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Children: Advent & Christmas, All ages

Children's books for the different seasons of the Church's year. For reading aloud or reading by themselves. For older children look in Young Peoples books too.

The Christmas Story



by Christina Goodings & Illustrated By Maria Maddocks


I love touchy feely books and this new hardback tabbed board book of the Christmas story is very definitely touchy feely! From the front cover and all the way through to the back cover. Rough, ribbed bits, different patterns on different people's clothing, raised bumps and lumps and shapes on the roads, the trees and the houses just make this book a joy to hold and stroke and feel for any child (or adult) and would be brilliant with any person for whom sensory imput is a boon.

There are six stories in the book, each one moved onto by the great picture tab at the side, and they cover the Christmas story from the Annunciation (Mary and The Angel) right through to the escape to Egypt (The Long Way Home). They are fun and engaging just as the pages are.

A brilliant addition to the Christmas books out there and one definitely for those for whom touch is a special delight.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (16/11/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 978-0-745-96380-8
Hardback
Price: £9.99

My Advent Calendar Christmas Book



by Antonia Jackson & Krisztina Kallai Nagy


This is a fantastic item, both Advent calendar with the usual dated peelable doors on the front cover and yet also a lovely Christmas story book inside that tells the story from the annuciation right up to the escape to egypt in a simple and enjoyable prose that is both easy to read and understand for children but yet retains the essence of the Bible story too.

The images that go along with the story are full page colour and have a lovely poster colour look and style to them, both friendly, warm and inviting that are sure to be enjoyed by children.

At £5.99 this is a great bargain, you can pay that for just a basic Advent calendar sometimes and have nothing at the end of the season to show for it, whereas here not only do you get the joy of the windows countdown but you get a great book too, an excellent idea and lots of fun.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (16/11/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 978-0-745-96392-1
Hardback
Price: £5.99

Christmas

- Candle Library Box Set

by Karen Williamson


In the same vein as the Christmas box set from Candle last year we have another little gem of a gift set of six mini board books with simple but fun images and just a few words that go through the story of Christmas.

At only £3.99 for a small boxed set it works wonderfully well either as a simple present for one child, or alternatively as a great bargain buy for a creche or nursery group, because you can split the box up and have 6 individual little books to give out.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (16/11/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 978-1-859-85938-4
Boxed set
Price: £3.99

One Sparkly Christmas Night



by Julia Stone


This is a beautifully illustrated children's board book that tells the story of the little shepherd boy at Christmas. It's simply narrated as it follows the shepherd boy as he is visited by an angel, meets the wise men and then finds the baby Jesus.

What is truly delightful about this book are the illustrations by Angela Muss. They are bright, engaging and tactile wherever it sparkles and it is sure to capture the attention of its reader. What's also wonderful - it's sparkly without leaving glitter all over your hands, as any parent will tell you this is a huge plus in its favour. Overall a great book for younger children during the Christmas period.



Review by Allison Carroll  (05/11/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 978-0-745-96263-4
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Family Fun For Christmas

- 30 Advent And Christmas Activities For Families To Share

by Jane Butcher


This is a simple book of ideas for families to share at Advent and Christmas. It contains a range of things to do from word searches to treasure hunts, decorations to Christmas food. As well as traditional crafts such as snowflakes and candleholders there are also food ideas from around the world (Southern Indian Christmas rice and Linz cookies from the Czech Republic). There are ideas to explore Epiphany too. Most of the ideas have some comments to go with them – either facts about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries or thoughts on how to use the idea to make Christmas more meaningful.
If you are stuck for inspiration and want to make Christmas a bit more meaningful for your family then this could be a good place to start. Christmas ‘experts’ should be aware that many of the ideas in this book will already be familiar to them. This would be a lovely present for newer parents who need a basic guide to activities for the Advent and Christmas season or for older children to dip into themselves.

