Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Advent calendars, oh how they’ve changed. I recently stumbled across a £70 ‘advent calendar’ in Selfridges in which you get a mini beauty product every day. Think Lancome lipstick and OPI nail varnish. Or how about a £25 Lego advent calendar in which you get a lego piece for every box you open? 

If i’m completely honest…I’m happy with my simple chocolate calendar. When me and my sister were very young, my Mum handmade a Christmas tree advent calendar with pockets which we still fill with chocolate to this day.

This year, Usborne have gone back to basics and introduced a do-it-yourself advent calendar. It’s a lovely little thing to have and means the child will sit down every day and colour in the little area and I’m hoping, will consider the advent period a lot more profound than if they were scoffing chocolate just before school. Usborne are hugely successful with their activity books and I love this idea.

The book/calendar opens up almost like stage doors and stands up on its own. You know what? I’m half tempted to get one for myself, but then that may just mean I own every single Usborne book, ever!

If you want to deviate from your usual advent calendar purchase and want some fun and creativity in the household, this is for you!

Advent Calendar to Colour




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The next book in the Christmas countdown is one close to my heart. At least, the original is close to my heart. It’s the follow on book from The  Jolly Postman.

It’s the Jolly Christmas Postman and it’s just heartwarming. Now some may find the idea of a human postman delivering post to domesticated animals a little disconcerting, but come on people it’s a picture book; the epitome of the disconcerting. But it’s the imaginative that you embrace when you open up  a picture book and it reaps rewards if you do it with an open mind.

What I love about this book and indeed, the original is the interactive element as we open the post delivered to each character (I wont dwell on the face we are surely breaking some privacy laws here) Janet and Allan Ahlberg are you the reason behind the tragic youth of today?

Another aspect of the book to ignore is the fact that the jolly postman is delivering letters on Christmas Eve. This does not happen, but again I digress.

The Ahlberg’s have once again triumphed as this innovative book will please any child learning the fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Little Red Riding Hood and Humpty Dumpty are the highlights for me.

An uplifting, unceremoniously British picture book which reminds the adults to get to the post office in good time.

ISBN: 9780670886272

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Whilst I’m on the subject of short fairy stories, may you take the time to visit this lovely gem of a blog. I don’t know the creator of this blog but they took the time to refer to my blog and I of course checked theirs out and I’m glad I did. It’s right up my street.

If you don’t fancy delving into a lengthy Christmas Carol then read the individual stories and you wont be disappointed


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At number 8 of the Christmas countdown (yes I sound like a wannabe Top of the Pops presenter) I have chosen The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Undoubtedly, most children will have seen the film before they even knew the story existed in book form but I urge anyone, fan of the film or not to read this book if only for the wonderous illustrations.

This book is quite simply, magical. It advocates everything I believe to be important to Christmas; that belief that magic exists. Only a few things can drum up such a feeling for me. The first being the Coca Cola christmas advert (even though I despise the drink) the second being a great christmas story and this is it!

For the protagonist of the book, a young boy who boards a magical train, this story ends up being far more of a fairy tale than any of us could realise. The boy is disarming in nature and will certainly bring a smile to the reader’s face for his quiet modesty.

What is not modest however is the use of pictures and believe you me, this is not a bad thing. The double page spreads of illustration are necessary to take the reader into the book, travelling with the boy on the magical train.

This is a timeless story which has the power to reunite the child with the magic and possibility that Christmas brings.

ISBN: 9781842709498

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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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