This festive season we have put together some titles to spread the holiday spirit! Keep reading for our top recommendations this month by award-winning authors.
1. The Book of Hopes
Age rating: 8+
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2020.
In difficult times, what children really need is hope. And in that spirit, bestselling author Katherine Rundell emailed some of the children's writers and artists whose work she loved most:
'I asked them to write something very short, fiction or non-fiction, or draw something that would make the children reading it feel like possibility-ists: something that would make them laugh or wonder or snort or smile. The response was magnificent, which shouldn't have surprised me, because children's writers and illustrators are professional hunters of hope … I hope that the imagination can be a place of shelter for children and that The Book of Hopes might be useful in that, even if only a little.'
This collection, packed with short stories, poems and pictures from the very best children's authors and illustrators, aims to provide just that. Within its pages you'll find animal friends from insects to elephants, high-flying grandmas, a homesick sprite, the tooth fairy, and even extra-terrestrial life.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Age rating: 0-8
The timeless Christmas classic from the iconic Dr. Seuss! Read this favourite story of joy, love and acceptance anytime, anywhere!
With a heart two sizes too small, the Grinch is the meanest creature you'll ever meet. He hates Christmas and the whole festive season. But when he hatches a dastardly plot to steal Christmas, he's in for a big surprise!
With hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations, this classic seasonal story has become a favourite for good reason and teaches readers the true meaning of Christmas.
3. A Poet For Every Day Of The Year
Age rating: 11+
Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with all the family, it is bursting at the seams with familiar favourites and exciting new discoveries. Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Christina Rossetti and Emily Bronte sit alongside Roger McGough, Wendy Cope, Imtiaz Dharker, Leonard Cohen, Sylvia Plath and Ocean Vuong.
Each of the 366 poems features a small introduction that gives a sense of who the writer was, and not just the greatness of their work. Some offer insightful biographical details or key historical context, while others may provide quirky, humorous anecdotes.
The day-to-day format of the anthology invites readers to make poetry a part of their daily routine, and makes sure that they discover something inspirational, life affirming, provocative, moving or entertaining each and every day.
Age rating: 9+
Millions of people have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face—who shows us that kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are. Read the book that inspired the Choose Kind movement, a major motion picture, and the critically acclaimed graphic novel White Bird.
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie’s point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope.
5. One Christmas Wish
Age rating: 8+
Nominated for the CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL
Nominated for the THE CILIP GREENAWAY MEDAL
From the winner of the Costa Children's Book Award.
It's Christmas Eve and Theo - left at home with a babysitter - sees an odd-looking star out of his window and decides to make a wish. He wishes that he had some friends to keep him company. Moments later the Christmas decorations begin to disentangle themselves from the tree behind him, ready to wreak a little havoc...
Written with generous helpings of warmth and humour, this is a timeless Christmas story about treasuring the people and values that really matter at this time of year. With breathtaking illustrations by Emily Sutton capturing the magic of the season in stunning detail, this modern classic from master storyteller and bestselling children's author Katherine Rundell makes the perfect Christmas gift.
6. The Best of Times
Age rating: 9+
From Britain's best-loved children's author, Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Emma Chichester Clark (author of Plumdog), The Best of Times is an uplifting Christmas story that plays on every last heart-string.
A story can bring love and laughter, sorrow and tears. But to save a life . . . that will require the greatest story of all. When the Prince and the Princess marry, joy rings out across the land. But all too soon it fades away and a shadow hangs over the royal palace. As Christmas approaches, Prince Frederico must find a way to warm his new bride's aching heart.
7. Hetty Feather's Christmas
Age rating: 11-16
An unexpected gift leads to trouble for Hetty on Christmas Day at the Foundling Hospital, and the dreaded Matron Bottomly is delighted to have an excuse to exclude Hetty from the festive celebrations. Poor Hetty is distraught - but just when it seems that all is lost, a dear friend arrives to whisk her away for a Christmas unlike any other ...
Full of friendship, fun and festive cheer, Hetty Feather's Christmas is the perfect stocking-filler for every Jacqueline Wilson fan!
8. My Family and Other Animals
Age rating: 12+
My Family and Other Animals is the bewitching account of a rare and magical childhood on the island of Corfu by treasured British conservationist Gerald Durrell.
Escaping the ills of the British climate, the Durrell family - acne-ridden Margo, gun-toting Leslie, bookworm Lawrence and budding naturalist Gerry, along with their long-suffering mother and Roger the dog - take off for the island of Corfu.
But the Durrells find that, reluctantly, they must share their various villas with a menagerie of local fauna - among them scorpions, geckos, toads, bats and butterflies.
Recounted with immense humour and charm My Family and Other Animals is a wonderful account of a rare, magical childhood.
All these titles are available at Milk Books & More. Shoot us a message on Whatsapp (0778165319) to place your order.