Snuggle up with your children and a special book this Christmas.

Enjoy a book with your child this Christmas

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Here at Calico Editing Services, we are spoilt for choice right now. We have been working with so many amazing Children’s authors that our bookshelves are bulging with fabulous stories that we are lucky enough to enjoy. Our own children- aged 9 and 7, loved being able to devour these books and give us their opinions on them.

Reading with children is so important, it can provide you with that quiet time to devote to your child in an otherwise hectic week, it can help a child to relax, to open up about a subject, to use their imaginations, to learn about the world around them, to understand language and the importance of books and much, much more.

This Christmas, we are going to be enjoying spending some of our quiet days, snuggled up with our children enjoying some special stories. We hope that you will be doing so too and in case you’re not sure which books to snuggle up with this year, here are some of our Top Picks for Christmas 2018.

cami.jpgCami Kangaroo Has Too Many Sweets- By Stacy. C Bauer. 
This is one of our personal favourites here as the main character- Cami- reminds us of our own little one! Have you ever had one of them days when you know there is something tasty in the house and it’s all you can think about? That cream cake waiting for you in the fridge? The box of chocolates you were saving for the weekend? It’s hard enough to resist these temptations as an adult, but what about a child? Cami has a very sweet tooth and she is constantly thinking about food. She can’t concentrate on playing or having fun as the thought of the brownies in the microwave or the sprinkles hidden in the kitchen cupboard, play on her mind. Will a trip to the dentist, a stern word from her Mum and having the treats hidden from her, be enough to stop Cami from sneaking sweet treats?!

This story is fun and engaging. It was exciting to turn the pages with our little ones and see what mischief Cami was up to and to laugh at the extremes she went to go hunt down the sweets. The illustrations really brought the story to life, they are beautiful pastel colours which our children enjoyed absorbing.

What we love about this story is that there’s an important message here about the effect sugar has on our health but it’s only very subtle- when reading it you don’t feel like you’re being lectured at, instead, we found ourselves laughing at the cheeky Kangaroo and how similar she was to our own little one. I think many children and parents will be able to relate to the Kangaroo family and enjoy reading it together. It’s a great starting point to open up a conversation about sweets being for treats and how they can affect our teeth too. We loved reading it together and can’t wait to see what other antics Cami gets up to in the future as I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of this cheeky, fun character just yet!

Available to order now: https://www.amazon.com/Cami-Kangaroo-Has-Many-Sweets/dp/0999814109

Little Elf Ray- Saves the Day by Ross Hammond.

little elf rayEveryone needs a festive read at Christmas time and what better festive read than this from Ross Hammond? The story is fun, exciting, colourful and gets you fully immersed in the magic of Christmas! Santa is very excited about trying out his new sleigh and can’t wait to take it on a test-flight before he has to deliver all the gift to the girls and boys… but whilst on the test-flight, there’s a disaster and Santa turns to the smallest of all the elves for help… Little Elf Ray may be the smallest of all the elves, but when Santa needs his help on Christmas Eve, he is determined to help… but will he manage to?

My children and I love this book. It’s so colourful and fun and has that excitement of Christmas Eve tension which is just perfect for young children to enjoy. This book will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit with its festive pictures, magic and excitement, I can really imagine families sharing this book on together on the run up to Christmas and children falling asleep dreaming about what happens at the North Pole…

Available to order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Elf-Ray-Saves-Day/dp/1999318706

Nonni’s Moon by Julia Inserro. 

nonniWe first read this book several months ago and it has stayed with us- if that isn’t the sign of a good book, then what is?! This story offers lots of hope and comfort for those who may not be with their loved ones this Christmas time (or any time of the year for that matter).

Beanie lives all the way across the world from her beloved Nonni. She misses her and wishes they could talk more. Then one day, whilst gazing out at the moon she has an incredible idea, what if there IS another way which she could communicate with her much-missed Nonni? What if it helps her to feel closer to her despite the physical distance between them?

What I love about this story is just how comforting it is. There may be many reasons why someone chooses to read this book- to help a child deal with grief and realising that a person is no longer in their lives physically, to help a child cope with separating with a family member or to aid a child to understand the distance between a friend and a loved one. This book really enables the conversation about missing someone to begin which can then help a child cope. It is brought to life with award-winning illustrations by Lucy Smith and when you finish this book you feel like there is hope, comfort and an important message to take away with you.

 

Available to order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nonnis-Moon-Julia-Inserro-ebook/dp/B07CX91KN9

Puppy Pickup Day by April Cox

puppy pick up dayWhat child doesn’t enjoy a story about an adventurous little pup? This story is full of fun and tells of Brady who is a very cheeky, mischevious Labradoodle pup who gets himself into trouble by mistake! He is very excited because he is going to go to a new home today, but this is Brady, so going to a new home can’t be straightforward… before his new owners come to pick him up, Brady ends up having one last adventure which then turns into a bit more than he bargained for as, before he realises it, he is lost! Will he be able to find his way back home in time for the new owners to collect him? How will he ever find his way back?!

