Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Win a Christmas Picture Book Advent Calendar

6th November 2018

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Would you like to win 25 individually-wrapped Christmas picture books delivered in time for the 1st December? That's one book for you to unwrap and read each and every day (including Christmas day)!

Just sign up to our newsletter below and one lucky subscriber will win the set! If you're already a subscriber you'll automatically be entered.

UK & IE only. One winner will be chosen Friday 23rd November. 

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Here are some of the books you'll receive!

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Mince Spies

Who or what is destroying all the Christmas treats in the supermarkets? Santa sends his Mince Spies on a secret mission to uncover the culprits. With puff-pastry jetpacks, shortcrust walkie-talkies and squirty whipped cream they foil the villains - with a bit of help from Santa.

A hilarious rhyming romp of a story with a festive message for all baddies: it's better when you're nice!

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Snow in the Garden: A First Book of Christmas

A classic collection of festive poems, stories and activities by Kate Greenaway-winning author, Shirley Hughes.

This beautiful Christmas anthology contains winter adventures, seasonal poems, festive recipes and easy-to-make craft activities as well as Shirley Hughes' trademark warm and classic illustrations. Whether reading stories and poems to little ones or encouraging them to make beautiful crafts and Christmas treats, this book is the perfect introduction to this very special time of year.

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The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes

A glittering magical adventure about a girl, a bear and some very special shoes from the bestselling creators of What the Ladybird Heard and Sugarlump and the Unicorn .

When Josephine leaves the shoe shop after buying some new running shoes, she hears an unusual sound - Click-click! Click-click! A bear with a backpack is following her! Luckily for Josephine, her new shoes are anything but ordinary - these are magic shoes. But can they help her escape the bear when there's a mountain, a bog and even a lake in her way?

The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes is an exciting adventure from the stellar picture-book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, creators of What the Ladybird Heard . Written in fast-paced, engaging prose that's full of action and imagination, and with a delightfully unexpected ending, this gorgeously glittery book is one to enjoy over and over again.

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Grandpa Christmas

Renowned children's author Michael Morpurgo teams up with bestselling illustrator Jim Field in this stunning Christmas picture book.

Every Christmas Mia and her family read a letter which her Grandpa wrote to her. His letter is a warm, impassioned and heartfelt wish for a better world for Mia to live in. He remembers fondly the times they spent in his garden finding frogs and worms and planting seeds.

But Grandpa worries that all the things they love so much are in danger . . . His letter is a hopeful plea to Mia (and to all of us) to continue to care for and protect our precious world.

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The Christmas Next Door

Grandad’s coming to stay for Christmas! What could possibly go wrong?

This heart-warming, rhyming story reminds us how easy it is to get caught up in material things at Christmas, through the true to life experiences of ‘the family next door’.

Grandad helps his family get through the challenges they face, in the run up to the big day, from soothing Lily’s meltdown in her school nativity (due to her Autism), to smiling through cremated turkey on a disastrous Christmas morning! His special gift helps the family come together and reminds them what Christmas should be all about. This book gives parents the opportunity to discuss the often-difficult subject of loss in an incredibly soft, subtle and sensitive way, using themes of love, family and togetherness at Christmas time.

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Busy Elves

In Busy Elves, children can push and pull the tabs and turn the wheel to help Santa's elves in the workshop . Children will love working alongside the elves to make, wrap and pack the presents as Santa to gets ready to set off on his magical Christmas Eve journey.

This bright and colourful board book with gentle rhyming text and wonderful illustrations by Lindsay Dale Scott is part of the popular Busy Book series.

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Snow (Mini Gift Edition)

The ground is covered in snow and one little boy can't WAIT to get outside and play. But his grandad is taking SO LONG to get ready . . . When they finally leave the house, they have a very surprising adventure! A beautiful mini hardback gift edition of Sam Usher's bestselling SNOW, complete with glittering cover finish.

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Pick a Pine Tree

Pick a pine tree from the lot - slim and tall, or short and squat! Long straight limbs or branches bent... Mmm! Just smell that piney scent!

