Thursday, 17 December 2015

Booky Advent Calendar Day 17 - ReadItDaddy's FESTIVE Chapter Book Roundup - December 2015 with funny families, horrid henries, bands of blood, headless horseman, cuddly animal stories, leopards AND elves!

With only a few sleeps left until Christmas Day (SQUEE!) it's time for another dig into our Chapter Book sack. We might not have QUITE as many festive tales of Christmas cheer to bring you as we'd hoped but there's a stack of brilliant books to brighten up your wishlist to Santa.

So let's start off with some chuckles in "My Funny Family Gets Funnier" by Chris Higgins and Lee Wildish.

There's mad excitement in the Butterfield household as Mattie and her folks prepare for some wildly exotic guests. Uncle Vez's brother and his wife have decided to drop in for a visit all the way from sunny Australia.

Mattie thinks things are going to be brilliant and exciting but Grandma isn't quite so chuffed. Ruling the roost isn't easy when interfering Auntie Sheila thinks SHE knows best! Will the family manage to survive the visit without a disaster unfolding? Well it wouldn't be much of a funny book if things went smoothly now would it. Chris's razor sharp humour dishes up a fab observation of dysfunctional but hilarious family life in his continuing "My Funny Family" series.

"My Funny Family Gets Funnier" by Chris Higgins with Illustrations by Lee Wildish is out now from Hodder Children's Books.

A terrible tearaway pops up next with ten of his most mischievous stories. "Horrid Henry's Tricky Tricks" by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross dishes up a fabulous slice of the miscreant youth's most dire and nefarious schemes.

In this compilation Henry plans to scupper Moody Margaret's sleepover, get his own back on Stuck-Up Steve, build the best snowman ever, and play more and more nasty pranks on Perfect Peter.

It's an awesome collection for fans of Horrid Henry or (like Charlotte) kids who love the TV series (now on Netflix!) and want to read the original books that the show was based on.

It's enough to send your parents absolutely batty - so it's nigh on essential, right?

"Horrid Henry's Tricky Tricks" is out now from Orion Children's Books and has been going down a STORM with Charlotte! High praise indeed!

More please! OK this is a new series on us but we're utterly and completely hooked...!

Christopher William Hill's darkly tinged and humorous collection of "Tales from Schwartzgarten" reaches book 4 with the audaciously creepy tale of "Marius and the Band of Blood".

Marius Myerdorf is the latest recruit to Schwartzgarten's Band of Blood. Marius has a mission ahead of him that will test his powers of deduction to the max.

Tasked with unmasking two of the most fiendish foes to grace The Great City, Marius joins forces with the Band of Blood in a race against time, thwarting the creepiest of creepy horrors along the way.

Fans of darker stories are going to eat this up whole. Check out the other "Band of Blood / Tales from Schwartzgarten" books too, each written by Christopher with glorious illustrations and covers by Chris Riddell.

Out now from Orchard Books!

Next up, a book that Mummy and Charlotte have been reading over the course of many bedtimes and it's perfect for this time of year and the promise of snow. "The Storm Leopard" from Holly Webb is a fabulous story featuring one of Charlotte's favourite animals, the Snow Leopard.

When young Isabelle visits a zoo, little does she know that she's about to be whisked off into a fantasy adventure involving these glorious and sleek animals. Isabelle wants to know how to do more to help these endangered creatures and Holly's story sensitively tells us more about Snow Leopards and their natural habitats. It's been hugely popular with Charlotte and Mummy (as are all Holly's books) so once again this has been a bit of a christmas treat for us.

"The Storm Leopards" is out now from Stripes Publishing.

Sticking with snowy creatures, there's more from Stripes Publishing in an all-new animal anthology by various authors...

"On a Snowy Night" collects together a fabulous set of stories by several well known authors and if you're not already in love with it purely from seeing those cuddly Arctic Foxes on the cover, then let us tempt you further.

Read stories about those foxes, but also gorgeously seasonal tales about a brave Zebra who steps in at the last minute to help Santa deliver presents, and a magical stone hare brought to life by magical moonlight.

Each tale is the perfect length for snuggly bedtime reading and fits this time of year beautifully.

"On a Snowy Night" is out now from Stripes Publishing.

One more then, because it's nearly Christmas. Ooh and this stays with the darker themes with a gloriously thick collection from a master of the macabre. Don't lose your head!

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories" collects together some of Washington Irving's classic horror tales into one delicious volume.

Featuring "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", "Rip Van Winkle", "The Specter Bridegroom" and "The Devil and Tom Walker", it's a glorious opportunity to read some of the best written American gothic fiction ever to grace the printed page.

New illustrations by Scott McKowen really bring the edition to life.

Strictly for older kids who don't mind a bit of spooky scariness!

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories" is out now from Sterling Publishing.

Phew! Christmas is coming, and we'd like to add on at the last moment a shout out to the fabulous - where you can sign up to receive regular updates from The Big Man himself and all his elves! Go check it out!

We hope you have a happy booky christmas and a story-filled new year! Drop back in 2016 for more Chapter Book greatness month by month!