5 Children’s Picture Books for Christmas 2012

Good Night, Sleep Tight, Mem Fox & Judy Horacek, Scholastic

This book, first released over twenty years ago, has recently been released again, largely, I gather, due to popular request. This time Horacek has taken over as illustrator, and it’s a great read by this winning ‘Green Sheep’ combination. A babysitter is trying to put his two charges to bed, but he’s having trouble because of the wonderful rhymes he’s telling them.

Creatilogy, Peter H. Reynolds, Walker Books

Reynolds is one of our favourite authors in this house and what makes this special is that Creatilogy is not one but three of this books: Sky Color, The Dot and Ish. They all celebrate the innate (and sometimes not so innate, when there’s a crash of confidence) creativity of children, and the worth of pursuing passion(s). It RRPs for $49.95, and is well worth the money.

Why is the Sky Blue?, Geraldine Taylor & Amy Schimler, Ladybird

My kids are almost too old for this kind of book now (*sniff*), but if you’re in the market for a lift-the-flap book, this one is pretty durable (I know, because I picked it up and ‘tested’ it) and has been around for a few years now, which is a good testament of quality. It’s a nice introduction to science as it posits to answer ‘Real questions that children ask about the world around them’.

This is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen, Walker Books

This, like its predecessor I Want My Hat Back, has been declared an instant classic. I’ve bought both books for the kids for Christmas as I think they’re so clever. To give away their endings is ‘spoiler’ territory, so I won’t, but Klassen is very good at leaving the right kinds of questions in the reader’s mind, without them feeling that the story hasn’t been finished either. Genius.

The Very Hungry Zombie, Michael Teitelbaum & Jon Apple, Skyhorse Publishing

A parody – as the cover states plainly – of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This kind of book isn’t for everyone (kids and parents alike) but when I picked it up I thought it was a bit of fun. I know my two would love it – especially considering their favourite present that I brought back from New York was this:


We’re a strange family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


What picture books are you buying as presents this year? There are so many to choose from!

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Karen Andrews is the creator of Karen Andrews. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).


  1. says

    My friend (on my request) bought my little 1.5yr old a gorgeous picture book I’ve had my eye on ever since I visited the Shirts and Skirts Market at the Convent and met the illustrator. It’s called The Night Garden by Elise Hurst and she’s been mesmerised by it ever since I first read it to her. Sure we skip some of the wordy pages at the moment but she loves all the shapes in the garden, spotting the cat and we just make up stories on the nights her concentration wanes. Thanks for some more great suggestions – I adore discovering more books. Pip
    Pip recently posted..Ain’t 20 Months Grand?My Profile

  2. vida says

    I love the idea of the Very Hungry Zombie and it’s now on the birthday list. My boys are fond of This is Not My Hat too. Would also highly recommend The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez along Hat lines. I’ve bought Harry and Horsie books this year — Cookiebot being my favourite. The illustrations are so retro and fantastic: would make excellent wall prints.

  3. says

    So far:
    Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet (board books) for the girls. Not sure they will get P&P, but they will love R&J.
    Let’s go Camping by Emma Quay and Anna Walker
    I Love Christmas by Anna Walker (Avery is a big Anna Walker fan, and I just adore her work)
    A making book for Una (can’t remember which one, bought from Heide) and a magazine for Fred called Big Kids (check it out the cuteness http://www.bigkidsmagazine.com/)

    Big kids books include The Second Big Book of Tashi, Wish Pony by Catherine Bateson, Harriet the Spy, Lemony Snicket (first Unfortunate Events).

    Grown ups are Wolf Hall (me) and the new Alain de Botton for Martin.

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