The 12 Days Of Blogmas – Day 1 – Children’s Book Reviews

AD | Books were gifted in return for a review | All opinions are my own

Well it has been a while! Work is definitely keeping me very busy at the moment so sorry for being quiet but I am hoping it will eventually settle into a bit more of a routine!

I thought I would come back with a bang and attempt 12 posts between now and Christmas and the first one today is a round up of some of the children’s books we have read in the past couple of months – some great recommendations for Christmas!

I have linked the books to buy from my Amazon shop and if you could get them from the link I would be grateful – while it does not affect the price or service for you, I get a little commission fro recommending them which can go towards keeping the blog running. I hope you enjoy these recommendations – let me know which one you want to read first in the comments below!

What the Ladybird Heard at Christmas

by Julia Donaldson

The Blurb

Packed full of fun, What the Ladybird Heard at Christmas is a fantastically lively rhyming adventure from the bestselling picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.

In a big old house, the ladybird is visiting her friend the spider for the festive season. But those two bad men, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len, are up to no good again. They have a devious plan – to steal the children’s Christmas presents from their stockings! It’s a good thing that the clever little ladybird has overheard their awful plotting, and she has a cunning plan to make sure they don’t get away with it.

The fifth title in the Number One bestselling series from the award-winning team of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, which has been enjoyed by over four million children worldwide.

Enjoy more adventures with the clever little ladybird in What the Ladybird Heard, What the Ladybird Heard Next, What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday and What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside.

What I Thought

Julia Donaldson can’t really do wrong in my eyes so no surprise that I loved the latest version of the ladybird series!

A rhyming book is one I always enjoy reading and I love hearing about Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh’s latest hijinks. The bright, colourful illustrations will have little ones captivated and this would make a great addition to any Christmas Eve box to read at bedtime before the big man’s visit!

Where To Buy

Buy in my Amazon shop

A Christmas Carol (Easy Classics)

The Charles Dickens Children’s Collection

by Philip Gooden

The Blurb

Who can help a mean old man to love Christmas? How about a ghost? (…or three!)

Scrooge’s heart is colder than snow, he’s richer than half the banks in England and meaner than, well, everyone. But when three seriously spooky ghosts turn up to take him on an adventure through time, he soon learns that being cold isn’t cool. Can he change his ways before it’s too late?

About The Charles Dickens Children’s Collection:
Bah humbug! Who says the classics are just for adults? Join Ebeneezer Scrooge on his ghostly Christmas adventure, or follow orphaned Oliver Twist from rags to riches in some of literature’s most famous tales from the foggy streets of Victorian London.Adapted and illustrated for children aged 7+. 

About Sweet Cherry Easy Classics:
Sweet Cherry Easy Classics adapts classic literature into stories for children, introducing these timeless tales to a new generation.

What I Thought

This is a great retelling of the Christmas classic, in a way children will understand and enjoy. There are some fun illustrations along the way which I am sure will amuse the kids too. Both of my boys have always loved this story and Leo actually read the Dickens full version a couple of Christmases ago.

A great one to pick up if you are interested in starting on the classics with your children but want it in an age appropriate way – an excellent retelling.

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

I Saw Santa’s Underpants

A Funny Rhyming Christmas Story for Kids Ages 4-8

by Bobbie Hinman

The Blurb

When Santa has an unfortunate mishap, a young boy and his dog are shocked by what they see.

He will need ingenuity to figure out how to help Santa out of this embarrassing situation.

A laugh-out-loud funny children’s picture book that:

  • Demonstrates problem solving at its best
  • Provides opportunities for family bonding
  • Utilizes fun rhymes to help children develop reading skills

Grab yours now and start a new Christmas tradition.

What I Thought

A funny little rhyming story for Christmas time! This is well written and perfectly pitched for this age group and readers who love a cheeky story!

We really liked the illustrations too, which complimented the story throughout. A big thumbs up from us and a perfect stocking filler or Christmas Eve box addition.

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

Bob Hartman’s Rhyming Christmas

by Bob Hartman (author) and Mark Beech (illustrator)

The Blurb

One HUMP, two HUMPS, lumpety-lump,

The star-watchers went with BUMP and a THUMP.

