Give your kids a treat with these new Christmas books.....
That’s Not My Reindeer, by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells, £5.99 (touch-and-feel board book).
The hugely successful series takes a festive turn with this sparkly touchy-feely book. Aimed at older babies and very young children, little hands just won’t be able to resist stroking and pressing the satisfying textures on each page. It’s great fun to read aloud too: “That’s not my reindeer… its body is too furry!” Age 1+ (4 out of 5).
A cute baby husky takes us to meet all his cold-weather friends: polar bears, snowy owls and caribou. The animal characters are actually furry, so young children can stroke hello to each one too. The friendly illustrations are perfectly matched with a simple rhyming text that will soon have young children joining in with all the animal noises.
1+ (4 out of 5)
A bright colourful winter wonderland of a book to share with pre-school children. Poppy Cat and her friends wrap up warm for some snowy adventures: sledging, skating and making snowballs – there’s even a fantastic pop-up snowman. You can join in and help Poppy Cat by lifting the flaps and pulling the tabs to make this glittery interactive book really come to life! Age 3+ (4 out of 5)
Little Rabbit is so happy to get his new red sledge for Christmas, but he won’t let any of his friends have a turn. When he has an accident and his precious sledge is broken, his friends come to his rescue and use their new presents to fix it. Then Little Rabbit realises that sharing Christmas with friends is the best thing of all. A heartwarming story with a strong message. Age 3-5 (5 out of 5)
Little Bear’s Special Friend, by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic, £10.99 (hardback).
Little Bear wakes up too early from his winter sleep and discovers a wonderful friend, Sparkly the snowman, who shows him all the delights of the snowy winter world. But slowly the weather warms up and Sparkly realises he can’t stay… Little Bear misses his friend all summer long, till winter comes again and the best friends are reunited. Kolanovic’s gorgeously soft pastel illustrations create a magical wintry atmosphere. Age 3–5 (4 out of 5)
A handy ringbound little book just bursting with ideas for things to make and do in the weeks leading up to Christmas. From Christmas cards to advent calendars, from gift wrap to garlands and much more, even the least artistic among us will be inspired to get out the glue and glitter and join in the festive fun. With clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations. Age 4+ (4 out of 5)
The Princess and the White Bear King, retold by Tanya Robyn Batt, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli, CD narrated by Miranda Richardson, £6.99 (paperback with story CD).
This story combines elements from several well-known fairy tales to create a charming adventure that will captivate slightly older children (it took me three nights to read it to my four-year-old!). The brave princess and the enchanted white bear are exquisitely painted by Nicoletta Ceccoli, in vivid and haunting artwork. Miranda Richardson beautifully narrates the accompanying CD, ideal for car journeys. Age 4-8 (5 out of 5)
This lovely collection is one to treasure. Celebrating different traditions of storytelling, eight wintry stories have been chosen from countries all around the world. The Scottish story ‘The Lonely Boatman’ is a ghostly tale for Halloween, while the Austrian tale tells of a poor family’s sudden change of fortune on Christmas Eve. This would make a great gift, and is ideal for reading aloud – preferably by a blazing fire on a frosty winter night! Age 4-8 (5 out of 5)