From the winner of the V&A Best Illustrated Book 2017

From Alan's Big, Scary Teeth creator, Jarvis, and author Patricia Toht, comes a beautiful, irresistible Christmas gift book that all begins with ... picking a pine tree! Brimming over with the excitement of being with family at the festive season, a gorgeously rhythmical, read-aloud narrative accompanied by warm, joyful art celebrates all the familiar rituals of decorating the tree - from digging out jam-packed boxes of trimmings, stringing tinsel, to, at last, turning on those twinkly fairy lights.

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A Pirate Christmas: The Nativity Story

Joe and his pirate dad along with Cannon the ship guinea pig are miserably stuck on their boat missing the pirate Christmas party across the water on their friends' ship. Worst of all the party games and the treasure hunt are happening without them! Joe and his dad discover a dusty old picture book of the story of the first Christmas and settle down to read together and discover a different kind of treasure.

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A Very Corgi Christmas

Wrap up warm and join little corgis Belle and Pip on a Christmas adventure in London!

Belle LOVES the bustle of Christmas preparations at Buckingham Palace, but her family say she's in the way, and that Christmas is NOT for corgis! So Belle decides to slip out and explore London , where she's sure there will be Christmas sprit in abundance! But on the busy streets, Belle finds everything a bit too bright, a bit too noisy and FAR TOO LOUD!

Luckily, a streetwise puppy called Pip turns up and whisks Belle off on a wonderfully romantic whirl around the sights of London . All too soon it's time to head home, but when the couple finally work out how to get back into the palace . . . Pip disappears.

Will Belle ever see him again? Perhaps . . . with the help of a special royal couple , who might just bring Belle a wonderful Christmas surprise.

For dog-lovers everywhere, this Lady and the Tramp -esque romp around London at Christmas is full of heart . . . and waggy tails!

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Dinosaurs Go Christmas Shopping

My Christmas is for presents
And fun and Santa Claus,
I'd never want it spoiled
By naughty dinosaurs.

When a group of unruly dinosaurs threaten to ruin Christmas, one
little boy decides to take charge. Will the dinosaurs listen? You
bet they will!

And after a lot of sorting, cleaning and tidying, it's very clear
that this will definitely be the best Christmas ever. Hooray for
the dinosaurs!

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How to Hide a Lion at Christmas

Iris and her lion go everywhere together. But when Christmas comes and the family are going away, Mum says the lion must stay behind. After all, you can't take a lion on a train.

Luckily the lion has other ideas. He sets off on a festive, snowy adventure to find Iris - and almost bumps into Father Christmas! The fourth irresistible book about Iris and her lion is destined to be a Christmas classic.

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Jingle Spells

All witches LOVE Halloween, right? Wrong! This little witch loves . . . CHRISTMAS!

Trixie's friends think she's batty as a vampire, so she needs Santa's help to spread the Christmas joy. But when she visits Lapland HQ, Santa is nowhere to be seen, the elves' shelves are empty and ALL WITCHES are on the Naughty List! Luckily, Trixie knows a spell or two that just might save Christmas for everyone.

Join Trixie, Rudy the cat, LOTS of elves and witches . . . and even Santa himself in this beautifully illustrated picture book by James Brown.

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Little Robin Red Vest

One frosty evening, a week before Christmas, Little Robin washes and irons seven warm vests for the chilly nights to come. As the days go by, he comes across lots of shivering animals and kindly offers them his vests to wear. But - oh no! - on Christmas Eve, Little Robin is cold and alone with no vests left! That is, until a special someone arrives to reward his kindness . . .

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Once Upon a Snowstorm

A wordless picture book by an exceptionally talented illustrator/animator to follow in the footsteps of The Snowman.

The story of a father and his son who live by themselves in a cosy cabin in the woods. But, one day they are separated out in the beautifully falling snow. The boy is lost and falls asleep. When he wakes up he is surrounded by blinking eyes, a rabbit, a fox, an owl and all manner of other creatures have surrounded him! But with a bear hug he and the woodland animals become best of friends! But soon he misses his dad and so the animals bring him back home. The father opens up his heart and home, and lets nature and love envelop their previously lonely existence.

