Best children and parenting books December 2014

Snowmen, santa, sparkles and sleighs can only mean it’s Christmas - so snuggle down with one of these festive favourites

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  • Maisy’s Christmas Tree

    Age: 1+

    Maisy’s Christmas Tree by Lucy Cousins follows Maisy the little mouse as she decorates her Christmas tree. Maisie invites all of her friends round to help – Cyril lights the lights, while Tallulah hangs the baubles and everyone does their bit in the true spirit of Christmas. The evening finishes with the gang singing carols round the tree. This is a bold and sparkly, board book, perfect for sharing with your little one.

    Published by Walker Books, £5.99

  • Jolly Snowmen

    Age: 2+

    Follow the antics of five Jolly Snowmen in this wintry tale from Ned Taylor. Count down from five as one by one the snowmen mysteriously disappear, leaving just one little snowman wondering where all his friends have gone... This is a great book to use for developing early counting skills and there are plenty of things to spot and talk about with your toddler. A great buy for a winter’s afternoon.

    Published by Caterpillar Books, £8.99

  • Bear and Hare SNOW!

    Age: 3+

    Bear and Hare SNOW! is the latest adventure for this cute pair created by celebrated author/illustrator Emily Gravett. Follow the cuddly duo as they venture outside into the big white world and discover snow. Watch them as they taste snowflakes, have a snowball fight and go sledging. Although there are only a few words on each page, the gorgeous illustrations more than make up for it and convey exactly what’s going on and what the characters are feeling. A lovely bedtime read and a perfect present.

    Published by Macmillan, £10.99

  • Yikes, Santa Claws!

    Age: 4+

    Yikes, Santa Claws! is the festive offering from Pamela Butchart and award-winning illustrator Sam Lloyd. This green, smelly beast surely can’t be the real Father Christmas – he doesn’t say ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ and he seems to be spoiling most of the presents. But then someone appears in the nick of time to save Christmas from this scaly santa. Children will love the crazy chaos of this story and the clever rhyming text really adds to the fun of this Christmas caper.

    Published by Bloomsbury, £6.99

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  • The Twelve Days of Christmas

    Age: 5+

    This beautifully illustrated book by Britta Teckentrup presents a magical look at the The Twelve Days of Christmas. Through the use of clever cut-outs, the song builds page-by-page until you reach the illustration-laden 12th day when all the characters are revealed. This is a stunning version of a much-covered song – and my favourite book of the season. Great for a pre-Christmas singalong and a fabulous present.

    Published by Little Tiger, £8.99

  • The Madness of Modern Parenting

    The Madness of Modern Parenting by Guardian columnist Zoe Williams explores just how hard it is to be a parent in today’s society. It also asks the question, ‘Why should it be so hard?’. Williams points out that the madness begins even before the baby has arrived – and it only gets worse once the baby is born. Williams takes a very sensible approach to solving this very modern problem and the book has some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. 

    Published by Biteback, £8.15

  • 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids

    If you're determined not to spend the whole of the festive period in front of the TV, then 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids by Asia Citro is probably just what you're looking for. It’s packed with great ideas for imaginative play, as well as budget-friendly projects to keep your children amused. There are step-by-step instructions and beautiful photographs showing you how to make your own edible Playdough for example, or construct an erupting volcano. A great alternative to the Christmas veg-out or costly day trips.

    Published by Adams Media Corporation, £12.99