With Christmas approaching I'm always looking for little stocking fillers for the children, and one of my favourite things to give is books. I've just been introduced to Curious Fox, an Oxford based children's publisher, and they have sent me a bundle of books which would make great gifts for the young readers on your present list.
After never showing much interest in books as a baby, Mia's reading is now coming along in leaps and bounds. She loves her books now, and really pushes herself to read books that are a little above her reading level, as well as enjoying being able to independently read the picture books that I read to her when she was younger.
These two little books by Michael Dahl -Me and My Dog
and Me and My Cat are very sweet hardback books about children and their pets. Mia is desperate for a pet, and so these books appealed instantly! The books talk about the things that the animals like and don't like, and so are a great read with your child if you are thinking about introducing a new furry family member. They are fun for reading to little ones, and also simple enough that young readers can tackle them alone.
For slightly more confident readers, these first chapter books by Debbi Michiko Florence are based on Dorothy and her friends from the Wizard of Oz. Each book has four or five short chapters and plenty of bright, cheerful illustrations as you follow along with Dorothy and Toto the dog, meeting lots of familiar characters along the way. There are several books in the series but each one can be read independently from the others. Although they are lovely little stories they also deal with issues that young children might face, that although they aren't too serious might still bother them. For example in What's Your Name? Dorothy makes a new friend that keeps calling her by different nicknames that she doesn't like, and she has to learn how to approach the situation in a way that doesn't hurt his feelings.
At a similar reading level are these lovely fairy books by Janey Louise Jones - Sonny the Daring Squirrel
and Farrah the Shy Fawn. Fairies are another topic that appeal immensely to Mia, and these beautifully illustrated chapter books are great for little ones that are reading independently. Each book begins with an introduction to the fairy characters that we will meet, and the stories are about a group of Superfairies that use teamwork to rescue animals in trouble. Each fairy has a particular skill, and they use these by working together to help each animal. Again there are several books in the series, but each one is a standalone story. If you have a little reader that loves books about fairies, these stories would be fantastic to add to their collection!
Harry is quite different to Mia and has always been a keen reader, but he's proving a little tricky when it comes to books at the moment. He is an excellent reader for his age, but he's quite particular about the books that he likes, and he's reluctant to stick with one if it doesn't appeal after the first few pages.
He enjoys books that have a fast moving plot with plenty of humour, and these books by Malcolm Judge following the adventures of Jonny Jakes - Jonny Jakes Investigates the Hamburgers of Doom
and Jonny Jakes Investigates the Old School Ghoul - are right up his street. Jonny Jakes is an undercover reporter for banned school newspaper The Woodford Word, and he's determined to pursue the truth about what's going on in the school. Written in a diary format, the text is broken up with plenty of cartoons, little notes, newspaper headlines and so on. The stories contain plenty of elements that appeal to young children, like jokes about bodily functions and annoying parents.
Another book which is perfect for Harry is How to Draw Batman, Superman and Other DC Super Heroes and Villains - a large book packed with drawing instructions for different cartoon characters ranging from the well known to a few less familiar ones. The book has plenty of drawing inspiration and also tells you all about the different characters so it's a great reference book for superhero fans.
Publishing next year, The Fearless Travelers' Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler is a story for more confident readers. It follows Nell Perkins, who knows there is magic at work that she can't yet understand. Her mother has been taken by witches and turned into a bird, and Nell must journey deep into the Wicked Places to get her mother back. I've only just started reading it myself (it's a bit too old for Harry yet) and it's a gripping story which will definitely appeal to older readers.
Finally, I can't resist sharing this lovely picture book - Herbie's Big Adventure by Jennie Poh. Herbie the hedgehog is ready for his first foraging adventure and bravely steps out into the world alone. He has lots of fun adventures in the snow before coming back to his Mum, and it's a lovely book to share at bedtime as you snuggle down with your little one.
I hope that you've found some inspiration for your Christmas book shopping!
I was sent these books in exchange for a review, Amazon links are affiliate.