Book Reviews: 8 new books for kids this Christmas

Every year like clockwork, we get books with stories about Christmas and the festive season. Usually, these books show Christmas as a wintry, snowy wonderland, but two of the books below are for Aussie kids experiencing the festive season during summer! If you are not thinking of a book for a child this Christmas, then you should read our story 5 reasons I always get children picture books for Christmas

A Christmas Present for Roo
Written by Sophie Sayle and illustrated by Daron Parton, pub by Lothian Children’s Books, h/b RRP$19.99. Ages 3+
Also by Sophie and Daron is The Great Aussie Egg-And-Spoon Race.

A simple story with colourful illustrations featuring Australian bush animals preparing for Christmas Day.  Searching for that special handmade gift for her friend presents a challenge to little Echidna. Her handmade gift might not be exactly as she planned, but it is most welcome anyway.


The Elf on the Shelf’s Night Before Christmas
Written and illustrated by Chanda A Bell, pub by HarperCollins, imprint Farshore, h/b RRP$19.99. Ages 3+

For families who follow the little tradition of the ‘Elf on the Shelf,’ this book is a fun read. Beautifully illustrated, the Scout Elf rushed around the house to get everything ready for the arrival of Santa. Told with a ‘nod’ to the traditional story of the ‘Night Before Christmas’ it rhymes beautifully with fun changes to the original.


Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present
Written and illustrated by John Birmingham, pub. Walker Books, p/b RRP$16.99 3+

The thirtieth-anniversary edition of a witty Christmas classic from one of the world’s best children’s bookmakers. John Burningham’s timeless Christmas classic is all about kindness and sharing the spirit of Christmas, as relevant today as it was when it was first published.



Christmas Days in the Sunshine
Written by Byll & Beth Stephen (Teeny Tiny Stevies), and illustrated by Simon Howe, pub by HarperCollins, imprint ABC Books, h/b RRP$22.99. Ages 3+

This delightful book looks at Christmas from the Aussie point of view. The end of the school year; summer holidays in the sun; going to the beach or camping; and, of course, Christmas with warm evenings after a hot day.


Dasher Can’t Wait for Christmas
Written and illustrated by Matt Tavares, pub. Walker Books, h/b RRP$27.99 3+

In Dasher’s excitement for the approaching Christmas season, she takes a quick flight in search of festive cheer. But when Dasher gets lost and is unable to use the North Star as a guide home, she meets a young child whose kindness and a gift help her find her way back to the North Pole just in time for Christmas Eve.


How the Grinch Lost Christmas
Originally by Dr Zeuss, this sequel authorised by the Dr Zeuss Estate is written by Alastair Heim and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz, pub by HarperCollins, h/b RRP$24.99. Ages 5+

The Grinch was introduced in Dr. Seuss’ bestseller How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, published in 1957. Now the Grinch returns to his Grinchy ways. Christmas erased? Every Who in Who-ville is left wondering what’s happening to their Christmas tree contest when the Grinch has an awfully crafty idea!


Juniper’s Christmas
Written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat, pub by HarperCollins, p/b RRP$19.99. Ages 8+. Also, by Eoin Colfer Artemis Fowl.

Beautifully written with simple mono illustrations and lots of funny, magical interludes, Santa is no longer celebrated in this London of 11-year-old Juniper Lane. He has been missing for years, and although Juniper’s father has recently died, Juniper and her mother try hard to rekindle the spirit of Christmas. When Juniper’s mother goes missing, and things seem to go strangely awry, she enlists the help of some mysterious locals to help find her mother, restoring the festive season of Christmas once again.


The Boy Who Slept Through Christmas: A Musical Novel
By Matt Lucas and illustrated by Forrest Burdett, pub by HarperCollins, imprint Farshore, p/b RRP$16.99. Ages 8+

Lots of quirky mono illustrations on nearly every page and a fun premise to the story of Leo, who loves Christmas and gets very excited preparing for it even though this will be his first without his mum. The preparations seem to all go wrong, and Leo wishes it would all go away, only to find when he wakes up on Christmas morning that his wish has come true and Christmas has gone away.

An interesting new idea from Matt Lucas is making this a musical novel. To add to the enjoyment, though, you need to be able to scan the QR codes (with access to the internet), which are scattered throughout the book, to hear and read the words to the 20 available songs.