Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Christmas Books

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

It’s Mid-November (already!) and in the blink of an eye, the bonfire night firecrackers have been replaced by shop fronts full of sparkly lights. So, as Christmas looms large over a frosty horizon, let us warm your cockles and please your budget with some great value gift ideas for little Christmas Elves of all ages! And free 2nd class postage on all UK orders over £20!

Fizz, Bang! – November Highlights

With all the great new books this month here are a couple of the literary rockets and roman candles that may have whooshed over your heads and we think it would be a huge shame for your kids to miss. Books like:

Double Down by Jeff Kinney (7+) – The Wimpy Kid is back for an 11th time! Sharp as ever and full of scenes that will have children doubled-up with laughter.

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (11+) – The 3rd instalment in super-realistic teen tribulations from visionary vlogger, Zoella.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (YA) – Demon hunting, courage, friendships and a massive dollop of self-discovery!

Fool-proof Festive Finds for Kids!

Christmas is coming! Let us help you turn your festive Fear to festive Cheer and give kids you know gifts that last forever!

A good book is a flight of fancy, a fantastic personal journey and can spark the imagination. And it’s pretty good value too! Win, win! See some highlights below or click here to see all our seasonal recommendations broken down by age range.

“Books for Book Lovers” – New ‘Walker Studio’ Imprint

A good book engages all the senses. This new imprint from leading independent children’s publisher, Walker Books, is focused on design, high-quality illustration and superlative content. Books that will entice readers from a distance and fill them with the urge to hold, open and devour them (metaphorically speaking!). It brings one-of-a-kind books together in one place and celebrates a love for the printed book.


2016’s Final Fruits – Julia Eccleshare’s Last Selection of the Year

This is it, the last list of stellar must-reads for kids from Guardian Children’s Book Editor Julia Eccleshare. Don’t panic, though, it’s only the last list of 2016! Click here to find out what’s hot this side of Christmas.

Irresistible Reading – James Patterson’s Middle School Series

Passionate about helping kids to enjoy reading and one of the biggest-selling writers of all time, James Patterson is a very good thing in our book! We just love his Middle School Series for kids aged 9+. Perfect for Wimpy Kid fans, these are fast-paced, funny, adventurous page-turners. The latest title is; Dog’s Best Friend, which is brilliant. Don’t just take our word for it, read the Reader Reviews! Oscar aged 8 said; “This is a laugh your socks off book with lots of wacky hijinks and cheeky puns”. Find out more.

Stockings are all booked up this year!

Ever heard of ‘big-sock shock’? It’s the anxiety caused by an empty stocking. Fear not fellow sufferers, we have just the thing to fit. Perfect pressies to light up their faces from Santa’s little helpers.

Prying Eyes, Eyeing the Prize! – Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

As prizes for children’s writing go, they don’t come bigger. The shortlist for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016 was announced this month.

Four fabulous novels vie for the top honours in an unenviable job for the judges. Why not check out the hopefuls here and judge for yourself?

Wizard World Spin-Offs!

JK Rowling’s Wizard World is filled with magical curiosities. Now fans can celebrate and explore with two spellbinding titles.

First, J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: A Pop-Up Gallery of Curiosities will provide a lasting, truly interactive and ornamental 3D showcase of some of the best-loved peculiarities from the Harry Potter movies. And talking of films, don’t miss the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, movie scrapbook! It’s an artifact-filled adventure through the latest Newt Scamander movie.

Happy Hamster Birthday Humphrey!

Can you believe it? Humphrey the Hamster (9+) is 10! What better time to catch up with the hilarious adventures of the classroom pet? It being November an’ all, a good place to start might be Christmas According to Humphrey, which you can find here!

100 Years of Wow! – Chronologica (9+)

From the makers of Whitaker’s Almanack, an addictive, informative and unrivalled journey through time, from the foundation of Rome to the creation of the internet. Chronologica The Incredible Years That Defined History (9+) is an entertaining and beautifully illustrated glimpse into where we are and what’s gone before us. Find out more here.

Next Steps! – If They Like, They’ll Love

The final page has turned on the last in a series by a favourite author. Where do you turn now? Well, here actually!

If they like Patrick Ness they’ll Love The Light that Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew. An unforgettable novel about revenge, abuses of authority and the redemptive power of friendship.

And if they are fans of The Hunger Games series they’ll Love the dark fantasy that is Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith, part of the Tantalize Series.

Boy Zone!

