As the yuletide season is well under way, many of you might be considering treating your loved ones, or even your own good self, to some literary treats. Here are just some suggestions to add to your list, including new titles but also some classics and personal favourites both new and old. Happy browsing …
The Night Before Christmas is a wonderful collection of stories that looks like a classic. It is beautiful edition, published by Andersen press, a blue hardback with 24 classic stores to share, illustrated by Tony Ross. The stories include some well-known and lesser-known tales, including Papa Panov’s Special Christmas retold by Leo Tolstoy and Good King Wenceslas by John M. Neale. http://www.andersenpress.co.uk/books/view/1849395802
Christmas Poems is a charming book of poems by Gaby Morgan with instantly recognizable and much loved illustrations by Axel Scheffler. http://www.panmacmillan.com/book/gabymorgan/christmaspoems?format=978144725463801
Please check out the magazine online for more reviews of new recommended books for the yuletide season, including Emily Gravett’s Bear and Hare: Snow!
Matilda Tristram and Tom Duxbury Santa’s Beard – a quirky, zany picturebook with a removable beard, illustrated by Nick Sharratt.
Also the magnificent Oíche Chiúin published by Futa Fata
Books for charity
The Drift Family at Dundrum written and illustrated by Oisín McGann. The book is sold in the Dundrum Town Centre for €2 with proceeds going to the ISPCC. Oisín’s amusing story features the trials and tribulations of the Drift family’s shopping trip (a family of snow people based on the models on display in the centre).
Beyond the Stars, twelve tales of adventure, wonder and magic edited by Sarah Webb and published by HarperCollins. This beautiful book is a wonderful collection of winter-themed short stories written and illustrated by a stellar line up of authors and illustrators based in Ireland. All profits go to Fighting Words – the Irish Story Centre in support of Creative Writing for Children and Adults. http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/search-results/?search-term=Beyond+the+Stars
Some old favourites
You can’t beat Raymond Briggs’s brilliant picturebook Father Christmas. First published in 1973, this wonderful book follows the highs and lows of Santa’s yearly routine on Christmas Eve. From being rudely awakened by his alarm clock and saying: ‘Blooming Christmas here again!’ to eventually getting into his bed after a very long journey delivering gifts to children all over the world. Briggs creates a much more recognizable and relatable Father Christmas with a wide spectrum of emotion than any serene, slightly twee Santa. The most appealing aspect of Briggs’s creation is the fact that Father Christmas is a grumpy, grumbling, grouchy man with a very important job to do! http://www.puffin.co.uk/books/father-christmas/9780723277972/
Follow this favourite with the wonderful sequel Father Christmas Goes on Holiday. Santa goes on a much-needed break by converting his sleigh into a caravan and flies off to France for a fantastic sojourn. http://www.puffin.co.uk/books/father-christmas-goes-on-holiday/9780140501872/
A beautiful classic is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas. This extraordinary book is an epistolary novel written for Tolkien’s children. Every year the Tolkien children would receive an envelope from the North Pole with a letter written in strange handwriting with beautiful drawings and sketches. The letters tell wonderful tales of life at the North Pole. http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/907-Letters-from-Father-Christmas.php
The Guardians, Book One, Nicholas St North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce and Laura Geringer, published by Atheneum Books, is an exhilarating tale of action and adventure, readers discover that St Nicholas was a master swordsman with a fierce reputation before he became the man we know today. http://books.simonandschuster.co.uk/Nicholas-St-North-and-the-Battle-of-the/William-Joyce/The-Guardians/9781442435759
Happy reading! Remember a Book is for Life not just for Christmas!