Thursday, 24 December 2015

Festive reads from Walker Books - Part 2

Festive reads from 
Walker Books

Part 2

The Christmas Eve Tree
Written by Delia Huddy
Illustrated by Emily Sutton

It's Christmas Eve and I hope you are all ready for the big day tomorrow - with Christmas dinner all bought, presents wrapped. So hopefully you're relaxing, enjoying some chocolates or mince pies. I'm nearly there, but I know that I shall be reading this to Aoife later this evening - a book to be read today - The Christmas Eve Tree. A sweet story of a little Christmas tree that has a rough beginning and that no one wanted for Christmas until a homeless boys finds it.

The little fir tree felt better that he belonged to someone, even if that someone lived in a card board box. With a few donated coins, the little boy is able to decorate the tree with candles and soon the other homeless gather round and everyone started to sing. People gathered to see the sight and continued to sing. The little boy forgot that he would be sleeping in a box and would be eating soup in a soup kitchen if he was lucky. The spirit of Christmas was everywhere.

A few days after Christmas, the boy moved on and the little fir tree was picked up by a road sweeper who noticed that there was still green shoots and slyly planted the tree in the corner of a park garden, where you can find it now, strong and tall and cheerfully stout!

The Christmas Eve Tree is a book with a moving story and beautiful illustrations that remind us what Christmas is truly about. The story focuses on the Fir tree, the underdog, who nobody wants but comes out on top in the end. And though the issue of the homeless boy is not resolved, it reminds us about people who have nothing. It reminds us of community and caring - The true spirit of christmas!

Thank you to Walker Books for these lovely festive reads. The Christmas Eve Tree is available in all good book shops or online here.

Festive reads from Walker Books - Part 1

Festive reads from 
Walker Books

Part 1

Jingle Bells
Written by James Lord Pierpont
Illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

Walker Books have released a stocking filler sized edition of the Christmas song - Jingle Bells. It's a beautiful cut-paper edition with silhouette illustrations and a stunning pop-up finale.

Recommended for ages 5+ but really this would make a lovely stocking filler for older children and adults alike. With a golden border on the front cover, it has a lovely magical feeling. This is a beautiful edition and a little something to treasure for ever! Available in all good book shops and online here.

The Night Before Christmas
Written by Clement C. Moore
Illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

Niroot Puttapipat has illustrated another Christmas classic, The Night Before Christmas. This is another mini edition, with silhouette illustrations and a lovely  pop-up finale. 

I love the grand, festive house and being able to peer through the windows to catch glimpses of Santa, it's well thought out and the finale scene is just magical. These small editions would make a lovely gift for anyone. Available in all good books shops and online here

The First NOEL

By Jan Pienkowski

I recently received this Christmas carousel from Walker Books and though it was published in 2004, it is such a beautiful book that would make a lovely gift for any age, though maybe not for little fingers. This stunning Christmas carousel tells a brief story of the Nativity in just five stunning and exquisite cut-out silhouettes and words from the King James Bible.

With ribbon on the covers, it can be tied once fully open and the covers pulled back. When I first opened this, I thought it would make a lovely centre piece which I still might do for later today and tomorrow. Definitely something to come out each year - a true little treasure. 

It works so well with the layered, white silhouettes against the red background. With a ribbon at the top, this is a special book that needs to be on display, it would suit a table or even hung. The First Noël can still be bought online.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

One Day on Our Blue Planet.. in the Antarctic

One Day on Our Blue Planet..
in the Antarctic

By Ella Bailey
Published by Flying Eye Books

A little something for the New Year, Flying Eye Books will be releasing the second book in the series One Day on Our Planet. Written and illustrated by the talented Ella Bailey, this adorable book follows a young Adélie penguin chick as she embarks upon her first journey across the Antarctic ocean.

This book has such stunning end papers with illustrations of the different birds and mammals that can be found in the Antarctic - very informative and interesting for any young animal lover. 

Children will enjoy trying to spot this young penguin with her blue eyes amongst the other different penguins and animals. We follow her as she leaves her parents and jumps in to the big blue sea where she is swift and graceful. We learn that she may travel for miles in search of food such as krill, fish and squid. But there are many dangers to avoid like Leopard seals and Orcas. It may be many years before she returns to solid land but her which layer of fat keeps her warm.

I've enjoyed learning about the different creatures that share the little penguin's icy world. It's beautifully illustrated with a lovely palette of colours used and captures the coldness and icy beauty of the Antarctic. 

If your little ones enjoy learning about animals and their environments then this is definitely a series to look into. Available in January 2016 but for more information now, click here.