Nope, not the 90s Irish ‘take-home-to-meet-your-mum’ – boy band. This is about our brilliant Great Books for Boys category, which has been injected with new blood this month. New yet classic blood like; The Tigerboy by Ted Hughes (9+), a tale of difference and self-realisation from a former Poet Laureate.

Can’t Read, Won’t Read? – Think Again!

One of our missions is to help reluctant readers to gain the confidence to love reading and discover wonderful stories. That’s why we’ve dedicated a whole category to the fantastic books that are designed to help with exactly that! Books like:

Diary of a Trainee Rock God by Jonathan Meres (9+) and Jake McDonald – First-class, fact-filled story of ambition and aiming high.


The Sticky Witch by Hilary McKay (7+) – A gooey ‘let’s get out of here!’ tale of witchy hospitality and reluctant guests.

Book Week Scotland!

Nov 21-27 sees a week-long celebration of books and reading! People will be coming together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy. They’ll be joined by many of Scotland’s leading authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life. Don’t miss the ‘Authors Live’ broadcast with Charlie and Lola and Ruby Redfort creator Lauren Child. This and much, much more! Find out how you can get involved, here.

Make your child part of a beautifully illustrated story… the perfect Christmas Gift

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

We have come across a beautiful ‘bookie’ idea that we think is a brilliant Christmas gift, so we wanted to share it with you.

miab1It’s called Message in a Bottle and your personal message (the actual message in a bottle) including date, text and an optional picture seamlessly becomes part of the story. Educational, enchanting and full of adventure we can see it being read many many times.

With words by Tom Percival and illustrations by Tuire Siiriainen each book is digitally printed and is unique and the feedback from readers is lovely…

miab2‘Read mine to the kids today and had to stop self from crying – it really did make me very emotional! Very special book indeed.’Kelly Allen

‘Oh my goodness!! Our book just arrived!! It’s incredible!! The quality is superb. The story and illustrations… Ah. It really is amazing. To think what I’ve paid for personalised books in the past that don’t even come close. This really is something special.’Rebecca Taylor

miab3‘Message in a Bottle would make a wonderful gift for any young child.  It’s particularly special for those you don’t see quite as often as you’d like.  The online ordering process is very simple and the book was delivered quickly, it even came with a sheet of beautiful wrapping paper so I could gift wrap it myself.  This really is a lovely way for a child in your life to become part of a delightful story and receive a rather special gift from you.’ Shelley

Find out more at Softcover books are £19.95 and Hardcover £29.95 and to get one in time for Christmas order by 16 December.

Also we have just heard that the lovely people at Message in a Bottle have added some ‘Christmas Templates’ – find out more on their blog











Below is a video that explains a bit more

Find out more on their facebook page


See below for an article on the book written by the author Tom Percival.

Words (and Pictures)

I’ve always loved stories—reading them, making them, hearing them, illustrating them… you get where I’m going with this, right? I love stories. And I’m not alone, our whole lives are built around stories. We listen to stories in songs, read them in books, share them when we talk with our friends. Even a simple question like,

‘How was your day at school today?’ is an invitation to tell a story (one that my children usually decline by just saying, ‘Yeah… good.’

We build up our personalities from the continually evolving stories that we pull from our different memories and experiences. Rolling it all up into a big ball of story dough that we can mould into whatever shape we like and then bake into, err… story bread? Story cakes? Hmm, I don’t know, I think I might have pushed the whole story-baking thing a bit too far there.  Let’s move on…

It was my love of stories that led me into the career that I now have as a children’s author and illustrator. I believe that stories have the power to communicate a truth, to help you form a better picture of the world. Although the actual events in a book of fiction are made up (you could even say a sort of lie), what they actually do is communicate a truth about the world. Truth out of lies—I like that idea. And that’s not to mention the sheer fun involved in making up characters and worlds that you can explore and introduce other people to as well.

Initially I started out illustrating other people’s stories. I spent most of my time drawing as a child, (lots of pictures of He-Man, Transformers and skeletons since you asked) and so it was drawing that I first became good at. Just as a quick note to all you aspiring writers, illustrators, musicians, footballers, astronauts, or anything else, if you want to get good at doing something, just do it a lot – you get there the end, I promise!

I was lucky enough to create the cover art for the Skulduggery Pleasant series (I knew all those skeleton pictures were a good idea!), which gave me a kick-start to my illustration career and meant that I got to illustrate books for lots of other fantastic authors.

