Playful Picks - Our top book choices for Christmas 2018!


Books are a wonderful way to relax and connect with your child through story telling and discussion.

Do YOU and your children love to read books together?

We do, and I am always on the look out for great titles to share with my children.

With Christmas fast approaching, I've searched high and low to find a selection of amazing books that I know we are going to enjoy reading for many years to come!



I don't know about you, but our children get new books each year as Christmas presents. This is something we have always done and so I take the role of #chiefbookbuyer very seriously!

When it comes to books, I want to choose titles that tell a great story, are visually appealing but more importantly, have a message that we can explore and discuss in more details with our children, providing opportunities to learn and grow together.


We have three children - Mr 4, Miss 3 and Mr 1.

This year we have chosen to get two books for each child.


Our picks for Mr 4:

Starting School By Jane Godwin

With our son starting school next year I felt this book would lead nicely into the discussions and experiences we will be having as he prepares to leave kindergarten for the classroom.

This book follows 5 children who are preparing to start school.

It explores the different personalities of each child, the emotions they are feeling in the lead up to the first day and also their strengths and vulnerabilities when it comes to navigating the un-familiar school environment. There is also mention of the ways to make new friends and how learning things together is a common goal of each classroom of children.

This is a wonderful story to read with any child about to embark on their schooling journey. We chose it because it has very clear and simple text and illustrations which give a really good idea of what happens at school and provides plenty of opportunities for discussion too.


Nicholas and the Wild Ones by Niki Daly

 All parents just want the best for their children and to ensure they are happy. One way we can do this is to encourage and support them to develop confidence, resilience and the ability to problem solve.

As I mentioned above, I'm always on the look out for books that can communicate and build on these skills in a meaningful way for children. I LOVE the innovative solutions to the problems which are explored in this book.

If you're looking for something that will encourage your child to discuss issues (in particular, bullying) that occur when adults may not be around, and suggest ideas for solving these in creative ways - this book is great!

I can't wait to share it with my children.



Our Picks for Miss 3

In My Heart by Jo Witek

Our hearts are capable of feeling many things - happiness, sorrow, anger...

This book explores the many moods our hearts have and describes the ways it can make us feel physically inside. It is perfect for children who are learning how to deal with a range of changing emotions.

We've chosen this book because the language used includes really powerful vocabularly that our older children will be able to articulate simply to identify their own emotions.

The story is really sweet and the illustrations are just gorgeous!



All my Treasures by Jo Witek

After reading Jo's book In My Heart, I knew we had to get this one too!

This book is about a little girl who is given a beautiful porcelain box from her Grandmother, and she wants to put something very special inside it... but what?

As she thinks about what she loves best she describes the moments and things she enjoys doing with family, friends and by herself.

Can life's most precious treasures be contained in a box?

I love this book because it is an easy to understand and relatable story which will provide great discussions about things our family love best. I know my children will really enjoy finding the hidden treasures under the flap of each page too.




Our picks for Mr 1:

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

It's ok to make mistakes!

This is something I am always telling my children and this book sums that up perfectly.

A mistake is an adventure in creativity, and an opportunity for discovery. Every mistake is a chance to make something beautiful. There are amazing pop ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends and smudges all demonstraing the magical transformation of mistakes into something really beautiful.

I know this book is going to become a firm favourite at our house!



The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas

This story is about a poor colour monster who is feeling all mixed up.

Luckily, he has a friend who helps him to see that the mixed up colours are actually his feelings and he can sort them out by identifying them and understanding how they are making him feel.

We chose this book because it explores common emotions through colour (a simple concept young children can relate to), encouraging children to discuss how they are feeling. The colour monster is a fun character and the book has bright colours and amazing pop ups on each page too! 



Our Top Picks for Christmas 2018:

Starting School By Jane Godwin

Nicholas and the Wild Ones By Niki Daly

In My Heart By Jo Witek

All My Treasures By Jo Witek

Beautiful Oops By Barney Saltzberg

The Colour Monster By Anna Llenas


So there you have it, the wonderful selection of books we have chosen for our children this Christmas.

I just know we are going to have some great reading sessions in our home once these books are unwrapped.

What are your children's favourite books? I would love to know, so please leave me a comment below.


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  • Thanks for these wonderful suggestions. We’re big on books at Christmas and I’m always looking for fab recommendations. Thank you!

  • What a great post – thanks for sharing your picks, Megan!


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