Socks For Santa

Socks For Santa

Written by Adam & Charlotte Guillain
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
Published by EGMONT

Socks for Santa is the fifth book in George's Amazing Adventures, a series which has featured Martians, a Dragon, a Yeti and Pirates. Now George in is the North Pole and wants to make sure Santa gets presents for a change.

On his way to the North Pole, George gets caught in a blizzard but he soon meets two friendly polar bears who help him along the way to Santa's workshop where there's chaos, the Elves are terribly late as there's a stack of toys still to wrap and Santa is waiting. George and the Bears don't hesitate and get stuck in to help and it's not long before George is being ushered in to Santa's room but it's not santa in there, it's Rudolph who has the flu and a nose that isn't glowing. Rudolph doesn't think he can lead Santa and the other reindeers but George pulls out one of his gifts for Santa and offers it to Rudolph, it's a head torch. 

All the other reindeer decide to pull out gifts for themselves leaving George upset that he has no more presents to give to Santa, he prepares to leave but just then he hears a "Ho, Ho' Ho." Santa has arrived and George explains to him what has happened. Santa is pleased as believe's that the spirt of Christmas! As Santa gets ready, and pulls on his socks, a toe pops out of a hole, what will Santa do, his foot will freeze! George has an idea and pulls out the very last present he has, a spare pair of socks!

This is a rhyming escapade with a feel good feeling - I love the idea of a child wanting to give Santa presents - a nice change! The illustrations fill the pages with cute character designs. I especially like the cute puffins with their expressive little faces.

Recommended for ages 3+, this would make a lovely addition to a Christmas collection of books. It's sweet, fun and a feel good story. Available in all good book shops.

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Little Christmas Tree

The Little Christmas Tree

Paper Engineered by Corina Fletcher Illustrated by Vicki Gausden
Written by Rachel Elliot
Published by EGMONT

The Little Christmas Tree is more than just a story - It's a sweet tale about all the animals in Emerald Wood decorating the trees but one tree has been forgotten. Its a rush to make this tree just as spectacular as all the others and they manage just in time before they have a very, special visitor.

Once you've finished the story you have your very own pop up tree to decorate with decorations provided. Just tie the covers back with the ribbon on the covers and wow! The tree is well designed and sturdy for little hands to hang the cutout baubles. There's even the animal characters to play with as well. 27 press-out pieces provided and an envelope inside to keep them safe. I thought this was so pretty and a lovely way for children to act out the story. I adore the illustrations of the animals and with a sparkly, glittery cover, with so much fun to be had, this would make a great Christmas gift for boys and girls.
Recommended for ages 3+ and available in all good book shops.

Festive reads from Little Tiger Press, Part 2

Festive reads from 
Little Tiger Press

Part 2

Here with the final two festive reads and to start it of, something for the very little ones..

Is It Christmas Yet?
By Jane Chapman

Little Tiger Press have just released this lovely board book edition of this fun and favourite Christmas story. Any parent or Grandparent will know how excited little ones get in the lead up to Christmas and may ask a few times (or every waking hour), "Is it Christmas yet?" That's the case for poor Ted, he is just so excited and cannot wait for Christmas. As Big Bear tries to hang the decorations and wrap the presents, little Ted seems to be getting in the way a lot. Then it's off to find a Christmas tree, which is so big, Big Bear can't get it through the door and ends up snapping it. Big Bear and an upset Ted share a big hug and together they fix the tree, just in time for Christmas.

Recommended for ages 1-3, this little board book comes with sturdy pages, suitable for little hands.
This is a lovely little story that parents will be able to relate to and bring back memories of those stressful but funny times. With lovely illustrations and funny text, this is the perfect festive gift. Available in all good book shops or online here

Waiting for Santa
Written by Steve Metzler
Illustrated by Alison Edgson

A story of belief and friendship and reassuring little ones - This festive tale is about Bear wanting everything to be ready for Santa Claus but his friends are unsure if Santa will find them. Bear reassures them that Santa will be there. They make signs and snacks for the reindeer, and they decorate a huge Christmas tree. Bear's friends are still worried Santa won't be able to find them but Bear has an idea and comes back with a huge, bright star to go on the top of the tree. They have to help each other to place the star on the top and when everything is ready, the friends all huddle together to wait for Santa but when they are just about to give up, who should appear....

This is an adorable, sweet little picture book about working together and never stop believing. Every child needs a little magic in their life and this would make a lovely, magical gift. With it's foiled cover, cute illustrations and heart warming tale. Recommended for ages 3-6 and available in all good book shops and online here.