Brilliant children’s Christmas books (that adults will love too)

November 26, 2016

Children’s Christmas books! Combining books, Christmas, reading and childhood nostalgia; what’s not to love? Here’s some ideas for brilliant children’s books for Christmas that grown-ups will love too.

Children's Christmas books nad Ikea spice rack bookshelves - a review of four children's books for Christmas that grown-ups will love too, from an interactive iPad book to a kid's classic

While I’ve temporarily misplaced my love of reading books for myself, there’s always time for more children’s books and Christmas books are a big part of the festive season for us. Growing up we always read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve so it’s something we do now and I’ve just ordered this childhood favourite – and this slightly younger version – to start a new / old tradition from this year.

We’ve been sent four books that would be great to give as gifts or read on or around Christmas. So here’s four brilliant children’s books for Christmas (that adults will love too).

Children's Christmas books - review and gift guide

Make sure you also read my posts on the hidden perils of picking the bedtime book and everything I learned from Judy Blume.

My Kingdom Books personalised books

My Kingdom children’s books are really clever interactive books where the story is personalised to your child’s name…

Interactive books for children - My Kingdom

And in a clever technological twist, come alive with the help of your iPad:

My Kingdom personalised children's books for Christmas

The book tells the tale of a Princess – or Prince – who lives in a kingdom where a wicked witch has stolen all the fun *shock horror*. She has to go on a quest to get it back, meeting characters along the way who spell out ‘her’ name (you child’s name).

And using the My Kingdom iPad app the story is animated and  props, building, characters and letters come alive. It uses the same technology as Pokemon Go, another massive favourite in our house, so this has been a big hit.

Interactive iPad books for children - My Kingdom My Kingdom - interactive personalised children's books

Children absolutely love anything with their name in, don’t they? So the personalisation aspect is lovely (and also helps younger children with spelling). At the moment the only aspect you can personalise is the name and choice of prince or princess, but being able to change the appearance, especially skin colour, would be a good future addition to the story to make it inclusive for everyone.

The story really works and would be brilliant for children who are more into technology than reading as a way to hook them in, as it really adds an extra dimension. What’s also good is that it doesn’t rely totally on the iPad and works as stand-alone story too.

Definitely one for gadget-loving mums and dads (and their children).

My Kingdom interative ipad books for children

V&A Fashion Mash-up book

Spoiler alert, I LOVE this book, possibly more than my children do, and they love it an awful lot. It is many, many things, all of them fashionably brilliant. If you’re a fan of The September Issue then you will love this.

V&A fashion mash-up book - clothes timelines

The Fashion Mash-up book is a history of fashion (with images from the V&A museum archive) along with stylish quotes, photos, push-out paper dolls that you can colour in or dress up to play with and millions of stickers.

V&A fashion mash-up children's book review

There are also Instagram backgrounds for you (*ahem* your child) to pose your dolls in front of and take photos.

V&A fashion mash-up book reveiew - children's christmas present

Written by fashion blogger Isabelle O’Carolle and illustrated by Daisy Villeneuve, it looks fantastic and is fantastic and works for so many different ages on so many different levels. It costs  around £15, buy it here.

Alexander McQueen quote - fashion is like a bubble, V&A fashion mash-up book review

Otto the Book Bear in the Snow (by Katie Cleminson)

Otto and the book bear review - children's books for Christmas

Spoiler alert, this is brilliant too! We’ve not read any of the Otto books before, but oh MY – we all loved this one. It’s a book about the magic of books and reading, which is pretty magical.

It’s about a book bear called Otto who lives with his book in the library, along with fellow book bear Ernest (!). They love nothing more than their book being read, but when it – and they – gets taken out of the library pretty close to Christmas they worry that they will miss the library Christmas party.

What follows is a quest of epic, LOTR proportions wrapped up in a wintery-themed children’s book with beautiful illustrations as they battle against fate and the elements to make in time for the party.

We thought this was really brilliant. To quote the Manic Street Preachers (because why not), libraries gave us power – and Otto is a total hero for the modern day and being wrapped up in this story is an anecdote for currently wordly woes. Buy it here. I’m also going to get the first Otto book for the girls (/ me) for Christmas.

Otto the book bear in the snow - review

The Snowman

And finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without The Snowman would it?

The Snowman children's book

This is the classic of all children’s Christmas books. We watch the cartoon every Christmas (and the slightly cheerier Snowman and the Snowdog) but the book is no less beautiful and doesn’t age at all.

I always forget that it’s pictures-only, no words, which make it more imaginative.

The Snowman - classic children's christmas book

Warning: the ending doesn’t get any less brutal the older you get and no matter how frozen your heart is. Buy it here.

P.S. it’s not too early! We watched our first Christmas film – Home Alone – a few weeks ago…although we don’t tend to get our tree until mid-December, what about everyone else?

We were sent all these books for the purpose of this review, all options are my own. Contains affiliate links. More posts – easy children’s Christmas decorations, how to toddler-proof Christmas and an alternative gift guide for mums


  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure

    November 28, 2016 at 1:01 am

    The interactive book looks brilliant! I think my other half would love reading that with the kids, I may have to add it onto their (or his) Christmas list

  • Alison

    November 28, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Ok all of these are going on my shopping list – they all look so good! G would love the My Kingdom book in particular. Thanks Gill!

  • Keri-Anne

    November 28, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    You have reminded me how much i love the snowman book. I really want to get it this year to read with the girls on christmas eve night before bed. x

  • Polly Davies

    November 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    oh we love the snowman book! these all look great

  • Alice

    November 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Love these recommendations Gill but The Snowman will ALWAYS be my favourite Christmas kid’s book 🙂

  • Fritha

    November 28, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I just got that fashion mash up book and it’s amzinf ! It would have been so what I would have put on my list when I was younger x

  • Eleanor (TheBristolParent)

    November 29, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    We have the original Otto story, it’s a firm favourite. I’m afraid The Snowman is a no from me. I can barely look at him without crying as it is!

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