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Santa's High-tech Christmas

Santa has discovered high-tech gear. With his techno-pad, a flip-top roof on his sleigh, a soft reclining seat and a rocket pack, he is well prepared to deliver presents for Christmas Day. 

But as things start to go wrong, Santa needs help from a young girl so that all the presents get delivered on time.

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Snowball

Created by award-winning, bestselling duo Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Snowball is a brilliantly funny picture book, with wonderfully comical images illustrating the hilarious rhyming story - perfect for Christmas!

A lonely young snowball, stuck at the top of a mountain, decides to visit the local town for a bit of fun - but on his way he trips, falls, and starts to roll . . . and when a snowball rolls through snow, we all know what happens! This snowball picks up not only snow, but a myriad of other odd things on his way down - a sheep, a line of washing, a bicycling bear, ending up in the Zoo.

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We're Going on an Elf Chase

We're going on an elf chase.
Come and join the fun.
Can we catch them all?
YES!
Run, run, run!

Four bunnies set off on a jolly Christmas lift-the-flap adventure to find ten little elves hidden under the flaps. You'll have to run, run, run if you're going to catch them all! And there are lots of obstacles along the way, from clippy-cloppy reindeer to roaring polar bears and flippy-flappy penguins. Stuffed with festive frolics, this is the perfect Christmas gift.

From the bestselling Laura Hughes, illustrator of We're Going on an Egg Hunt and The Birthday Invitation

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Ten Little Elves

A Christmas counting rhyme from the creators of the bestselling, award-winning Ten Little Pirates. With a super-sparkly cover!

Ten Little Elves set off on a mission to rescue Christmas. But what will the little elves do when they meet a growling polar bear, a yowling yeti and a scary Ice Queen...?

An action-packed counting rhyme, with lots of things to spot and count on every page.

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Emily Brown and Father Christmas

Emily Brown and her side-kick rabbit, Stanley, are back! And who's that outside the window ... it's Father Christmas!

With an important message about cherishing traditions that children will understand, this is storytelling at its best, from an exciting creative team in children's books.

'Will both delight fans, and give them something to reflect on. Layton's illustrations are a joy, matching the text perfectly.' - Bookseller

Written by Cressida Cowell, the bestselling author of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Illustrated by award winning Neal Layton, illustrator of Danny McGee Drinks The Sea, shortlisted for the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award.

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Geronimo

The brand-new HEARTWARMINGLY HILARIOUS children's picture book from NUMBER ONE bestselling David Walliams. Illustrated by artistic genius Tony Ross.

Meet Geronimo - the baby penguin who has one dream and one dream only - and that is to fly! But everyone knows penguins can't fly... or can they?

With a little help from his dad and friends, baby Geronimo discovers that even the wildest of dreams can come true. A delightfully topsy-turvy book with an uplifting message about following your dreams - another blockbusting classic from David Walliams and Tony Ross!            

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Pocket Edition

A special pocket-sized edition of the classic Christmas story from Dr. Seuss. With wacky rhymes and zany artwork, it tells the tale of the disgruntled Grinch and his fiendish attempts to steal Christmas from the citizens of Who-ville! Perfect for gifting or as a stocking-filler.

"The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason..."

With a heart two sizes too small, the Grinch is the meanest creature you'll ever meet. He hates Christmas and the whole festive season. But when he hatches a dastardly plot to steal Christmas, he's in for a big surprise!

With hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations, this classic seasonal story has become a favourite for good reason and teaches readers the true meaning of Christmas. Now in a beautifully packaged pocket-sized edition that is perfect as a gift or stocking-filler.

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The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

A brilliantly funny Christmas picture book from the bestselling author of Oi Frog!

'Twas the night before the night before Christmas (That's Christmas Eve Eve).
And Santa was wiping his brow on his sleeve.
Green elves were sewing, Blue elves were counting, Red elves were carving,
The pressure was mounting!

It's the day before Christmas Eve and Santa is ever so busy ... he's got presents to wrap, reindeer to wake and a sleigh to start. But has he forgotten something? And, more importantly, will he be ready in time? Inspired by Clement C. Moore's classic festive poem, this hilarious, rhyming picture book is sure to have you ho ho ho- ing!

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