BOOKS TO GIVE AT CHRISTMAS - what are you wrapping this year?

(113 Posts)

This year, I'm going all out for strikingly beautiful, gorgeously tactile books, probably as a reaction to Kindlemania... but leaving room in the stockings for a few straightforward paperbacks too.

What will you be putting under the tree?

For 0-5 year olds:
Stuck - Oliver Jeffers
All manner of strange objects get stuck in a tree, as Floyd tries to unstick his kite. A beautifully drawn, funny, whimiscal book from one of the best children's authors (The Incredible Book Eating Boy is still a firm household favourite.)

For 5-8 year olds:
Any of the Tim and Ginger books by Edward Ardizzone
Sea-faring adventures and derring do aplenty, with exquisite illustration and hand-coloured pictures. They are always popular with my boys for having an almost cartoon style coupled with a good old-fashioned yarn.

For older kids:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
This book was published back in 2007 but has just come out as a film by Martin Scorcese. Twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets. His mysterious adventures are depicted in both magical words and hand-drawn pictures, and the whole book is an incomparable work of art. Mainly for 9-14 year olds, but would equally captivate younger children or adults. A bit of a whopper (500 pages, but lots of those are illustration) - get in some extra wrapping paper...

For boys in particular:
History Heroes: How Well Do You Know Your Explorers?
Not strictly a book, but a pack of cards, a bit like top trumps, with facts about explorers and adventurers. Keeps my 5 year old fascinated - and usefully covers a great hole in my own knowledge.

For girls in particular:
Penguin clothbound Jane Austen/Louisa May Alcott
As always, Penguin have pulled out the stops and made the classics into something extra-special. One of these (Emma? or maybe Little Women? So hard to choose) will be ideal for my 11 year old niece: she'll read and re-read forever.

For the men:
Private Eye: First 50 Years
OK, not an original choice, but it does tick a lot of boxes: funny, intelligent, visually striking. It's almost like an alternative history book, with all major events covered in those spot-on photo caption covers.

For the women:
Wildflowers - Sarah Raven
A seriously sumptuous present (a sort of equivalent to a giant glass bottle of Jo Malone). It is stunningly produced (endpapers, ribbons, glorious photography, the works) and consequently pricey (RRP £50 but half the price on Amazon). It is also hard to categorise - not exactly an identification book or a gardening book, but a personal detailing of all the wildflowers she found across Britain. Makes you happy to live here, and happy just to think of spring.

Stocking filler paperbacks for grown ups:

Snowdrops - ADMiller
An utterly gripping thriller that was shortlisted for the Booker prize, perfect for crime fans and literary bookworms alike. And it's our Mumsnet Bookclub book for January 2012

Room - Emma Donoghue
One of the best books we did in Bookclub this year - and one I still can't stop talking about.

By Heart - ed. Ted Hughes
A collection of poetry that you can learn easily by heart, with a great introduction on how to visualise the imagery and commit the words to memory. Reminds me how much I love poetry and yet never take time to read it. This means you should (theoretically, at least) be able to pull it out of your head whenever you fancy.

Stocking filler paperbacks for kids:

Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog - Mimi Grey
Traction Man has to save his loyal scrubbing brush from the hideous bin-things - and prevent Turbo Dog from usurping his faithful friend. Great jokes for adults and kids, and a lovely comic illustration that looks stylish and retro.

The Little Wooden Horse - Ursula Moray Williams
A great aunt sent us an original copy of this (try to get a secondhand copy, as the original drawings are lovely) - each chapter sends the little toy into a wild adventure, taking on pirates, kings, coal mines, racehorses and crazy children as he tries to get back to his master. Kept everyone saucer-eyed, despite being decidedly old-fashioned.

Pocket1 Mon 05-Dec-11 08:52:51

Wow wow wow. Thank you for all these fab recommends - you can't beat 'real' books and I've just written a very long list of pressie ideas for everyone. Next stop Amazon!! grin

SirCliffRichardSucksEggsInHell Mon 05-Dec-11 09:47:49

For my Lego mad 8yo ds, this Lego Ideas Book contains loads of inspirational ideas and instructions on making the most of his lego. You know when they've built that great Lego City and then it's dismantled never to be built again? Well this book has lots of ideas of other stuff you can build with all the random pieces. My ds loves Lego and so I reckon this is the perfect book for him.

changer22 Mon 05-Dec-11 11:32:29

What a fantastic thread!

I've ordered 'The Hidden Landscape' for DH and 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' for DS1.

As well as being reminded to get another 'Ottoline' for DD1.

Keep them coming!

teenswhodhavethem Mon 05-Dec-11 15:02:27

Message withdrawn

insanityscratching Mon 05-Dec-11 17:10:29

Loving this tread and picking up lots of ideas thanks

I'd like to buy dd, who is 18, a book and dvd possibly that reflects the fact that she is enjoying her first serious love affair.

Any suggestions please?

I am giving Stig of the Dump and Ribblestrop to DNs. I want the Lego ideas book as DS is getting lego and I can't wait to build giraffes, spaceships, cupcake etc.

kindlefinder Tue 06-Dec-11 18:38:27

changer where did you find the invention of hugo cabret? I can't find it in stock anywhere!!

piprobincomesbobbobbobbinalong Tue 06-Dec-11 19:17:11

Can I do a mini-hijack for a moment please?
Please consider supporting the National Literacy Trust Christmas campaign to help them introduce books and reading to children who don't own books.

Many thanks

changer22 Tue 06-Dec-11 21:16:51

kindlefinder Amazon. I got an email saying it was due back in stock in Sept 12 and then one saying it was being shipped! It might be worth trying them...

Bohica Tue 06-Dec-11 23:27:12

Marking my place.

startail Wed 07-Dec-11 09:19:36

This is a bad bad thread, I know have an Amazon wish list several pages long.
The hero's cards take you to games and that's got all sorts of things too!

startail Wed 07-Dec-11 09:20:27

Now not know. I really do wish there was an edit function!

munstersmum Wed 07-Dec-11 11:32:12

Insanity what about One Day?

Books am giving (apols in advance for any sp errors)

DS7 - Farmer Boy - Laura Ingells Wilder

Friend - To Miss With Love (I haven't read it so fingers xd)

Various kids - David Walliams book
Church mice at Christmas
Chitty chitty bang bang flies again
Windvale sprites
Dark is rising - teen (recommended on MN book thread)
Before I fall - teen

insanityscratching Wed 07-Dec-11 16:00:31

Thank you mumnstersmum it looks like something I'll read as well afterwards.

complexnumber Wed 07-Dec-11 19:56:59

DD2 is getting Junie B Jones books and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever.

DD1 a Babysitters Club Graphic novel. I wanted to get her some Goddess Girls books as she is very big on Greek myths but I can only find the ones she has already read. I need another idea but it is too late for Amazon to reach here in time.

onefatcat Thu 08-Dec-11 09:56:48

6 yo dd is getting

this

this

this

this

and this

Leo35 Thu 08-Dec-11 11:15:05

Not finished the purchases yet. So far...

DH is getting Private Eye Annual, and Shit my Dad says by Justin Halpern. I keep dipping into the latter and bursting into loud laughter. The book is going to look wrecked by the time comes to wrap it.

DS1 (aged 6) will be keeping some more of the Astrosaurs series from his younger brother.

Great thread. I'm already adding to my Amazon Wish List!

Jux Thu 08-Dec-11 15:19:45

DH is now getting a few Chris Wooding (sci fi/fantasy and his latest fave author) as well as the Charles Stross upthread.

I got myself a load of exciting books about maths and numbers recently which I haven't look at yet, so I'm going to give them to dh and dd to wrap up for me.

HoHoOpotomus Thu 08-Dec-11 16:08:44

Thanks to some of these recommendations I've just ordered a heap of more books for DD - Stuck (Oliver Jefferies), a couple of Madeline books (we have one already) and a book on cats cradle as I can't for the life of me remember how to do it!

nursenic Fri 09-Dec-11 04:51:53

The (now) classic 'Big Blue Balloon' by Mick Inkpen for my friends young daughter.

'Harold and his Purple Crayon' by Crockett Johnson. LOVED this book as a child living in Central America. Want to re-popularise it!

For family members-

Best food writing edited by Holly Hughes (editions each yr from 2000-2011)
'Family Life' and 'Still Life' by Elizabeth Luard
'Peasant Cooking' by Elizabeth Luard;
'Cornbread nation' food writing series 1-5
'Short and Sweet' by Dan Lepard'
'Homebrew' by Doug Rouxel

'Swamplandia' an American novel by Karen Russell
Set of James Villas' food writing for friend;
'Grace Williams says It Aloud' by Emma Henderson
'Barbarian Nurseries' by Hector Tobin-novel

Vintage copy of 'Mary Anning's Treasures' -favourite childhood book of mine for fossil mad niece;
All three 'books in the 'What Katy Did' series by Susan Coolidge
All of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and a good biography of her family also.

Fennel Fri 09-Dec-11 13:13:09

So far, on my wish list "why be happy when you could be normal".

And books I've bought for the others:

for DP. 2 Terry Pratchetts, as usual.

for 11yo dd1.
Skellig and the sequel.
Science museum cook book.

for 10yo dd2:
Jinny at Finmory omnibus
Thursday's child (Noel Streatfield)
Jennings goes to school (second hand bookshop browsing for some of these)
Richard Dawkins Magic of Reality.
Maybe Sapphire Battersea.

for 7yo dd3:
Judy Moody omnibus (no idea what they're like, Book people offers)
Mary Poppins omnibus
Nurse Matilda (dd3 is in a retro phase, or maybe I am).
Maybe the recent Non-Horrid Henry Francesca Simon.

Pocket1 Fri 09-Dec-11 15:59:23

I have ordered several of the books from the early part of the thread for some lucky boys and girls as Christmas presents. And I've added some to my own amazon wish list. Thank you for your fan book recommends grin

Snapespeare Fri 09-Dec-11 17:05:34

RemusLupin I got myself teh Harry potter page to screen formo Amazon - it's smashing. smile

I've bought DD (16) neil gaimans 'blueberry girl' and naomi Wolf's 'The beauty Myth' plus 'life an exploded diagram' & 'shades of grey'

Ds2 - Nail Gaimans M is for Magic & some old target Doctor Who books

DS1 - some manga books & Scott Pilgrim. smile

Jux Fri 09-Dec-11 17:45:18

The Giving Tree for my friend's 4yo.

AgnesBligg Fri 09-Dec-11 23:51:59

Can somebody recommend a book for my mum?

A nice paperback I can slip into her xmas hamper? She needs cheering up! so perhaps an enjoyable cleverish sort of a read but not too heavy. She loves history factual/historical novels, going through a pre-raphaelite obsession of late...

tia for some inspiration smile.

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