Monday, 10 November 2014

Whiz Bang Christmas Crackers!

By Damien Jones 
With The Yuletide season fast approaching here a few of my favourite picture books of recent months, some have a Christmas theme some are set to bring a little sunshine into your life on these long cold winter nights. 

By Jo Byatt

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle – Published by Chronicle Books

A stunning wordless lift-the-flap story set in a magical icy landscape. Flora and her Penguin twirl, glide and leap off the pages as they explore the boundaries of their friendship in this breath-taking balletic picture book. I have rarely seen such a clever and subtle use of the lift the flap format. Completely magical from beginning to end.


Snow by Sam Usher Published by Templar Publishing

Set to be a modern classic this book perfectly encapsulates the silent crisp magical moment in which the first snowfall settles. A beautiful observation of a grandson’s special relationship with his grandfather. A must have. 


Katie's London Christmas by James Mayhew Published by Orchard Books
This glittering traditional tale deftly illustrated by Mayhew whisks us away on a spectacular sleigh bound adventure across London, as Katie and her brother help a delightfully rotund Father Christmas deliver Christmas gifts to a very special Royal resident.

The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Britta Teckentrup Published by Little Tiger Press

Clever cut-away pages reveal 12 beautifully illustrated gifts, encouraging a special shared reading experience as the story builds to a magnificent climax. Perfect for reading together or singing along to on Christmas Eve.

Snow by Walter de la Mare Published by Faber Children’s Books

Exquisite Scandinavian style illustrations by Carolina perfectly compliment this traditional poem. A celebration of family, nature and the magic of winter. One for sharing under a warm blanket.  

Bear Hug by Katharine McEwen Published by Templar Publishing

A perfect introduction to the seasons, this picturesque picture book follows a family of bears as they prepare for hibernation and the arrival of spring. Heart melting collage style illustrations draw the reader right into the depths of the forest. Truly magnificent. 

Is there a dog in this book? By Viviane Schwarz Published by Walker Books

For all those little ones hoping for a puppy this Christmas this could be the perfect solution. This outstanding bright and imaginative picture book contains fabulous flaps to lift and surprise pop out features creating the most wonderful interactive and immersive story experience.

Santa's Noisy House - By Sebastien Braun Published by Campbell Books 

Perfect for managing the anticipation of imminent festivities, this book has intermittent prompts so small readers can press the corresponding sound effect button thus bringing the story to life. Sebastien Braun Braun has created a joyful, bright and engaging Yuletide adventure as we join Father Christmas as he prepares for the big day. 

The Christmas Treasure Hunt by Ag Jatkowska - Published by Campbell Books 

A completely absorbing festive treat, wander though the wintery woodland making friends with the forest residence whilst helping them to find their Christmas gifts hidden under the flaps on each page. 
This fabulous picture book culminates with a breathtakingly spectacular pop-up Christmas tree scene. 
The essence of Christmas wonderment all wrapped up in one book. 

A Good Home for Max – Published by Chronicle Books Published by Chronicle

In this enchanting tale Tabi the mouse takes great care to keep the shop he lives in ship shape, but realising his friend Max the toy dog is being overlooked he sets about finding his beloved companion a new home just in time for Christmas. With charming echoes of 'Corduroy' this will quickly become a family favourite.

Blown Away – By Rob Biddulph Published by Harper Collins

One of my new favourites, Penguin Blue is thoroughly enjoying his new kite when he is unexpectedly whisked away by a gust of wind. Where will he end up and who will he meet along the way? A supremely stylish and humorous picture book to read again and again. We are especially fond of Clive the polar bear! We want more Penguin Blue, the coolest Penguin on the ice floe. 

What a Wonderful World – Based on the song sung by Louis Armstrong Illustrated by Tim Hopgood  Published by Oxford University Press
A delightfully vivid splash of colour in the depths of winter, this book is brimming with joy and optimism. Filled with bright vibrant illustrations this charming homage to that famous song with its universal appeal will make a charming gift.

via Steve Lenton! 
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Christmas portrait by Dougal Trump