The best books for your children this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 December 2015

Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne (current Laureate) Kate Agnew and Jacqueline Wilson (Laureate past).

Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne (current Laureate) Kate Agnew and Jacqueline Wilson (Laureate past).

Liz Thomson

As she writes her last column before handing her bookshop over to the capable hands of assistant manager Sanchita Basu de Sarkar, Kate Agnew of the Children's Bookshop in Muswell Hill reveals their top picks.

Christmas is fast approaching and everyone is eager to find the perfect books to give as gifts to their children. With such a wealth of exciting new titles to choose from it can be hard to know where to begin so we love being able to help with suggestions.

Many of our customers are enjoying the thoughtful nature and beautiful illustrations of The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy, (Walker Books £12.99) illustrated by Emily Sutton. It’s a magical tale of the last little fir tree in the shop, rescued by a boy who takes him to adorn his makeshift home under a bridge in a large city. There the tree offers light and hope not only to the homeless child but also to all the city dwellers who flock to see it in this warm and compassionate story.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick (Scholastic) revels in its London city setting. Much admired for his extraordinary book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Selznick here draws on the intriguing world of Dennis Severs’ House and the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Text and illustrations are deftly matched to unfold an elaborate and compelling historical tale that spans the generations. It’s a real treat to curl up with and, when the book itself is finished, readers will be left longing to visit the extraordinary House in Spitalfields.

There’s a different kind of museum to be found in Historium (Bigpicturepress £20) A fabulous out-sized book that is almost a museum in itself, it introduces readers to a selection of historical artefacts, setting them in the context of their time and place in the world. It’s a captivating, thought-provoking book that the whole family will enjoy poring over.

Parents may also be keen to get their own hands on Usborne’s Lift-The Flap Computers and Coding book since, while children are eagerly getting to grips with coding at school, for many adults it’s still unfamiliar territory. This clearly laid-out and appealingly presented book offers a way-in for beginners and a host of tips for those looking to brush up their technique.

If it’s a more traditional family Christmas activity you’re after, the delightful Slot-Together Victorian Doll’s House (Usborne £25) may be just the thing. Press out foam-board pieces can be assembled to create a glorious four-storey house complete with dolls and furniture plus a book to tell children all about life in a Victorian home.

Whatever you taste tends to, there’s always a book to enjoy over Christmas and we wish you as much pleasure in picking the perfect presents as we’ve found all year long in helping our customers select the right gifts for all those special occasions.

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