Books to keep the kids happy

If you’ve got grannies and aunties and all sorts asking for gift ideas for small people – or if you’re racking your brains for neat books to buy for nieces, nephews, godchildren, whoever – then you can stop worrying.  Leaf Cafe in Hertford, an independent children’s bookstore (and purveyor of lush cake), has put together the perfect list to help.

The first one on the list is a board book for the very young, and the first 5 are picture books – so think up to about 6.  For the rest, think 7-12 year olds – with the last one being probably the top end of that age group.

Rebecca at Leaf really knows her stuff, so you can rest assured there’ll be smiling faces should this lot turn up under a tree near you this year!

Duck and Goose, It’s Time for Christmas by Tad Hills 


As Duck and Goose get ready for Christmas, Goose is more interested in skating, sledding, and making snow angels than in helping Duck decorate their Christmas tree. While Goose has the time of his life in the snow, it seems poor Duck will be left to do all the work. Another charming board book from Tad Hills which is the perfect stocking filler.

The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter H. Reynolds

 smallest gift

We can all empathise with wanting the biggest presents at Christmas but sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for.  Will Roland know the best present when he sees it?  A heartwarming tale perfect for Christmas.

Socks for Santa by Adam and Charlotte Guillain


Join George as he is travels to the North Pole to try and deliver presents to Santa for a change!  But when he gets there Santa and the elves are in trouble – can George save Christmas? Another brilliantly funny book from the creators of Spaghetti with the Yeti.

Lucy and Tom’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes

 lucy and tom

It’s Christmas, and Lucy and Tom are getting ready!  There are cards to make, a tree to decorate and presents to hide… This classic picture book from the creator of Dogger is the perfect book for Christmas excitement.

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers 


Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred… but what happens when you find a friend who is not imaginary – what will happen to Fred?  This is a brilliant new release about the nature of friendship from two children’s lit heavyweights and is a fabulous present.

Mister Cleghorn’s Seal by Judith Kerr


What do you do if you find an abandoned seal pup on a rock in the middle of the sea?  Well, take it home with you to your flat, of course!  At least that’s what Mr Cleghorn thought, though perhaps he hadn’t considered all the implications.  A lovely tale about generosity of spirit from the creator of The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb

 return to the secret garden

Return to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless classic The Secret Garden in this magical sequel by bestselling author Holly Webb. It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor. Emmie is far from happy but soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a garden. A very secret garden…

The Person Controller by David Baddiel

 person controller

Fred and Ellie are sent a video controller by a mystery man which doesn’t look like any other controller they’ve ever seen. And it doesn’t control any of their usual games. When the twins find out what it does control, though, it seems like the answer to all their problems. And the key to all their wildest dreams. At least it seems like that… Another hilarious and brilliant read from the creator of the Parent Agency

The Last Wild by Piers Torday


When Kester finds a flock of excited pigeons in his bedroom and finds out that they can talk to him he starts on a journey which will mean that his life is never quite the same again.  Thought-provoking and challenging, Piers Torday’s trilogy is a must read and this is definitely a book to get you thinking.  Check out The Dark Wild and The Wild Beyond, too, to complete the set!

The Secrets of the Wild Wood by Tonke Dragt and translated by Laura Watkinson

 wild wood

The long awaited sequel to The Letter for the King sees a hero facing his greatest test, surrounded by darkness in a world where good and evil wear the same face.  A brilliant and thrilling read, guaranteed to make the holiday period enjoyable.

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