Book review: Christmas fun and games with Usborne children’s books
You always know that Christmas is well and truly on the way when Usborne set sail with their glittering collection of children’s books.
And on the tidal wave of a fabulous festive cargo this year is a luxurious book brimming with stories just made for girls, a winter wonderland of Santa’s workshop stickers, a musical medley for little maestros and a delightful doodling book for budding artists.
Age 2 plus:
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Lesley Sims and John Joven
How about a very special book that will be music to the ears of the youngest members of the family?
This gorgeous gift edition of the traditional and much-loved Christmas poem by Clement Clarke Moore is wonderfully illustrated by John Joven and features original music and sounds which bring the magic of Christmas Eve to life.
Little children will delight in Anthony Marks’ joyful music. They can press the buttons on the sound panel and hear the bells of Santa’s sleigh, Santa falling down the chimney and other enchanting sound effects.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is an eye-catching and appealing gift for toddlers, and a wonderful addition to Usborne’s Noisy Books range.
(Usborne, hardback, £12.99)
Age 4 plus:
Look inside Space Written by Rob Lloyd Jones and illustrated by Benedetta Giaufret and Enrica Rusina
Winner of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, which celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people, this bright, colourful book is fun learning at its very best.
Labelled ‘fantastically interactive’ with ‘really amazing facts’ by the judging panel and voted for by over 1,000 children in schools and youth centres across the UK, Look inside Space is a dream gift for inquisitive youngsters. They are guaranteed to be over the moon as they lift over 70 flaps to discover what lies beyond the darkness of space.
It’s an exciting and fascinating way to introduce children to our solar system. There are detailed, easy-to-follow colour spreads and interactive novelty pages with information and fun facts behind every flap.
They can learn about the amazing things that float through space – stars, moons, comets and the planets. Each double-page spread, including Glittering Galaxies, On the Moon and Space Station, has a stunning colour illustration and several flaps to lift to find out more about what’s happening in the scene.
Discover what goes on inside the International Space Station, why stars shine, how astronauts visited the moon and what they did there and enjoy a quick tour through the history of astronomy from Galileo to the Hubble Space Telescope.
There can be no more entertaining way to blast off into space and see how our planet fits into a world bigger than many young minds could ever have imagined.
(Usborne, hardback, £9.99)
Age 5 plus:
Santa’s Workshop Sticker Book by Fiona Watt and Stella Baggott
Why not step through the door into Santa’s wonderful workshop and see the grand old man and his elves making their hundreds of toys and wrapping them up ready for Christmas?
This busy, bustling sticker book is packed with over 300 stickers to fill the busy Christmas scenes which include the elves sorting letters to Santa and testing out the toys, and the reindeers in their stable preparing for a mammoth rooftop journey.
This book is a real festive treat sure to delight every child… and keep them out of mischief as they count down the days to Christmas.
(Usborne, paperback, £5.99)
Sticker Dolly Dressing: Ice Skaters by Fiona Watt and Stella Baggott
When it’s cold outside and the days are short, it’s time to put on your ‘skates’ and join the ice dancing craze that has taken the country by storm.
Hours of wintertime fun are guaranteed with the Sticker Dolly Dressing: Ice Skaters book, the latest dress-up edition of Usborne’s best and most popular series for little girls.
Little ones can get in on the ‘cool’ action by dressing the dolls in a range of incredible outfits from figure skating to speed skating. This colourful activity book contains over 250 stickers, including lots of spangled leotards and dresses with fringes and sparkles galore.
Young girls will love helping Natalie, Ellie and Jess live out their ice skating dreams using the bright array of stickers. Choose from costumes for ballet on ice, training outfits for the gym and rink, a variety of ice skates and lots of glamorous accessories.
Guaranteed to keep girls glued to the action…
(Usborne, paperback, £5.99)
Age 7 plus:
Illustrated Classics for Girls
Imagine a sumptuous, cloth-bound book packed with some of the best children’s stories of all time, brought to life by timeless, enchanting illustrations…
If you know a little girl who would love to get her hands on such a gorgeous gift, then make her dreams come true this Christmas with Usborne’s Illustrated Classics for Girls.
Within the pages of this foiled edition, complete with ribbon marker, are The Railway Children, The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Little Women and Heidi, retold for younger readers and accompanied by eye-catching, full-colour illustrations.
This is the perfect book to introduce young children to world classics and to store away for special occasions or as a family heirloom.
Shrink-wrapped to protect the elegant cover and beautifully designed, Illustrated Classics for Girls is a gift book to love and treasure.
(Usborne, hardback, £17.99)
A Doodle a Day by Phillip Clarke
And what about the young artists in the family? Let them grab their pens and get on their ‘grand master’ marks for a doodling book that promises fun every day of the year!
A Doodle a Day is an innovative drawing book containing a tear-off pad with hundreds of ideas to inspire five-minute masterpieces on all 365 days of the year (and an extra one for a leap year of course!)
Chunky, creative and brilliantly original, this exciting book has hundreds of great pictures and doodles to complete, as well as tips and inspiration for creating new doodles.
Perfect for keeping children entertained on journeys, school holidays or wet weekends…
(Usborne, paperback, £9.99)