At this time of year its a good idea to start building a bookshelf of Christmas stories for the children. I have a friend who wraps up the books and they act as an advent calendar which is a great idea. From experience it is best to be organised well in advance as it takes the stress out of Christmas and so i’m already focussed on gathering our books with a view to creating a book advent calendar this year. Angel’s Great Escape is definitely included!
The book tells the story of Angel and her decoration friends who are trapped in a box in the home of the mean family who live in the same street as the good family. Angel and her friends need to escape on Christmas Eve in time to meet Father Christmas. This is a delightful, original Christmas story with beautiful illustrations. One of the problems I tend to find with Christmas stories is that they are either too long, too short or simply retell the same story. Angel’s Great Escape is a perfect length for 5- 8 year old bedtime reading and its original with nice quirky illustrations.
The first book from the independent publishing company And So We Begin which was set up by Kirstie Rowson Angel’s Great Escape sets the bar high, we cant wait to read more from her.
Sometimes a book can really strike a chord with children or make them think quite deeply about things and The Snow Lion is one of these books. This is a magical story about a little girl who moves house and is quite lonely exploring the house which is painted white all alone. She discovers a white lion who becomes her friend and helps her to gain the courage to meet lots of new friends.
My children responded well to this message, the lion resonated as an imaginary friend who encourages them to go outside of their comfort zone.
The book is very memorable, not least because of the beautiful illustrations by Richard Jones which are very poetic and gentle and sit perfectly with the story.
I’d suggest that this might well become a staple of future children’s bookshelves. Its one of those books which I think can be quite medicinal for children, it can be read in preparation for tricky moments and as a subtle way of suggesting an answer to an issue. However, it is a lovely heartwarming story which is perfect for a good bedtime read.
Poppy and the Blooms is a beautifully illustrated picture book which feels like a real visual treat. It’s an adventure story based around friendship and how small things really can make a big difference. The artwork is stunning and very original and I think this makes it stand out as an interesting read for small children.
We are currently thinking about moving house and so the potential of a new room is quite high on the children’s agenda. Lisa Stickley is a designer and illustrator and this is the second in a series of books about Edith.
In this story Edith meets all her toys which are arranged in new places around her room. The toys talk about what they like in the new room, which of course helps Edith settle into her new bigger bedroom.
If you like quite unique picture books which have style and a quirkiness about them then you’ll love this one. In our household it appealed most to the middle child who is a girl and I think sort of identified with Edith.
The five year old really loved the page about Major Ted who lives on Edith’s bed: ‘I sometimes have to wear earplugs to block out Edith’s snoring, but thats part of the job’. Ned our five year old has his own teddy and it has made him think in a lot of detail about his teddy’s adventures whilst he is at school. I’ve been given several illustrations and five work stories on the theme which have been accompanied with lots of discussion!
This is a lovely book with great illustrations and a really unusual way of laying out the text. We all have enjoyed it and we cant wait to hear more about Edith’s life. Find out more here.
There is nothing that my children find more amusing than a bit of toilet humour. That’s why I knew, even before the review copy of Old MacDonald Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel came that they would love it.
Old MacDonald Heard a Parp is a reimagined take on the classic nursery rhyme, except in this version Old MacDonald thinks the parps are coming from all the animals.
This is a fab book for getting the children to join in with you and for having an innocent laugh with them. I often find that my children find a lot of books quite intense and it takes a very special book for them to join in and become quite animated. This book is one of them and the five year old in particular loves it. In fact, he repeats the rhyme at every possibility.
Now, I say the five year old loves it, but to be honest this doesn’t convey just how much he loves it. There is a downside, he is quite cheeky and I’m blaming this book for his latest little practical joke which involves phoning people up and blowing raspberries down the phone at them. I suspect this was comedian Olaf Falafel’s intention. It has made us all laugh and we are planning on reminding him of this when he’s older.
We have all enjoyed this book, the illustrations are great, and there is a handy guide to making the noises. However, most of all though, it has made us all laugh and rediscover a bit of family fun at a time when we really have needed to do this. Thanks Olaf! If you’ve got kids in the 4- 8 year old age range or just fancy a good old laugh then this is the perfect picture book for you.
Harper Collins are running a competition to win a signed copy of the book: