Christmas shopping? Brilliant books to match 2020's must-have toys

Published on: 07 December 2020 Author: Anna McKerrow

Here's a round-up of books your child will love to find in the present pile, based on the must-have toys that they're begging you for this Christmas...

1. Munchin' Monkey / Windy Knickers / Pig Goes Pop

The front cover of Daddy Fartypants

The craze for games with a toilet humour theme continues, whether it's a sleeping granny on the toilet, a pooping monkey or an exploding pig!

Children who love farts, poo and wee references will love Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet's No-Bot: The Robot's New Bottom in which (you guessed it) a robot needs a new bum.

Alternatively, for some classic fart laughs, Emer Stamp's Daddy Fartypants also serves as a cautionary tale about blaming your poots on other people. And finally, for some disgustingly smelly facts, Clive Gifford and Pete Gamlen's You Smell: And So Does Everything Else is a brilliantly funny and yet informative guide to bad breath, sweat and all manner of other bodily functions.

2. L.O.L Surprise! O.M.G Fashion Remix Doll

The front cover of A Story About Afiya

The L.O.L Surprise! train shows no sign of stopping, and this year it's all about fashion remixing. David Roberts is a must have illustrator for any kids who love fashion and this year there's a fabulous gift edition of his three retold fairy tales set in the Art Deco 30s, the 80s and the swinging 60s, with outfits rendered in perfect detail.

In Princess Kevin by Michaël Escoffier and Roland Garrigue, Kevin is very pleased with his princess outfit but struggles to find a worthy knight to accompany him, while in James Berry and Anna Cunha's A Story About Afiya a little girl's magical dress collects all her wonderful experiences from the day.

3. Laser Battle Hunters

The front cover of Fast Forward

Anyone (grown-ups or younger) who can't wait to try out these radio-controlled race cars over the holidays will appreciate Fast Forward: The World's Most Famous Race Tracks and Cars by Adam Skinner and James Gilleard. This attractively designed large hardback describes Formula One and other tracks in detail, as well as exploring some of the most jaw-droppingly fast cars on earth.

Alternatively, Uijung Kim's Underground: Subway Systems Around the World is a brilliantly colourful guide to ten of the biggest and best underground train systems in the world, with a fun seek-and-find spotting activity for transport enthusiasts to do together.

And Dan Santat and Tom Angleberger's The Princess and the Pit Stop is the perfect read for kids who love racing at two hundred miles an hour.

4. Barbie 3-in-1 Dream Camper

The front cover of McTavish Goes Wild

For younger children keen to explore the imaginary great outdoors, Taylor Doran's Ghoul Scouts: Welcome to Camp Croak is a humorous, heavily illustrated early reader novel about friendship set in an American-style summer camp with a spooky twist.

Gill Lewis and Rebecca Bagley's Willow Wildthing and the Swamp Monster is a charming tale about a girl who learns about the wild beings in her garden and beyond, and in Meg Rosoff and Grace Easton's cosy and delightful McTavish Goes Wild, the family pet accompanies the Peachey family on a camping trip.

Finally, for slightly older Barbie fans, in Nic Stone's Clean Getaway Scoob accompanies his grandma on a campervan road trip and learns more than he expected about America's civil rights movement.

5. Monopoly for Sore Losers

The front cover of The Goody

This new version of the classic Christmas board game means that the usual bad things like going to jail and paying fines are actually good. What better book to read as an accompaniment than Sophy Henn's Bad Nana: That's Snow Business in which the oldies are quite bad losers until the children get them to play nicely?

Children who might feel the sting of losing (or the pressure of always winning) will relate to Lauren Child's The Goody,in which a goody-goody brother and a continually naughty sister realise they can change their ways. And Chris Van Allsburg's Jumanji - the classic story about a board game come alive - is deliciously strange and spooky as well as being a visual treat.

6. Present Pets

The front cover of My Pet T-Rex

This cheeky little toy unboxes itself, adding to the excitement of receiving it. Inside, kids will find a furry little puppy which makes over 100 different sounds or actions. For little ones who are getting a new pet, Fabi Santiago's My Pet T-Rex is a sweet story with a good message about the importance of looking after your new friend.

In James Campbell and Rob Jones' The Funny Life of Pets, children are encouraged to try and distinguish between fact and hilarious fiction, and for those considering a new pet but not sure what to choose, a recently discovered new book by Dr Seuss - What Pet Should I Get? - should be able to help with the deliberations.

7. Pokemon Carry Case Playset

The front cover of Donut the Destroyer

Glitch, Sarah Graley's graphic novel for younger readers, sees gamer Izzy transported inside her new game and destined to save it from the Big Boss, a terrifying monster which has been hidden deep within the code of the game and grown too strong.

Similarly, Graley's graphic novel with Stef Purenins, Donut the Destroyer, isn't specifically game-oriented, but will suit fans of magical-themed shows like Pokemon, Steven Universe and Adventure Time (you can also find the Adventure Time and Steven Universe comics for sale).

For 9-11 year-old Pokemon fans, Jennifer Bell's Wonderscape finds three characters thrown 400 years into the future, trapped in a complex virtual reality video game world – also perfect for any Fortnite fans.

Topics: Christmas, Features

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