1. First up is a vibrant picture book that has stunned the world with it's heartwarming message of unconditional love and acceptance.
Julian is a Mermaid
While riding the subway home with his nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself?
2. Our second recommendation is the final instalment in the hilarious 'shape' trilogy.
This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle’s friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy.
3. Next we have two board books by the brilliant author-illustrator, Jarvis. Both of these would make lovely stocking fillers!
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Spot eight bright colours in this goofy twist on the classic nursery rhyme!
From award-winning bookmaker Jarvis, the creator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, Mrs Mole, I’m Home! and Tropical Terry, comes a fresh, very funny first book of colours – perfect for sharing with the very youngest of readers! With bright, beautiful graphics, read-aloud rhymes, and a stylish, sturdy feel, this board book is the perfect gift for a new arrival, and a fantastic addition to a toddler’s first library.
And our second stocking-filler worthy book by Jarvis is...
And our second stocking-filler worthy book by Jarvis is...
This Little Piggy
Count from one to ten while wiggling your toes in this goofy twist on the classic nursery rhyme!
With bright, beautiful graphics, read-aloud rhymes, and a stylish, sturdy feel, this board book is the perfect gift for a new arrival, and a fantastic addition to a toddler’s first library.
4. The picture book fun continues with our next suggestion!
Don't Worry, Little Crab
In the rockpool above the sea, live two crabs: Big Crab and Little Crab. Today, they’re going for a dip in the sea. “This is going to be so great!” says Little Crab. But then Little Crab catches a first glimpse of the water... Oh. The waves! They're ENORMOUS. "JEEPERS!" Will Little Crab be brave enough to go in?
5. Number five on our list is a tale of a small child in a big wide city. A great visual and literary experience, a perfect tale to read while cuddled up in warm blankets in the comfort of your home on a cold winter day.
Small in the City
Being small can be overwhelming in a city. People don't see you. The loud sounds of the sirens and cyclists can be scary. And the streets are so busy it can make your brain feel like there's too much stuff in it. But if you know where to find good hiding places, warm dryer vents that blow out hot steam that smells like summer, music to listen to or friends to say hi to, there can be comfort in the city, too.
6. Children will fall in love with the adorable Tiny and her pet Teeny in Chris Judge's...
Tiny and Teeny
Deep down, in between the blades of grass, lives Tiny with her best friend Teeny. Can you see them? Keep looking … closer still … squint a bit … yes, there they are! Tiny and Teeny keep very busy in the buzzing place of Glengadget. Every day of the week, they have a different neighbour to meet – they do some gardening for Mandy Small, read to Bitsy McGee and give Minkin a hand with her lively twins. But when disaster strikes, Tiny and Teeny find their teeny-tiny world turned upside down…
7. This next picture book is an absolute must-have for all budding bookworms, now available in paperback!
A Child of Books
Described by The Guardian as a "gorgeous homage to the power of the written word" this is an inspiring lyrical tale about the rewards of reading and sharing stories, a little girl sails her raft "across a sea of words" to arrive at the house of a small boy. There she invites him to come away with her on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic lies ahead of him… But who will be next?
8. What's a better gift for a young loved one than a big, colourful book that's also educational? If you think the same then fret not, the book below is the answer to your present purchasing problems!
Africa, Amazing Africa
Atinuke's beautifully-written text captures Africa’s unique mix of the modern and the traditional, as she explores its geography, its peoples, its animals, its history, its resources and its cultural diversity. This is non-fiction at its most exciting, exhilarating and energetic, illustrated with passion and commitment by a great new talent, Mouni Feddag.
9. Next up is a real treat of a picture book!
Beast has found a tasty dinner, and he's written to all his friends to invite them to a feast. Unfortunately, Dinner is a child who very much does not want to be eaten. As Beast's friends send their instructions for cooking Dinner, is there any way Dinner can convince Beast to change his menu? A vibrant and charming interactive book with hilarious letters to open.
10. What do we often find ourselves saying to children who ask questions we don't quite have the answers to? The title of Mac Barnett's and Isabelle Arsenault's book may just give you a hint...
"Why is the ocean blue? What is rain? What happened to the dinosaurs?"
Little ones and their parents will be charmed and delighted as a patient father offers up increasingly creative responses to his child’s night-time wonderings. Any child who has ever asked “Why?” – and any parent who has attempted an explanation – will recognize themselves in this sweet storybook for dreamers who are looking for answers beyond “Just because”.
11. Who said Shakespeare was just for grown ups? Here's a remake of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays that can be enjoyed by all ages!
The story is told from the perspective of Ariel, in language that is true to the original play but accessible to all. With shimmering, exquisite illustrations by the acclaimed artist Jane Ray, this captivating retelling is a magical way to introduce children to one of the best-loved works of the world’s greatest playwright.
12. You may just recognise our next recommendation, but this time it's got a fun added feature!
We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Sound Book
For thirty years, readers have been swishy-swashing and splash-sploshing through this award-winning favorite. Now, follow and join in the adventure by wading through grass, splashing through the river, and squelching through the mud in search of a bear. This sturdy interactive board book edition of the family favourite would make a great stocking filler!
13. Last, but certainly not least, we have Susan Cooper's...
The Shortest Day
As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again...
Richly illuminated by Carson Ellis, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth.