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Festive Children’s Recommendations

By Emma Rogers, Aimee Haldron and Nicole Haynes

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is fast approaching and what better time to get lost in a good book than the festive season? From talking dinosaurs to spellbinding retellings, ballet shows to fading magic, these are some of our top picks to read this Christmas.

Picture Books

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher & Shane Devries

Fletcher’s Christmas classic has been reimagined as a rhyming picture book for younger readers to enjoy. Dreaming of helping Santa deliver presents in his sleigh, the Christmasaurus sets his heart on learning to fly. One magical Christmas Eve, he tumbles down a chimney and meets a dinosaur-loving child who shows him the magic of Christmas and believing in himself. Beautifully illustrated, this book is the perfect read for this festive season.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Night Before Christmas by Eric Carle

Everybody’s favourite little caterpillar is back! This time it’s Christmas Eve and The Very Hungry Caterpillar is exploring a magical snowy place. Follow the story as he says goodnight to some baby animal friends in order for Christmas and the magic to begin. With flaps to lift on every page and a soothing rhyming text, this is the perfect bedtime story for babies and toddlers.

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Alison Ritchie & Morisa Morea

This hilarious picture book is a great way to introduce children to Christmas traditions. One little puppy is excited about his first Christmas but with every dog in town helping out, it’s a shambles! Follow the story to find out if everything will be ready in time. Perfect for dog lovers, this book comes with vibrant illustrations that will keep kids entertained and picking out their favourite dogs.

Middle Grade

The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle

An imaginative take on a Christmas classic, this story follows George and his Scrooge-like father on a magical Christmas adventure. With some help from an eager elf, a grumpy purple reindeer and a misbehaving Nan, the father-son duo travel to Christmas past, present and future. Focusing on the importance of family and festive joy, this story is the perfect Christmas read for the whole family.

Nutcracked by Susan Adrian

Enter the world of The Nutcracker in a whole new way this Christmas. The story follows Georgie, a young girl who has always dreamt of dancing the part of Clara in The Nutcracker ballet and when she gets the part it’s like a dream come true. But not everything is as it seems as Georgie must fight to save her friend, the Nutcracker and herself. A beautiful story that children will completely lose themselves in.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig

A beautiful story that blends fantasy, myth and science fiction to create the most inventive and popular contemporary fiction. There isn’t enough magic in the world – magic built from the hope of children – and Father Christmas has a lot to deal with. Amelia Wishart is the key to saving Christmas and Father Christmas knows he must find her. With some help from elves, reindeer, the Queen and a man called Charles Dickens, this heart-warming story is of how one little girl helped save Christmas.

Young Adult

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

From the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist comes this latest whirlwind romance. Lily has left a notebook full of challenges on her favourite bookstore shelf in the hopes that the right guy will come along and accept its dares. Dash isn’t one to back down from a challenge and the Book of Dares he finds is the perfect distraction. Follow the story as they send each other on a scavenger hunt across Manhattan and find out of their on-page chemistry transfers to real life. Also, now a hit series on Netflix, this is the perfect feel-good romcom to get the holiday season started.

Midnight in Everwood by M.A.Kuzniar

Reimagining the traditional Nutcracker story, this debut provides an enticing gothic spin on the classic tale. Set in 1906, Marietta dreams of being a ballerina but pressures from her family require her to ditch dancing and marry a suitable match. The enigmatic toymaker, Dr Drosselmeir, creates a beautiful set for her final performance but there’s more to this than meets the eye. When the clock strikes midnight, Marietta is suddenly transported to a magnificent land and taken on a glittering adventure.

Hopefully these wonderful festive reads have got you in the mood for Christmas. Now, if you don't mind, I just need to add a few more books to my Christmas list.


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