Top 10 Books for Christmas

Mr Fox columnist Justine Wall picks her top ten books to read to or with your child this Christmas.



Busy Busy World
by Richard Scarry

Still one of the best illustrated books out there: children will delight in the detailed pictures and accessible vocabulary, and adults will enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane with Lowly Worm and Bananas Gorilla.


The Magic Faraway Tree
by Enid Blyton

One of Blyton’s best loved series: this 75th Anniversary edition is particularly lovely. Mark Beech’s illustrations and the adventures of Joe, Beth and Frannie are sure to delight.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
by Tim Burton

An absolute must for the holidays: children will adore Jack Skellington and his good intentions: Burton’s characters and rhyme make this a slightly ghoulish, but ultimately happy tale.

Just William
by Richmal Crompton

The loveable William in all his glory: mischief and high jinks abound in Crompton’s absolute classic.

Pippi Longstocking

by Astrid Lindgren illustrated by Lauren Child

A wonderful story celebrating an unconventional childhood and a wild imagination. Lauren Child’s illustrations are perfectly matched to Lindgren’s narrative, and have the added advantage of being familiar to children.


 Alfie’s Christmas
by Shirley Hughes

Christmas would not be Christmas without Shirley Hughes. If you’re lucky enough to own a copy of Lucy and Tom’s Christmas, now sadly out of print, then all the better. However, if this is your first foray into a Hughes-style Christmas, Alfie and Annie Rose will most certainly become a household favourite.

The Castafiore Emerald
by Hergé

One of the most colourful and glamorous of Tintin’s adventures, owing of course to the great presence of opera singer Bianca Castafiore, this is a Tintin for all the family. Captain Haddock is at his blustering best, Tintin continues to sleuth in his successful understated manner, all under the magical spell of the great Prima Donna herself.

The Kvetch who stole Hannukah

by Bill Berlin

A heartwarming tale: Everyone can identify with the fragile vulnerability of the Kvetch and his fears. An absolute holiday must, and even better when read aloud.

Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers
by John Dougherty

Children will find this book ridiculously silly and hysterically funny. The world of Great Kerfuffle, inhabited by Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face, is filled with adventures,
danger and mischief.

Kicking a Ball
by Allen Ahlberg, illustrated by Sebastien Braun

Both the rhythmic poetry of Ahlberg and the exquisitely detailed illustrations from Braun make this book an instant favourite. Every parent will be able to relate to the little boy in the story who simply adores to kick a ball.

Justine Wall is a teacher, designer and writer. She has a 6 year old son. Her perfect winter Sunday is spent cooking for friends followed by a blustery walk on Salisbury Plain. Follow Justine on Instagram @hectorandhaddock and twitter on @HectorHaddock or visit Hector and Haddock.

Do you know a brilliant Christmas read for children? Share it with our readers in the comments below.