After a couple of years of illustrating I also started writing my own stories and I’ve now had lots of picture books out, including Herman’s Letter, Jack’s Amazing Shadow and most recently, By the Light of the Moon

2016 then saw the launch of the Little Legends series of illustrated chapter books for newly independent readers. It’s been great to have a few more words to play with, and to be able to explore a world and the characters within it in a bit more detail. Not only that, 2016 also saw the arrival of an email from Tuire Siiriainen, with an invitation to collaborate on a personalized picture book that she was developing with her company Blueberry and Pie. Now, this was all very exciting because Tuire was asking me to write a story that she would be illustrating. I was so used to writing and illustrating my own work that at first I wasn’t sure how it would all pan out. When I usually write a picture book, I have in mind what will happen in the illustrations, right from the start, but that wasn’t going to be possible with this book. Any concerns I had about how the interpretation of the text would work were washed away when Tuire sent over the character designs and sample spreads she had already worked up—they were absolutely fantastic, and I knew straight away that it was going to be a great partnership.

After I’d written the story, Tuire would send through each one of her bright, fun-packed illustrations as she finished them. It was so exciting to see the book come together in that way. Ordinarily, the illustrating phase of a picture book is something of a blur for me as it’s a really intensive period of work, so it was great to be able to sit back and see it all just ‘happen’ in front of me without having to pick up a single pencil! We also had a great team working with us, helping with the design, editing and packaging of the book. It felt as though everyone realized it was a really special project to work on.

Working on a personalized book held a few new challenges for me, mainly creating a story with all the required personalization details that still felt engaging in it’s own right. In this case, the story is about the discovery of a message in a bottle that is found floating halfway around the world and is addressed to the reader. So the child’s name and address features throughout the story and then at the end, the message that was in the bottle is revealed to be whatever you chose to write to the person you are giving the book to. It’s a great way of personalizing a book and will make all young readers excited to feature so prominently in a book.

My most important contribution to the project was the creation of Kiki, a lively and irrepressible young bird who has never seen much of the world before she sets off on an epic journey to deliver the message she has found to the reader’s home.  So as far as I was concerned, the story is about Kiki’s journey of discovery as she tries to do something that she has never done before. New challenges are always daunting and Kiki has moments of over-confidence and also self-doubt, which I’m sure anyone who has ever tried to do anything new can relate too! Eventually she manages to overcome all the obstacles and meets lots of different and exciting characters, some of which are more helpful than others. I would tell you more, but I think you should read the book for yourself—it’s far more fun like that!

I really enjoyed writing Kiki’s story and I hope that you and your children enjoy reading it and being part of the adventure too.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Okay, so the Hallowe’en costumes are sorted and there are bowls of sweets to ward off tricksters. The fireworks are safely stored in a metal box and you’re all set. Forward planning. Now you’re thinking about Christmas, aren’t you? Admit it. Hard not to with the TV ads and shop displays out earlier and earlier every year.

Well, we’re here to help. No pressure, it’s not even November yet we know, but we DO have an amazing selection of great Christmas titles for kids and young adults of all ages, shapes and tastes. So, if you did want to get ahead with the Christmas shopping, Lovereading4kids is a great place to start

Feeling Firsty? – Signed First Editions

Just over a month left of our brilliant Signed-First Editions prize draw! There’s still a chance to get your hands on our selection of rare, signed 1st edition copies of great titles by great authors such as David Walliams, David Almond and more. Oh, and a signed first edition would make an extra special gift, you know for someone you care about. Visit our special category to get started!

November is Michael Morpurgo Month …

M.Murpurgo_Sticker-200November 2013 sees a month-long celebration of Michael Morpurgo’s wonderful stories, marking his 70th birthday this year. See all the 30 books in our special section. And don’t miss the chance to win lots of his novels, including a couple of signed ones, in our exclusive competition. Remember to come back regularly to see ‘the book of the day’ and the brilliant reviews of Michael’s books from our ‘Kids Reader Review Panel’. Also to mark Armistice Day, in a special event at the National Theatre in London on Sunday 10 November 2013, Michael Morpurgo will be reading his heart-warming short story, The Best Christmas Present in the World and extracts from his beloved novel, War Horse. Click here to find out more information.

He’s Makin’ a list …

… and we’re checking it … daily! Our book elves are hard at work gathering the best of Christmas reads together and sorting them by age, so that your path to the perfect present is even easier. Visit our Christmas category to see them all.

