Hello, friends. Want to see what books my children are getting for Christmas this year? This first is for my five-year-old (“five-and-a-HALF” she would correct me, if she could but read!).
I chose the Taschen edition of The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, edited by Noel Daniel, because the illustrations are so lovely and laden with history. Several months ago, I wrote about realizing that we’d accidentally skipped most fairy tales with our son, who’s now 8. He still finds them too dark and haunting, for the most part, but our daughter is a different creature entirely and I think she’s going to be delighted.
This summer, I fell in love with The Night Gardener, by Terry and Eric Fan, pretty much at first sight.
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is one of my own childhood favourites. Our daughter is our own little Wild Thing and this feels just right for her.
Our son is an exuberant Chris Hadfield fan, so The Darkest Dark was an obvious choice. I haven’t yet read it but it seems like a good choice for any child who’s afraid of the dark. And the luminous illustrations are by the Fan Brothers, who wrote The Night Gardener!
We already own and adore Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim’s You Are Stardust. I can’t recommend it highly enough and it’s my go-to birthday party gift for six- and seven-year-olds. It might seem odd to give picture books to children who read at a middle-grade level but at its core, You Are Stardust is a gorgeously illustrated introduction to ontology. We have high hopes for its sequel, Wild Ideas!
Our eight-year-old has asked Santa for Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man…
The Monkey King myths are another important part of my childhood: my grandfather read them to my brother and me, translating from Chinese as he went. I can’t do that for our children but I do like Wei Dong Chen’s re-telling of the story, Monkey King: Birth of the Stone Monkey. It might turn out to be a bit too scary but we’ll see.
And that’s our list. What are you reading and gifting?
P. S. This is one of my last posts before an indefinite blog hiatus. If you’d like to keep in touch, please sign up for my newsletter by clicking here, or using the form at the bottom of the page.