Christmas Books for Children – Gift Guide 2016

christmas books for children

Christmas Books for Children

Xmas Gift Guide 2016

by Julia Paddon

For children, nothing lasts longer in the Christmas memory banks than a good book. Beauty, innovation and interaction are strong themes this year, showing there’s plenty of life in the traditional book format.

Here are our Top 10 kids books picks for Christmas 2016…


1. Innovative slant on a pleasant and seasonal Christmas tale, Bunny Slopes asks the reader to tilt, shake and flip the book to help guide bunny home. Kids love the original interaction and the suitably icy palette of muted blues and greys with the occasional dash of bright red. A gently humorous story that will engage 3-6 year-olds.
Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda (Chronicle Books, £9.99).

2. A fabulously illustrated, heartwarming and entertaining verse story based around a late-talking child who, when she does finally speak, bursts with questions and curiosity. Ada Twist, Scientist is a celebration of the inquisitive nature of childhood that will teach your child to look, consider and question.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts (Abrams, £10.99).

3. If it’s a traditional Christmas tale you’re looking for then William Morris’s The Twelve Days of Christmas might be the most sumptuous. Cloth-bound and gilded, the gorgeous William Morris prints envelop the classic festive tale of leaping lords and French hens. One to sing before bedtime.
Twelve Days of Christmas, all original Morris & Co. designs © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Illustrations by Liz Catchpole. £17.99, available at Amazon, Hive, Foyles, Waterstones, WHSmith and all good independent bookshops and retailers.

“Mix-and-match styles from the ages”

4. Teens will love this clever take on the classic Haynes manual as the iconic Death Star is is examined in minute technical detail. Cutaway drawings, exploded diagrams and tech specs combine to create the ultimate Star Wars trainspotter’s guide. It should keep them busy until Rogue One, anyway.
Haynes Imperial Death Star Manual, Ryder Windham, £16.99 ( – book number H5372. ISBN 9780857333728)

5. Budding designers can get creative with this fabulous journey through fashion. Featuring designs from Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and more, pop-out dolls, stickers, 250 outfits and a bagful of facts combine to educate and entertain. Users get to create their one one-offs as they mix-and-match styles from the ages. A bold and vibrant book for the fashion conscious kid.
Fashion Mash-Up, copyright @ Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Written by Isabelle O’Carroll. Illustrations by Daisy de Villeneuve. £17.99, available at Amazon, Hive, Foyles, Waterstones, WHSmith and all good independent bookshops and retailers.

6 & 7. Taking interaction to the next level, It’s Your Story’s collection of fun tales and educational books actually feature your child in the story and even in the title. How? You upload your child’s image and name before your order. So Oscar’s Snowman will see your child’s face incorporated into the illustrations as he or she journeys to the North Pole, or From A-Z will see pre-schoolers entertained by meeting an octopus, flying to the moon and building sandcastles – all with their own name included too. Guaranteed amazement and wonder abounds!
Oscar’s Snowman, with child’s name, address, town and friend included in the story. A personal message from the sender is also included. 32-pages. From A-Z, 32-page full-colour book with message from sender, child’s name and photo. Both retail at £17.50 for the softback, £20 hardback. Available


“A wonderful, messy celebration”

Three manuals that will really fire the imagination. All are neatly designed and really leap from the page.

8. This encyclopaedic history of Marvel characters will complement all those pre (and post!) teen obsessions with all things superhero. Featuring designs and reboots from across the decades, it’s a who’s-who of these iconic comic book characters. The illustrations erupt from each page and there’s enough facts, figures and info to entertain the more curious reader too.
Marvel Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, £17.99, Published by DK, © 2016 MARVEL

9. This new Star Wars manual includes fold-out pages to reveal extra large images of your favourite characters, from Darth Vader to newbies like BB8. Aimed at younger readers, dads will enjoy introducing their little ones to the wonders of the Star Wars universe for the first time. Everyone you’ll want to see is there. Plus, the snippets of info might hold one or two surprises even for the seasoned Star Wars fan. Oh – there’s a neat poster too!
The Amazing Book of Star Wars, £9.99, Published by DK, © & TM 2016 LUCASFILM LTD

10. From one fantasy universe to another – although The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl is an entirely different beast altogether. Jam-packed with the characters you love and overflowing with those iconic Quentin Blake illustrations, this scrapbook-style annual is a wonderful, messy celebration of one of the great children’s authors.
The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl, £6.99 hardcover from Amazon and major book retailers.


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