It’s Time to Go Christmas Book Shopping

I love this time of year. I get to indulge myself in one of my pastimes, buying books, and I get to share some of my favourites with you all. This Christmas I have been doing a lot of my shopping online and, because my family is all around the world, I have been using amazon (I am an amazon affiliate in Australia, but I use amazon simply because I can search in one place and send over the world). I was so inspired, and to be honest I spent far too much tome on this, I created extra categories to share with you. I hope I have given you a good mix in each area to inspire some book gifting for Christmas, and I am always happier when there are more people reading.

If you want to know more about the books in this post, click on the book title or the cover image. This will take you through to an amazon page.

Picture Books

This is the most difficult category for me. I love picture books and for me it’s all about trying to decide whether to give a classic or one of the new beautiful books that are being produced. I hope you love the suggestions, and there are a couple more below in the Christmas Books.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek – I make no secret about my love for Mem’s Fox’s books, and my first Christmas recommendation is the first book I ever read of hers—Where is the Green Sheep? This book still makes me laugh when I read it as we see what all the other sheep are doing while we search for the elusive Green Sheep. A must for everyone’s picture book library.

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell – Yet another classic book, and one loved in this family for many years, and hopefully in the many families I have given a copy of this book to. You can’t beat a book that is well written, captures the imagination, and has so many animals. What I love about this book though is you cannot help but smile when you read it.

That’s Not My Koala – Osborne Touchy Feely Books – I can’t tell you how many of these books we have owned, and have bought for other babies and toddlers. These are definitely books to be handled and felt. The repetition of words, and the combination of sensation associates with textures is a great teaching tool, and they are just soooo cute. This is one that is definitely on my Christmas list, but there are so many options you should be able to find something for every young child’s interests.

The Dinky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley – If you enjoy a good tongue twister, then you will love the Wonkey Donkey’s daughter, the Dinky Donkey. Just as much fun as the original, and the whole family can get involved in the reading. This is also on the list of books that made me smile when I read it. I have a copy and I’m just waiting for the right person to give it to. On a lighter note, I think this could be turned into a Christmas Party game much like the 12 days of Christmas one – you know, give each person a line…

One Ted Falls Out of Bed – by Julia Donaldson and Anna Curry – Every family has one (or more) of those books that just lives on in your conversations and the stories you tell, and is such a part of your family’s growing up you can’t even remember when you got it. One Ted Falls Out of Bed is that book for us. We all love the beautiful illustrations and the counting rhymes, and the fact that the illustrations tell more of the story than the words. A great gift, and I’m sure this will come a family treasure for the family you gift it to. One ted falls out of bed, he tugs and pulls the bedclothes but, two eyes are tight shut … and that’s from memory.

Middle Grade

A little series heavy, but at this age you want to encourage them to read more—right?

Amulet Book Collection by Kazu Kibuishi – Almost every Christmas and birthday I have brought books in this series for reviewer Sam. He has always loved graphic novels, and this series really caught his interest as it took him into an alternate reality. In essence these books are a mystery series and are a great gift idea for those not so book oriented children, and even for those who love books but just like a change in format.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowel, read by David Tenant – Another option for those less interest readers are the How to Train Your Dragon Books. They are well written and seriously funny and have great images that kids love. Even better, why not buy the audio copies. They are a great listen for the whole family on car trips, or for a child who prefers to listen than to read. Cannot recommend these books enough. We still listen to them on long car trips.

Nevermoor – The Trials of Morrigan Crow By Jessica Townsend – Years ago most reviewers would tall you to buy Harry Potter Books for a child who loved reading and magical worlds, but that changed with the Nevermore Series. If you have a child to buy for who loves getting lost in other worlds, then I cannot recommend this series highly enough. Even better, if you have a mum who loves reading for children, this is the perfect gift for her.

Zombie Boy by K.S. Hall – One of the things I have loved about delving into independently published book is that you often find something that really is not out in the general market—Zombie Boy is one of these books. Many children don’t like reading about the same old things that others do, some like zombies and ghouls. Then there are parents who think this type of book might not be the best for their child’s reading development. Zombie Boy meets both needs, and I when I was researching this post I found the second book in this series is now out. A great find and should certainly be considered for children with less traditional reading tastes.

The Swan Maiden An Austrian Fairy Story by Serene Conneeley – I have put this book in the middle-grade section, but really this is a tale for all ages. Again, this is an independently published book and I haven’t seen anything like it in the shops. If the person you are buying for loves fairy tales, this a a fresh modern fairy tale that weaves magic and fantasy into every day life, as well as having the life messages we expect from this genre. Beautifully told, I am sure it will become a favourite as it is read and re-read.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman – I am sure many of you have been watching the TV series as I have been, but really, the books are more amazing. If your child has enjoyed the series, or if they simply like getting lost in other worlds, then this series is a must have. I believe they even have a graphic novel version for those less inclined readers. I read this series years ago, and I still rate it as one of the bests reads ever.

Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan – When reviewer Sam was into the Percy Jackson series, I started reading the Heroes of Olympus Series to him. One of the worst days of my life was when he said I read too slow and he had finished the book we were on and wanted the next one—to read for himself. When I was book shopping for this post I found a complete set with great new covers, all ready for a new set of young fans to read them. These are great adventure stories for kids of all ages (even the grown up ones). Perfect for a bedtime read, or for reading alone.

York – The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby – I reviewed this book some time ago and fell in love with it. I always meant to look out for the next book in the series, so imagine my surprise when I found there are now two more books for me to read. They are safely purchased and on their way—yeah for me. What I loved about this book was how Laura Ruby managed to take the iconic city of New York and turn it into something slightly different. The essence of the book is a mystery, the main characters are solving a cipher to save their home, but it is given colour and life by the unique setting. Readers of any age will enjoy this steampunk book, and I can’t wait for my sequels to arrive.

The Books of Earths by Ursula Le Guin – When I stumbled across this on my shopping trip it brought back memories of lunch times at high school when I used to head to the library so I could work my way through these books. We won’t talk about the ones I had taken off me in class because I used to slip them inside my text books … but those teachers knew me too well. A fantasy world with dragons, great writing and great characters—and now an illustrated version. It’s in my wish list for sure. This is fantasy writing at its best.

Chasing Neve by K.A. Last – A little bit of a change up now. Not a series, but a different form of fantasy. The review of this book has been one of my best performing posts this year, so it’s certainly a must for the the Christmas Book List. This Snow White retelling brings a whole new meaning to kick-ass girl leads and is one of those books you just can’t put down once you pick it up. Perhaps one for the the teen girls and those who enjoy a love story more than the action oriented reader, as there is a little romance in this adventure story.

Young Adults

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood – I have read this book a number of times and found it both compelling and disturbing. Margaret Atwood has done as much for the feminist movement as any activist you have seen on tv or read in the history books. This look at how the female role is defined by their ability to carry a child has stuck with me over the years since I first read A Handmaid’s Tale at uni. It is still a great read from one of the world’s best story teller.

Throne of Glass Boxset by Sarah Mass– I was so put off by the covers of this series I almost missed out on it. It is compelling adventure reading with a great strong female lead in an amazing fantasy world. If you have a YA girl who like nothing more than to curl up with a good book, then this set is the one for them—with any luck you want see them until the end of the holidays.

Ready Player One By Ernest Cline – I had to put one in for the boys (and those who don’t like the more girly reads). This is a great tale, not only because it was a movie, but also because it marries computer games and adventure—a combination that appeals to boys of any age. Also, a great gift because you can combine it with the sequel due out this month, and you should have a very happy YA male. Oh yeah, and maybe for your older boys too as the 80’s references are a laugh.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I thought I would sneak this one in. I haven’t read or reviewed it, but I added it to my kindle while I was researching for this post. I have always wanted to read this story, but when I was younger I read a lot of war books and I think I have compassion fatigue. I keep coming back to this one though, and this is now on my Christmas list. Perhaps not the light and airy feel of some of the other books, but there are always angst ridden YA’s out there that will love this in their stocking.

Enchanting the Fey by Rebecca Bosevski – In the Teen section I had one of the best performing books of this last year, now I am including the book that drives the most traffic to my site full stop. Books on magical worlds have never been my thing, but I read the first book in this series and I was hooked, as were many others from the look of my site traffic. A love story and adventure in a set magical world, this book will have your dreamers captivated from the first page. Again perhaps another gift for someone who wants a little escape over the holidays.

Christmas Books

I haven’t forgotten about those of you who love to get into the Christmas Cheer with a good Christmas Read. I have three fantastic pictures books for you, and two adult books that you might want to that yourself for all the great shopping you have done. Click on the Images to find out more about these Christmas Tales.

Hope you have enjoyed a little delve into my Christmas book shopping experience. If you have any suggestions of your won I would love the hear about them in the comments. Happy shopping!