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  • Writer's picturePicture Book Snob

Eight brilliant books that make great gifts

A selection of gorgeous books to add to your Christmas shopping list!

A Field Guide to Leaflings by Owen Churcher and Niamh Sharkey, Templar Publishing (age 4 – 7) Both educational and entertaining, this combines real facts about trees with tiny fictional caretakers. The intricate illustrations by Irish artist and author Niamh Sharkey include flaps to lift on every page.

Frindleswylde by Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara, Walker Books (age 5 – 9) A modern fairy tale that feels like a classic. Atmospheric and intriguing with exquisite illustrations, this explores the legend of The Snow Queen in an entirely original way.

Margaret's Unicorn by Briony May Smith, Walker Books (age 4 – 7) Another new book with a classic quality, this spectacular story is all about a little girl who finds a lost baby unicorn on a remote Scottish Island. Read a review...

My Little Album of Ireland by Juliette Saumande and Tarsila Krüse, O’Brien Press (suitable for all ages) This gorgeous, illustrated Irish-English wordbook takes readers on a tour of Ireland that includes mythology and sporting events as well as popular attractions. With a squirrel to spot in every scene, improving your Gaeilge has never been so much fun!

The Little Prince adapted by Louise Greig and illustrated by Sarah Massini, Farshore Books (age 3 – 6) A new version of Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s enduring fable with enchanting illustrations by one of children’s literature’s top talents. I'm counting down the days until this releases on 9th December!

The Little Squirrel Who Worried by Katie O’Donoghue, Gill Books (age 4 – 12) This introduces simple techniques to help children cope with anxiety, using a gentle tale about woodland creatures that’s accompanied by stunning illustrations. Read a review...

The Queen in the Cave by Júlia Sardà, Walker Books (age 4 – 9) Eerie, surreal and sumptuous, this reminds me a little of the work of Maurice Sendak. Although it's slightly spooky, my kids love it and are mesmerised by the illustrations. The six-year-old has even taken to carrying this around the house.

The Secret Garden retold by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Margarita Kukhtina, Nosy Crow (age 4 – 8) A deluxe edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless tale for younger readers. Both my four-year-old and six-year-old loved this, even though I worried it might be too long or old-fashioned for them. We've enjoyed it so much that we've started collecting the rest of the stories in the Nosy Crow Classics collection. Read a longer review This post was shared as part of #8brilliantbooks on Instagram, created by Esther of @mrsbrownsbookbox and Laura of @loveableliterature. Take a look at their brilliant #Bookstagram pages for more reading inspiration. Use the hashtag and tag Esther and Laura in your posts if you'd like to get involved and share #8brilliantbooks yourself. A new theme is announced every Monday.

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