Thoughtful children’s book gifts to light up their Christmas

The season of good will is upon us and our customers are busy spreading it with their thoughtful choices of unusual books, perfect seasonal gifts for younger friends and family members.

One of the most popular of these is How to be a Spy by Dan Waddell and Nikalas Catlow. An appealingly presented lift-the-flap book it offers hot tips on secret communications, cunning disguises and cracking codes, as well as plenty of background information about the history and training of spies. Witty

illustrations and accessible text written in the form of a spy’s diary or log book make this a sure-fire hit for anyone over eight who is interested in spies and spying.

For seven to nine year olds whose tastes tend towards space and science fiction, as well as fun and adventure, Cakes in Space by the talented duo of Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre is bound to be a success. Its winning combination of quirky humour and inventive illustrations provide instant entertainment while the rich quality of the writing gives the book long-lasting appeal. A great one to read aloud.

Emma Chichester Clark’s beautiful Bears Don’t Read is a delight to share with younger children – and a timely reminder of why a good book is such a special gift. It’s the tale of a bear who is getting a little fed up of spending his days sitting, staring at the hills and countryside around him wondering if life is really all about nothing more than fishing and chatting. With the unexpected arrival of a book, Bear begins to realise that the answers may lie in learning to read, but that’s not easy when you’re a bear…. Fortunately the brave and determined Clementine is on hand to help and Bear is soon discovering some thoughtful new ways of looking at the world and some happy alternative pursuits. The picturesque landscape is exquisitely depicted in Clark’s hallmark verdant greens and iridescent blues while the sumptuous red of Bear’s special book is captivating; readers young and old will want to linger over the gorgeous artwork.

Families will also enjoy poring over the pages of the glorious Animalium by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom, a book to treasure. Offering a museum within its pages, its delightful illustrations evoke the beauty of nineteenth century natural history books while the engaging text takes readers on a journey through the museum’s many galleries to tell the story of life on earth. It’s an absolute delight, and a book that will go on giving enormous pleasure long after the seasonal festivities are over.