Still shopping for Christmas gifts for the little ones? There are more and more amazing children’s books appearing on the shelves this year. Sure, they’re kind of angular when it comes to stuffing stockings, but they last an awful lot longer than plastic whatnots and give you the chance for some special bonding time with the littlies. I’ve already shared a few of my favourites for the year here and here, but HERE are some more!
Mr Darcy and the Christmas Pudding by Alex Field and Peter Carnavas
New Frontier RRP:$24.99 AUD
I’ve shared my enthusiasm for Peter Carnavas’ illustrations a few times here on the blog. I absolutely love the way he strikes a balance between clean, clear drawings and complex emotions, and the character of Mr Darcy (the duck!) is no exception. Just like another Mr Darcy we all know and love, this duck is a man of few words and considerable inner turmoil, and Carnavas manages to imbue his duck with all the pomposity and furrowed brow action we’d expect from Colin Firth at this finest. Story wise, this is the 3rd in the Mr Darcy series by Alex Field, who cleverly draws the basics from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and simplifies the moral dilemmas for young readers using animal characters. This installation is all about ‘stir up Sunday’, a real English tradition from Austen’s day, where everyone in a household takes a turn to stir the Christmas pudding and make a wish in the lead up to Christmas. Will Mr Darcy let the annoying Mr Collins (the cat) inside to join the festivities?
Alex Field has also written the charming Matilda Saves Santa Claus, reviewed here, if you’re looking for another Christmas book treat for the kids.
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek (Gift Set)
Penguin RRP:$24.99 AUD
I hardly need to review this book as pretty much every Australian child has read it, and at least 50% of households probably own a copy. The author and illustrator are multi award winning and the book, with it’s simple search for up sheep and down sheep and sun sheep and clown sheep, has become a modern ‘classic’. So, how do you improve on perfection? With a gift set! This new edition comes with a cool little block puzzle depicting several pages of the story. Choose your favourite page, and talk about the story as you recreate it with blocks. Highly recommended as a gift for new babies as it combines a hard cover book with a tactile play experience (and because it’s only new babies who won’t already have read it 5000 times!). Having said that, the blocks are quite light and paper based so they may not stand up to a lot of sucking – enjoy under supervision! This new box set is a lovely way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this funny little story.
With thanks to the publishers for my review copies.