Best Children’s books for 2017 – Stocking fillers’ inspiration
- Published on Saturday, 16 December 2017 11:05
- Last Updated on 15 December 2017
- Monica Costa
Do you need Stocking fillers’ inspiration? Check London Mums’ best children’s books for 2017 and pick the perfect book to unwrap children’s imaginations this Christmas. I am a bookworm and I know that not everybody would appreciate books as much as I do but all kids love story telling especially if you read to them. Being read a story is a treat that was a theme of my Lauren Child’s interview – she is London Mums’ magazine cover lady this Winter.
Here is a selection of picture books and youth novels reviewed and recommended by London Mums and Kids’ Club in 2017. Most of these books made to the top of our coffee table and have been selected as books of the week. Enjoy and let us know which one is your favourite for 2017!
Lockwood & Co: The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud
Sherlock meets Ghostbusters in this spooky series about teenage ghost-hunting detectives. The Empty Grave is final book in the Lockwood saga. Join Lucy, Lockwood, George and Holly for one last time as they battle ghosts and humans for truth and justice in this breath-taking finale to the bestselling series. Set five months after the events of The Creeping Shadow, the fifth instalment of the critically acclaimed series takes the members of the ramshackle Detection Agency into the Fittes Mausoleum. There they will discover the body of the fabled psychic, Marissa Fittes. If she decided to stick around…
From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon comes an exciting high-adventure series – set in an ancient, magical time, full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites.
This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.
In this whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must forget their differences if they’re going to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort, where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring…
The perfect book to educate and entertain children in making their own films all holiday, from the two founding directors of Sparks Film and Media Arts
Little People, Big Dreams Series
With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world.
From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!
London Mums’ picture book of the week is Boogie Bear by David Walliams and funnily illustrated by Tony Ross. We enjoyed it because it has a lot more words than ordinary picture books and is hilarious. What increases the fun factor is the use of invented words and expressions by Walliams in the same style of Roald Dahl. Walliams is in fact considered Dahl’s successor.
There’s something about spacecrafts and trains that fascinates children and parents alike. There’s a new beautiful book series called Legendary Journeys dedicated to those engineering wonders that we will never stop admiring.
The Statue of Liberty is the star of a new children’s picture book called Her Right Foot written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris. Undoubtedly The Statue of Liberty is the most famous statue of all time. In fact if you ask anybody to name any statue, the odds are good they’d mention the Statue of Liberty. I have seen her (yes, for me it is a she, a real lady) already a couple of times when visiting New York. She is stunning and majestic, standing there holding a torch and a book while taking one step forward. But why (I have always wondered)?
Christmas stories belong only at Christmas time with two exceptions: Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Bah! Humbug! by Michael Rosen (with drawings by “Horrid Henry” illustrator, Tony Ross), which is a magical retelling of Dickens’ famous festive story.
As a parent of a secondary school child who has tons of homework every day, I am always after books that can help instil passion for the subjects studied at school and help support his learning. I have found an amazing manual for basic chemistry that does exactly this. It’s The Periodic Table: A Visual Guide to the Elements by Tom Jackson recently published by Aurum Press.
An unseen work written by the celebrated novelist Vita Sackville-West for the miniature library of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House has been published today (16 October 2017) for the first time by Royal Collection Trust.
I love books about London and London things. The Rusty Old Postbox is my picture book of the week and has a London theme as well as a Christmas theme so it will be of particular appeal in the search for gifts for children aged between 5 and 8, and their parents who will read the story to them. It is also a book gift idea for those grandparents who would buy the title for the illustrations and gift value.
I read and review a lot of books every year. I reckon in the region of 100 between novels, manuals and picture books. The book market is growing at an exponential level particularly children’s titles. There’s a book with a very unique interactive content and approach that has particularly struck a chord with me, and that is Good night stories for rebel girls. So much so that I have voted it the London Mums’ children book of the year. This is why…
Read more …
September is Roald Dahl’s birth month, and each year on phizz-whizzing Roald Dahl Day on 13th September, the annual, global celebration of the world’s number one storyteller, there are special events and publications. This year there’s a new release of the classic BILLY AND THE MINPINS (published by Penguin), illustrated for the first time by Quentin Blakewhich completes Dahl and Blake’s iconic partnership. Read more …
If you want your children to stop using swearwords make them read The Ultimate Insult Generator filled with over 60 Million Hilarious Zingers and Stingers published by Laurence King in August 2017. The Ultimate Insult Generator is a zany new insult-generating flipbook by the hilarious comic writer and children’s author, Mike Barfield. My 11 year old son could not put it down for the first week since getting it.
