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30 Great Christmas book gifts and stocking fillers for Kids

30 Great Christmas book gifts and stocking fillers for Kids

If you are anything like me, you might still be scrabbling around for ideas for Christmas presents for the little loved ones in your life.  I am here to help with a list of 30 fantastic books which would make excellent gifts this Christmas. 

Even if you are supremely organised, do have a read of this great Christmas book gifts and stocking fillers post to see if you can be tempted to squeeze one extra present under the tree…..!

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NON-FICTION

Roar like a Lion  – Carlie Sorosiak (author), Katie Walker (illustrator), David Fickling Books (publisher)

What an uplifting book!  My children and I have absolutely loved this one. This is a children’s self-help book with a difference.  It’s about empowering children in the cleverest and best way… by following the examples of the animal kingdom.  With wonderfully colourful and cheerful illustrations, the book is split into chapters that the reader can dip in and out of according to how they might be feeling, or it can be read in one go.  With lovely concepts like how to be happy, brave, kind, confident … and jaw-dropping facts about the animals that display these characteristics, this is a brilliant idea for a stocking filler for any child for them to enjoy time and time again.

Roar like a Lion
 Extraordinary-Travellers-The-Little-Museum-and-The-Clock-Thief-Website-Banner-

The World’s Most Amazing Places – National Geographic Kids – Collins (Harper Collins Imprint) 8 plus

This book takes the young reader on a globe-trotting tour of the world.  It is filled with stunning photography of nature and wildlife and amazing facts about the natural world.  It’s a book to get lost in, turning the mesmerising pages which are filled with mind-blowing images and bite-sized snippets of information about 100 of the world’s most amazing places.  A book to bring out and look at over and over again and a great resource for children.

The World’s Most Amazing Places – National Geographic Kids – Collins (Harper Collins Imprint) 8 plus

The World Book – Joe Fullman (author), Rose Blake (illustrator), Wellbeck Editions (imprint of Wellbeck Childrens Limited) (publisher)

Let’s face it, travel hasn’t been the easiest over the last 18 months or so but this book lets your imagination know no bounds and can take you on an epic worldwide tour across continents.  From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, this book details the countries of the world by continent and provides flags, keys facts, key phrases in multiple languages and interesting and unusual snippets of information about the particular country, together with snapshots about what life is like in those places.  It’s a colourful book full of brilliant illustrations surrounding bite-sized text boxes of information which would appeal to young children.  You and your child will certainly learn a lot from this book – did you know that the Rubik’s Cube was Hungarian?!  A must of a stocking filler for any mini-traveller or geography enthusiast.

The World Book – Joe Fullman (author), Rose Blake (illustrator), Wellbeck Editions (imprint of Wellbeck Childrens Limited) (publisher)

Little Inventors: Mission Oceans! Invention Ideas to Save Seas – Ellie Birkhead (author), Dominic Wilcox (author), Collins (HarperCollins Publishers) – 7 plus

Did you know that whale poo can help fight climate change?  Nope, me neither.  That’s just one of the gems of information that this star(fish) of a book contains.  Everyone has been following #COP26, the UN Climate Change conference, and if you have a little eco-warrior at home then this book would be a perfect stocking filler for them.  Scrap that, it would be the perfect stocking filler for any child.  With space for a child’s own imagination to run wild with ideas and drawings, it is a unique look at the ocean and its inhabitants and is crammed full of fishy facts and marine marvels while also providing suggestions and ideas for children about how to look after our oceans and come up with their own solutions and inventions.

author), Collins (HarperCollins Publishers) – 7 plus

An ABC of Families – Abbey Williams (author), Paulina Morgan (illustrator), Frances Lincoln (Quarto) (publisher)

This is a lovely compact board book introducing younger children to all shapes and sizes of families, whether that be step-siblings, same-sex parents, surrogates or adopted children.  It does so using the ABC alphabet format (reinforcing those letters of the alphabet-the more they see them, the more they will recognise them!) with clear and simple language and brightly-coloured, happy pictures which are a real hit with the children.  It’s a great early introduction to everyday concepts and a good spring-board for discussion with older children.  A super little stocking filler if you are looking for some non-fiction for younger children.

