Books we love in December 2022

On My Papa's Shoulders

Enjoy a few of our favourite books from December

  • Elmer and the Gift

    Author: David McKee
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 2-3

    Aunt Zelda has something to give Elmer, but she can’t remember where or what it is! A gentle story depicting life with elderly relatives.

  • The Book of Legends

    Author: Lenny Henry
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 9-11

    This is a pacy fantasy adventure, jam-packed with groan-making jokes, and touchingly dedicated to Lenny Henry’s own childhood local library in Dudley.

  • Leila and the Blue Fox

    Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave Illustrator: Tom de Freston
    Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Can Miso the fox help Leila rediscover her mother? An incredibly moving story with breath-taking illustrations – perfect for upper primary readers.

  • The Day My Family Disappeared

    Author: Jo Simmons Illustrator: Lee Cosgrove
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 6-10
    Reading age: 8-10

    Bob is the fifth child in a family of creative geniuses: not only is his mum a nature poet, and his dad a banjo-maker, but his brothers and sisters are all exciting things like opera singers and street dancers. Bob, by contrast, enjoys Hula-Hoops and making terrible sculptures out of mashed potato.

  • Merry Little Christmas: A finger wiggle book

    Author: Sally Symes Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Walker
    Interest age: 2-3

    Have a giggle as you wiggle your fingers with the Christmas characters. A fun interactive baby book.

  • On My Papa’s Shoulders

    Author: Niki Daly
    Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    A touching picture book about the special bond between fathers and sons. One little boy in South Africa narrates his routine of walking to school with different family members.

  • Kid Christmas (of the Claus Brothers Toy Shop)

    Author: David Litchfield
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    A heartfelt retelling of the Father Christmas legend. In this festive picture book, young apprentice toy-maker Nicky Claus sets out to deliver a special toy to every child so that they can feel happy, at least for one day…

  • Benjamin Zephaniah’s People Need People

    Author: Benjamin Zephaniah Illustrator: Nila Aye
    Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group
    Interest age: 4-5

    A joyous book that celebrates community and human connection, with gorgeous illustrations.


    Mae testun odledig Benjamin Zephaniah yn un sy'n codi calon ac yn rhannu llawer rheswm pam fod angen pobl eraill ar bobl – i chwarae gyda nhw, i ddysgu oddi wrthyn nhw ac i'w cwtsio!

  • Britannica’s Baby Encyclopedia

    Author: Sally Symes Illustrator: Hanako Clulow
    Publisher: Britannica Books
    Interest age: 2-3

    A colourful, fun introduction to the world around us. Babies are constantly learning and this book will help build vocabulary and an understanding of early learning concepts.

  • The Christmas Carrolls

    Author: Mel Taylor-Bessent Illustrator: Selom Sunu
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Holly and her family adore Christmas – but when they move house, they discover that not everyone is quite as obsessed. Can they find a way to spread the cheer? A fantastically festive treat!

  • The Cartoons that Saved the World

    Author: Tom Ellen Illustrator: Phil Corbett
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Comic-book creators and best buddies Finn and Isha get more than they bargained for when they are blasted into Toon World, where they encounter a bonkers cast of two-dimensional cartoon characters. An offbeat story, bursting with humour, imagination and dynamic cartoon illustrations on every page.

  • The Little Match Girl Strikes Back

    Author: Emma Carroll Illustrator: Lauren Child
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    12 year-old Bridie sells matches on the mean streets of Victorian London. Her mother works 14 hours a day making matches in the Bryant and May factory… and the poison from the factory is making her ill. Even though they work so hard, they are very poor and often hungry. Then one New Year’s Eve, when Bridie seems to have lost everything, she lights her three …

  • Paper Boat, Paper Bird

    Author: David Almond Illustrator: Kirsti Beautyman
    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    On a visit to Japan with her mother, Mina is mesmerised when she sees a woman making delicate, origami models and is inspired to make her own paper boat and bird. The poetic language and unhurried pace of this slim, illustrated novel will immerse readers in a gentle celebration of Japanese culture.

  • Fox & Son, Tailers

    Author: Paddy Donnelly
    Publisher: The O’Brien Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Rory’s dad is a renowned tailer, from a long line of tailers, and animals from all over the world come to have their tails made by him.

  • Dogs of the Deadlands

    Author: Anthony McGowan Illustrator: Keith Robinson
    Publisher: Rock the Boat
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    This gripping and unusual tale imagines how life might have evolved for the domestic animals forced to become wild in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster and the repercussions for their owners.

  • Leon The Extraordinary

    Author: Jamar Nicholas and Bonaia Rosado
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    Leon lives in a world where many people have super powers. No-one’s exactly sure where the first Supers came from, but generations of super people have lived in Leon’s town, and many of them have passed on their powers to their children. Some are good, and fight crime. Some are not so virtuous.

  • Operation Nativity

    Author: Jenny Pearson Illustrator: Katie Kear
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When the Archangel Gabriel inadvertently blasts several members of the nativity into a present-day Hampshire village, siblings Oscar and Molly embark on an epic quest to return them to Bethlehem and save Christmas. Bursting with humour, energy and plenty of heart, this entertaining tale is guaranteed to get readers in the festive mood.

  • The Last Whale

    Author: Chris Vick
    Publisher: Zephyr
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    Action-packed, moving and thought-provoking, this is an epic tale with a strong eco message that will take your breath away.

  • Around the World in 80 Festivals

    Author: Nancy Dickmann Illustrator: Lucy Banaji
    Publisher: Welbeck Editions
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    People around the world celebrate thousands of different holidays and festivals. Many may form part of a religion, but others remember loved ones who have died, or historical people and events. Many have been celebrated in the same way for hundreds or even thousands of years.

  • 21% Monster

    Author: P. J. Canning
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    Teenage boys Darren and Malek are on the run from a ruthless, secret organisation which transformed them into superhumans and now wants them eliminated. This gripping, action-packed sci-fi tale will have readers on the edge of their seats.

  • A Family Christmas

    Author: Alana Washington Illustrator: Emily Nash
    Publisher: Uclan Publishing
    Interest age: 4-5

    Join a loving family as they share their Christmas Day traditions. Inclusive and tender, this is a warm hug of a book.

  • Santa’s Christmas Countdown

    Author: Kathryn Jewitt Illustrator: Sebastien Braun
    Publisher: Townhouse Publishing Ltd
    Interest age: 2-3

    Santa’s lost his to-do list! Will he remember everything before Christmas? A fun touch-and-feel book starring a Black Santa.

  • Bedtime Stories: Beautiful Black Tales from the Past

    Author: Various Ify Adenuga Candice Brathwaite Ryan Crawford Alex Falase-Koya Mahamed Hashi Ashley Hickson-Lovence Nansubuga Isdahl Sarah Mirkin Jade Mutyora Reggie Nelson Wendy Shearer
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This exciting, illustrated collection features informative, interesting and inspirational stories from the lives of Black figures in history – from Roman times to the present day.

  • South Asian Folktales, Myths and Legends

    Author: Sarah Shaffi
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Anyone looking to escape into a world of battling princesses, scary ogres, heroic warriors, wily animals, and even ordinary people doing extraordinary things, should take a look inside this beautiful compilation of traditional tales from across South Asia.

  • Africana

    Author: Kim Chakanetsa Illustrator: Alabi Mayowa
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    A fascinating treasure trove of information about the 54 countries in Africa, and their landscapes, animals and people. With stunning illustrations and bite-size facts, this is the perfect gift book for all non-fiction fans.

  • Scientists are Saving the World!

    Author: Saskia Gwinn Illustrator: Ana Albero
    Publisher: Magic Cat Publishing
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7-9

    A little boy is watching TV with his mum one day and starts asking questions about scientists. What are they doing to save the world right now?


    Mae Scientists are Saving the World yn llyfr lluniau gwreiddiol a deniadol iawn, yn tynnu sylw plant ifanc at amrywiaeth o wahanol fathau o wyddonwyr mewn fformat cyfeillgar a lliwgar.

  • Where Björn Belongs

    Author: Samuel Langley-Swain Illustrator: Mirna Imamović
    Publisher: Owlet Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Arthur finds a real polar bear in his garden – but can he keep it? A heart-warming Christmas story.

  • The Grumpus and his Dastardly, Dreadful Christmas Plan

    Author: Alex T Smith
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The Grumpus hates Christmas. Will he be able to stop it? A beautifully illustrated, heart-warming festive delight.

  • Humbug: The Elf Who Saved Christmas

    Author: Steven Butler
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Featuring tons of reindeer poo, stolen mince pies, the fiercest grandma ever, a contrary reindeer, a flying wheelie bin and a riotous and irreverent look at the festive season, this is a book that, at its core, is about the true meaning of Christmas.

  • The Zebra’s Great Escape

    Author: Katherine Rundell Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Can Mink save Gabriel the zebra’s parents from the evil Mr Spit? A beautifully illustrated longer picture book, perfect for animal lovers.

  • Everest: Reaching the Roof of the World

    Author: David Long Illustrator: Stefano Tambellini
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    Part of the Incredible True Stories series from Barrington Stoke that also includes Survival in Space: The Apollo 13 Mission, Tragedy at Sea: The Sinking of the Titanic and Tutankhamun’s Treasure: Discovering the Secret Tomb of Egypt’s Ancient King, this is a fascinating and well-told story of the missions to climb Everest, ending with Edmund …

  • The Story Orchestra: I Can Play

    Author: Katy Flint Illustrator: Jessica Courtney-Tickle Adapted by Rowan Baker
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
    Interest age: 2-6

    The Story Orchestra series is back, and this time, it’s time for children to play some tunes! Featuring a collection of refrains from ballets and operas such as Swan Lake, The Four Seasons and The Nutcracker, each double page spread begins by telling children and parents a little bit of information about the piece of music and how it’s played, foll…

  • Timid

    Author: Harry Woodgate
    Publisher: Little Tiger Group
    Interest age: 6-8

    A vibrant and uplifting picture book about managing feelings of shyness to achieve your dreams. Timmy would love to perform on stage but can they tame their inner shy lion to make their dream a reality? 


    Mae Timmy, sydd â'r rhagenwau eu/nhw, wrth eu bodd yn perfformio. Ond mae yna un peth annisgwyl....dydy Timmy erioed wedi perfformio o flaen cynulleid…