Christmas Book List 2018

Is there any better opportunity than the Christmas holidays to curl up and indulge in a good seasonal read?

Our English Department has put together some Christmassy suggestions for children – of all ages – to enjoy.  Scroll down to find a tempting selection of ideas!

The Snowman

By Michael Morpurgo

Published in 2018

Beloved children’s author Michael Murpurgo has re-imagined Raymond Briggs’ classic tale ‘The Snowman’ for a new generation of readers.  Based on the original story line and with all the charm.

Suitable for all the family!

The Christmasaurus

By Tom Fletcher

Published in 2016

This is not the North Pole as you may have imagined it before: there are elves with names like Snozzletrump speaking entirely in rhyme, Santa has a vinyl-powered sleigh, and, most importantly, there is a dinosaur in residence: a dinosaur who wishes he was a reindeer.

 

The Night I Met Father Christmas

By Ben Miller

Published in 2018

A charming and magical story from actor and comedian Ben Miller, with beautiful illustrations throughout from Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, that will remind everyone of the true spirit of Christmas and prove once a for all that Father Christmas really does exist!

 

The Ice Monster

By David Walliams

Published in 2018

Whilst not precisely a story about Christmas, we felt there was just enough ice and snow for it to qualify for this list. The Ice Monster is David Walliams’ biggest and most epic adventure yet!

This is the story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth … Read all about it! Read all about it!  ICE MONSTER FOUND IN ARCTIC!

When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more.  A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic.

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow

By Katherine Woodfine

Published in 2015

Katherine Woodfine’s bestselling debut novel and now the first of the ‘Sinclair’s Mysteries’. A fast-paced historical mystery adventure with gorgeous Edwardian period detail. Perfect for fans of Enid Blyton, Chris Riddell’s Goth Girl and Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series.

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of Sinclair’s department store! Enter a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes and MYSTERIES around every corner. WONDER at the daring theft of the priceless CLOCKWORK SPARROW! TREMBLE as the most DASTARDLY criminals in London enact their wicked plans! GASP as our bold heroines, Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose, CRACK CODES, DEVOUR ICED BUNS and vow to bring the villains to justice …

Recommended for children age 9 +

The City of Secret Rivers

By Jacob Sager Weinstein

Published in 2017

A hilarious fantasy adventure set in modern day London. An exciting subterranean London adventure, the first in a middle-grade trilogy. Hyacinth Hayward has recently arrived from America and is having difficulty adjusting to her new surroundings, especially being in the sole company of her eccentric mother. Everything feels strange. Very strange. And it gets stranger the day she accidentally unleashes the power of a secret river running through London.

A Darkness of Dragons

By S. A. Patrick

Published in 2018

Ten years on after the dreaded Piper of Hamelyn incident, young Piper Patch Brightwater finds himself on the run from a prison sentence for innocently playing a forbidden spell.

Accompanied by Wren, a girl cursed to live as a rat, and Barver, the fire-breathing dracogriff, the fleeing Patch suddenly finds himself pitched against the malevolence of the Piper himself.

 

Grandpa Christmas

By Michael Morpurgo

Published in 2018

In this beautiful Christmas picture book, Michael Morpurgo frames a powerful message about protecting the environment within a personal story about a grandpa’s wish for his granddaughter to live in a better world.

Dearest little Mia, 
This Christmas, instead of a Christmas card – you’ll have plenty of those – and instead of a present – you’ll have plenty of those too, I am sending you a letter . . .

Every Christmas Mia and her family read a letter which her Grandpa wrote to her. His letter is a warm, impassioned and heartfelt wish for a better world for Mia to live in. He remembers fondly the times they spent in his garden finding frogs and worms and planting seeds.  But Grandpa worries that all the things they love so much are in danger …  His words are a hopeful plea to Mia (and to all of us) to continue to care for and protect our precious world.

Perfect for younger readers, but equally perfect for the whole family.

Snowball

By Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Published in 2018

Created by award-winning, bestselling duo Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Snowball is a funny picture book for younger readers, with wonderfully comical images illustrating the hilarious rhyming story – perfect for Christmas!

A lonely young snowball, stuck at the top of a mountain, decides to visit the local town for a bit of fun – but on his way he trips, falls, and starts to roll . . . and when a snowball rolls through snow, we all know what happens.  This snowball picks up not only snow, but a myriad of other odd things on his way down – a sheep, a line of washing, a bicycling bear, ending up in the zoo.

A Boy Called Christmas

By Matt Haig

Published in 2015

This is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and a boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.  Indeed it could just be the true story of Father Christmas!  The Guardian says “Nikolas is a terrific character, clearly the offspring of Gerda from The Snow Queen and Roald Dahl’s Charlie Bucket, and the story’s Anderson like innocence is shot through with strands of darkness and Dahl-style black humour.”

Written by British author Matt Haig in 2015 (who previously won the Blue Peter Book of the Year) the book is acclaimed for becoming an instant classic.  The wonderful inky drawings by illustrator Chris Mould deserve a special mention, as they truly bring the story to life and add extra layers of humour.

 

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

By Matt Haig

Published in 2016

Amelia Wishart is the only reason Father Christmas was able to access enough magic to stop time and deliver presents to children around the world a year ago. Now, Amelia could use some magic of her own. Her mother is ill and Mr Creeper is eager to put Amelia into his workhouse, a place more bleak and dire than even Charles Dickens would have you believe. Father Christmas wants to help but is thwarted by an inexplicable interference. Will he be too late to restore hope in Amelia?

Matt Haig deals with terribly depressing situations and life-threatening events with clever humor, creative characters (humans, elves, trolls and pixies!), and magical adventure.

 

Father Christmas and Me

By Matt Haig

Published in 2017

Newly out in paperback in time for this Christmas, this is the third of Matt Haig’s Father Christmas trilogy, and all the reviews agree that it retains all the Christmas magic of the earlier books.

Let the battle for Christmas begin …  Amelia lives in the magical town of Elfhelm, newly adopted by Father Christmas and Mary Christmas. When the very jealous Easter Bunny launches an attack to ruin Christmas, it’s up to Amelia, her family and the elves to fight off the forces of evil.  But can they keep Christmas alive?

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

By Karina Yan Glaser

Published in 2017

In this heartwarming children’s book by New York Times best-selling author Karina Yan Glaser, a family fights to keep its brownstone home at Christmastime. The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

This was one of the New York Times’ Notable Children’s Books of 2017: “In this delightful and heartwarming throwback to the big-family novels of yesteryear, a large biracial family might lose their beloved brownstone home, but win it back with an all-out charm offensive.”

Recommended for children aged 7 to 10.

Horrible Christmas

By Terry Deary

Published in 2016

Another work of typically gruesome genius from the Horrible Histories team.  The complete horrible history of Christmas tells tales from the dark days when the Puritans tried to abolish Christmas, to Christmas in the trenches when the British and Germans traded bullets for footballs. Plus dreadful jokes, rotten recipes and a Christmas Bored Board game to keep you busy on Boxing Day …

Dream Snow

By Eric Carle

Published in 2000

From the author and illustrator of the beloved The Very Hungry Caterpillar, even though this book has been out for a few years, it’s one not to miss for early readers (and their parents who grew up with The Very Hungry Caterpillar).

Perfect for nursery and reception children, Dream Snow paints a beautiful picture of an animal-loving Father Christmas.  It tells the story of a farmer dreaming of Christmas snow and how he takes care of his animals after the flakes actually begin to fall. He dons a red suit, goes outside and places presents under a tree for his five animals. The animals just so happen to be named One, Two, Three, Four and Five, making the book not only entertaining, but also a good lesson in counting.

One of the hardback versions available includes plastic sheets decorated with snowflakes that hide each animal’s identity until they’re lifted as well as a button on the last page that provides a surprise musical ending.

The Folio Book of Children’s Poetry

Published in 2018

One of the latest beautifully luxurious (and rather pricey) publications by The Folio Society.  The Folio Book of Children’s Poetry is an eclectic and thought-provoking collection chosen to amuse, entertain and challenge young readers – from classic Wordsworth to the inimitable Dahl. Illustrated by award-winning artist Lesley Barnes and featuring a delightful glow-in-the-dark binding and slipcase.  One for a very special Christmas present and to perhaps become a family heirloom!

How Winston Delivered Christmas

By Alex T. Smith

Published in 2018

How Winston Delivered Christmas is an Advent Story in twenty-four-and-a-half chapters.  Published in hardback, it is a heart-warming tale to share every year in the run up to Christmas and designed so that there is a chapter to read each day of December.

Follow Winston the mouse as he sets out to deliver Oliver’s letter to Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. He has a lot of rather exciting adventures on this very important mission and makes some wonderful friends along the way.

Like an advent calendar counting down to Christmas, each day also features festive things to make and do – you can write a letter to Father Christmas and make mince pies, Christmas cards, presents and decorations.