Brilliant Books for Children this Christmas

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

It’s now December and there can be no getting away from it, presents need to be bought and, of course, books make the perfect present for any child of any age. So why not take the strain out of what to buy by taking a look at our selections of the best Gift Books and Stocking Fillers all of which we think will make brilliant presents. From toddlers to teenagers Lovereading4kids has it covered and for even more choice see our Books of the Year.

New links to Amazon to help you get the best value

Also something new on the site to help you get the best value Christmas. While Lovereading works hard to get the best price on the books we sell we are also realistic that sometimes bigger online companies, eg Amazon can’t be beaten. So while we would love for you to buy your books from us we have also made it v v v easy to see the price Amazon is offering a single click for you to buy – just visit any book page to see.

Scroll down to see just a selection of Christmas books, by age range, or visit the site to see the full range or read on for some December Highlights.

Author of the Month Cornelia Funke

Cornelia dreamt of being an Astronaut when she was child, but after finding out it involved military training she went on to be a social worker helping deprived children. It was here she discovered the types of stories that gripped children’s imaginations. She has now written over 40 books and she is perhaps best known for the Inkheart trilogy. The final book Inkdeath is just out and Inkheart has been turned into a brilliant movie due for release in January. Discover more of her superb writing by clicking here…

Walker New Voices – a year of fantastic fiction

We have been supporting these amazing new children’s writers all year – and one of them The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness has claimed two high profile prizes. The December title is The Society of S by Susan Hubbard. A young girl, Ariella, discovers that everything she knew about her family is a lie, and a deep, dark truth lies beneath.


And don’t forget, if after looking and downloading any number of the thousands of free Opening Extracts, you still can’t decide whch books to buy as gifts, we have a simple solution – send a Lovereading4kids Book voucher. Just click the Gift Vouchers tab and the rest is child’s play.

Happy Christmas

Most Popular Opening Extracts, by age range, 7 – 13 Nov 2008

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Featured Books Age 0 – 5 Years

Stick Man Stick Man
Julia Donaldson
Creators of The Gruffalo, best selling author/ illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are back with another bestseller on their hands. “Stick Man lives in the family tree/ with Stick Lady love/ And his children three”. But one day Stick …
Download free opening extract
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks And The Really Frightful Night Sir Charlie Stinky Socks And The Really Frightful Night
Kristina Stephenson
Charlie is big, bold and daring but is he brave enough to rescue a damsel in distress? Find out by joining him on a really big and frightening adventure. Vibrant illustrations and fold-out flaps give the story an additional dimension …
Download free opening extract
Winnie's Flying Carpet Winnie’s Flying Carpet
Valerie Thomas
Bestselling Winnie the Witch is back with a new adventure when she’s ‘all aboard’ her flying carpet. Winnie has always wanted a flying carpet but, when it comes, she finds it is unexpectedly hard to control. When the carpet whisks …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

Do Try This At Home! Do Try This At Home!
Punk Science
Science without the boring bits. Produced in association with the Science Museum, Do Try This At Home is crammed with facts, jokes, big ideas and experiments. This very funny book is full colour and illustrated with artwork and photographs. It …
Download free opening extract
Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog
Mini Grey
Hilarious action-packed new adventures for the intrepid Traction Man and his popular side-kick, Scrubbing Brush, in this fantastic sequel by prize-winning illustrator Mini Grey. After an intrepid exploration of the compost heap, Scrubbing Brush returns so dirty that the foolish …
Download free opening extract
Lost Happy Endings Lost Happy Endings
Carol Ann Duffy
Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Greenway. A wonderfully
lyrical story about the search for the happy endings that are needed to
make the perfect story. Beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

Teach Your Granny To Text And Other Ways To Change The World Teach Your Granny To Text And Other Ways To Change The World
We Are What We Do
Teach Your Granny to Text is a book that will inspire children to use their everyday actions to change the world. If lots of people make small changes then big changes can occur. It’s not rocket science but it does …
Download free opening extract
Kaspar Kaspar
Michael Morpurgo
A wonderfully emotional but heart-warming tale from the pen of one of the foremost writers for children. Brilliantly interwoven in historical fact at the time of the sinking of the Titanic is the story of Kaspar the Savoy cat, who …
Download free opening extract
Whitaker's World Of Weird Whitaker’s World Of Weird
Tracey Turner
Attractively produced, this is a neat pocket book stuffed full of extraordinary facts about all kinds of unusual things. Set against a background of strong photographic images, the sections in this book cover many things including Weird Encounters, Weird Behaviour …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

