With Christmas around the corner, I wanted to share some recently published gift books that would make wonderful presents for a range of readers, and can be enjoyed all year round.
Wild Animals of the World by Dieter Braun My two children ( 6 & 9) loved paging through this gorgeous hardback with its full-colour artwork, and they lapped up the engaging snippets about the wild animals that inhabit its pages.
Jumping from continent to continent, this book takes you on a world tour of wondrous wildlife. And there are discoveries to be made in all kinds of habitats – from the icy waters of the Antarctic, to the towering treetops of the rainforests, and into the wide sweep of the steppes and savannas of southern and eastern Africa.
Favourite facts – Walruses catch mussels and crabs with their beard hairs, Japanese macaques can roll snowballs, and male ostriches can roar like a lion!
A handy alphabetical index makes the book easy to navigate, but it is Dieter Braun’s distinctive artwork that makes it a joy to hold. An excellent gift for animal and nature lovers of all ages.
The Magic of the Ballet by Vivian French & Lauren O’Hara
A timeless treasury of seven classic ballet stories skilfully retold by the brilliant Vivian French. This stunningly illustrated hardback would make a wonderful present for ballet and classical music lovers of all ages, and for all children who enjoy tales that have a touch of majesty, theatre and drama.
Each story is prefaced by a short description of where the ballet was first performed, and other interesting facts about the piece.
O’Hara’s artwork, sometimes light, sometimes dark, give us the full spectrum of emotions explored in these spellbinding tales. A lovely collection to gift and to treasure.
Bedtime Stories – Amazing Asian Tales From The Past
A book of bedtime stories is a wonderful go-to gift and this curated collection of celebrated tales from Asian history has sixteen inspiring bedtime reads. Perfect as a read aloud or read alone, the book showcases important historical figures such as Queen Roxana, the clever and influential wife of Alexander the Great, and Murasaki Shikibu, author of one of the world’s first novels!
Created by some of today’s well-known authors and illustrators of Asian heritage – such as Sufiya Ahmed, Maisie Chan, Annabelle Sami, Aaliya Jaleel, and Debby Rahmalia, who illustrated the gorgeous cover, these authentic tales will inspire and delight young readers.
The Story Orchestra – In The Hall Of The Mountain King illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
The latest book in the Story Orchestra Collection, In The Hall Of The Mountain King, adapts the story of Peer Gynt for young children. It is a wonderfully dark addition to the series with its cave full of trolls, and the threat of boastful Peer being turned into one himself. The fully illustrated pages are crammed full of exquisite details and I particularly enjoyed Jessica Courtney-Tickle’s portrayal of nature and the mountain setting. With snatches of Grieg’s music to discover as you move through the story, this is definitely one of those books to come back to time and time again.
Africana: An encyclopaedia of an amazing continent by Kim Chakanetsa & Alabi Mayowa
Get ready to discover the second largest continent of the world! With its bold colours and geometric patterns, this fact-packed book is astonishingly hard to sum up, and with 54 unique countries to present, I imagine author Kim Chakanetsa and illustrator Alabi Mayowa felt much the same. But, together, they have created a vibrant, detailed, and engaging celebration of the African continent that tells us not only its history, but also its modern-day music scene, its activists, and the ways in which Africa has influenced the world. Organised geographically, the book showcases timelines, people and cultures, wildlife and landscapes, change makers and superstars, and shares snapshots of this land of contrasts, with its vast deserts, urban skylines, and diverse animal kingdoms. Perfectly giftable, this is a book to be explored at leisure.
Snow White and Other Grimms’ Fairy Tales illustrated by MinaLima
A must-have for fairy tale fans, this stunning collection of Grimms’ Fairy Tales, which includes classics like Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and The Frog Prince, but also other tales like The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids and Mother Holle, is a joy for little fingers to explore with its imaginative paper craft and numerous interactive elements – help the prince scale Rapunzel’s tower, unfold the witch’s gingerbread house, and make Cinderella pirouette on the dance floor. Minalima, founded by Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima, is renowned for its quality design, and this is evident in every single illustrated page of this story collection. If you are thinking of gifting this book, you may want to make sure you have your own copy first!
Hilda and The Trolberg Stories by Luke Pearson
This special treasury edition contains two terrific stories and extra bonus materials that offer a fantastic insight into leading talent Luke Pearson’s creative process.
?Hilda and the Bird Parade
Feelings run high between mother and daughter when they move to the city, and Hilda tries to conquer the same freedoms she had in the wilderness. But this independent blue-haired girl soon discovers city life is very different. But Hilda is still the same old Hilda and her kindness to an injured bird brings about a new appreciation of her city home. A beautifully crafted story about adapting to change.
?Hilda and the Black Hound
Hilda has been stuck inside for days, but when her mother enrols her in a local Sparrows scout group,she finally gets to go camping in more than just her bedroom. But it’s hard earn those scout badges when there’s a Nisse to be helped – a house-dwelling magical creature that reminds me a little of a Scottish Brownie – and a giant hound is loose on the streets of Trolberg. There are some brilliant comedic moments in this graphic novel, and the artwork, as always, is a joy to behold.