Great Gift Ideas # 3 Crazy Christmas Books

Before you race out to spend a fortune on the latest toy this Christmas, check out these crazy Christmas books. They are more fun than a box of crayons and can be enjoyed individually or with a loved one. How’s that for value. And there is enough Christmas spirit in each one to jingle your Christmas bells well into the new year! Enjoy the roundup.

A Miniature Christmas Anthology edited by Beattie Alvarez

Each year the good folk at Christmas Press present an entertaining seasonal anthology for kids. This year, A Miniature Christmas explores the, you guessed it, miniature worlds of all things tiny from genies, mice, elves, fuchsia fairies, even app characters! Several well -known authors and illustrators share their short stories alongside new names in the children’s literary world, each crafting tales that intrigue, entertain and make you ponder. For example:

The Funactor by Oliver Phommavanh is a clever observation of our 21st obsession with apps.

Goblin Christmas by Ian Irvine combines urban social issues with fantasy that has a touch of Harry Potter mystic about it.

George the Genie by Dianne Bates has all the form, plot and cheeky wisdom of a classic fairytale whilst Small Creatures by Rebecca Fung is just plain good fun.

The stories are short enough to share with your child each night on the countdown to Christmas, with special drawings to enhance the magic of each tale. This collection would make a jolly Christmas stocking addition for young primary aged readers.

Christmas Press November 2018

Macca’s Christmas Crackers by Matt Cosgrove

For me, this is the best of the Macca instalments by far. Funny, fast paced and full of Christmas cheer coupled with a warming message about the true spirit of Christmas, this seasonal romp with Macca the Alpaca reminds us that the best Christmases need not cost anything but love, friendship and goodwill. A cheerful lesson for kids (that is not the slightest bit preachy or forced) and a timely reminder for us big kids to slow down and regain seasonal perspective. Aztec bright and brilliant!

Koala Books, Scholastic October 2018

We’re Going on an Elf Chase by Martha Mumford and Laura Hughes

The Bunny family are on the hop again, this time frolicking through the snow in a festive romp in search of elves. Centred around the classic, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, trope, this is a jolly galumph that features lots of lift the flap fun and accumulates in an almighty surprise. Great involvement for kids as young as 10 months supported by lots of eye-catching illustrations.

Bloomsbury November 2018

The Aussie ABC Christmas by Nancy Bevington

This is not just another ABC picture book; it’s quintessentially Aussie bursting with Pavlovas, fireworks, snoring relatives, the Opera House and so much more. There’s even the obligatory Hills Hoist – now an almost forgotten relic. Get the kids involved with some unique Christmas inspired Australiana this year. Highly recommended for 3 – 6-year-olds.

New Frontier Publishing October 2018

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Johnny Marks and Louis Shea

If you love the carol and love Rudolph – and who doesn’t – then you simply must include this on your book list. Marks includes a CD with this simple reproduction of the classic song of Rudolph’s story of fitting in and standing out but everything is made so much more dynamic by Shea’s supreme illustrations. Festive. Fun. Cheeky. And  downright charming. Toddlers and above will be thrilled to bits to sing-a-long to this.

Scholastic Australia October 2018

Excuse Me, Santa! by Dave Hughes and Holly Ife Illustrated by Philip Bunting

I have to confess, I’m not a huge Martha May fan – there are other picture books that encapsulate the fun of a fart much better I think. However, this Chrissy version, superbly illustrated by Philip Bunting again, trumps the first Martha May Excuse Me! Especially as we can all relate to poor old Santa’s growing problem after a gutful of rich fruity pud. Fun and sparkly and definitely one to share in between courses on Christmas day. The kids will love it.

Scholastic Press October 2018

Hopping Around Christmas Tree by John Marks, Benjamin Johnston and Colin Buchanan

This is another CD bonus book guaranteed to jive away any post-Christmas feast malaise. Bobbing, rocking and HOPPING around the Christmas tree with a backyard of Aussie animals will appeal to pre-schoolers in the brightest, bounciest ways.

Scholastic Australia October 2018

Santa Claus vs the Easter Bunny by Fred Blunt

This is a story about two old favourites – well three if you include chocolate, which I do – thrust together in a tale of learning to compromise, working together and friendship. Amusing and very apt for the festive season plus you get to drag it out again at Easter time for the littlies. I love the duality of this tale almost as much as EB’s dour expressions and Santa’s comical nonchalance. Super funny for 4 – 6-year-olds.

Allen & Unwin Children’s October 2018

Santa’s High-Tech Christmas by Mike Dumbleton and Angela Perrini

Santa gets about just fine in his vintage VW replica sleigh but must adapt to the new age. His aptness with high-tech gear is sadly wanting however and when he loses all the Good and Naughty data on his new techno-pad, it looks like Christmas is in big trouble. Enter tech-savvy Jasmin, who not only gets his gear working but also offers 24/7 back up support. Imagine! When she does come to his aid again, there’s a very cool surprise twist in store. This is a gloriously rendered modern-age tale suffused with humility, altruism and cool gadgets that will make 3 – 6-year-olds smile and the rest of us love Santa even more because he’ll remind you of you!

New Frontier Publishing October 2018

Dear Santa by Elise Hartley and Shannon Horsfall

I am an absolute fan of pen pals, letter writing and Santa. Combine all three and you’ve got my full attention. This ‘open and read’ interactive picture book is a beaut epistolary-styled Christmas journey through the lives and gift-list wishes of a gamut of animals. Humorous letter sharing reveals the characters’ true personality quirks and their Christmas must-haves. Thanks to Hartley’s witty narrative, these critters write with candour and comic charm. Horsfall’s drawings are a sublime hoot. There is so much to lift, slide out, read and chuckle over; this is a definite crowd pleaser. Dear Santa is the ideal gift promoting the ancient art of letter writing. Use it to fine-tune your letter to Santa this year.

Scholastic Australia October 2018

Mince Spies by Mark Sperring and Sophie Corrigan

Something or someone is destroying all the Christmas treats in the supermarkets. Santa is distraught and sends in his A team – the Mince Pies, on a mission to rescue our beloved seasonal favourite sweetmeats. Mince Pies is a glorious rambunctious festive rhyming romp of mystery and mayhem that ultimately comes to the defence of one of Christmas’s most despised festive menu necessities (to say which one would spoil your appetite but they are green and round and offensive to many!) Mince Pies is perfect for sharing with the whole family this Christmas. Delicious fun and my pick of the silly season of good stories because it’s time to give more than ‘peas’ a chance.

Bloomsbury Children’s Books November 2018

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Published by

Dimity Powell

Dimity Powell likes to fill every spare moment with words. She writes and reviews stories exclusively for kids and is the Managing Editor for Kids’ Book Review. Her word webs appear in anthologies, school magazines, junior novels, as creative digital content, and picture books - you'll find them all here at Boomerang Books. Dimity is a useless tweeter, sensational pasta maker and semi-professional chook wrangler. She believes picture books are food for the soul and should be consumed at least 10 times a week.