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Christmas gift guide: The best children's books of 2019

By Melody Tan 2 min read

Harry Potter and the Wimpy Kid aren't on this list. If you want to give your child a book that isn't run-of-the-mill, this guide is for you. 

3 Christmas books for your preschoolers

From Christmas-themed books to those that will inspire kids to change the world, the following books are fun reads for a younger audience.  

1. We're Going on an Elf Chase

Martha Mumford & Laura Hughes

Bloomsbury Publishing

A$12.99 | NZ$14.99

There are rhyming verses and cute illustrations, but the lift-the-flap pages are what makes this a really fun book. It's a good opportunity to explore and discuss with your child all the typical Christmas symbols as they search for flaps on the pages to lift and reveal hidden elves. It's bright, it's festive and while all the snow isn't quite reflective of hot Christmases in the southern hemisphere, the book does retain all the magic and charm of the season.

2. I'm Ready for Christmas

Jedda Robaard

Puffin Books

A$12.99 | NZ$15.99

If you're looking for a true Aussie/Kiwi Christmas story, then this is the book for you. Filled with adorable and colourful illustrations, this is a book that encapsulates all the anticipation, warmth and joy of Christmas. I'm Ready for Christmas is one of a series of books to help parents explain some exciting milestones in a child's life, including starting preschool, a new sibling and swimming lessons.

3. Take Heart, Take Action

Beci Orpin

Lothian Children's Books

A$19.99 | NZ$24.99

Not your typical picture book in that there isn't a narrative or a story. Instead, what you'll find are talking points or conversation starters on the different things kids can do to make a positive impact on the world today. There is even further expansion on how to broach the various topics—from "be kind", "save water" to "consume less"—at the back of the book.

Relevant: 4 Cheap Ways to Entertain the Children These Christmas Holidays

3 Christmas books for your primary-aged kids

Imagine your child deeply engrossed on Christmas day thanks to a book. Imagine the peace. Imagine the smiles. Imagine no more with these books.

1. Old Tom (25th Anniversary Edition)

Leigh Hobbs

Allen & Unwin

A$14.99 | NZ$16.99

If you grew up familiar with Old Tom, this is your chance to introduce your favourite character to your kids with the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of a well-loved story. If this is the first time you've heard of Old Tom, this mischievous cat has eight books to his name and stars in a successful TV series too. Reading more like a comic book, it is suitable for young readers who are just getting the hang of reading.

2. Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

Puffin Books

A$39.99 | NZ$48.00

An activity book featuring five of Roald Dahl's most-loved books, this is probably better suited for children who are already familiar with the author and his works. Full of press-out pieces, journey through the pages to gain a new perspective on the characters from James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and the Twits.

3. How to Build Brick TV and Movie Cars

Peter Blackert

Quarto Publishing

A$35.00 | NZ$39.99

Perfect for the Lego, film and car-mad child (or adult, ahem)—and even better if this gift came with some specific Lego pieces. With its intricate Lego-car designs and throwback to 1980s films, this is a great excuse for some parent-and-child bonding, both for the projects and the shows that shaped them. 


Christmas recipes to try with the kids

Homemade Christmas Granola

Avocado Pops

Melody Tan is editor of "Mums At The Table" magazine and a regular panellist on "Mums At The Table" TV show. She lives in Sydney with her husband and her son.