I love children’s books, probably a little too much! Each bookcase in the girls’ bedrooms is overflowing and there are little stashes of books all over the house! I’ve read nearly 100 books for children in our Facebook group which started during lockdown to provide free teaching for children in Reception, year 1 and year 2. I’m still reading on the group just weekly now but I still love it, even though my bank balance is less keen as I use it as an excuse to buy more! I often get asked for book recommendations and with Christmas on the horizon (looming a little too fast for my liking) I thought I’d share my top recommendations for books as gifts, just click on the images to buy striaght from Amazon.
I’ve listed the ages that they would be most suitable for and the best bits but all children are different so the age ranges could expand. I’d love to know if you have extra recommendations too, we will share all comments and contributions on social media!
Just to let you know the links in this blog are affiliate links which means we earn a very tiny amount if you click through and buy from here. We won’t be offended if you’d rather search direct for the books but it helps us to keep creating content for you if you do buy through here.
Ok, here’s my top 10 (it’s actually 11 and possibly more with box sets, oops!)
What’s it all about? A brilliant book with engaging pictures, words and ideas. Think ‘Where’s Wally but more educational. There are 26 pages and on each 26 objects to search for. It is our the current favourite in our house, my 1 year old loves finding the mouse that is hiding on each page and my four year old loves discovering new words and searching for things that begins with sounds she has learnt at school.
Perfect for: Age 1-6
Best bits: Great gift for siblings as it suits a wide age range and lovely because it will last so long, the ways to use it are really vast.
What’s it all about? This is the most beautiful children’s encyclopaedia of animals that I’ve ever seen. I’ve bought it for so many friend’s children and it seems to have become a favourite in their houses too. This book has a page per animal and the text is well written, it is short and sweet but gives interesting and sometimes funny factual information. For each animal there are stunning photographs and incredible illustrations which is such a lovely mix to see in a book.
Perfect for: Age 4-8 (the text is appropriate for approximately age 5/6 to begin to read depending on how competent they are)
Best bits: The pictures! This could easily be a coffee table book it’s so beautiful.
What’s it all about? A story about human connection. This is such a wonderful story about we are connected to others by love and in 2020 it’s message could not be more helpful and perfect. My four year old adores this as a bedtime read and will talk about all of the people who she has invisible strings with, it’s a tear jerker for sure!
Perfect for: Age 3-8 and for any children who are missing friends and family (also helpful for talking about grief and loss)
Best bits: The message, this is a story which will form part of your family conversations about love and connection to others. This would be a lovely gift for those you are unable to be physically with this year.
What’s it all about? The Goose stories are created by Devon Artist Laura Wall. They are brightly coloured with simple and engaging text and illustrations. Both my girls love the stories and Goose goes to School is a big hit. We’ve got lots of the collection, other favourites include – Goose Gets Ready (a baby book) Goose Goes to the Zoo and Goose goes Shopping!
Perfect for: Ages 0-6 (The text would be appropriate for age 5/6 to begin to read depending on their competence)
Best bits: These books would be really lovely if you always buy for a family or child and want to start a tradition. There are a huge number of stories and you could buy one per birthday, Christmas and other celebrations.
Not all of the books are available on amazon, here’s a link to Laura’s Goose shop – this isn’t an affiliate link:
What’s it all about? This book is from a company called Mrs Wordsmith which I regularly recommend to parents and teachers alike. They have brilliant resources to support children learning new words and developing their language from phonics games to dictionaries. This word a day book is brilliant for helping children to learn new words, understand their meaning and put them into context. The illustrations are bright and funny, they are really engaging for all.
Perfect for: Ages 4-8 (The storytellers dictionary is fab for older children and really supports reluctant writers to develop their use of language. It’s especially popular with boys)
Best bits: A great gift for a child or teacher and something that is fun yet really educational.
What’s it all about? Ok so not technically a book but instead a collection of stories and songs by the very wonderful Julia Donaldson. We were given the older version as a gift when Lily was 1 and it’s been so well used. Great stories and songs to listen to in the car and on children’s CD players. You can also get versions on audible and Amazon are offering a free trial which could be timed perfectly if you’ve got a long journey coming up!
Perfect for: Ages 1-6
Best bits: A lovely gift for siblings or a younger child as the stories are entertaining for years. I still love them!
What’s it all about? A beautifully illustrated story about cleaning up our beaches. This is the only book in the list which we don’t own yet, it’s Vix’s family favourite and as beach lovers it looks perfect.
(edit: I have just ordered it, I really don’t need any more books but I couldn’t resist)
Perfect for: Ages 1-6
Best bits: A powerful and important message told in a lovely way for children to understand.
Another story I love with a powerful message about protecting our planet is Elephant in my Kitchen, here’s a little link to that one too!)
What’s it all about? I just can’t pick a favourite book from Oliver Jeffers. All of his stories are incredible; they are moving, funny and relatable. The illustrations are captivating and engaging for children and adults alike. This link is to a collection of four stories about discoveries and friendships. You can buy them separately too and he is an author I would definitely recommend if you’re looking to start buying a collection for a gifts. One Oliver Jeffers book for each celebration would be such a lovely idea.
Perfect for: Ages 1-7 but wonderful for older children too (I’ve used the stories with children aged 11 and know as an adult I love to read them too!)
Best bits: Thought provoking and interesting stories that will spark discussion, curiosity and imagination.
I also love ‘Here we are’ and Oliver has new book out – ‘What we’ll Build’ Links here:
Ok, I’ve had to force myself to stop here. I could go on listing my favourites for another 50 or so books. I think these give a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, age range and suitability. If you don’t think any of these would suit and want some more ideas just pop us a message giving some details about the child/ family you’re hoping to buy for. I promise I’ll have something to recommend!
I really hope this list has given you some inspiration, wishing you happy shopping!