Book reviews: Christmas books for stocking fillers!

These books are for Christmas and as picture books they are destined to get the littlies really interested in reading and books!

A Very Playschool Christmas
by Jan Stradling, illus. by Jedda Robaard, pub. ABC Books H/b RRP$19.99 ages 3+

Christmas for the Play School toys is at Jemima’s Caravan Park. Jemima has hidden all the small items needed to decorate for Christmas and they play a game to find them all. Beautifully illustrated  by Jedda to make the toys come alive.


Christmas always comes
by Jackie French, illus. by Bruce Whatley, pub. HarperCollins H/b RRP$24.99 ages 3+

It’s Christmas Eve in 1932, and Joey, Ellie and their parents are droving cattle in a drought down the long paddock looking for water. They stop to water the cattle from a muddy water-hole whilst the children look for something they can use a s a Christmas tree. They meet an old lonely farmer near a beautiful apricot tree…Joey knows that Christmas always comes! This is a sensitively illustrated, heart-warming story about poverty, friendship and hope.


Christmas Bum Book
by Kate Mayes, illus. by Andrew Joyner, pub. ABC Books H/b RRP$19.99 ages 3+

This book is only about bottoms! Every page has an amusing ‘bum’ starting with ‘Pudding bum’ through to Santa ‘Got stuck in the chimney bum’, to a sweet Christmas tree with a baby asleep underneath!  Kids love ‘bum’ books. Although that is not the same everywhere! (See Teacher Sacked )


Meercat Christmas
by Emily Gravett, pub. Pan Macmillan/Two Hoots, P/b RRP$14.99 ages 3+

Sunny isn’t quite sure if Christmas in the desert with his meerkat family is the right sort of Christmas – there’s no snow, no fir trees and no figgy pudding! So he heads off on a journey round the world looking for the picture perfect Christmas . . . before realizing he might have left it at home after all.


The Christmas Owl
by Gideon Sterer and Ellen Kaliish, illus. Ramona Kaulitzki, pub. Walker Books, H/b RRP $24.99 Ages 3+

When Little Owl’s home is cut down by people saying it will make a beautiful Christmas tree, she’s not sure she wants anything to do with Christmas, whatever that is. But when she wakes up, she finds that her tree has been transported to the Big City! Far from home, she’s soon to find out the true meaning of Christmas.

Inspired by the real-life story of the little owl who finds her way to New York in the famous Christmas tree outside the Rockefeller Center. Co-written by Ellen Kalish, caretaker of the real owl, The Christmas Owl is a charming story of friendship, compassion, and the true meaning of this special time of year.


Zola and the Christmas Lights
by Meina Marchette, illus. Deb Hudson, pub. Puffin Books H/b RRP $19.99 Ages 3+

From the award-winning author of Looking for Allibrandi, Zola and Alessandro are going to decorate their street with their Nono to continue a street tradition. Along the way, they learn that their street has families who celebrate Christmas in different ways.


We’re Going on a Sleigh Ride
by Martha Mumford illus. Cherie Zamazing, pub. Bloomsbury Children’s Books H/b RRP $24.99 Ages 3+

From the author of We’re Going on an Elf Chase and We’re Going on an Egg Hunt. This new lift-the-flap book takes the bunny family on a ride with Santa on Christmas eve. Beautifully illustrated with intricate images of the sleigh traveling to distant lands, each flap you lift gives a present to find—counting 10 in all. Rhyming language is easy to read out aloud:

We’re going on a sleigh ride

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Can you find the hidden gifts?

Whoosh! Off we go!


Lastly, a simple picture book about the dilemma of talking about Santa: real or not?

Your Santa Agent Invitation
by Alex Lalak and Louise Cummins, Amazon P/b RRP $25

This children’s picture book, Your Santa Agent Invitation is a parent’s guide to explain Santa to children. Written in a gentle and easy rhyme to facilitate an honest discussion about Saint Nick, but where you are still in control. The book shows children that knowing the identity of Santa is actually a cause for celebration, teaching them they have a special role to play in keeping the magic of Christmas alive.

NOT a stocking filler as they say at the end:

Don’t tell young kids

that’s a big grown up task.

Put this book in a place safe and sound…

Hidden away not just lying around.