Thursday 15 November 2012

Have yourselves a booky little Christmas

The march of the yule is upon us, and between the frenzy of trying to work out who we've still got to buy presents for, and getting well and truly bogged down with the search for sellotape that doesn't spot-weld itself to the reel every time we want to do some wrapping, we are - of course - thinking about books.

Last year, you may recall we did a wishlist piece called "All I want for Christmas is Books" where we had a look at ten christmassy (and not so christmassy) books we hoped Santa would slide into our stockings on Christmas Eve.

This year we're dividing up the list with 5 books each, and though we're not choosing christmassy books (they'll be covered in a separate post), here's our fingers-crossed wishlist.

So without further ado, let's take a look at that letter to Santa...

Charlotte's Christmas Book Wish List

1) "A Donkey Reads" by Muriel Mandell and Andre Letria

A funny, beautifully illustrated and fantastic tale of the world's most literate Donkey. Adapted from a traditional 13th Century Turkish Folk Tale, "A Donkey Reads" is quirkily brilliant and sure to appeal to children who like something just that little bit different.

"A Donkey Reads" is available from the fantastic folk at Letterbox Library.

2) This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers books are amongst Charlotte's favourites and this is definitely on her christmas wish list. The beautifully illustrated tale of a boy and his moose with the sort of landscapes you'd love to spend a crisp cold christmas morning exploring.

Masterfully told with humour that appeals to both children and adults, Jeffers is at the top of his game.

Available from our independent local book shop, Mostly Books

3) I Really Want to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio and Dorothee De Montfried

A rather naughty crocodile has just one wish. He wants to eat a child.  He's utterly fed up with the rubbish diet his parents have put him on (Bananas, bananas and more bananas) and craves just one thing. A nice fat juicy plump child to eat.

A hilarious story and Achilles' tantrums and sulks will be all too familiar to parents. Children just love the fact that he's a crocodile who makes no bones about what he wants to eat! Love it!

Available from our independent local book shop, Mostly Books

4) The Cloud by Hannah Cumming

Child's Play books have wowed us with their range of titles this year and Hannah Cumming's "The Cloud" is another book that is thought provoking, intelligent, beautifully illustrated and above all extremely important for the message it so expertly delivers.

Everyone has bad days but when one little girl finds the little dark cloud of gloom hovering over her head for the day, it takes some great friends and a liberal dose of imagination to put a smile on her face.

Great characterisations and beautifully illustrated, it's available from the Child's Play website. 

5) Stone Soup by Jess Stockham

Jess Stockham's version of the traditional folk tale "Stone Soup" is beautifully illustrated and entertaining. A mysterious traveller comes to town and seeks shelter and sustenance from the locals. They're initially suspicious, but soon are won over by his tale of Stone Soup, the most amazing and delicious soup you've ever tasted - and all you need to make it is a smooth stone!

Fabulously witty retelling and available once again from the lovely folk at Child's Play

Daddy's Christmas Book Wish List

1) The Django by Levi Pinfold

We fell completely in love with Levi Pinfold's illustrative style after reading "The Black Dog" but haven't quite managed to get hold of The Django yet - his previous book. A soulful and utterly beautifully illustrated book about a young boy who meets the mysterious and mischievous Django - an experience he's unlikely to forget in a hurry. With some great nods to marvellous music, and the sort of art style that you'd quite happily give your left earlobe to be able to emulate, it's an amazing book.

Available from our independent local book shop, Mostly Books

2) The Magical Life of Mr Renny by Leo Timmers

Leo Timmers is another children's book author / illustrator with such a bold and beautiful artistic style that we just can't help but love his books.

Mr Renny is a famous artist, but no one wants to buy his paintings. So one day when he meets a stranger that offers to make his dreams come true, Mr Renny jumps at the chance. But is the stranger all that he seems?

Super-tight artwork that almost leaps off the page.

Available from our independent local book shop, Mostly Books

3) The Rainbow Orchid - Complete Collection by Garen Ewing

Saturday matinee-style high adventure spliced with Tintin-esque visuals, what's not to love about Garen Ewing's "Rainbow Orchid" graphic novels. Blisteringly paced and fantastically illustrated, the complete collection rolls together previous story threads into one fantastic volume to be read again and again.

Available from our independent local book shop, Mostly Books

4) Aesop's Fables by Ayano Imai

We reviewed Ayano Imai's unique take on Puss in Boots (actually called Puss and Boots) this year, and this retelling of some of the classic Aesop's Fables is equally brilliant. The tales draw from the classic Aesop tales and though there are so many other collections available that draw on the same stories, these are utterly captivating.

Available from our independent local book shop, Mostly Books

5) This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen's "I want my Hat Back" has been one of the highlights of our book year and this semi-sequel "This Is Not My Hat" has, quite deservedly, received high praise right across the board from reviewers, parents and children alike. A fast-moving fish whizzes through the murky depths with a tiny little hat on his head - but is it his? What is the twist in the tale? You'll have to read it to find out.