XMAS: Top 10 kids books
The Top 10 books for kids this Christmas – lovingly chosen by The Book House, purveyors of one of the top kids sections in the home counties!
The wonderful indie Book House has one of the best children’s sections in the area, so who better to ask for advice on the unmissable fiction, picture books and poetry for kids in time for Christmas?
FOR YOUNG ADULTS
The Boneless Mercies, by April Tucholke
This is a rich fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology, a tale of an all-girl pack of mercy killers, who dispatch the sick and elderly. History, myth, lost goddesses, battles and a marauding beast. Excellent world building, a saga to really sink your teeth into.
Age: 14 plus
And the Ocean Was Our Sky, by Patrick Ness & Rovina Cai
A haunting other-worldly tale of power and obsession and whales. It turns the story of Moby Dick upside-down, and tells of a never-ending war between men and whales. Destined to be a classic; the prose is astonishing, and the illustrations are glorious.
I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree, selected by Fiona Waters for The National Trust
This generously-sized volume is lavish and luscious, brim-full of beautiful illustrations alongside a wonderful selection of poems for the whole family to enjoy. A family treasure.
CHILDREN’S FICTION, 8-12 YEARS
This season, with its promise of Christmas sales, brings a huge rush of new publications for all ages, including all the old favourites – a new Wimpy Kid, a new Tom Gates, a new title (or two) from David Walliams – but also some new authors to excite. We recommend…
A Darkness of Dragons, by S.A. Patrick
S.A. Patrick brings us a world of dragons, song spells, pipers and battles, where there is magic in music. The evil Piper of Hamelyn has returned and Patch and his friend Wren (cursed to live as a rat) find themselves cast in the unlikely role of heroes. A beguiling blend of adventure and humour.
The Way Past Winter, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Our favourite children’s author has unleashed another scorcher. In an icebound world where winter never ends, this is the thrilling tale of Mila, her sisters Sanna and Pipa, and the hunt for her lost brother. Battling monsters in a richly imagined, myth inspired world, this is a tale of sibling relationships and magic which will enchant readers.
CHILDREN’S FICTION, 6-8 YEARS
The Truth Pixie, by Matt Haig
The Truth Pixie can only say things that are true. Sometimes this causes problems, and as a result she is sad and alone. An enchanting rhyming story about friendship and being yourself that will delight all who come across it – and make parents cry a little. Loveable & quirky, social media is already alive with quotes from this wondrous little book.
Age: accessible from 5+ but contains truths for all ages
Hubert Horatio – How to Raise Your Grown-ups, by Lauren Child
The Bobton-Trent seniors certainly know how to make the most of their extravagant wealth – socialising, doing things, buying things and generally being more than a little bit … irresponsible. Luckily for them, their son Hubert Horatio is an exceptionally intelligent, talented and sensible child. Unluckily for Hubert, this tends to mean that a lot of his spare time is spent steering his rather unruly set of grown-ups out of trouble…. Lauren Child takes another one of her popular picture book characters and gives him his own full-length story. Unleash the fun!
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck & Karl James Mountford
A magical story told in a magical way, as we literally follow Mia throughthe pages of this beautiful book via holes and flaps, as she endeavours to deliver her Christmas card to her father (who cannot come home for Christmas) with help from the Reindeer Express. Simply exquisite.
Little Robin Red Vest, by Jan Fearnley
Back in print at last, this charming story brilliantly conveys the joy of giving at Christmasbwhilst also explaining why all robins have red breasts! (It has something to do with a bearded man in a red coat….)
Pop-Up Guide to Hogwarts by Matthew Reinhart & Kevin M. Wilson
The £50 price tag (or £40 in The Book House!) is the first sign that this pop-up is something very much out of the ordinary. Extreme paper engineering combined with an ingenious construction allows all the structures to be folded out into one huge “map mat” creating a magical 3-D world of Hogwarts to thrill even the most ardent fan. Has to be seen.
Animalphabet, by Julia Donaldson & Sharon King-Chai
Julia Donaldson leads us on a guessing game journey through the alphabet – “Who is prettier than an ant? A butterfly! Who has more legs than a butterfly? A caterpillar!” As you progress, you find your way through laser cut paper forests, undergrowth and jungles to beautiful effect. A book to keep and treasure.