Welcome to the BG Christmas Gift Guide 2011. Books are one of the most brilliant and versatile presents you can give and there are some corkers around this year. We’ve rounded up the best arty, festive and just darn fabulous titles out there for a range of ages.
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Miller Goodman’s Shapemaker and Playshapes are modern classics and their latest tome is bound to be a favourite on nursery bookshelves everywhere with its selection of quirky faces constructed from everyday objects and influenced by artists. Faces by Miller Goodman (Tate, RRP Â£12.99).
From Everybody Poos! to Play All Day, Taro Gomi’s books are absolute must-haves. This three-board-book set contains the delightful Spring is Here, My Friends and Bus Stop. Taro Gomi Board Book Box Set (Chronicle Books, RRP Â£12.99).
If you’re looking for a feel-good festive tale, you can’t go far wrong with Just Right by Birdie Black and Rosalind Beardshaw (Nosy Crow, RRP Â£9.99) which, rather aptly, promotes giving handmade gifts and recycling. Lovely.
Anyone who’s ever owned a dog will appreciate the sentiments in the beautifully illustrated Eli, No! by Katie Kirk (Abrams, RRP Â£9.99) – the tale of a disobedient canine who is still much loved by his family.
Collections of fairy tales are a perennial and timeless gift. I’m loving the trad vibe of The Bloomsbury Nursery Treasury by Patricia BorlenghiÂ Â (Bloomsbury, RRP Â£12.99) which includes Little Red Riding Hood and The Ugly Duckling.
The 10 Best Games in the World by Ã€ngels Navarro (Thames & Hudson, RRP Â£14.95) would be a good buy for a whole family. It does exactly what it says on the tin, containing everything you need to play the top pursuits from around the globe.
It’s Richard Scarry. It’s a big book of stories. Say no more. Great Big Storybook by Richard Scarry (Five Mile Press, RRP Â£8.99)
If you know a stylish, art-loving toddler, buy them The Conductor by Laetitia Devernay (Chronicle Books, RRP Â£11.99). Exquisite illustrations and that certain je ne sais quoi that comes of being French. Plus, it’s wordless, so there’s plenty of opportunity to create your own story.
I’m loving the bright, quirky interactive board book Move & Match: Animal Opposites by Natalie Marshall (Five Mile Press, RRP Â£9.99). There’s also Things That Go for little petrolheads.
Pop-ups are terrific fun. We’re Going to A Party by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen, RRP Â£7.99) is a tale of dressing up with a twist in the tail, while BG fave Jennie Maizels’ Pop-Up London (Walker, RRP Â£14.99) is a gloriously detailed exploration of our capital city.
I’ve long been a fan of Alison Jay’s whimsical drawings, so I was pleased to see she’d turned her hand to one of my favourite stories. Classic, Christmassy and all-round marvellous. The Nutcracker by Alison Jay (Templar, RRP Â£10.99)
I don’t know about you, but we adore Elmer the patchwork elephant and his adventures with his crazy friends and family. David McKee’s illustrations are a joy and this festive story is no exception. Elmer & Papa Red by David McKee (Andersen, RRP Â£5.99)
I’m a firm believer in an early introduction to poetry. My grandma was always reciting poems to me and I’ve loved them ever since. The maestro Michael Rosen’s Even My Ears are Smiling (Bloomsbury, RRP Â£12.99) with funky illustrations by Babette Cole is a great introduction with rhymes witty enough to raise a smile from parents too.
Finally, one for mini fashionistas. You’ve never seen the Brothers Grimm’s Hansel & Gretel done with such style. A minimalist black cover and a book full of extraordinary silhouette paper-cuts. Actually, don’t give it away, keep it for yourself. Hansel & Gretel by Sybille Schenker (Minedition, RRP 19.99)
Look out for more gift guides, including stocking fillers, advent ideas and, of course, our favourites for ‘big people’ over the coming days and weeks.