Gift guide: 10 brilliant new kids' books for everyone on your list
The gifts that keep on giving.
We love both gifting and getting books for Christmas. And when it comes to buying for children, we can't think of anything better than a book to be read and enjoyed over and over again.
This year, there are so many wonderful new children's books out, from cute Christmas-themed books for toddlers and pre-school aged children, all the way up to exciting and thrilling YA novels bound to go down a treat with any tweens or teens on your list.
Ready to get some presents ticked off your list? Here are 10 brilliant new kids' books for everyone on your list:
1. A Hug For You
Nothing warms us up quite like a hug, but what can we do when we can't be together? This is the story of a new hug's adventure and the boy who shared it with the world. Adam King stole the hearts of the nation when he introduced us to his Virtual Hug, a heart-shaped sign he carried during the COVID-19 pandemic to help him stay connected to his teacher while he was learning from home. He also took it to his regular hospital appointments to show his doctors, nurses, and care staff that he was still giving them a hug, just in a different way.
This picture book, inspired by true events, tells the story of one little boy with a big idea that came straight from the heart. The virtual hug makes its way onto mugs, postage stamps and even all the way to outer space, spreading warmth and connection to people all over the world.
2. The Great Dream Robbery
Unlike most 12 year-olds, Maya Clayton is desperate to go to bed early. Falling asleep is the only chance she has to save her dad - the brilliant but slightly odd Professor Dexter. The Professor invented a device that allows you to visit other people's dreams. But the devious Lilith Delamere has trapped him inside a nightmare and Maya and the mysterious Dream Bandits must find a way to rescue him before it's too late!
Maya will face a dangerous journey and some difficult choices. But sometimes all you need is a dream . . . and a bit of courage. Featuring a hospital heist, some banana-loving llamas and a talking cat called Bin Bag, this is one mind-bending adventure you won't want to wake up from.
3. Change Sings: A Children's Anthem
A lyrical picture book debut from presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and No.1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long
"I can hear change humming
In its loudest, proudest song.
I don't fear change coming,
And so I sing along."
In this stirring, much-anticipated picture book by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman, anything is possible when our voices join together. As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes - big or small - in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.
4. The Christmasaurus and the Naughty List
The Christmasaurus is back! Get ready for the magical NEW festive adventure from bestselling author and star of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, Tom Fletcher! You know about the Naughty List, right? Well, this year, the Christmasaurus is on a mission to track down children who have found themselves on the Naughty List to help them turn naughty to nice!
This is a collection of stories about mischievous kids learning the error of their ways, but it's also about sharing the true spirit of Christmas and realising that sometimes things aren't quite as they first appear...
5. Daughter of the Deep
From the creator of Percy Jackson, bestselling author Rick Riordan, comes a brand-new adventure, inspired by Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea .
Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana's parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family's she's got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana's freshman year culminates with the class's weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it'll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.
But wait, there's more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. But now the heat is on and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.
6. A Dublin Christmas
To Orla, Christmas means Gran, so when it looks like Gran won’t make it this year, everything feels a lot less festive. And with Christmas spirit everywhere at an all-time low, the whole of Dublin is in darkness.
But then the fairy lights on Orla’s Christmas tree come to life and take her on an enchanting adventure to the National Library, Grafton Street, Stephen’s Green and the GPO. Together, Orla and her new friends attempt to restore the meaning of Christmas and holiday cheer…
A heart-warming festive story that brings Dublin at Christmas to life.
7. The Magpie Society: Two for Joy
Audrey and Ivy, determined to bring their fellow student Lola Radcliffe's killer to justice, find themselves in the middle of another mystery when a friend disappears in suspicious circumstances.
Their only clue is a mysterious card left by the enigmatic Magpie Society. With time running out and the police baffled, Audrey and Ivy must delve deeper than ever into the dark secrets that their school is hiding.
But someone is playing a deadly game. And to beat them, Audrey and Ivy have to start rewriting the rules...
8. The Same, But Different
"If we all looked just the same how boring life would be.
The things that make me different are the things that make me me!’
Little Emer doesn’t like it when she’s teased for having brown skin and fuzzy hair. She wishes she could look like everyone else.
But with a little help from mum, Emer soon learns that we’re all the same but different - and life is better that way!
9. The Great Irish Politics Book
Join political buff David McCullagh and illustrator Graham Corcoran as they guide you through all the things that make our country work. Why do we have a president and a Taoiseach? What is the Seanad and why can only some citizens vote in its elections? Who makes the rules for Ireland and how are they enforced? And what do we do if we want to change them?
Learn what it means to be a citizen and the positive role you can play by helping others, protecting what works and creating change in the world you live in. The latest book in the Gill Books series of important topics tackled by experts, this engaging guide demystifies political systems, elections, voting and government, and explores issues including human rights, freedom of speech and fake news. With clear text and bright illustrations, this book is for anyone who wants to understand
10. The Christmas Pig
Bursting with festive charm and imagination, this magical adventure written by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Field, revolves around a boy’s determined quest to find his missing toy pig before Christmas Day.
Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve something terrible happens – DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life… even toys. And Jack’s newest toy – the Christmas Pig (DP’s annoying replacement) – has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known…