An ABC of Families

A History of the World in 25 Cities – Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin (authors), Libby Vander Ploeg (illustrator), Nosy Crow (publisher) – 8-12 years

Oh my! What a book.  Your mini-traveller will love this one.  Stunningly illustrated with vibrant and detailed artwork, the book maps out 25 cities of the world from ancient history to modern day times.  Readers can visit cities in every continent in intricate detail through the wonderfully-researched maps which take you on a city tour in your chosen location.  These gorgeously detailed maps are then followed by a couple of pages on what life was (or is) like in that city at that time, set out in bite-sized chunks of really interesting information.  From the mud-brick houses of Jericho, through almond and orange tree-lined streets of Granada, past the Bastille Prison in Paris to the high-tech homes of San Francisco, this book will certainly teach you a thing or two.  But the best thing is, you won’t feel it was learning because it is just so beautifully portrayed in words AND pictures.  Give the gift of knowledge this Christmas.

A History of the World in 25 Cities

Nature and Me – The School of Life (publisher), illustrator Tyla Mason

What a wonderful book.  I love nature, my children love nature and I am guessing if you love travelling the world then you and your children love nature too. This is a brilliantly informative book about the ways nature can help us and enrich our lives.  Like learning from bamboo to bend not break, or imagining your mind like a still and silent desert, or to just be yourself like the okapi.  Not only does this book have a lovely warm tone and beautiful pictures but it contains bite-sized chunks of information about the natural world from all sorts of fascinating geographical locations.  And who doesn’t love to read and learn about far-flung destinations on a cold and wintery day?!  A great gift.

Nature and Me

Superheroes: Inspiring Stories of Secret Strength – Sophia Thakur (author), Denzell Dankwah (illustrator) – Penguin Random House UK (publisher)

Chosen by Stormzy and the #Merky Books team, this superhero of a book celebrates over 50 outstanding British public figures from underrepresented communities in a bid to encourage and inspire children to fulfil their dreams.  Each superhero has a superpower and an empowering life-story to share and each has a different talent: from writing to baking to boxing to code-switching.  This book is relevant, fun and funky with its comic book illustrations.  I love the space at the back for your child to draw their own superhero and write about them.  Need a great book for the youngster in your life at Christmas?  Then look no further. And you will also be doing your bit for charity as 8% of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the #Merky Foundation.

Superheroes: Inspiring Stories of Secret Strength

Fantastically Great Women True Stories of Ambition, Adventure and Bravery  – Kate Pankhurst (author and illustrator), Bloomsbury (publisher)

This wonderful book is a collection of Kate Pankhurst’s picture books and contains a spread about those great women who changed the world, who made history, who worked wonders and who saved the planet.  Not only that, it contains a fantastically great timeline of great women through the ages and a glossary of fantastically great words.  This is such a brilliantly illustrated and fantastically inspiring book for young children, encouraging them to reach for the stars and never let go of their dreams.  It is a must have of a Christmas gift in my eyes.  Oh, and did I mention that the cover folds out into a poster of fantastically great women?  No? Well, I should have.  They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  But I think you should for this one.

Fantastically Great Women True Stories of Ambition, Adventure and Bravery

Harry Potter: A Magical Year -illustrated by Jim Kay – Bloomsbury

Do you have a Harry Potter fan in your household?  Struggling to think of a unique Christmas gift for them?  Look no further.  For each day of the year, this spellbinding book pairs Jim Kay’s superb illustrations with a quotation from the Harry Potter series, so your Harry Potter enthusiast can indulge themselves in a little bit of Harry Potter magic and beauty every day of the year.  This hard-backed book is truly one to treasure and return to over and over again.  Each page is a like a piece of magic with its artwork captivating the wonderful world of J.K Rowling’s most loved wizard.