Today’s children are often bombarded with videos and cannot easily focus on reading a paper book. I have recently discovered the magic effect of audiobooks on my 10 year old son. Diego and I have been recently listening to The Railway Children a lot. This audio gave us the chance to talk about this classic novel in a new mature way considering the historical moment, the way children lived during the Edwardian era, comparing it to our modern life, and so on. Audiobooks have traditionally been used with struggling readers or non-readers to help them to access literature and enjoy books. But they can equally be used with avid readers. I love paper books, for example, but I have now discovered the BBC audio for children’s classics and must say that they are very pleasant as they make difficult books so accessible. Read more …
Jeremy Strong has done it again! The King of Comedy has written a brilliantly funny new book, My Brother’s Famous Bottom Makes a Splash, which is the perfect summer read! I have had a chat with him recently to talk about his writing career, his latest book, to ask him tips for aspiring authors and to find out what he is working on at the moment. Just a quick WARNING for when your kids (or yourself) will read this book:
THIS BOOK IS VERY FUNNY. Readers may experience:
Crying with laughter Read more …
The Summer is great but children need lots of entertainment and it cannot always be video games or outdoor playing. A good book is always a blessing especially if it inspires children with ideas for creative activities. My favourite ones have to be My London: Colour Draw, Explore and My New York: Colour, Draw, Explore by Majel van der Muelen.
The media are all about science and technology and there are really inspirational science books for kids out there. No wonder so many kids want to be scientists these days. My 10 year old son Diego picked two of the best ones for his Summer holidays. Be prepared to have plenty of household junk available for the experiments. Read more …
When I was a school girl in the Seventies and Eighties in Italy, Greek Myths were compulsory but not difficult reads. The tales of the colourful Greek Gods contained universal messages and memorable wisdom. I am really pleased that Scribblers, an imprint of The Salariya Book Company, have just published a new book Greek Myths Volume 1 by Jacqueline Morley. With this book I am sure my 10 year old son will be able to truly appreciate the same stories that accompanied my childhood.
The dream of flying is as old as human race. The inspirational true story of how the Wright brothers managed to get this dream into reality is now told in a beautiful picture book by Adam Hancher’s called Taking Flight. The Wright brothers and their quest to conquer the skies is now explained step-by-step to children and published to coincide with the anniversary of Wilbur Wright’s 150th birthday.
Read more …
See You in the Cosmos is one of Penguin Random House’s biggest debuts for 2017 and a book we at London Mums are really excited about as we feel it has the same potential as Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It has already been receiving early rave reviews from authors including Jennifer Niven and Robin Stevens, who are two authors of youth novels whom I adore. I personally agree with New York Times bestselling author of All the bright places, Jennifer Niven about this book. It is truly moving. She said: ‘I haven’t read anything that has moved me this much since Wonder . . . [Alex’s] extraordinary journey is relatable and timeless, and I wanted to stay forever in this funny, wise, beautiful world.’
Before & After is a unique and playful board book created by illustrator Jean Jullien. It’s published by Phaidon on 13 March 2017 (RRP £8.95) and is suitable for children aged 2-4 but can be enjoyed by older kids and parents alike. Read more
Usborne’s latest book Peep Inside a Fairy Tale Beauty and the Beast will coincide with Disney’s new live action Beauty and the Beast movie.Peep Inside is one of Usborne’s bestselling preschool series, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. Peep Inside a Fairy Tale Beauty and the Beast will delight and enchant children and parent alike, with fabulous illustrations by Lorena Alvarez. Read more …
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story™ was released mid December 2016 and since then it has broken records to become the biggest film of 2016 in the UK after just 17 days on release. It’s clear that the Force could not be stronger with this latest release. 2016 has been a phenomenal year for The Walt Disney Studios at the UK Box office with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Jungle Book and Finding Dory all in the Top Five, with each taking over £40M. With the addition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Captain America: Civil War, Disney has released an incredible five of the Top Ten grossing films and, including Zootropolis and Doctor Strange, seven films this year have taken over £20M.Publishers haven’t wasted time to bring out visually stunning and meticulously researched books to support the movies. London Mums’ favourite Rogue One titles are published by DK because they deliver the ultimate fan experience, providing readers with a wholly comprehensive look at the stand-alone film in unparalleled detail, covering everything from the new characters to the latest technologies and vehicles. These new books for young readers and adults are available in a variety of formats and utilise DK’s signature approach of combining high-impact art and photography with authoritative text.
Book of the week is DK’s How to draw. I have chosen a manual instead of a novel or a picture book because this is really a great book packed with practical tips and inspiring ideas on how to draw starting from the cover and is useful over half term holidays when kids needs lots of entertaining activities. What both my 10 year old son Diego and I love about this manual are the easy suggestions to draw animals, people and places which are usually quite difficult unless you are naturally really talented at drawing.
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Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums