Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Christmas

This isn't a review of Humphrey's Christmas - although the book is gorgeous and well worth hunting out (the illustrations make my heart hurt) - we just wanted to wish everyone reading a Happy Christmas (or other holiday!) and to let you know that we'll be back with lots more lovely  picture books in the New Year.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Jesus's Christmas Party by Nicholas Allan

Is there really any point telling you about this book? You've all seen it, read it, treasured it, yes? I hope so, because it's one of our all-time favourites.

I'm not religious at all, but I adore this book. It's the nativity story, but told from the point of view of the innkeeper who just wants a good night's sleep and is constantly woken by knocking at the door.

The story is simple and sweet, the illustrations are adorable and we never get tired of reading it, even though it's always the first Christmas book we pull out.


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Winter favourites: One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth

We're not just reading Christmas books at the moment, we've also pulled out a few wintery favourites and I've actually had this one since before I had children (I used to take it when I went babysitting, I didn't just read it to myself).

I love Nick Butterworth's illustrations and the Percy the Park Keeper stories are so charming and sweet. 2-year-old Joe chose this one the other night and was absolutely transfixed. On the snowy night of the title, the animals come to Percy's hut to keep warm. He doesn't have enough room for all of them, until they're frightened by the arrival of the mole (via the floorboards) and find cosy hiding places for themselves. Joe was particularly charmed by the mice in Percy's slippers.

These are such lovely books for reading aloud, with a variety of animal voices to get your teeth into, plus there's a Percy book for every season. I love switching to the next as the weather changes. (There was a Percy the Park Keeper TV series and the DVDs of that are well worth watching as well.) Lovely.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Usborne Christmas Pocket Doodling and Colouring Book

I've never bought a doodling book before, but 7-year-old Harry spotted this in a shop and fancied it so we bought it and it's wonderful. So wonderful that I've actually considered buying a second one for myself (not that I'm a control freak or anything, but I just don't think Harry's thumbprint penguins will meet my high standards...).

There are baubles and Christmas trees to decorate, the aforementioned penguins to draw and lots lots more. (And some of the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous - seems a shame to doodle on them.) (Maybe I am a control freak...)

It's suitable for different ability levels too, so even 2-year-old Joe could do a bit of colouring while Harry (and, um, me) are more likely to focus on the bits that require a bit more imagination.

The back cover warns 'this book could become very, very addictive' and I can totally imagine that could be true. A great one for Christmas stockings.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Peppa's Christmas

My 2-year-old has recently become completely obsessed with Peppa Pig, so when we saw this book we had to get it.

It's a board book with a very slight story - Daddy Pig buys a tree that's too big for the car, Father Christmas can't get down the chimney and so Peppa and George run downstairs and meet him at the front door - but that's actually turned out to be a good thing, since Joe has almost memorised it and now, once I've read it,  he can read it to me too.

We've amassed quite a few Christmas books over the past few years and I love hauling them out at the beginning of December and reading a different one each night. I'll be sharing a few of them here over the next few weeks.

What's your favourite Christmas picture book? 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Usborne's Advent Calendar

In case you haven't noticed, it's the 1st of December today and that means... advent calendars!

We've actually got a couple of advent calendars we trot out every year and the children's grandma usually buys them a chocolate one (I suspect she's keeping it at her house this year - worried I'll eat the chocolate, no doubt), but when I saw this Usborne Advent Calendar I had to buy it.

It's not a book, it's a cardboard gatefold picture of a busy street scene. Behind each window there's a little picture to colour and the main street can be coloured too (it's black and white with some colour here and there).

It's so pretty that I'm not actually going to let my kids colour it, at least not this year.