book review parenting

Book gift guide for kids (age 5-8)

Book gift guide for kids

We are a family of bookworms. We love reading, read every night with the children and enjoy discovering new authors. There seem to be so many exciting books out at the moment. I’ve been sourcing books for our Christmas Book Advent (more of that another day) and couldn’t resist sharing some new books for children aged 5-8. My youngest is starting to read to herself with a little help, whilst my 7 year old is a confident reader. I’m so excited to read some of these books with them over the coming weeks.

Book gift guide for kids (age 5-8)

Getting Ready for Christmas (from Nosy Crow)
This National Trust book is a great interactive book for getting excited about Christmas, with a rhyming story and numerous scenes to decorate with over 100 stickers. My 5 year old loves stickers and this is a lovely book for the festive season.

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures by Matt Sewell (from Pavilion Children’s Books)
This large-format hardback is packed with Matt Sewell’s mesmerising watercolour images and plenty of facts and information for dino-fans to pore over. Again my 5 year old loves dinosaurs and I can’t wait to explore the pages with her.

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara (Penguin Random House Children’s)
I’m so excited about this book! A stunning and unforgettable debut that will remind you of the fables you read as a child as told by exciting new author-and-illustrator pairing, sisters Natalia and Lauren O’Hara. With a classic sensibility and lyrical style, the book features a strong heroine and an empowering message. Classic and contemporary, dark and light, and with humour and love peppered throughout, this is an original picture book from real, new talent, with an important story about embracing all sides of yourself – perfect for my 5 year old.

The Marvellous Moon Map by Teresa Heapy, illustrated by David Litchfield (Penguin Random House Children’s)
“I’ve got you, and you’ve got me – so we’ll be all right”. One day, adventurous Mouse sets off to find the moon with his Marvellous Moon Map, leaving his worried friend Bear behind. But as the Woods get darker, and the weather gets worse, Mouse soon realises that he needs more than just the Moon Map to find his way . . .
An emotional and atmospheric tale of true friendship, beautifully told by Teresa Heapy with stunning illustrations from Waterstones Prizewinning David Litchfield.

Where Bear? by Sophy Henn (Penguin Random House Children’s)
The 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal-nominated Where Bear? is out now in chunky board book format, perfect for little hands this Christmas! A deceptively simple and exquisitely illustrated picture book about a little boy and his bear and finding a place called home. Told with humour and warmth, this is a story to capture the heart of its reader, young or old. We have lots of Sophy Henn books and love her style, we can’t wait to read this.

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries (Penguin Random House Children’s)
Do you ever hear strange, creaking noises at night? Ever wonder what makes those noises? Lucy Dungston always did. Until, one morning, Lucy discovers that all the grown-ups have disappeared – as if into thin air. Chaos descends as the children in Lucy’s town run riot. It’s mayhem. It’s madness. To most kids, it’s amazing!
But Lucy wants to find out the truth. Lucy lost her dad not long ago, and she’s determined not to lose her mum too. She’s going to get her back – and nothing is going to stop her…except maybe… The Creakers.
We love The Dinosaur that Pooped series so can’t wait to read this book.

Father Christmas’s Fake Beard Terry Pratchett (Penguin Random House Children’s)
Have you ever wanted Christmas to be different? Turkey and carols, presents and crackers – they all start to feel a bit…samey. How about a huge exploding mince pie, a pet abominable snowman, or a very helpful partridge in a pear tree? What if Father Christmas went to work at a zoo, or caused chaos in a toy store, or was even arrested for burglary!?

I have to admit I’ve never read anything by Terry Pratchett but this sounded so much fun. Dive into the fantastically funny world of Terry Pratchett, for a festive treat like no other. These ten stories will have you laughing, gasping and crying (with laughter) – you’ll never see Christmas in the same way again!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Folio Society)
The little prince lived on a very small planet, hardly any bigger than a house. Lonely on his tiny world, one day the prince, catching hold of a migration of wild birds, left on a journey across the stars to learn life’s mysteries of love, loss and beauty in a universe corrupted by grown-up logic. First published in 1943, and since translated into 270 languages and 26 different alphabets, few books have touched the world like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s modern fable The Little Prince. In its first Folio edition, this definitive two-volume production includes a new introduction by Saint-Exupéry’s biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff, as well as restored versions of Saint-Exupéry’s unforgettable illustrations, as inseparable from the story as the words themselves.

I first read The Little Prince over 2 years ago and the story has stayed with me. This definitive two-volume edition of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince features his original and unforgettable illustrations. It’s the perfect keepsake to give at Christmas.

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One by Philip Pullman (Penguin Random House Children’s)
Philip Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials with this magnificent first volume of The Book of Dust.
Malcolm Polstead’s life in the pub beside the Thames is safe and happy enough, if uneventful. But during a winter of unceasing rain the forces of science, religion and politics begin to clash, and as the weather rises to a pitch of ferocity, all of Malcolm’s certainties are torn asunder.
Finding himself linked to a baby by the name of Lyra, Malcolm is forced to undertake the challenge of his life and make a dangerous journey that will change him and Lyra forever.

Hands up who devoured His Dark Materials? Me! This was another series of books which has stayed with me and I’m so excited to read this. Twenty-two years after the publication of His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman returns to this epic parallel world in a masterful new novel: the long awaited The Book of Dust. I’m hoping my 7 year old is ready to be introduced to the amazing talents of Philip Pullman.

Have you read any of these books yet? I think reading with children is the best gift you can give. To me there is nothing better than sharing a story to spark a child’s imagination.


  • Reply
    November 19, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Books are my ultimate go to present for kids. I used to love my story books when I was little so I always try to pass on that joy. I love the look of Hortense and the Shadow, there’s a little girl in my life that this would be perfect for!

    Katie xoxo

  • Reply
    Erin Ek Rush
    November 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    We were just talking about some new books for Xmas. Hortense and the Shadow sounds perfect for us.

  • Reply
    Rhian Westbury
    November 20, 2017 at 7:29 am

    I’ve never read any of these but you’ve got to love a good Terry Pratchet book x

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 8:30 am

    I always like to ensure my nieces and nephews get a book on their birthday and Christmas x

    • Reply
      November 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      I don’t think you can go wrong with the gift of a book.

  • Reply
    Amanda Millie
    November 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    This sounds awesome! I think my 7yr old would love Father Christmas’ fake beard.

    • Reply
      November 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      It sounds great, doesn’t it?! Can’t wait to read it with my son.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Caitlin would probably like Philip Pullman (she’s 10) but we’ve just got Ieuan on to Diary of A Wimpy Kid – a miracle! I quite fancy reading The Little Prince myself.

  • Reply
    Tanya Brannan
    November 21, 2017 at 11:23 am

    I always loved choosing new books girls when they were smaller, and I always made sure they would get a good selection for Christmas. Some of these sound great reads for little and not so little ones!

  • Reply
    Rebecca Smith
    November 21, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations – Jack loves reading and I’ve been looking for some new books for him

  • Reply
    La French Connection
    November 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Being a Frenchie, I was raised with Le Petit Prince. It’s a very nice story and it’s much deeper that it seems at first. I would definitely recommend it.

  • Reply
    Our 2017 Book Advent books (perfect for 5-7 year olds) -
    November 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

    […] storybook) by Tara Lilly and Father Christmas’s Fake Beard by Terry Pratchett. See my recent book gift guide post for more on these […]

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