Harry Potter: A Magical Year

Weird but True! Christmas – Published by National Geographic Partners LLC – 5plus

Did you know that there is a town in Sweden which erects a giant goat made of straw at Christmas?  Nope, me neither.  But this is just one of the weird and wonderful facts you can find out in this festive little stocking filler from National Geographic Kids. It’s a bright and colourful book of fantastic and unusual facts all centred around the festive period and will be sure to capture any child’s attention.

Weird but True! Christmas

A Poet for Every Day of the Year – edited by Allie Esiri, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I know, but this book is beautiful inside and out.  I love the idea of this book.  Sometimes children (and adults) are over-faced by the idea of poetry and this anthology is such a superb way to bring poetry into your daily routine or dip in and out of.  With poets such as Leonard Cohen, A. A. Milne, William Wordsworth, Lewis Carroll, Bob Dylan and many more (366 in total to be precise!), this is a wonderful book to read aloud and share with the family or to snuggle up with at bedtime.  I, personally, have dipped in and out of the poems to read to my younger children (there are some concepts in some poems which they would struggle to understand at their age (6,4 and 4) but I think this is a unique and thoughtful gift for any older family member.

 Poet for Every Day of the Year

CRAFT, COOKING and ACTIVITY BOOKS

Christmas Things to Make and Do (Usborne)

This is a great little festive activity book to get your children in the mood for Christmas and to keep them occupied in the Christmas holidays.  With activities such as making snow dough, paper angels, and Christmas crowns, it has something for everyone from the more “messy” play (which my son loves) to the more creative (which my girls adore).  With word searches and mazes for younger children and more detailed crafts such as sock snowmen, I can’t wait for my children to get stuck into this book this Christmas.  It’s a great idea for a Christmas gift or for your elf on the shelf to bring in the run-up to the main event.

Christmas Things to Make and Do

The Official Harry Potter Baking Book – by Joanna Farrow, Scholastic (publisher)

As Professor Dumbledore proclaimed, “Let the feast begin!”  If you are looking for something a bit different this year for your Harry Potter enthusiast then this gorgeously photographed cookbook full of magical facts and top tips is just the (Hogwarts Express) ticket you have been looking for.  From tantalising savoury snacks such as wand breadsticks and haloumi howlers, to sweet treats such as Hogwarts House Meringues and Dumbledore’s Shertbet Lemon Rolls, this cookbook will take your HP fan on a magical and mouth-watering journey.  With some gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes, and lightning bolt symbols which signify the complexity of the recipe, it caters for all budding young culinary talents.  A wonderful baking book for a stocking this Christmas.

The Official Harry Potter Baking Book

Spin to Survive Frozen Mountain – Emily Hawkins (author), R Freeson (illustrator), Wide Eyed Editions, imprint of Quarto Group (publisher)

What an ingenious idea.  A game in a book.  My mind is blown (although after three children, it doesn’t take much!)  Embark on a dangerous adventure across wild and rugged terrain in this choose-your-own path book.  There are places for you to put the Survival Spinner (included in the book) to find out whether your decision was a lucky one or not, depending on where the hand of the spinner lands.  This book is beautifully illustrated with gorgeous drawings of the mountainous landscape and also contains brilliant (and very useful) real-life survival techniques, like judging distances, avoiding avalanches and how to survive a bear attack!  This book is an absolute must this Christmas for family fun and adventure from the comfort of your own home.

Spin to Survive Frozen Mountain
Spin to Survive Frozen Mountain

Sunday Funday – Katherine Halligan (author), Jesus Verona (illustrator), Nosy Crow Ltd (publisher)

What an addition to your child’s bookshelf!  I don’t know about you but the various lockdowns drained practically every one of the fun ideas I ever had (there weren’t many!) so this book is the best thing fruit yo-yos (they are one of your five a day!) in my eyes.  Packed with stunningly colourful and eye-catchingly beautiful drawings by the talented Jesus Verona this book contains a super (and seasonal) activity for every Sunday of the year.  From Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties to Pine Cone Pals, there 52 fun activities to choose from to bring the whole family together.  I can’t wait to try some of the winter recipes and activities out with my children in the coming weeks.  This would be a brilliant gift for any member of the family.

