Every year I get a lot pleasure out of buying picture books for Christmas for the kids. It’s a real joy to look at what has been published over the last twelve months and to take time to peruse the shelves of my local Waterstones considering which ones will especially tickle my children.
This year Finch got Steve Antony’s sequel to Please Mr Panda, called I’ll Wait Mr Panda. Finch loves Mr Panda and as his speech has developed he has created his own gruff little character voice for Mr Panda, making reading it aloud with him a lot of fun.
Being so little, Wren’s preference is mainly for books she can chew so I satisfied my own tastes and bought her Victoria Turnbull’s The Sea Tiger. Although the illustrations are beautifully executed in water colour there’s something a bit dark about the colour palette and the shapes of the underwater creatures so it won’t suit everyone. The story is a wonderful tale about the nature of friendship.
Above is a spread from Return by Aaron Becker, which we bought for Little Owl. This is the third in a trilogy of picture books for older kids (well, anyone really!). We bought Journey and Quest for her over previous Christmases. These books are beyond description and Little Owl spends hours pouring over them. They are wordless so Little Owl and Big Dreamer tend to ‘read’ them by making sound effects as they trace the story over the pages. The gist of the trilogy is that a little girl, bored one day with no one to play with, enters a magical world where her crayons allow her to draw all sorts of wonderful things. Through the story she finds friendship and adventure. Absolutely brilliant and an essential antidote for any imaginative child who finds all the ‘word’ books at school a bit overwhelming but loves a good story.