One HUMP, two HUMPS, lumpety-lump,

The star-watchers followed the star.

Discover the angel Gabriel, Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the three kings and the baby Jesus as you’ve never seen them before in Bob Hartman’s Rhyming Christmas. A delightfully funny and vibrant retelling in rhyme of the story of Christmas, this is a poem that children and grown-ups will love to read and perform – whether at home, in church or in school.

The Nativity story is wonderfully retold by master storyteller Bob Hartman in this entertaining picture book for 3-5 year olds. With memorable rhymes that young children will eagerly be joining in with, Bob Hartman’s Rhyming Christmas is the perfect way to introduce this most beloved Bible story to kids in a way that’s accessible and easily understood.

Mark Beech’s bright, colourful illustrations bring this Bible story book to life, and there are pages for children to colour in themselves. The clear, simple text is ideal for young children just starting to read and for adults to read aloud, and is perfect for performing all together.

Bob Hartman’s Rhyming Christmas is a picture book that will enchant children and parents alike, and is ideal for reading alongside Bob Hartman’s Rhyming Bible and the Rhyming Parable series. It is also a brilliant story time resource for KS1 teachers, Sunday School teachers and those involved in children’s ministry looking for fresh ways of staging the Nativity. Kids will learn about the Biblical story of Christmas in an entertaining and engaging way, and gain a new understanding of the heart of the Christian faith.

What I Thought

I absolutely loved the illustrations in this one – they were fun and quirky! However, the rhyming let the book down unfortunately!

I love a rhyming story, they are great fun to read to both my children and my class. The rhyming here did not always follow the same rhythm though, and some of it just did not rhyme at all! Rather than making it a fun read and a great way to teach the nativity story to young children, it just became a bit disjointed.

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

How to be More Hedgehog

by Anne-Marie Conway

The Blurb

Lily has a stammer. The signal between her brain and her mouth is all messed up – and it’s getting worse. When a video of her practicing her class presentation is uploaded onto YouTube – head thrust forward, eyelids fluttering, lips stretched wide – Lily’s nightmare begins. Cyberbullying, kids at school whispering, even best friend Mia laughing behind her back. Lily’s confidence takes a nose-dive and she can only see one way out: run away to Dad in Scotland and start all over again. But Lily quickly realises that running away isn’t the answer – that her stammer will follow her wherever she goes… HOW TO BE MORE HEDGEHOG is about friendship and family and finding the courage to speak out.


Advance Praise

“As a stammerer I found Lily’s story inspiring and moving in equal measure. Many people who stammer will recognise her experiences as being very real. I wish this book had been there for me when I was growing up.” – Felicity Baker

‘So full of kindness and humanity. An elixir for the spirit!’ Zillah Bethell

“The story of Lily and how she deals with her stammer is touching and inspiring and above all firmly based in real experience . . . it turns negatives into positives and in the end shows Lily has strengths that make her as tough and as capable as any of her schoolmates.” – MICHAEL PALIN

“Moving, Inspirational. I couldn’t put it down.” – Sophie Raworth

What We Thought

Our most recent bedtime book finished, we had to share this brilliant book! Both me and Riley loved this one and couldn’t wait to get to reading another chapter or three of a night time!

We have had a few disappointments in our bedtime story telling lately but this one saved the month for us and got us back on track. It is so great to see more books coming out that have children with a range of SEND and additional needs – in this story the main character Lily, has a stammer. Riley is full of empathy and understanding – he has a mum with a range of disabilities and has visited my classroom (I’m a SEND teacher) and loves coming to see the children – but this story still gave rise to some great conversations.

As well as her stammer, Lily struggled with many things that a lot of kids do today – cyber bullying, a parent’s break up and trouble with her best friend for starters! The story was brilliantly told and is perfect for kids aged 8-12, to read together or by themselves.

Where To Buy

Buy from my Amazon shop

I hope you have enjoyed reading what we thought of these fab children’s books and look forward to hearing what you think of them! Happy reading,

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