Review by Kathy Bland  (07/11/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0-857-46063-9
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Christmas

- Bible Friends

by Illustrated by Mike Byrne


A novel twist to tabs in this very simple story of Christmas for toddlers. Heed the warning on the back cover, but this really is intended for little ones.
Who did Mary meet? And there she is on the facing page. Lift the tab and there is the angel! – and so on throughout the story.
Fun to share with a small child and an accurate introduction to what Christmas is all about. Colourful and well produced, sturdy, as we have come to expect from Candle.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (22/10/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: 19 October 2012
ISBN: 978-1-859-85935-3
Paperback
Price: £4.99

The Fox’s Tale

- The First Christmas

by Nick Butterworth & Mick Inkpen


A lot of people will immediately recognise this book as it’s a Butterworth and Inkpen classic that was formerly part of the Animal Tales series and so has been around in one shape or form since 1988. However this larger style format makes this wonderful book a great addition for any Sunday school leader or teacher who wants to share this book with a classroom or group of children. The beautiful illustrations are reproduced in a larger size and the font is giant - which is great because I find large font so much easier to read upside down or from the side when holding a book facing the children!- it also means that even from a distance young readers could if they aren't entranced by the story and illustrations follow along with the reading. I’m so glad to see such a wonderful classic title back out and available for new generations to enjoy too.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (10/09/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: 30 August 2012
ISBN: 978-1-859-85828-8
Paperback
Price: £5.99

The First Christmas

- The King James Version

by Jan Pieńkowski


First published in 1984 by William Heinemann and subsequently by Puffin Books in 1987, 2006 and now this edition in 2009
An age-old story told briefly but Biblically with silhouette style illustrations set against a one colour background and other illustrations twining around the words. With its silver cover this little book is immediately attractive and the story starts with the annunciation and follows through to the return to Nazareth, the final words being ‘And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him’. Lovely.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (31/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Puffin distributed by IVP
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-141-50097-3
Hardback
Price: £5.99

The Christmas Story

- My First Message with CD

by Eugene Peterson illustrated by Rob Corley and Tom Bancroft


A colourful slim book to read along with the CD or listen or read alone. Whichever way you do it, the words feature The Message, New Testament in Contemporary Language easily understood by the child. The CD is read with an American accent but children are so used to that it is not a distraction. With suggested questions on each page to ask as you read through and help with understanding, with prayers and activities to do, this is a family friendly tool for learning what Christmas is really all about.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (31/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Nav Press from IVP
Published: 2005
ISBN: 978-1-600-06276-6
Stapled paperback with CD in pack

Veggietales: The Little Drummer Boy



Created by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki


Code for ordering from Trust Media Distribution is 820699. The ISBN shown is purely for TGBS data use.

I didn’t start to write this review immediately after watching the DVD, a lovely excuse for watching it again on a quiet Friday afternoon.
Junior is left with Grandpa, and is waiting for his friends to call, to go carol singing. However, he is making so much noise pretending to drum, that because Grandpa is out of the room when the friends arrive, neither of them hear the doorbell and Junior is convinced that his friends have ditched him, and sulks. When Grandpa suggests he read him a story, Junior very reluctantly agrees, but only because it is about a Little Drummer Boy.
In the story, Aaron is like Junior, a little boy who loves drumming, but one day his family is broken up by the cruel Romans burning the families home and farm to make way for something of their own. Aaron manages to hide with his faithful lamb, donkey and camel, but when they return to the ruins, Aaron’s parents are nowhere to be found and Aaron wanders of with his animal friends, determined to manage on his own. After several adventures he finds himself at Bethlehem and of course there is a happy ever after end to the story.
Junior is now in a mood to forgive his friends, but of course they need to forgive him for ignoring them! All ends happily with a lesson well learnt.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (05/11/11)
Jacket
Publisher: VeggieTales distributed by Authentic Media
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 9-990-00049-2
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

The Donkey’s First Christmas



by S.T.Schroder


New edition of a favourite.
If you look on the book’s website you will see that a lot of people have already read this and enjoyed it. When I got my copy I picked it up immediately, the cover is appealing and an adult reading it on their own only takes a few minutes. – I then wholeheartedly agreed with all that those others have said.
It really is a delightful idea: a lazy donkey given no option than to carry a heavily pregnant lady on a journey to Bethlehem. A kindly man and a lady who is so grateful for his help, that she thanks the little donkey at every step along the way, so that he gladly struggles to get her to her destination as quickly as possible.
Told in simple rhyme, and appealingly illustrated, this new edition is a delight with its 'easier to read' font, 32 pages instead of 24, thread bound instead of stapled binding and with a smart mat laminated cover. Lovely! .

