Wednesday 4 December 2019

Decking the bookcase with Christmas Picture Books...

It's that time of year again when our Christmas book box makes it's way down from the loft and is unpacked into the bookcase. And it doesn't matter how old the kids get (or me for that matter) there are always whoops of delight as festive favourites are pulled out from a year in hiding.
Re-visiting the same stories year upon year though is only half the fun. Every December sees a bountiful bunch of new Christmas releases hit the bookshelves and leaves me wondering where I start...and where my book budget is going to come from.
As our bank balance is sadly low this year, I can't set upon buying new Christmas tales in the way I would like to. I have allowed myself a couple to cosy up to by the fire and will be talking about those in my next post. However, for now, as it is always fun to spread the word about stories, here is a round-up of our current family faves.

The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas by Dougie Poynter and Tom Fletcher.

Published by: 2012 by Red Fox.

I've talked about this series in a previous blog post so I won't spend long on this. Needless to say that this bouncy rhyming naughtiness brings the house down every year and is the first my autistic daughter pulls from the box. Ask her to pick her favourite line and she'll happily repeat it all day long:

                                             'And last but not least but never forgotten,
                                             Granny plopped out of the dinosaur's bottom.'

As discussed in my toilet humour post, this story isn't for everyone (my mum included). However, if you let yourself go and also let the fact that parts of the story have very poor rhyme go, this raucous romp of a Christmas story will have you rolling with laughter. It certainly pays not to be greedy...

Santa's Beard by Matilda Tristram and Tom Duxbury

Published by: 2014, Walker Books Ltd

A fun novelty book in which Santa's Beard, which has a huge personality, flies away from Santa to find another owner. After flying around the world and failing to find a friend who wants to wear him, he dejectedly makes his way back to the North Pole, where he finds he has most definitely been missed.
This book starts Christmassy and finishes Christmassy but isn't Christmassy at all in the middle. However, the fun of sticking Santa's beard on to the faces of a chef, pirate, baby and princess (to name a few) is something my kids have never tired of. They particularly like it when it ends up returning to the North Pole and promptly bashes Santa on the bottom.
A festive frolic for little ones.

Fancy Dress Christmas by Nick Sharratt

Published: 2012 by Alison Green

Any story which involves Nick Sharratt writing or illustrating is usually a winner in our house. This series has been particularly popular and the Christmas version especially so.
This is a simple but effective concept which appealed to my children from when they were tots. With the oldest now 9 years old, it is still as popular as ever.
The animals are off to a fancy dress Christmas themed party. As they dress up in their costumes, can you guess who is who? When you think you've cracked it, lift the flaps to find out. And what is Santa going to bring them this year?
With delightfully cute illustrations and loveable characters your little (or not so little) ones will enjoy exploring this book with you again and again.

Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

Published by: 2017, Oxford University Press

I can't think of a single Winnie and Wilbur story we haven't enjoyed as a family. Several years ago we purchased the box set and have been adding to it ever since. With two of the most loveable characters in children's literature at the helm, this was set to be a winner full of Christmassy charm and it is.
It's Christmas Eve and Winnie and Wilbur are awaiting Santa's annual visit. But when he gets stuck in their chimney, it's clear he needs help. Can Winnie and Wilbur help him to deliver the presents before it's too late or is it time for Winnie to conjure up the magic?
Winnie and Wilbur are a strong, character-led duo who never fail to entertain. Funny, relatable and fizzing with mischievous magic, these stories will always be part of our home.

*Look out for my review of Winnie and Wilbur's Christmas chapter book coming up in my next post.

So it's HO-Ho-Ho and happy reading. We'd don't feel we've even cracked the ice on the Christmas picture book market so feel free to send us your recommendations for the season and we'll check them out under the Christmas lights.

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