unday Funday

Puzzle Quest Series – Publisher Collins (imprint Harper Collins) – 7 plus

Are you looking for a book which is that little bit different? Maybe the child in your life isn’t such a fan of lengthy text?  Maybe they love solving puzzles?  A book from this series is just the thing to pop in their stocking then.  With Quests entitled “Enchanted Lands”, “The Missing Astronaut”, “Mythical Mystery” and “The Time Traveller”, there is one to suit every child.  Or, become a super-quester and collect the set.  With over a hundred puzzles to solve in each adventure story, these books are filled with wordsearches, mazes, number puzzles and spot the differences and are a great way to keep your child’s brain active over the Christmas holidays.

Puzzle Quest Series

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30 Great Christmas book gifts and stocking fillers for Kids

I-Spy Winter – Collins Publishers (imprint Harper Collins) – 5 plus

What a cute little stocking filler for your child.  In a handy, pocket-sized format, this book is the perfect accompaniment to take on a car journey, or a wintry walk, or to play a game with looking out of your window.  Your child spies the particular object/animal/article and then ticks the box to say they have done so.  Each ‘spot’ has a picture and a fun-filled piece of information written about it and is worth a particular score.  Your child can add up their score and become part of an elite ‘super-spotter’ club obtaining their own official i-Spy certificate and badge.  My children will love this book and it’s a great way to get them to practice number recognition and maths to boot.  Win, win!

I-Spy Winter

Roald Dahl Beastly & Bewildering Words – illustrated by Quentin Blake, OUP – 7 plus

This is the perfect Christmas gift for any budding young writer or any fan of Roald Dahl.  It’s a superb introduction to the fun of words and word-play with fantabulous facts thrown in here and there.  I can tell you that me and my English literature degree have certainly learned a thing or two! With hilarious illustrations by Quentin Blake, it will have your little creative writer laughing their head off whilst having a fact-filled fun time with words.

Roald Dahl Beastly & Bewildering Words

A Winter Treasury of Recipes, Crafts and Wisdom – Angela Ferraro-Fanning (author), Annelies Draws (illustrator), Ivy Kids (Quarto Group) (publisher)

Everyone loves a book which purports to give you wisdom, right?! Well, this one doesn’t disappoint.  It’s such a lovely mix of easy recipes to make with the children and festive crafting ideas (all my children loved the dried orange slice garland (although I did burn the first batch!!) and the salt dough decorations and my eldest has loved trying her hand (pun intended) at finger knitting) and it is all wrapped up in these wonderful colourful drawings on every page.  Not only that, it really does impart some ‘wisdom’ as the book is interspersed with facts about nature in winter and ideas of how your little one can help, such as making pine cone bird feeders and DIY compost bins.  It’s the perfect activity filler for the Christmas holidays with the children.  A super Christmas gift or stocking filler

A Winter Treasury of Recipes, Crafts and Wisdom

FICTION

An Odd Dog Christmas – Rob Biddulph (author and illustrator), HarperCollins Children’s Books (publisher), picture book

What a lovely tail, I mean tale.  See what I did there?!  We are HUGE Rob Biddulph fans in this house and his latest book bringing a festive twist to the loveable Odd Dog does not disappoint.  Not only is it a gorgeous festive and bright treat for the eyes with the vibrant and colourful drawings but the story of Odd Dog saving Christmas and the theme of “caring, sharing, friendship and fun” is just the perfect message for this time of year.  And maybe our favourite bit (it’s a tricky one): the hidden festive drawing ‘find and seek’ within the illustrations of the book.    The French hens are hilarious!  This is the most perfect book about the true meaning of Christmas to gift to a little loved one this season.

An Odd Dog Christmas

Green is for Christmas – Drew Daywalt (author), Oliver Jeffers (illustrator), HarperCollins Children’s Books (publisher), picture book

Green reckons he is the only colour that matters in the Christmas colouring box but the other crayons have something to say about that!  With hilarious little speech bubbles issued by the crayons (poor old invisible white is our favourite!) and fantastically festive drawings by the wonderful Oliver Jeffers, this is a great short little book to introduce and reinforce colours with your child.  It would be a lovely little stocking filler for the toddler in your life.

