Fabulous Festive Reads and The Winter Reading Challenge

The Christmas holidays are almost upon us, and the Winter Reading Challenge is now running until 20th February next year. Taking part is easy, children simply need to read three or more books. These can be any books of their choice, and there are lots of titles to choose from at your local library to get started. Every time they finish a book, they add it to their Challenge website profile and leave a short book review. Reaching their online reading goal will unlock a limited-edition virtual badge and a special Winter Mini Challenge certificate to print off and keep!
Each time a book is added to the child’s online profile, they will earn a fun digital reward! There will be a whole host of other fun activities, book recommendations, and games from the best children’s authors and illustrators featured on the website. For parents, there is a Home Zone and Library Zone on the reading challenge website with more information on reading, the Challenges and the website.
You can get started with some fabulously fun, festive reads…

Kid Christmas of the Claus Brothers Toy Shop by David Litchfield is a true festive treat centred on kindnessgenerosity and looking after each other and tells the tale of little Nicky Claus, who wanted to make every child happy, if only just for one day.

Nicky Claus works with his three uncles in the Claus Brothers Toy Emporium. Uncle Hanz makes the toys, Uncle Louis checks them and Uncle Levi adds the… what’s the scientific term for it? Ah, yes. The magic! For each toy made at the Emporium has a special sparkle that means it will find the child it is perfect for. 

One day, Nicky notices a young girl with her face pressed up to the glass. When she disappears, he follows her and finds her living on the streets with lots of other children, none of whom can afford a toy. Nicky vows that for one night only, every child will have the toy of their dreams and – with the help of his uncles and some flying reindeer – the legend of Father Christmas is born.

Tenderly told and lovingly illustrated, The Woodcutter And The Snow Prince by Ian Eagleton, illustrated by Davide Ortu is a stunning story that shimmers with Christmas magic. Love and loneliness lie at the heart of this retelling of two stories, skilfully woven together into a story all of their own.

Every Christmas Eve, a lonely woodcutter named Kai carves statues for anyone who might pass by. But one magical night his loneliness is soothed by a visit from the snow prince. Feared by many, Kai sees hope in the prince’s eyes, but as the prince freezes once more, imprisoned in his ice-palace, can Kai break the curse?

Christmas just wouldn’t be Chirstmas without an Alex T. Smith book in my stocking. The Grumpus hits all the right festive notes in this stunningly illustrated story featuring a very grumpy character indeed. Inspired by The Krampus and with a hint of The Grinch, The Grumpus is a heartwarming story that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas, accompanied by irresistible colour artwork to make it the perfect story for all the family to enjoy together.

Do you know about The Grumpus? And his Dastardly, Dreadful Christmas Plan? And about the Awful Thing that happened at the North Pole on Christmas Eve? Perhaps I should tell you about it . . .

The Christmas Carrolls: The Christmas Competition by Mel Taylor-Bessent is just as much fun as our first visit to this Christmas-crazy family – and this time, they have an ice-skating baby penguin!

There’s a new family in town determined to steal the Carrolls’ tinselly crown. Can Holly and her family win the Christmas Chronicle’s competition for the Most Festive Family? Or will they discover that there is more to life than perfect Christmas decorations, a personal toboggan run, and more pressies than you can shake a candy cane at?

Operation Nativity by Jenny Pearson is at laugh-out-loud race to fix a feuding family’s festivities, and Christmas for everyone! Hope, heart and humour are combined with hilarious antics to create a story worthy of the screen.

When Oscar and Molly rush outside to investigate a crash in the night, they’re not expecting to find a dazed Angel Gabriel wandering around their grandparents’ back garden. And they’re certainly not expecting to find themselves in a race to save Christmas.

But if they don’t track down a missing shepherd, wise man, donkey and the actual Mary and Joseph, who’ve all crash-landed in Chipping Bottom, not only will Christmas cease to exist, but they will too. Operation Nativity is on.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas holiday filled with lots of happy reading!