Last minute panic for tree presents? Desperate to get your kids off their mobiles and ipads? Luisa from the award-winning The Book House in Thame has chosen her Top 10 reads for children from 0-11 years – and they’re all corkers.
Little Christmas Tree, Jessica Courtney-Tickle
I adore this exquisite and over-sized board book. It has flaps that can be lifted to reveal the different flora and fauna which live in the wood around the little Christmas tree. A gentle rhyming story about a day in the life of a little conifer and the animals who rely on it is delivered alongside beautiful illustrations, with a tiny robin to spot on each page – the perfect package for curious pre-schoolers, and lovely enough for parents to enjoy as well.
Three Little Monkeys, Quentin Blake and Emma Chichester Clark
The incomparable Quentin Blake takes the role of storyteller in this book, leaving the illustrations to his multi-talented protégé Emma Chichester Clark, whose own characters (Blue Kangaroo and Plumdog amongst them) have firmly placed her in the top rank of children’s book illustrators. The combination of these two great talents has produced an absolutely charming book, over-flowing with fun and told – of course – in bouncing rhyme with glorious pictures. What more could your toddler want?
A Child of Books, Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
This distillation of the wonder of books and stories will sing to your heart. “I am a child of books…I come from a world of stories…” The illustrations employ typographical landscapes from the very stories on which our childhoods are built. Extraordinary. For all ages.
Mary Poppins – Up, Up, and Away, Helene Druvert
From the artist who brought us Paris – Up, Up and Away comes another picture book of intricate and beautifully crafted lasercut pages, through which the story of Mary Poppins unfolds. A confection of delight.
The Story Orchestra – Four Seasons in One Day, Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Isabelle travels through the four seasons in one day, with her apple tree and her puppy as constant companions. On each beautifully illustrated page, press on the image of a musical note – and hear an appropriate part of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as the music brings the journey to life.
A Year Full of Stories, Angela McAllister and Christopher Corr
52 folk tales and legends from around the world are arranged to follow festivals and cultural events through the year, one for each week. Stunning illustrations make this a beguiling combination. Ages 7+
Atlas of Animal Adventures, Lucy Letherland
Planet Earth style adventures across the globe, arranged by continent and habitat in a large format hardback. If you’re wild about wildebeest or nuts about narwhals, this very large book is for you!
The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, Clare Balding
Horsewoman and TV presenter Clare Balding has written a funny story set in the world of horse racing for ages 7+
Island, Nicky Singer, illustrations Chris Riddel
Originally scripted as a play for the National Theatre, Nicky Singer has re-written her play as a novel for ages 10+. Set on an uninhabited Arctic Island, urban (and tetchy) teenager Cameron is there only because he has had to accompany his mother on her annual research visit. Prepared for cold, almost prepared to live without technology, he is certainly NOT prepared for the things the island reveals to him – among them an Inuit girl and a very large, white bear….Lyrical, gripping and perfectly accompanied by Chris Riddell’s illustrations.
The Story Cure by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin
This is an A-Z of books for children, arranged by theme, from ANGER to ENVY via MUSEUMS and PARENTS (PUSHY) through to ZITS it covers all bases. Literally – a book for everything!
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