Book Reviews,  Children's Books,  Christmas

Books for Christmas!

IT’S ONLY 15 FRIDAY’S TILL CHRISTMAS! I can already hear half of you groaning, but hopefully some of you are like me and get excited by this revelation! Christmas is my favourite time of the whole year. Giving gifts, decorating everything, special cookies and quality time with all my favourite people… I mean, what’s not to love!

If you are one of those Christmas Lovers like me, then you probably also like to be organized for Christmas like I do. I already have a few gifts hidden away but when I realized just how close we really were to the most wonderful time of the year, I started to really get myself into full organization mode!

One of the things I really love to do in the lead up to Christmas is share some of my favourite kids book finds from the last year, to hopefully give you guys some ideas on an awesome book to pop under the tree for your little one! Whether you are doing the “Want, Need, Wear, Read” system for your kids gifts, your kid is book obsessed, or you just like to include a book or two under the tree, then hopefully you can find something on this list.

My favourite books to recommend for this age are always the Babylit collection by Jennifer Adams. Not only are they bright, colourful and engaging for the babes, they are super cute and fun for the parents too since they are inspired by classic novels by famous authors. I don’t think a child is ever too young to be introduced to the likes of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens.

You could collect them all, or just pick and choose those inspired by your very favourite classics as a way to share them with your Little One.

These books will also last your child for many years to come. Estelle loved all the bright colours and pictures as a baby, then when she was ready we used them to teach her shapes, numbers, opposites, colours… And now that she is 3 years old we are using them to help her learn to read! One day when they aren’t being used anymore I will pack them away to give back to Estelle for her own children, as they are just so wonderful I think they should be passed down to the next generation.

The Little Boy or Girl Who Lost Their Name

This idea is so amazing, I just had to get Estelle her very own copy as soon as I came across them. This book is totally unique to your child as you can personalize it to be based on the letters of their name! Not just a fun bedtime story, but also a very special keepsake that they will hopefully cherish for years to come.


Absolutely anything by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers writes the most adorable stories with gorgeous illustrations. Estelle’s favourite is definitely Lost and Found, a story about an unlikely friendship between a Boy and a lonely Penguin. But they are all so wonderful that you honestly couldn’t go wrong with any of them.

You can also find lots of activities that go with the books HERE which is an awesome way to extend the learning!



The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

This is one of Estelle’s absolute favourites. I couldn’t even guess how many times we have read it!

The Snail and the Whale is an adorable story about a Teeny Little Snail who yearns for adventure and to see more of the world than just his little rock. And the giant but gentle Humpback Whale that gives the Snail a ride and shows him all the wonders of the world.

They see all kinds of amazing things on their adventure, until one day the Whale becomes beached and the Snail has to save him. Not only is this a fun story, but it also has a great message, that even the smallest creature can do extraordinary things!

The Supertato Books by Sue Hendra

These ones were a recent find for us. We grabbed a copy of Supertato: Veggies in the Valley of Doom from the library on a whim, and we all fell in love with it right away. Not only did Estelle love the story, but I loved reading it to her! It was really humorous, and the illustrations were bright and fun.

Since we picked up that first one, we have borrowed all the others from the library and they have all been a big hit. Now they are all definitely going on Estelle’s Christmas Wishlist!



Superpotamus by Ruth Paul

A Superhero Hippopotamus that can’t seem to do anything right, until he realises that it wasn’t the people he needed to save… it was the environment that needed saving from the people!

A super cute rhyming story with a bit of humor and a bit of a lesson too. A definite bedtime favourite in our house.



We Are All Wonders by R.J. Palacio

This is the picture book edition of the amazing ‘Wonder’, meaning that even the youngest readers can now join the movement to ‘Choose Kind’. I couldn’t not get it for Estelle as soon as I saw it and I was blown away that I did not already know about it!

This story teaches us that no matter what we look like, we are all wonders! That instead of people feeling like they need to look different to fit in, perhaps we should all learn how to see different.  Such a wonderful introduction to an important lesson for our children, with some lovely illustrations to go with it.

“Look with kindness and you will always find wonder.”


The Christmas Snowflake

Just like “The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name”, this is another book you can personalize for your child. This time however you can add up to 8 family members into the story too!

This one is definitely on Estelle’s Christmas list as we can include our angel baby Juniper in the story which will be very special.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson

We were lucky enough to receive this beautiful book from the lovely people at Harper Collins NZ, and I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was when it arrived.

It is a lovely introduction the the amazing Jane Austen and an interesting look at her life and her works. And it honestly has the prettiest illustrations I think I have ever seen in a children’s book before!

We have definitely read this book more than a few times but I think it would be suited to an older child as it may interest them a little more than it does Estelle at her current age.


Dragon Brothers Trilogy by James Russell

An awesome adventure featuring two brothers and their dog and of course some dragons. This series is super fun, and they also all have a ridiculously cool Augmented Reality map that you can use with an app on your phone. When you look at the map through your phone it becomes 3D! See if you can spot any of the characters or creatures from the story roaming around on the map!


The Power Within

A personalized adventure for the little superhero in your life! Not only can you personalize this story with your childs name, but you can also choose one of their best qualities which turns into there superpower!

Not just your everyday story, but a story where your child gets to be the hero! Such a fun gift and something they can treasure for years to come.




I hope I’ve given you some ideas for under the Christmas Tree this year. If you think of anything you think I should have put on the list, let me know in the comments. I am always keen for more recommendations! And if you pick any of these up for your Little Ones, I would love to hear about it 🙂