Green is for Christmas

We’ll Be Together Again – Lucy Menzies (author), Maddy Vian (illustrator), Frances Lincoln (Quarto) (publisher) (picture book)

What a unique book.  It’s two stories, told by a different family member (Belle and Grandpa Jack), in one book.  Such a simple idea and yet so clever.  My twins were spell-bound when they opened each beautifully illustrated side and found that the ending was the same.  You can read each story separately, or read them side-by-side.  Either way, you are in for a real treat.  A story (or two!) of love, belonging and family-togetherness which will resonate with all after the year (or two!) that we have had.

We’ll Be Together Again

Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren (author),  Lauren Child (illustrator), OUP (publisher), recommended reading age: 5 plus

This is simply a stunning new edition of this timeless tale.  The artwork by Lauren Child is absolutely superb and really brings to life the character of the loveable Pippi.  With no mother or father, Pippi lives by herself (well, apart from her little monkey, Mr Nilsson, and a horse!) and entertains herself without adult intervention, on hilarious and exciting adventures with her neighbours and friends, Tommy and Annika.  Her ingenuity, cleverness and quirkiness are all celebrated through the fabulous artwork of this edition.  Truly a book to treasure and enjoy reading with your children, it would make a great gift under the Christmas tree.

Pippi Longstocking

Einstein the Penguin – Iona Rangeley (author), David Tazzyman (illustrator), HarperCollins Children’s Books (publisher), chapter book

Festive flippers and fishy fun abound in this delightful story about the sweetest penguin (Einstein) who turns up to stay with the Stewart family after being invited by Mrs Penguin following a family trip to London Zoo.  No one expected that Einstein really would visit but, golly goodness, we were so glad that he did in this house! The Stewart family join Einstein on a nationwide penguin-hunt to find Einstein’s best flippered friend Isaac and there follows a story of humour, warmth, friendship and love.  Will Einstein get to stay with the Stewarts forever?  Well, that would be telling.  But I do hope it is not the last we see of this adorable little flightless bird.

Einstein the Penguin

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30 Great Christmas book gifts and stocking fillers for Kids

Forgotten Fairy Tales of Kindness and Courage – Usborne Publishing Ltd , recommended reading age: 7-10 years

I confess, I had never heard of any of the tales contained in this gorgeously illustrated book.  These magical stories all highlight to children how braveness can take many forms and kindness can be shown in various ways.  The stories have been beautifully re-told here – from the disabled prince fighting for his kingdom, to the girl who learned to love her life and have the courage to be herself – these diverse and inspiring characters will capture the imagination and heart of your young reader.  This would make a wonderful present under the tree at Christmas – what better gift than that which will inspire kindness, courage and celebrate the importance of being true to oneself.

Forgotten Fairy Tales of Kindness and Courage

Our Beautiful Game – Lou Kuenzler (author), Faber & Faber Ltd (Publisher), recommended reading age: 10 plus

Got a football-fan in your house?  Then this is the gift for them this Christmas.  Inspired by the wonderful trailblazing female football stars during World War I, this story, which follows the determined and brave Polly Nab, highlights the injustice of the attitudes to women at that time, both on and off the pitch.  It’s a story about chasing your dreams, believing in yourself and being determined to succeed but what I loved most about it is that it is not sugar-coated.  It highlights the hardships of life in that era – both for those who went to war and for those who stayed behind.    I won’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil it for you!    Let’s just say that it’s poignant, tear-jerking and extremely moving and yet life-affirming, passionate and bold all at the same time.  A super stocking filler for anyone, even if football isn’t ‘their’ game.

