As Christmas is only a few weeks away (is it really that time already?) we've put together a selection of our favourite festive picture books, from beautifully illustrated classics to laugh-out-loud crackers. These heart-warming books will get you in the mood for Christmas and make the perfect gifts for little ones (and bigger ones!) to unwrap on Christmas day. Here are our top picture book picks, plus a chance to win a Christmas hamper full of festive treats...
A sweet fable with a magical, icy quality from the award-winning illustrator Petr Horacek. "I feel just like a penguin," says Blue Penguin. "But you're not like us," said the other penguins and they left him all alone. Poor Blue Penguin. Will he be able to convince the other penguins he is one of them after all? A moving and charmingly illustrated story about friendship and belonging, with an ending bound to fill you with Christmas cheer!
In this festive (but chilly!) season there's nothing better than being all snuggled up reading a hilarious book that will warm your cockles. In this laugh-out-loud collaboration from Jory John and Lane Smith, a penguin levels with human readers about what penguin life is really like ... and it isn't all fun and games! Have you ever considered running away to Antarctica? Of course you have! Because it's a land free of worries and responsibilities! Think again, my friend. This penguin has come to tell you that his life down there is no picnic!
The Christmas Eve Tree
What happens when an unwanted, little fir tree is left all alone in a shop on Christmas Eve? A young boy, who doesn’t seem to mind that the little tree isn’t so tall and straight like the others, takes this crooked fir tree as his own. Down by the river in a cardboard box, decorated with a few candles, the tree finds itself at the centre of a magical Christmas Eve it will never forget. Delia Huddy’s tale has a classic feel but a modern theme at its heart.
Fill your Christmas stockings with the magical pop-up edition of Marius Petipa's classic ballet. The Nutcracker story is a much-loved part of Christmas celebrations around the world, and this gorgeous edition captures the excitement of Christmas Eve. Beautifully illustrated, this charming retelling follows Clara's magical journey with the Nutcracker Prince and ends with a stunning pop-up of the Land of Sweets!
In Shirley Hughes’ beautiful gift edition of a Christmas classic, Christmas is coming and Mae Morgan's mum is expecting a baby. At school Mae is delighted to be given the part of the Angel Gabriel in the nativity play. But will the new baby steal her glory?
Maisy's Christmas Presents
It's so nice to give your friend a present at Christmas time, don't you agree? Maisy thinks so! When she comes back from her shopping trip, she has presents for everybody! Help Eddie, Charley, Talullah and Cyril unwrap their wonderful gifts by lifting the flaps. Then help choose a special present for Maisy by turning the wheel – what surprise will she get? Or what surprise will you get, all for yourself? You didn't think Maisy would forget you, did you?
The Christmas Story
The Nativity is brought to life by master pop-up artist Robert Sabuda in six gorgeous 3-D scenes, making this a Christmas gift to treasure. The wondrous story of the birth of Jesus – born in a stable, laid in a manger, visited by shepherds and the three wise men – is exquisitely crafted in six scenes. Glinting with touches of gold and silver, The Christmas Story is a visual delight and a book for the whole family to enjoy at Christmas.
WIN a Christmas hamper worth £100
We have 3 gorgeous Christmas hampers to give away, each including a selection of cracking Christmas books, plus activities for the kids and delicious festive treats and mulled wine for the grown ups! For your chance to win, just answer the following question:
What colour is the penguin in Petr Horáček's latest picture book?
Email your answer along with your name and address to email@example.com with 'PBP Christmas' in the subject line for your chance to win. Competition closes on 20th December 2016. Terms and conditions apply.