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I have finally found a free moment to myself to share with you what I think, are great Christmas titles to read this festive season.

Christmas, for me is a time to wallow in the joy that such a time can bring. The joys of christmas range from that familiar scent of mulled wine, to the classic Christmas Carol tale but most importantly, it is making the effort to spend time with friends and family, most of whom we lose touch with throughout the busy year.

Christmas is that opportunity to stop (after all the shopping and preparations have been made of course) and relish the wonderful moments, not least of all those wonderful moments and memories we create when reading a book, whether this be alone or with a mass of kids surrounding you.

I truly believe that the written and spoken word is the most powerful thing we have to our disposal in this world. Words have the power to make us smile, to make us cry and to inspire. Most of all they create memories and nostalgia in the form of the written word. For that reason, many of the books in my ‘Christmas Top 10’ list have a traditional feel that relates back to times gone by that many would love to wallow in once again.

Whether you read a children’s book to relish in your childhood memories, take a book to the local hospital to share or are gathered round a big fire with the family…whatever you’re doing, and wherever you are; enjoy these books for what they are. Pure joy, happiness and escapism.

CHRISTMAS BOOKS TO READ AND SHARE- We start the countdown with:

10. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Illustrated by Quentin Blake

I adore Quentin Blake. His illustrations for Roald Dahl fill up most of my memories about my childhood books and I relish looking through all the books he has illustrated in. There is something so comforting and familiar about his art and he will always be a national treasure in my heart. This book is formatted as a hardback and has a very authentic traditional feel to it, which is fitting for the tale of A Christmas Carol. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without re-visiting this tale and I think we will all appreciate the tale in this lovely gift style book. ISBN:9781843651215Quentin Blake's a Christmas Carol

 

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First and foremost, welcome to my first blog. I am truly excited about it.

Blogs, I have come to discover are a most convenient and fun way of writing.  Whilst the art of blogging is a relatively new form of the ever-evolving forms of literature there is something to be said about the timeless ability of it all.

What I want to achieve from my blog is not only a form of writing experience for myself, but also to any readers out there who have an interest in children’s literature; I want them to feel that they can visit my blog and find a genuine review of a book whether this is for their own pleasure or to pass on to their child.

These reviews will vary and ultimately, I want my blog set up so that it is organised by genre making it accessible to those who visit. I certainly do not want to give those who visit a false sense of excitement when they see the name of my blog, hoping to enter a serene virtual space only to find a jumble of words lost in a genre-palooza.

So, why children’s literature? And why now? Well i have recently graduated from a B.A Honours degree in English and might I say what a pleasure it was to study. Without realising, I honed my writing skills, I became a keen debater and I fell in love with the written word. During this time I also got a part-time job in Waterstones which I just adore. It is possibly the best retail job, simply because it does not put upon you the strains and stresses of any other retail job I have had the displeasure of working. Certainly there are expectations and commitments, but my job focuses on one thing and one thing only…the books.

And of course, we each have our own favourite parts of the shop. For a long time the Cookery section and the Children’s section were locked in a tense battle over who would become my favourite place and in the end, the Children’s section won out simply because it keeps that magical feeling throughout the year. The Cookery section for me seems to sparkle most only during the Christmas season.

I just love Children’s literature and the giant ‘Where’s Wally?’ figure placed high above the picture books. What’s wonderful about children’s literature, I believe, is the disctinctions of the old and the new but both flourish so well together. These days we have Beast Quest in amongst Mrs Pepperpot and Twilight leaning against  Stig of the Dump but what becomes apparent when helping customers find their perfect book is that there is room for both the old traditions and the creating of the new.

Certainly my love for the children’s book would not be so strong would it not be for John Cook who is the children’s specialist in my particular branch. His knowledge is astounding and he is a simple, no nonsense, genuine man, who nonetheless can inspire greatness in each and every person and who can read people so well, it is spooky. He himself is a budding author who can be very proud of what he has written and I wish many great things upon him. Perhaps one day when he is far too rich and important to be seen amongst the lowly bookseller, I can beg him to come and do a book signing in my own bookstore, aptly named ‘FiveMinutesPeace’ in homage to Jill Murphy’s wonderfully simple yet telling tales of the Large family. Of course this is just the dream, but it is my dream all the same.

So back to the blog in hand. I will aim for a few updates a week and whilst I am always one for nostalgia, I will also be writing reviews for new picture books and reprints so that the children of today, in years to come can pass on to their own kids, their copies of the books they once loved. Because really, that’s what it’s all about. For now, i’m not interested in writing about politics, or world affairs or the environment. It is just not my calling. My calling, I know in my heart of hearts is books and it is just the most wonderful, exhilarating and enlightening feeling to go into a children’s bookstore and find a book you had completely forgotten and remember it, simply for it’s front cover or illustration or particular moment in the story. A book can embue such vital, precious memories and I am certainly evangelical about my passion for each and every children’s book out there.

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