C is for Christmas books!

C is for Christmas books…

… but not Christmassy books! This year, the Book Doctors have decided to share with you the one book they will be gifting their friends and families for Christmas. From picturebooks to YA novels, there’s something astounding for everyone. Let’s hope the Christmas stockings will be big enough…



King Baby, by Kate Beaton

I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the minute you set eyes on Kate Beaton’s King Baby you know that it will be an instant hit! The illustration of a swaddled baby wearing a crown and sitting on a throne looking majestic and imperious is just hilarious. From start to finish, Beaton’s picturebook is entertaining, irreverant and laugh-out-loud funny. Her illustrations capture the highs and lows of life with a newborn through to a toddler, from exhausted parents to doting grandparents, hitting all the wonderful milestones along the way. A sheer delight for readers of all ages. (0-4, 5-7) Dr Síne





Bliain na nAmhrán, Tadgh Mac Dhonnagáin

A sumptuous hard-back collection of songs in Irish about the seasons. Accompanied by a CD and beautifully illustrated by Tarsila Krüse, Jennifer Farley, Christina O’Donovan and Brian Fitzgerald, this would be the perfect gift for young children and for their parents, who might remember some of the songs from their own school days. (0-4, 5-7) Dr Siobhán



Dialann Dúradáin: Roderick Abú, Jeff Kinney

The second book in the world-famous Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has just been published in Irish, translated brilliantly by Máirín Ní Mhárta’. Greg Heffley is determined to keep a certain event from the summer holidays a secret, but his pesky older brother has other ideas. (8-10, 10-12) Dr Siobhán




Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

This year you can’t go wrong with the new edition of Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell. The illustrations are absolutely magical and really bring the story to life – the text was always so strong on its own (it’s one of my favourite Gaiman stories) but Riddell’s pictures manage to  enhance every scene, and breathe life into each character in a way that’s a joy to behold. The atmosphere of the text, set in the icy north and filled with snowy landscapes, is perfect for this time of year and makes it a great Christmas gift. (8-10, 10-12) Dr Louise





Lydia, the Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice, by Natasha Farrant

Think you know Pride and Prejudice? This is a completely fresh take on the beloved classic that will delight tween and teen readers of the original, as well as those who have never been near Jane Austen. It follows Lydia, the youngest Bennet girl, through the events of Pride and Prejudice, but most importantly on her own journey through her teenage years. It’s brilliantly done, extremely funny and so very clever. (12-14, 14+) Dr Juliette


wolf hollow



Wolf Hollow, by Lauren Wolk

Annabelle has lived in Wolf Hollow all her life – the quietest of places, scarred by the trauma of two world wars. When confronted with the arrival of strangers, mysteries and manipulation, both the girl and her community have to make complicated choices. By turns haunting, heart-breaking, and life-affirming, Wolf Hollow is a début of lyrical power and honesty. Utterly unforgettable, this is a book for the sensitive reader who revels in the nuances of language and who appreciates the truth of a sad story well told. Highly recommended. (12-14, YA) Dr Becky