christmasshowThe Christmas Show
Rebecca Patterson
(Macmillan Children’s Books)

Patterson captures the chaotic nature of nursery and infant school nativity plays perfectly in this hilarious picture book. While young readers will rejoice in recognizing the familiar setting of the classroom and school activities, parents and other adults will enjoy this brilliantly observed tale on a different level. With fun and bold illustrations and a sparkly cover, The Christmas Show is a great new offering from 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner Rebecca Patterson. It might even calm a few nerves for those little people taking their first steps on stage as shepherd/donkey/star/angel!


Dick Bruna
(Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

Those after a retelling of the traditional Nativity story might want to have a look at this stunning anniversary edition of Dick Bruna’s Christmas, which was originally published 50 years ago.  Beautifully packaged and brimful of  Bruna’s signature bold and bright illustrations, this is a great first simple introduction to the Nativity story, which will also please any fan of Bruna’s iconic style.


letterforbearA Letter for Bear
David Lucas
(Flying Eye Books)

Another beautifully produced book from Flying Eye Books, A Letter For Bear tells the story of a lonely bear who spends his time delivering letters to others but never receives any. But a small accident forces him to take action and  make the first step towards making new friends.  A kindly tale about unsung heroes and the power of friendship, A Letter for Bear is beautifully illustrated in Lucas’ distinctive detailed style, with gorgeous colours and patterns reminiscent of delicious German Christmas gingerbreads. A truly heartwarming little book, that reminds readers where our priorities should lie at Christmas time.

ernestErnest & Célestine: Merry Christmas
Gabrielle Vincent, translated by Sam Alexander

The irresistible duo is back for another beautifully illustrated tale, this time a lesson on how to do Christmas on a shoestring. Célestine is desperate for a Christmas party and though they can’t afford it, Ernest cannot bear to break the promise he has made her. So they begin to prepare everything by hand from invitations to decorations and from costumes to presents. Will the party be a success? Fans of this series will know that each timelessly illustrated story is full of tenderness and love and always focuses on kindness, sharing and the simple things in life.  Similarly to  A Letter for Bear, Ernest & Célestine: Merry Christmas,  is here to remind us that Christmas should really be about quality time with loved ones rather than the amassing of materialistic things.

alfieAlfie’s Christmas
Shirley Hughes
(Bodley Head)

Whether it is the build-up to Christmas when children are busy with card-writing, tree decorating and gift wrapping, the over-excitement of the night before Christmas or the delights of Christmas morning, each tiny magical episode is captured with nostalgic perfection by Shirley Hughes in this new Alfie adventure. She depicts this special time as precious and devoid of the distractions of our busy technology-obsessed, materialistic society. Alfie’s world is one many of us yearn for at this time of year particularly, and quite honestly, no Christmas is complete without one of Shirley Hughes’ magical Christmas stories.