As well as being a fun story, this also touches upon some other issues too. Brady is clumsy and struggles to catch the ball, he feels insecure and worries about whether people will like him. The insecurities he feels are only very subtle within the story so it doesn’t take away from the fun-factor but it does provide you with a starting point to discuss emotions and worries with children too.

We really enjoyed reading this book and laughing at the clumsy way Brady bounds through life- anyone who has a Labradoodle will be able to relate to this pup! We are looking forward to hearing more from April Cox and her series of Labradoodle adventures.

Available to order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/173245664X

harveyHarvey Hippo and the Magical Caterpillar. By Samantha Ball. 

We enjoyed reading this book as it felt a little bit like a newer version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The story tells of Harvey the Hippo who meets a curly caterpillar one day and wonders why it is eating so much. The caterpillar asks Harvey to go back and see its surprise a few days later, but when Harvey goes to find him he can’t see him anywhere. A few days later, Harvey watches a beautiful butterfly emerge from a chrysalis and wonders why it has the same, friendly face as that curly caterpillar he had met a few days ago…

My younger child- aged 7- enjoyed reading this and guessing what would happen. He was very impressed with himself when he was proven right too! He was really engaged with the book and it was wonderful to see him wanting to continue reading to see what would happen.

Illustrated by Samantha, as well as being written by her, this is a very gentle story which is an ideal read to enjoy with young children. The illustrations are very beautiful and super cute, with Harvey looking like a very friendly Hippo indeed. I’d like to read more about Harvey and what other adventures he has, too.

Available to order here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Harvey-Hippo-Magical-Caterpillar-Samantha/dp/1999605918

 

Celebrating the Holidays by Carolyn Valentine

61sCl-Y9qDL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Now, this is a very different kind of book, one which you will cherish and will fill up with meanings and memories, we simply HAD to include this within our Christmas recommended books.

This is a special, festive log book. Inside it is full of questions for children to fill in about how the holiday season was. It includes questions like what their favourite decoration was, what Christmas smelt like this year, what their favourite memories are and so forth. There is a double-page to fill in each year with all the same questions. The idea is that over time, it is filled in year after year and then as time goes by you are creating a unique book bursting with special Christmas memories that you can reflect upon. I can imagine this being the kind of book that is cherished within a family and is passed on from generation to generation.

It is a fantastic way to capture moments and memories. It encourages children to reflect upon the festive season and be mindful of the time they have had by thinking about the smells, sounds, tastes of Christmas. It will be incredibly special to look back on this and reminisce about certain memories and enjoy seeing how times change and which traditions stay within the family.

The questions are very simple and not at all daunting, children can answer in just a few words or elaborate and stick in pictures or drawings too so this is ideal for children of all ages. We absolutely love this book and are looking forward to filling it in each year.

Available to order here:https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1732935602

My Dog is the Tooth Fairy by Steven Viele. 

downloadThis rhyming book has beautiful hand-drawn illustrations which bring this story to life… a story about the wonder and magic surrounding the Tooth Fairy. Just how does the Tooth Fairy manage to know where to go and which teeth need collecting? How does she manage it night after night? What if there is more than one?

This story makes children think about the magical stories they are told- the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas, The Easter Bunny… it’s a very simple but fun story which my youngest (aged 7) really enjoyed having read to him. The fact that it rhymes makes it very appealing to little ears and it also was a great way to get my little one attempting to read along too. When we reached the end of the book, he was pleased with the story and liked the magical side which suggests that maybe the Tooth Fairy isn’t exactly how we imagine her to be after all…

This book is only short so is the ideal read at bedtime when you are wanting your children to settle down and have something magical in their minds as they drift off to sleep. I like that it encourages children to use their imaginations and think a little bit deeper about something as simple as the Tooth Fairy but that, ultimately, it’s a fun, silly book which young children will really enjoy.

Available to order here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Tooth-Fairy-Steven-Viele/dp/1732355002

We absolutely love reading with our children and think that at Christmas it is an ideal time to introduce them to new authors and stories which can be enjoyed together. There are so many books available and so many incredible authors that it was hard to whittle our choices for 2018 down to just these ones.

Sharing a story with a child can be a bonding, learning experience which can help to make memories, conversation starters and spark imaginations. We hope that whatever books you are reading with your children this year, that you enjoy them.

What books are you buying your little ones this Christmas? What do you recommend we share with our children?

 

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