Top Ten Tuesday: Brand New Wintery & Festive books for Younger Readers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blogging initiative hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl with new themes each week.

This weeks theme is a freebie!

So I’ve gone with a list of Early Chapter books that have come out since Autumn ( ok one came out in summer but it’s DEFINITELY Christmassy) that are wonderfully Wintery or festive to get young readers building their confidence and stamina in a Christmassy mood!

And thanks to a last minute edit there’s two bonus books because it’s Christmas! (Twelve Days and all that!)

Star– Holly Webb interior illustrations by Jo Anne Davies Artful Doodlers. Cover art by Britta Teckentrup

Star by Holly Webb

A wonderfully wintery and Christmassy tale that hits ALL the things you want from a frosty festive tale, heartwarming, triumph and family, this time focusing on a real Russian tiger and the dream of a young girl of what it may be like in a Russian winter.

Star is based on a real story of a lost tiger cub found with a frost bitten tail is a way to understand about the ill-effects of winter,nature and how wild animals may look cute but we must respect them fitting in beautifully with the ethos of Holly’s Animal Stories.

Magical Kingdom of BirdsThe Snow Goose Anne Booth illustrated by Rosie Butcher

The Magical Kingdom Of Birds- The Snow Goose

An absolute favourite series of ours, where a young girl colours her way into a Magical Kingdom under threat from a wicked Lord and the struggle to rebuild a magical cloak of feathers to save their world.

This book may just be the best instalment yet with Maya working with Snow Geese & goslings to thwart the machinations of Lord Astor and bring balance back to the Kingdom. Anne Booth manages to marry together non-fiction knowledge about birds with a heartwarming tale of courage and teamwork in the face of danger, and also has a very rare thing, a disabled protagonist.

Love love love this and I heartily recommended the whole series.

Unicorn Academy- Violet and Twinkle – Julie Sykes illustrated by Lucy Truman

Unicorn Academy Violet & Twinkle

This is a lovely addition to the Unicorn Academy books that is great for those children who love unicorns and ponies and magic. This book explores part of an overarching story of a cloaked figure trying to destroy the Academy this book brings things to a head and (spoilers) a person is revealed!

Alongside this thrilling development it is filled with good lessons on friendship alongside frosty peril and courage this is a great book for those moving into early chapter.

Witch in Winter – Kaye Umansky illustrated by Ashley King

Witch in Winter - Kaye Umansky & Ashley King

We have been thoroughly enjoying Kaye Umansky and Ashley King’s Witch series starring Elsie Pickles a pragmatic young girl who has a knack for magic but the mindset to make it work by reading the instructions and following the recipe.

Her adventures with the bristly, eccentric yet encouraging Magenta Sharp aka The Red Witch with Corbett the grumpy Raven, Joey the post boy and the marvellous Sylphine Greenmantle (aka Aggie Wiggins) and a magical tower are playful, very funny and imaginative!

In this book Magenta has disappeared and horrid Jack Frost wants to take over the magical tower to escape being punished for his crimes leaving Elsie in a bit of a pickle to save the tower and forest!

Amelia Fang and the Lost Yeti Treasure – Laura Ellen Anderson

Amelia Fang and the Lost Yeti Treasure Laura Ellen Anderson

We are HUGE fans of Amelia Fang the gorgeously gothic with a dash of sparkle tales of a vampire girl and her friends who in this story have travelled to the frozen mountains of a Yeti Retirement home for Florence’s grandmother’s birthday and as sparkly things start to disappear they uncover a crisis that could see the friends being split apart.

There is such fun and laugh out loud moments of silliness including a Titanic inspired moment that had me chuckling away . Laura Ellen Anderson continues to deliver on the deliciously twisted and nonsensical fun but with a LOT of heart and kindness.

A gorgeous series and a glittery winter spectacular to boot!

Princess of Pets: The Snowy Reindeer – Paula Harrison illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller

Princess of Pets The Snowy Reindeer Paula Harrison

This is a really really lovely addition to the Princess of Pets series. It’s a gorgeously snowy story but centres around a child’s birthday not a holiday so carries through into the New Year. Princess Bea finds a poor baby reindeer being tormented by a rather grumpy cat and sets out to care for it, but everything goes wrong leading to a moonlit struggle through the woods! Paula Harrison gets it exactly right for the age group with just enough peril and lots of heart.

Angel On The Rooftops- Shirley Hughes

Angel on the rooftop by a Shirley Hughes

This is technically long form picture book but probably more appropriate in this section than the picture books because it covers some rather complex ideas. In fact, I think it makes a particularly nice gift for grown up illustration fans or grandparents whose children grew up with the Alfie and Katie books thanks to its intentional retro feel in the illustrations.

