The Tale of Jack Frost: David Melling (Hodder, 2003)
This is an absolutely perfect Christmas book, as well as being an almost perfect book. Annoyingly, it is currently out of print. Even more annoyingly, meany old grown ups are trying to sell copies of it for £40 and up online (see here) We were lucky enough to get a copy almost three years ago, and I reviewed it here. I am frustrated on behalf of children who are missing out on this lovely book, and it is a pity that the publisher didn’t manage to get it reprinted in time for Christmas. If you find a copy in an independent bookstore, do snap it up, it is a beautiful book that MG and DG love to hear again and again (and then watch the animated version too!)
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Christmas: Ronda & David Armitage (Scholastic Children’s Books, 2002)
Another one I ordered via school and has only just arrived so we haven’t had a chance to read it enough times to review yet!
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton (Hyperion Children’s Books, 1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is probably my all-time favourite film that I can watch over and over again. This is a lot to do with the genius of Henry Selick who is an amazing director, coupled with the imagination of Tim Burton (who sadly ‘jumped the shark’ many years ago in my opinion!) This book is pure Tim Burton in the good days however and a joyous rhyming romp! It’s not the film (there’s no Oogie Boogie or Sally for a start) but it’s the same rough plot. There are a couple of rhymes that don’t gel (maybe it’s not having an American accent but I can’t get “good job” and “macabre” to rhyme) but the luscious art and the plot more than make up for this. A gorgeous book, and well worth it just for the “A Visit From Saint Nick” parody (“… The children, all nestled so snug in their beds, would have nightmares of monsters and skeleton heads…”) This is my book, of course, bought long before I had children, but my children are my children so they love it too! Bear in mind one of DG’s favourite books is The Spider and The Fly!
When It Snows: Richard Collingridge (David Ficking Books, 2012)
This is a beautiful, beautiful book. With an ending which will leave book-lovers everywhere signing with delight. It is so luscious that I’ve added it as an actual Christmas present instead of an advent book so I don’t have my copy to hand! But that gives me the perfect opportunity to share the review written by one of my favourite fellow book bloggers: Read It, Daddy! If you love children’s books and aren’t already following his blog and twitter, I really urge you to do so. I aspire to produce so many outstanding reviews every week!
Ella Bella Ballerina and The Nutcracker: James Mayhew (Orchard, 2012)
DG is going through a Ballet phase. MG did at about the same age. It’s all about dressing up in ballet clothes, pretend dancing (it’s amazing how much they pick up even with not going to a single class ever!) and reading books with ballerinas in. So this book is a HUGE hit. Not to mention that “Ella Bella” are very almost MG’s names as she is Eleanor Isabelle for long 🙂 She likes Ella as a nickname now, but when we tried it as a baby she insisted on being Eleanor so she’s always been that. I often call her El’s Bells which she dislikes intensely! As I mentioned in my Katie and the Starry Night review, James Mayhew is a genius and this is another wonderful introduction to… book. Playing by the Book, another of my favourite book blogs, has such a gorgeous nutcracker feast in her write-up that I can’t resist sending you there to read more! I’ve just found out that there’s another Ella Bella review today, and her review is beautiful so please do look. Library Mice is the cause of much of my book spending with her wonderful reviews of the most beautiful books.
Posted in Picture Books, Unsolicited Review
Tagged Advent, Advent Books, Christmas, Christmas 2012, David Fickling Books, David Melling, Ella Bella Ballerina and The Nutcracker, Hachette Children's Books, Hodder Children's Books, Hyperion Children's Books, James Mayhew, Orchard Books, Richard Collingridge, Ronda & David Armitage, Scholastic Children's Books, The Lighthouse Keeper's Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Tale of Jack Frost, Tim Burton, When It Snows
This year I plan to do advent books – wrapping up all our Christmas and winter books and getting one to open every day from 1st – 24th December to add to the advent fun. I think I first read about it on Playing by the Book but was reminded this year by Here Come the Girls, who made the wrapped books into a tree shape – I won’t be so clever!
I’ll be writing about the books we’ll be choosing from in batches of about five books.
Five books in which Father Christmas / Santa Claus make an appearance – Advent Books, part one. Includes: The Night Before Christmas – Clement C Moore & Anita Lobel; Father Christmas: Raymond Briggs; Father Christmas Goes on Holiday: Raymond Briggs; Stick Man: Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler; When I Dream of Christmas: Oakley Graham.
Five more books in which Father Christmas / Santa Claus make an appearance – Advent books, part two. Includes: Puppy’s First Christmas: Steve Smallman & Alison Edgson; Father Christmas Needs a Wee: Nicholas Allan; Father Christmas on the Naughty Step: Mark Sperring & Tom McLauglin; Santasaurus: Niamh Sharkey; How Santa Really Works Pop-Up: Alan Snow & Maggie Bateson.
Six books including familiar characters – Advent books, part three. Includes: One Little Christmas Tree: The Curto Family & Rusty Fischer; Mog’s Christmas: Judith Kerr; Merry Christmas Maisy: Lucy Cousins; Harry and the Dinosaurs make a Christmas Wish: Ian Whybrow & Adrian Reynolds; Harry and the Snow King: Ian Whybrow & Adrian Reynolds; The Gruffalo’s Child: Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
When I Dream of Christmas: Oakley Graham
(Top That! Publishing, 2012)
I know, it’s still October and you’re only just starting to think Halloween thoughts but even though there’s still 66 days until Christmas; there’s 6 weeks until 1st December and the Advent countdown which this book would be perfect for! Also I tend to collect for Christmas early so I can completely avoid shopping in November/December 😉
Each double page of When I Dream of Christmas consists of a gorgeous Christmas image on the right and simple humour-filled text on the left. I especially love that the main text font is an easy to read font (i.e. the ‘a’ is a circle with a tail rather than the more complicated print ‘a’; ‘b/’d’/’p’/’q’ are easily differentiated; capital ‘I’ and lower-case ‘l’ easily differentiated etc) which works well for handwriting practice too. MG loves to copy text from books to practice her handwriting.
*apologies for quality of picture, lighting not good enough*
There are so many pages of this book that I want to share, it’s hard to choose a favourite! The descriptions make me smile as we read through the book, and MG and DG love all the different Christmassy items as well as the glittery cover. We are feeling quite festive already, but I’m putting the book away until December now!
Always hang out a stocking for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. Never hang out dirty socks as this is considered quite rude and can make your presents smell like cheese.
With twenty-seven double page spreads, this is a very substantial book that is still easy to read all the way through to children but also can be dipped in and out of one page at a time. It covers both secular and Christian elements of Christmas and I think will appeal to all religious backgrounds who want a humourous and not-particularly-factual coverage of the festive season!
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of When I Dream of Christmas by Top That! Publishing for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.
Grab the badge code and see the rules here, and enter your link below: