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The best books for kids this Christmas

AGES 0-4

Can You Find It? A Search-And-Find Book

by Surya Sajnani (Words & Pictures)

This oversized, enticingly colourful board-book is filled with scrumptious shapes — perfect for tinies.

Not Yet, Zebra

by Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf (Faber)

Annie is painting the animals of the alphabet — but Zebra just can’t wait his turn! Delightfully comic rhyming fun.

The Space Train

by Maudie Powell-Tuck and Karl James Mountford (Little Tiger)

Jakob lives in a space station with his granny and a robot chicken called Derek. Can they fix the derelict Space Train, explore the galaxy and find new friends? A soaring, inventive lift-the-flap adventure.

AGES 5-8

The Skies Above Our Eyes

by Charlotte Guillain and Yuval Zommer (Words & Pictures)

This spectacular fold-out concertina book takes us from Earth’s surface up through the layers of the atmosphere and out into space.

I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree

chosen by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon (Nosy Crow)

A huge, luxurious, beautifully illustrated book of nature poetry old and new, featuring a poem for every day of the year.

Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic

by Harriet Muncaster (OUP)

Everyone’s favourite half-vampire, half-fairy heroine goes adventuring to the Land Of Ice And Snow in this sparkly, dreamy black-and-pink bumper edition.

AGES 9-12

The Boy Who Hit Play

by Chloe Daykin (Faber)

As a baby, Elvis was found under a newspaper at the zoo. When he turns 12, he sets out to discover who left him there — a quest that will take him to a land of icy chills, cinnamon buns and shadowy secrets. Hilarious, fast-moving adventure, with a likeable, original protagonist.

Conspiracy Of Ravens

by Leah Moore, John Reppion and Sally Jane Thompson (Dark Horse Books)

When Anne Ravenhall’s great-great-aunt dies, she leaves a strange bequest — a ramshackle mansion and a mysterious box… An instantly gripping graphic novel featuring boarding-school girls transformed into retro-styled superheroes.

Through The Water Curtain And Other Tales From Around The World

selected by Cornelia Funke (Pushkin)

Jewel-bright and provocative fairy-tale retellings, including The Firebird and The Maid Of The Copper Mountain, with an introduction and commentary by Funke, the author of the Inkheart trilogy.

YOUNG ADULT

She Is Fierce

chosen by Ana Sampson Macmillan

An anthology of powerful poems by women, dealing with love, roots and rebellion, and ranging from Sappho to slam.

My Box-Shaped Heart

by Rachael Lucas Macmillan

Her mum’s a hoarder, money’s tight and Holly sticks out in all the wrong ways at school — swimming is her only refuge. But when she bumps into posh, charming Ed, she discovers he has family problems of his own… Lucas’ second YA novel deals with poverty and domestic violence while remaining joyful and hopeful.

For Every One

by Jason Reynolds (Knights Of)

Short but sweet, this verse letter by an award- winning American poet is a rousing, moving address to the dreamers of the world.

A Jigsaw Of Fire And Stars

by Yaba Badoe Zephyr

The sole survivor of a ship carrying refugees, Sante was washed ashore as a baby with her pet golden eagle and a treasure chest, then trained and raised in gypsy Mama Rose’s travelling circus. But now she’s 14 and the restless dead are calling on her to avenge them… A richly woven mix of magical realism and Ghanaian mythology combine to make a unique, intriguing novel.