BOOKMARK December 2020 - Christmas Book Suggestions – Kate & Ralph, Adventure into Books Book recommendations
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With Christmas rapidly approaching, we thought some suggestions might come in handy for anyone looking for a book to delight younger members of the family. We’ve included some well-tested favourites as well as some new titles; the age ranges are given only as a rough guide. If you would like more suggestions, please pop into Adventure into Books, Booklore or the library – we’re always happy to talk books!
That's Not My Robin by Fiona Watt
Age: New to 2: it’s all about colours, rhyme and touch at this age - and books that can withstand a bit of chewing! That’s Not My Robin by Fiona Watt – this is a Christmassy take on the popular touchy-feely ‘That not my’ series of books.
Where's Spot by Eric Hill
(Puffin Books, 1983)
Age: New to 2: Where’s Spot by Eric Hill – a classic that mirrors youngsters’ love of playing peep-bo and hide and seek.
I'm Sticking With You by Smriti Halls and Steve Small
(Simon & Schuster, 2020)
Age: 3-4ish: it’s still about colour and stories I’m Sticking With You by Smriti Halls and Steve Small – a delightful story about a bear and a squirrel, being friends, falling out, missing each other and making up.
Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb
(Macmillan Children's Books, 2013)
Age: 3-4ish: Aunt Amelia by Rebecca Cobb - an unusual baby-sitter comes to stay and doesn’t exactly follow the list of rules mum and dad have left. Lots of fun follows - we could probably all do with an Aunt Amelia in our lives.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
(Candlewick Press, 2006)
Age: 4-6ish: picture books with longer stories Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen – a beautifully illustrated story about kindness, being helpful and what happens when a lion (inadvertently) breaks the library’s rules.
Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman
(Quill Tree Books, 2020)
Age: 4-6ish: Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman – a fabulous recipe for a stew that turns you into a pirate (not sure the Coop stocks mermaid’s tears or a slice of plank), with a swash-buckling crew and a flying house thrown in for fun.
The Cat Who Wanted To Go Home by Jill Tomlinson
(Egmont UK, 2004)
Age: 7-8ish: chapter books for reading together and for children starting to read by themselves. The Cat Who Wanted To Go Home by Jill Tomlinson – Suzie is whisked away from her home in France in a hot-air balloon. Lost and homesick, no-one understands her, and her attempts to get back across La Manche keep going awry. This is a gentle and heart-warming story that will appeal to any animal lover.
Thorfinn the Nicest Viking and The Putrid Potion by David Macphail
Age: 7-8ish: Thorfinn the Nicest Viking and the Putrid Potion by David Macphail (a local author) – these books are a lot of fun – in addition to a mostly rough, tough and hairy crew of Vikings (Thorfinn being the exception), there are loads of pranks, a very angry bunny and a lot of roaring going on. Great to read together!
The Good Bear by Sarah Lean
(Simon & Schuster, 2020)
Age 9+: The Good Bear by Sarah Lean – An escaped bear, fearful of people, is woken from his winter sleep by 12-year old Thea. She’s in Norway to spend Christmas with a dad who doesn’t’ seem to know her very well, wearing winter clothes that aren’t her own, getting to know a new family she’s not sure of and missing the Christmas traditions of home. But Thea and the bear connect, and the story flows from her fingers onto an old typewriter she’s found.
The Highland Falcon Thief by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman
(Feiwel & Friends, 2020)
Age 9+: The Highland Falcon Thief by MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman – a jewel robbery on this magnificent steam train’s last journey, with plenty of clues to follow and impossibilities to fathom, rounded off with a classic reveal scene worthy of Agatha Christie. Young sleuths will greatly enjoy this madcap detective adventure.
Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome
(David R Godine, 1989)
Age 9+: Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome – Alongside Swallows and Amazons, this is my favourite Arthur Ransome book. Adventure and derring-do grip the reader in a setting transformed by winter snow and ice. Perfect Christmas reading.
A Day in the Life of a Poo... by Mike Barfield & Jess Bradley
(Buster Books, 2020)
A suggestions for the family: A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You edited by Jonny Leighton – this book is full of fascinating facts and explanations. For instance, do you know what happens when you hiccup? And did you know an average rain cloud holds about 400 tonnes of water – that’s three blue whales!
Kids Fight Plastic by Martin Dorey
(Walker Books, 2019)
Another suggestion for the family: Kids Fight Plastic by Martin Dorey – This is an informative, engaging and thought- provoking book with loads of great ideas about what we can all do to reduce our use of plastic.