Girls Are Best Girls Are Best
Sandi Toksvig
Women gladiators, women in the Bayeaux Tapestry, women inventors, Sandi Toksvig uncovers them all in her light hearted approach to the serious message of this book – women have always done amazing things but have mostly been overlooked by history. …
Download free opening extract
 The Mysterious Benedict Society The Mysterious Benedict Society
Trenton Lee Stuart
This is a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller that we’ve been raving about since it went stratospheric across the water earlier this year. Here you will meet four very unusual children each with three things in common – …
Download free opening extract
Magic Thief Magic Thief
Sarah Prineas
This is an absolutely captivating debut fantasy adventure. Full of magic and trickery, this is the story of a wizard and his new apprentice trying to discover why the magic in their city is fading and how they must …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

Power Of Five: Necropolis Power Of Five: Necropolis
Anthony Horowitz
Yet again Anthony Horowitz has come up trumps with an edge-of-the-seat thriller with some brilliantly spun twists that will keep you guessing right up to the very end. The female protagonist is brilliantly portrayed – the first time, we think …
Download free opening extract
Skellig Skellig
David Almond
This is a wonderfully eerie and magical story about believing in something extra special

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and why it may make a difference. It’s full of happiness and sadness but ultimately it’s incredibly fulfilling.
‘Touched with a visionary intensity, this strange life-affirming tale …
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A Perfect Ten A Perfect Ten
Chris Higgins
Chris Higgins’ writing rivals the likes of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson. She’s an author truly in tune with the teen psyche. This is her fourth novel and she gets better and better with each new storyline. The characterisation is …
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Featured Books for 14+ readers

The Graveyard Book (illustrated by Chris Riddell) The Graveyard Book (illustrated by Chris Riddell)
Neil Gaiman
Spooks galore in this brilliant and fantastic story of life in the graveyard. When Baby Bod escapes a murderer intent on killing his whole family, he is taken in by the graveyard ghosts. In eight chapters, each of which depicts …
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Young, Loaded And Fabulous Young, Loaded And Fabulous
Katherine Kingsley
Addictive, scandalous and glamorous fiction from a brand new author writing for sophisticated teens! As its title implies this is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re up for a wild read where clubbing or holidaying in St Tropez is the …
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Before I Die Before I Die
Jenny Downham
Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is a haunting yet truly amazing read but don’t read it too young. Definitely not for someone less than 14 years old. If you knew you were going to die what would …
Download free opening extract

More Children’s October books and the first hint of Christmas

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

But before we get carried away and string up the fairy lights, back to this month.

Start reading books before they are published!

It’s a fact of life that most of us like that feeling of being ahead of the crowd. So, to do our bit, we have our Exclusive Pre-Publication category where you can read Opening Extracts of books weeks before they are published. This month we have 7 titles; from a delightful Gruffalo title from Julia Donaldson to the next in the Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz!


Win £40 worth of Jan Pienkowski books

Jan Pienkowski is an exceptional illustrator who has brought to life a string of children’s classics over the years. He has just released a sumptuous gift version of the Nutcracker and linked to it we have 3 sets of Jan Pienkowski tiltes, worth nearly £40 to give away in a free to enter prize draw. Visit the site to find out more.


The DFC comic – a perfect present

Back in July we announced the arrival of the first new weekly comic in Britain for 25 years! The DFC is 36 pages of high-quality, 100% entertaining stories from the world’s best writers and artists. Its launch has been a phenomenal success and we know from the dfc that lots of members of Lovereading4kids have joined so it must be good. So, if you’ve not yet done so and you want to get a brilliant Christmas present in the bag for your kids or godchild, look no further than our exclusive Lovereading4kids subscription offers.

Introduce Classic books to a new audience

More classics condensed, retold, and beautifully illustrated from the Real Reads initiative: this time your children can absorb themselves in imagination-shaping sci-fi with Frankenstein and The Lost World.

Prize winning children’s fiction

And finally, the Booktrust Teenage Prize has consistently raised awareness of the very best writing for young adults since 2003. Download free Opening Extracts of the 6 shortlisted books, including entries by Sally Gardner and Anthony Horowitz, here.

So enjoy some free Opening Extracts of this month’s books with your children, and find them some books that you would have given anything to read when you were a kid.

And if after all our selections you still can’t decide then get a Lovereading4kids book voucher – easy to buy and send Privacy Policy Disclaimer