket of snow that’s fallen outside before anyone else. Only to be delayed by his grandfather, who doesn’t share the same sense of urgency. Funny, warm and perfect for Christmas.
The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Chris Turnham (Chronicle Kids)
Charles is determined to set out with his trusty Boggan to find a wish tree despite the disbelief of his siblings. On his journey, Charles discovers that wishes do come true, but not always in the way you expect. A sparkling Winter’s tale with softly glowing, magic-infused illustrations which will leave you with a tingly feeling inside.
The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Sarah Warburton (Nosy Crow)
Princess Eliza loves inventing and building gadgets and gizmos of all sorts, but all she really wants are some friends. Determined note to mope about any longer, Princess Eliza takes her fate in her hands and heads off to find the source of a wisp of smoke she’s spotted in the icy forest. She discovers Santa’s workshop and the elves are in a bit of a panic. Can Princess Eliza help? A winning combination of a feisty princess and Father Christmas.
The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Jake Parker (Chronicle Kids)
Santa’s elves are running through their usual pre-Christmas checks when they discover that the all-important sleigh has been completely trashed! Each elf has his own ideas about how to rebuild the sleigh so it’s even better than it was but can’t agree on the final design. A build off is surely the only way to choose a winner?! A really funny, turbo-charged with elf magic and the timeless charm of Christmas.
Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock and Helen Stephens (Nosy Crow)
This beautiful story follows the adventures of Oliver Elephant and his bored owner, Noah, as they try to make the best of a Christmas Shopping trip. Finally, they get to choose a big chocolatey slice in the coffee shop but when they go to leave, Oliver Elephant is missing! This story completely captures the gorgeous relationship between a small child and their most treasured cuddly toy. The panic when Oliver’s lost rings completely true.
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck, illustrated by Karl James Mountford (Little Tiger Press)
I had covered this gorgeous book the moment I saw its cover and was equally enchanted by the contents. Mia misses her Daddy and wishes she could be with him at Christmas. When she steps through a magical post box, she’s whisked away on a marvellous adventure and realised there are lots of families who can’t be together at Christmas either. With doors to step through and cut-outs to peek through, this is a sparkling jewel of a book. I’ll be keeping this one for myself!
Search & Find: A Christmas Carol, retold by Sarah Powell and illustrated by Louise Pigott (Studio Press)
Based on Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale of the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge, this clever search and find book introduces readers to the main characters, settings and scenes in the perfect introduction to a timeless story. Choose which character to follow through the story and around Victorian London. Each page is beautifully illustrated with a whole host of details to look out for and a brief summary of the scene. Sure to be a hit with fans old and new.
Make & Play: Nativity by Joey Chou (Nosy Crow)
This press-out nativity is a brilliant way to teach children about the true story of Christmas and the people involved. As well as containing all the sturdy cardboard pieces you’ll need to build your own 3D nativity scene (using a simple slot system), there are also festive songs and craft ideas in the back. A great interactive book to occupy little hands and learn something at the same time during the busy festive period.
So there you have it, some of my top picture book gift selections for this year. Who will you be buying for?
*Many thanks to all the publishers who sent me these wonderful books to review*