Lewis Brown has a disability which means he feels he doesn’t fit in with the other children, but one day he discovers an Angel on the roof of his building that begins to change everything, from the community happiness, to Lewis’ vision of himself.

Although not set at Christmas it has that classic infusion of heartwarming hope & overcoming that fills festive stories and the unique blue biro and gold illustrations are in Shirley Hughes’ classic beautiful & wryly observant style.

Lucy makes a Wish– Anne Booth illustrated by Sophy Williams

Lucy Makes A Wish - Anne Booth

Lucy books have become a festive tradition in our house and this one is a lovely addition to the series yet is also standalone, they can be read in any order but there are a few nods to other stories in this one which we rather liked remembering!

This story is a heartwarming tale of community, kindness and serendipity as Lucy’s desires to help her friend’s family, find a puppy a new forever home, help a new friend to open up and soothe a rescued donkey all seems to come together in quite the beautiful magical way… with a little nudge from Father Christmas and the Magic Snowglobe of course.

Bad Nana that’s Snow Business- Sophy Henn

Bad Nama That’s Snow Business

Bad Nana is back and she is a teensy bit over excited about the Winter Wonderland Variety Show creating a comedy of errors that had us giggling away at how naughty this Nana could be.

Jeanie is still 7 3/4 years old and still bothered by a little brother and her favourite member of the family is still Bad Nana. When the town puts on a variety show for the festive months Jeanie and her friends and little brother decide to put together a spangly show dance to audition… the only problem is both Bad Nana and her friend Bobby Trulove have got ambitions on making the show their own… and sabotage is not off the cards.

Littlefae loves the Bad Nana stories, and we quite like the idea that it shows that older people are complex and don’t fit into neat tropes like many other books can suggest, and this is just filled with giggles and fun.

The Curse of the School Rabbit – Judith Kerr

The Curse of the School Rabbit- Judith Kerr

This beautiful little story is a short illustrated early chapter tale of a little boy, a rabbit, his sister and a series of disasters that ultimately create wonderful surprises in the lead up to Christmas.

It’s one of those gloriously nostalgic tales about everyday family life, the good and the bad, the silly and the Christmassy.

With beautiful pencil drawings by Judith Kerr in her imitable style this really is a treasure for its warmth and humour and joy.

The Pug who wanted to be a Reindeer- Bella Swift illustrated by Nina Jones of the Artful Doodlers

The Pug who wanted to be a Reindeer Bella Swift

We thoroughly enjoyed The Pug who wanted to be a Unicorn last year and whilst we also enjoyed The Llama who wanted to be a Bridesmaid it is lovely to return to the warmth and joy of Peggy the Pug who will do anything for her beloved Forever family who (spoiler!) adopted her last Christmas.

In this book Peggy is sad that her family seems to have lost their happy, mum worried about her new café failing to take off, Chloe feeling displaced by a new friend, Ruby is scared of her Nursery Teacher and Finn has fallen out with his best friend, dad is flustered and Peggy is determined to save the day.

If your child enjoys Holly Webb Animal Stories adding a little Christmas community spirit of Anne Booth’s Lucy tales but with an animal protagonist you get the lovely Peggy, and delighted to know there’s an Easter edition in the works too.

Did I miss anything?

Turns out I realised I did whilst putting the books back into the basket!!

Little Penguin Rescue- Rachel Delahaye illustrations by Jo Anne Davies Artful Doodlers.

Little Penguin Rescue- Rachel Delahaye

In Little Penguin Rescue Fliss is transported from a snowball fight in her garden to the frozen landscape of Antarctica where she must help a baby penguin and his mother.

Merging the best messages of Holly Webb’s Animal Stories with Anne Booth’s Magical Kingdom of Birds as it includes both educational information about habitat, species and life skills in care for wild animals including respect even if you think they are cute and want to cuddle them.

Ideal for budding eco warriors it is also a wonderful environmentalist message embedded about conservation and action against climate change as we see the devastation that the penguins could befall if we lose more ice.

Would you like to find out our older Early chapter Wintery favourites?

Many thanks to Stripes, Walker Books and Nosy Crow for sending us these books, opinions are all our own and these books appear in this post by my choice.


19 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Brand New Wintery & Festive books for Younger Readers

  1. A great mix! You know I love Bad Nana and Kate Umansky’s Witch series looks great. I have Angel on the Roof to read and review on the next week or so, and you’ve just reminded me that I planned to read Curse… over Christmas after you first reviewed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, bad nana is fun and the witch series is so silly at times but are really good children’s stories too. Angel is such a different one, it’s got a sentimentality about it but the illustrations really lift it into something fresh and unique! And Curse, it’s just spot on with grumpy but good hearted children!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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