Earlier this year I was sent a large selection of books from Little Tiger Press to review and I have to say that they remain The Boy's favourite storybooks for bedtimes and sofa-snuggle sessions. I think the reason that he is so taken with them (and that we enjoy reading them with him) so much is down to the innocent stories, invariable featuring animals brought to life with personalities and names (they remind me slightly of the Brambly Hedge books of my own childhood), and the beautiful illustrations.
I've been sent some of their Christmas books for The Boy and us to enjoy, and I want to share them with you. Not because this is a review and I have to, but because I truly believe they are delightful books which your own littlies will love.
In "I've Seen Santa!" (by David Bedford & Tim Warnes) it is Christmas Eve and Little Bear is greatly looking forward to seeing Santa, but is so concerned that he might forget about him that he decides to stay up after Mummy Bear and Daddy Bear have gone to bed to check he comes. Throughout the course of the night (before Santa arrives) he catches both Daddy and Mummy Bear checking that everything is ok because they too are worried. Will Little Bear get to see Santa?
This book is available in both a normal paperback, and a paperback with a story CD read by Lesley Sharp and Jason Isaacs, who read the story beautifully. We've got a few story CDs and the Little Tiger Press ones are some of the best because of the way that they read the story through twice, allowing for the child to follow it page by page on the second reading.
This picture book and CD set has an RRP of £7.99 but is on offer with Amazon for £5.99 at the moment.
Millicent Mouse is looking forward to Christmas greatly, and with only one day left to prepare she busies herself making apple-nut pie and hot honey punch, and gathering ivy and berries to decorate her home. While she is out in the crunchy snow, she discovers a great many animals who need her help and kindness, which she willingly gives. That night she goes to bed without anything prepared for the next day, but the contentment of knowing she's helped her friends. Will they repay the kindness?
"The Best Christmas Ever!" (by Marni McGee & Gavin Scott) is a heart-warming tale of friendship and selflessness which helps to illustrate to children one of the important aspects of Christmas: giving without expectation of reward. RRP £5.99, Amazon has it for £4.49.
"Dear Santa" (by Kathryn White & Polona Lovsin) tells the story of Little Bear (a different one to the one above!) who, while playing in the snow, finds a letter addressed to Santa. Distressed that someone might not receive their Christmas presents if the letter doesn't get to Santa, Little Bear sets off with Rabbit to deliver the letter by hand (or paw, rather). Along the way they meet a host of helpful friends who help them in their adventure, but once lost in a snow blizzard who can rescue them?
In this hardback book there is also a letter-writing kit so that pre-schoolers can write (or draw) their own letter to Santa, which is a lovely touch and makes this book feel that much more special. RRP of £7.99, available from Amazon.
Big Mouse and Little Mouse are busy on Christmas Eve making food for the next day's festivities and decorating their home. Little Mouse is eager to find some beries and eventually, after straying a bit further from home than normal, finds some but is alarmed when 'the sky starts falling down' around him. He rushes home through the 'sky' which has settled onto the ground to ask Big Mouse what to do, but his journey home is full of new discoveries which he needs some reassurance about.
"The Very Snowy Christmas" (by Diana Hendry & Jane Chapman) introduces snow to young children in a way which many can identify with. This is also a picture book and CD set read by Lesley Sharp and Jason Isaacs, and is available from Amazon for £7.19 (RRP £7.99)
This one is my favourite book out of the five for the interactive qualities throughout. "Santa's Special Letter' (by Josephine Collins & Gail Yerrill) tells of Father Christmas' final preparations in getting the presents ready for all the chilldren (and creatures) of the world and loading up his sleigh. When he starts to check them off against his list, he discovers that he has missed a letter and hasn't got the present ready. His helpers, including Pip the Mouse, help him to find the red and yellow letter so that he can make that elusive present. Will he have it ready in time?
One of the best features of a book for pre-schoolers is encouraging interaction with the book and interest in reading on to discover the story. In "Santa's Special Letter" there are red and yellow envelopes scattered throughout the pages, each containing a letter to be read, and plenty of flaps to lift and a beautiful final pop-up to enjoy. Top marks for this book! RRP £8.99 with an Amazon price of £5.39. Bargain, buy it now!
Little Tiger Press has a whole heap of Christmas picture books which you can enjoy with your children, if you don't fancy one of those I've highlighted, please explore the others in the range; there's bound to be one for your family!
I was sent these books for the purpose of this review. My opinion is honest and unbiased.