The book has its own website:www.tillipublishing.com/

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (05/11/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Tilli Publishing from Trust Media Distribution
Published: 01 November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-908-05302-2
Paperback
Price: £5.99

The Baby Born at Christmas



by Sally Ann Wright illustrated by Honor Ayres


Beautifully told, beautifully illustrated, this is a lovely re-telling of the Christmas story that could become so tired of being told, but when portrayed like this is renewed and very welcome.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (13/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-857-46024-0
Hardback
Price: £6.99

My Carry-Along Christmas Activity Book With Stickers



Crafts by Jonathan Miller, illustrations by Cathy Hughes


This carries the warning ‘Not suitable for children under 36 months’ after that plenty of fun to be had quite safely but little ones will need adult help.
Things to play with, things to make and things to puzzle out and of course stickers to help along the way. Ingenious ideas, with colourful presentation.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (13/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-96259-7
Stapled A4 Paperback.
Price: £5.99

The Animals’ Christmas



by Elena Pasquali illustrated by Giuliano Fern


On the back of the book it says ‘Long before Jesus was born, it was foretold that he would rule a peaceable kingdom. In this book, the classic story of the Nativity is interwoven with the ancient Bible prophecy of a time when the lion and the lamb would lie down together.’
This prophecy is used as the theme running though this re-telling of the familiar story and its illustrations and the quotation from Isaiah 11 is set out on the last page.
The result is a charming book with many special moments, such as relatives greeting their families with joy when they arrived in Bethlehem and Herod watching the Wise Men leave his palace while a snake slithers down the palace steps – very suggestive.
Lovely!

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (04/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-96249-8
A4 Paperback
Price: £5.99

Veggietales: The Star of Christmas



Created by Phil Vischer & Mike Nawrocki


Code for ordering from Trust media distribution is 820389. The ISBN shown is purely for TGBS data use.

Cavis Appythart and Milward Phelps (I loved the names!) are played by Bob Tomato and Larry Cucumber in this story set in 1880’ London. Electricity is very new and rocket science has hardly started so when both play a major part in this story you know you are in for some fun!
Cavis is trying to be a great producer with Milward as the writer of his show. They have borrowed a theatre and just need the famous actress who is adored by the prince, to take part, to insure that the prince will attend and hopefully review the show favourably and make it a success. Of course nothing goes to plan, and Cavis’ plan to teach London how to love is bound to fail, after all the source of love is being depicted by the nativity play put on by the children at the church across town.
All the usual silly songs, mistakes, misfortunes and excitement that we have come to love in Veggietale episodes are here. If you are a Veggietale fan you will love it. The Christmas message of Love is here for all to see.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: VeggieTales distributed by Authentic Media
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 9-990-00047-6
DVD
Price: £7.99 (incl VAT)

Lift the Flap Christmas Stable



by Juliet David illustrated by Marie Allen


The book is a hardback cut out to the shape of the stable, so each page is designed around that basic shape. There are flaps to peep under on each page, so the reader, who has only a few words to read, can embellish the story with extra words as the hidden pictures are looked at.
On every page there are little creatures such as mice or spiders, bees or ladybirds to find and others hiding behind some of the flaps. A fun way to introduce the Christmas Story.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-859-85892-9
Board book
Price: £6.99

The Story of Christmas



by Juliet David illustrated by Steve Whitlow


A board book for a toddler or young child who can cope with quite a few words in a story, but not a fuller version. Juliet David has told this story time and time again, but still manages to bring a freshness and accuracy (as far as we know it) to what could become a tedious re-telling in less experienced hands. The rather twee doll like figures portray the scenes in a very gentle way, fitting for a very young child. I can imagine it becoming a favourite.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (27/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-859-85889-9
Board book
Price: £3.99

