It’s Christmas! Shepherds watching flocks by night, angels singing in choirs of exultation, Mary and Joesph trekking to Bethlehem. Well at least that’s how the story goes right? However, things have all gone a bit awry in Jenny Pearson’s festive-filled, Christmas cracker.
Mum can’t think of anything worse than spending Christmas with her in-laws at Barlington Hall and having to participate in the family nativity performance. But given it is the centenary nativity celebration and with grandfather unwell, mum has relented and the whole family are traipsing off to Chipping Bottom and the stately home of Lord and Lady Cuthbert-Anderson.
The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair; Natasha Hastings, illustrated by Alex T. Smith
Grab your warmest winter woolies and prepare for an intriguing and magical adventure into the Frost Fair.
Thomasina’s life has never been the same since the death of her twin brother four years ago. Her father is a shadow of his former self and her mother has isolated herself in a bedroom, hardly muttering a word. Things are bleak until a strange visitor offers her the impossible…trade all of her memories of Arthur and the mysterious Father Winter will bring him back. But the magician is a dangerous trickster, the stakes are much higher than could ever be imagined and Thomasina needs to put a stop to his horrible ways before it is too late…
Christmas Picture Books
The countdown to Christmas is well underway and the festive reads continue to drop through my mailbox. These two picture books are perfect for the little ones in your lives to get them in the mood and to heighten those excitement levels just a little bit more.
Bluey: 12 Days of Christmas
Bluey, one of Australia’s most popular children’s TV characters, gets in on the festive action in a delightful rewording of the classic Christmas song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. You won’t find any leaping lords, French hens, gold rings or milking maids in this version. Instead, my true love has been replaced by Verandah Santa and the beloved pear tree has been swapped for a mango tree. Amongst other things, Santa’s gifts include buskers, frogs, grannies, yabbies, gnomes, dollarbucks and a fruit bat.
I am a huge fan of Chris Haughton’s picture books, they are clever, funny and always go down a storm with children. In his latest book, a devoted mum’s quest for food is beautifully portrayed in a fun, icy tale.
Little Penguin has an empty belly that needs satisfying so it is up to Mummy Penguin to hunt for dinner. Leaving Daddy Penguin to look after Little Penguin, she sets off to the freezing waters of Antarctica. With icy slopes, other hungry penguins and sleeping seals, will Mummy Penguin successfully return with the fish that is so desperately craved…
What Feelings Do When No One's Looking; Tina Oziewicz, illustrated by Aleksandra Zajac
If you need a book to teach young children about feelings, this is quite possibly the perfect one.
We all experience feelings. Everyday a vast array of feelings flit in and out of our lives, some of them good, some of them not so. Anger, hope, delight, kindness, insecurity and curiosity all leave their marks on hearts and minds. But what do they look like and what do they get up to when no one’s looking…
Originally published in Polish, ‘What Do Feelings Do When No One’s Looking’ has been translated into English which means this brilliant and unique piece of Polish children’s literature can be enjoyed and pondered over by an even greater audience.
My Deadly Boots; Carl Merrison & Hakea Hustler, illustrated by Samantha Campbell
From award-winning authors Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler comes an uplifting tale of self-discovery that is brought about thanks to a pair of deadly boots.
The day has finally arrived. The boots that a young aboriginal boy has saved up all his coins for have finally been delivered. Colourful and shiny, with spikes on the bottom, these are the boots that dreams are made of and are the boots that can help fulfil dreams of the future. They are boots that can make a boy feel on top of the world, unbeatable, unstoppable, unbreakable. But is it really the boots on the feet that are giving the boy confidence and self-assurance, or is it coming from somewhere else…
Farmhouse; Sophie Blackall
From two-time Caldecott Medallist and author of the brilliant Hello Lighthouse, comes another glorious picture book that celebrates the life of a family and their farmhouse.
‘Over a hill, at the end of a road, by a glittering stream, that twists and turns, stands a house’. A house that was once home to twelve children and their parents. A house that was once full of life and love and laughter. A house that has now long been left by the family. A house that has fallen into a sate of disrepair. A house that has become a home to the wild. A house with a story to tell…
I am a massive fan of Katherine Rundell - everything she writes is pure brilliance - and I am overjoyed that a younger audience can once again enjoy her storytelling in her second picture book.
When wild child Mink is asked for help from a distressed zebra she knows she must offer her assistance in any way that she can. His parents have been stolen by an evil collector of animals and now Mr Spit’s alphabet of exotic animals is complete he can bring the most dastardly of plans to fruition. Along with a dog called Rainbow and a squirrel named Rodentia, it is up to Mink to save the day. But will she track down and be able to stop the villainous Mr Spit in time…
How To Survive Anywhere: Staying Alive in the World's Most Extreme Places; Ben Lerwill, illustrated by Daniel Long
For those brave enough, a thrilling around the world adventure awaits…
Earth is full of extreme places; the freezing plains of the Arctic, the scorching heat of the Arabian desert, the barren landscape of the Australian outback, the fertile wilds of the Amazon rainforest. Plants and animal have learnt how to thrive in all manner of extreme habitats but for humans such places can be life-threatening if you don’t know what you are doing. That doesn’t mean you should never go exploring though, with the right knowledge, skills and equipment… you can survive anywhere…
Solve Your Own Mystery: The Monster Maker; Gareth P. Jones, illustrated by Louise Forshaw
It’s the morning after the day before and Dr Franklefink is not happy as a fiendish crime has been committed. During his son Monty’s party, someone has stolen his precious family heirloom, The Monster Maker. You are the latest assistant to yeti detective and private investigator, Karl Solstaag, and it is your job to track down the culprit. In the Shady Side of town, everyone is up to no good; there are tricksy witches, goblins with criminal pasts and vampires with grudges. Make your notes, jot down the clues, draw connections and come to your own conclusions. There’s a thief out there and a Monster Maker in the wrong hands is a very dangerous thing…