Our Beautiful Game

Maria’s Island  – Victoria Hislop (author), Gill Smith (illustrator), Walker Books Ltd (publisher), recommended reading age: 8-12 years

What a beautifully illustrated book.  Based on the bestselling novel, “The Island”, this hardback book, retelling the story for children is an exquisite gift.  It’s a powerful tale of sorrow and separation but also of love, hope, true courage and friendship.  Leprosy is a disease which many children may not have even heard of now but this story tells the young reader, in a gentle but effective way, about the social stigma that has been attached to it and the extreme discrimination, seclusion and hardship that those people with leprosy endured and still endure if they do not have access to the effective cure.

Maria’s Island 

Twitch – M.G. Leonard (author), Walker Books UK Ltd (publisher), recommended reading age: 8-13 years

This has been one of the best books of the year for this age range in my opinion.  It’s a wonderful and poignant story about a boy called Corvus, whose nickname is Twitch.    He is an avid bird watcher and bird lover and my daughter and I learned a thing or two about the avian world from reading this book.  My daughter didn’t like the fact that Twitch was picked on and bullied at school but loved the ending of the story when everyone came to support Twitch for standing up for what he believed in.  It’s a fast-paced page turner of an adventure centred on catching a thief.  With strong threads of friendship, respect and love for nature (although we did feel sorry for the poor cats getting a soaking from Twitch and his Mum) and acceptance of people for who they are, this is a great little stocking filler of a book for this age range.

Twitch - M.G. Leonard (author), Walker Books UK Ltd (publisher), recommended reading age: 8-13 years

Extraordinary Travellers: The Clock Thief (reviewer’s own copy) Karen Beddow and Lyndsay Macaulay (authors), Aleyna Moeller (illustrator)

My eldest and I were eagerly awaiting this next instalment of the Extraordinary Travellers because we loved the first one so much (my daughter re-reads it on a fairly regular basis!) and The Clock Thief does not disappoint.  We love the way the story is broken up with facts about the country that the travellers are visiting (in this case, Spain) and the brilliant way it teaches children words from another language and gives them the phonetic spellings of these too to assist with pronunciation.  Such a clever way to get children learning about a second language without even realising it. Set in Spain, this is a fast-paced adventure across the country to help the King of Spain discover who is stealing the country’s most valuable time-pieces and why?  This is a super book to pop in your child’s stocking this Christmas (and you will maybe learn a thing or two yourself -I know I did!).

Extraordinary Travellers

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City – Rob Biddulph (author and illustrator) – Macmillan Children’s Books (publisher), recommended reading age: 9-11 years

My eldest daughter absolutely loves Rob Biddulph.  He’s her favourite author and the reason she would like to be a basket-ball-playing, horse-riding, vet-artist when she grows up!  So, you can imagine the joy on her face when she knew that he was producing a chapter book for children.  And this book lives up to it.  It’s a wonderful, page-turner of an adventure about a girl called Peanut Jones and her family, which zips into a world of colour and creativity called Chroma.  Peanut, her little sister and Peanut’s study buddy from school, Rockwell, become caught up in magical land full of danger and excitement, trying to save that world from losing its sparkle and creativity whilst also locating her missing father.  It’s a tale of friendship and bravery, celebrating creativity and artistry in the loveliest of ways.  Rob’s drawings provide humour and wit throughout and I just can’t wait to see what happens next.  A real cliff-hanger of a book which will keep your child entertained in the Christmas holidays.

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City

The Fowl Twins Get What They Deserve – Eoin Colfer (author), HarperCollins Children’s Books (publishers), recommended reading age: 10-14 years

This is the latest in the series featuring Myles and Beckett, Artemis Fowl’s younger twin brothers.  It’s a super show-down between the twins and their arch-nemesis, Lord Teddy Bleedham-Drye, full of explosions, gadgets, fairy magic, twists, turns and secrets.  The Fowl Twins and Lazuli are brilliant in this book and I think it would be a super ‘chapter-a-night’ read because there is a cliff-hanger at every turn.  Will the twins manage to rid the world of the evil Lord Teddy?  No spoilers here but this is a fantastical book with elements of the unbelievable and huge amounts of silliness which will have your young reader in stitches.

The Fowl Twins Get What They Deserve

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