Baby Jesus is Born Sticker Book



Text by Karen Williamson illustrations by Amanda Enright


Karen Williamson’s words tell the story well. I liked the way she told about the soldiers who are shown nailing up the notice that told Joseph and others like him to go to Bethlehem to be counted. I could imagine it happening that way. I liked the way that even without the colourful stickers, the illustrations looked alright. The detail of the sticker to come is lightly sketched into the white spaces, a nice touch I thought. Quite young children could cope with applying the stickers by themselves, but with a little help and guidance this could be a book to be read again next year – and perhaps the year after too.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-859-85920-9
Paperback
Price: £2.99

Wipe Clean Christmas Story



by Juliet David illustrated by Marie Allen


Felt tips or crayons can be used in this book, but just to make sure you have got the right thing there is a white patch on the back cover to scribble on and make sure it rubs off.
Join the dots, follow the line, circle objects and differences, they are all here to keep a child entertained, and the joy is that the book can be used again and again by the same child or another one who hasn’t seen it before.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
ISBN: 978-1-859-85891-2
Stapled A4 Paperback.
Price: £2.99

The Shepherd Girl of Bethlehem

- A Nativity Story

by Carey Morning illustrated by Alan Marks


Oh I did love this! So imaginative, not at all biblically ‘correct’ but nevertheless charming and heart warming.
The little girl in the story is a shepherd’s daughter who loved to help her father with the sheep during the day, but was tucked up in bed at home during the nights, while her father stayed out with the sheep. One night she wakes to very bright starlight and wanders out into the night looking for her father. She sees him at last hurrying into the distance with some other shepherds and follows after, coming at last to the stable where a very special baby has been born.
The words are a delight to read out loud and the illustrations are exactly right to fit the mood of the story. It really is a very special book.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-96232-0
Stapled A4 Paperback.
Price: £5.99

The First Christmas



Retold by Karen Williamson illustrated by Simon Mendez


Not board pages but double card which makes for easy to turn pages for little fingers and enables a lovely surprise at the end.
Intended for ‘toddlers and early readers’ this book has a special feel about it. No puppets portraying the story, but real people, beautifully and sympathetically painted to make you feel that you are seeing things as they really were. When the shepherds arrive in Bethlehem, there on the final page spread, opens out a crib scene which could be left on display over the Christmas period. Lovely. Karen Williamson’s retelling of the story fits to the illustrations just right. Highly recommended.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-859-85826-4
Hardback
Price: £6.99

Baby’s First Christmas



by Christina Goodings illustrated by Stephen Barker


Chewable, readable, enjoyable. This is for tiny babies experiencing their first Christmas but too young to listen to a ‘proper’ story. One word and one figure or item on each page, Christina still manages to tell the Christmas story adequately with the help of Stephen Barker’s simple illustrations. It is never too young to tell children the real meaning of Christmas.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (19/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-96256-6
Board book
Price: £3.99

My Very Little Christmas Story



by Lois Rock illustrated by Alex Ayliffe


For slightly older babies than Baby’s first Christmas, at only 100mm square this is just right for little fingers to hold and turn the pages to look through on their own. The very simple rhyming words give a rhythm to the turning of these pages and the illustrations give lots of opportunity for the reader to point things out to even a very young child who will soon be joining in the words and the pointing. Sure to give pleasure and to teach about Jesus’ birth.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (19/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-96257-3
Board book
Price: £2.99

Nativity Story

- A Sparkle and Shine, Rhythm and Rhyme Book

by Dawn Sirett illustrated by Fiona Gowan


I fell in love with this book as soon as I saw it. The puppet figures in the illustrations are delightful, and I have already looked through several times, so I’m sure little ones will too. Notes inside the front cover are for the parents and suggest ways to get the most out of Nativity Story
The rhyming story is told simply, and there are suggested questions to ask the listening child as you go through, with opportunities for them to join in such as clip-clopping along with the donkey.
The shiny pages glow with light, it really is special for little ones.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (15/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: DK (Dorling Kindersley) from IVP
Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-405-34163-9
Board book
Price: £7.99