The Parrot Street Christmas gift guide for bookworms

Published on Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Christmas presents

Our favourite Christmas gift mantra is this:

Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
And something to read

It won’t surprise you in the slightest to hear that we believe that books make the best Christmas gifts for kids. As we all know, they are tech free, plastic free and fun! All year we’ve been rooting out the best books for kids and sending them to our subscribers. We’re very careful to send books that we don’t think our subscribers will easily have discovered for themselves, so each month they receive a hidden gem from the children’s book world.

But that’s not to say that we don’t love some of the more established names in children’s literature too. There have been some truly amazing books published this year by some of our favourite authors and illustrators. So, in our Christmas gift guide for bookworms, we are pleased to be able to highlight some of the best books published this year, all of which we think would make great stocking fillers.

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Mr Penguin and the Catastrophic Cruise by Alex T. Smith

This is the third instalment in Alex T. Smith’s Mr Penguin series, packed with laugh-out-loud slapstick humour, mystery, adventure and of course the author’s own brilliant illustrations. We love this series. Perfect for kids aged 5+.

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Mustafa’s Jumper by Coral Rumble, illustrated by Charlotte Cooke

Published by one of our favourite independent children’s publishers, Wacky Bee, this beautifully illustrated tale of new friends Milo and Mustafa makes a great introduction to discussion about what it means to be a refugee. Perfect for kids aged 5+.

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The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, illustrated by Chris Mould

This new edition of Ted Hughes’ classic tale has been stunningly illustrated by Chris Mould and would make an exceptional gift for kids of all ages. Perfect for kids aged 6+.

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The Paninis of Pompeii by Andy Stanton, illustrated by Sholto Walker

Possibly the most anticipated book of the year at Parrot Street HQ, this is the first book from Andy Stanton since his hilarious and much-loved Mr Gum series. Full of brilliantly silly characters and outrageous word play, it does not disappoint! Perfect for kids aged 7+.

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Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

One of the most exciting and funniest debuts of the year, this won the Little Rebels Award last year and was CBBC book of the month in June. The cartoon-style illustrations and hilarious lead character make this perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid. Perfect for kids aged 7+.

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The Girl Who Speaks Bear, by Sophie Anderson

Another much-anticipated new book here at Parrot Street HQ, this is Sophie Anderson’s follow up to the wonderful The House With Chicken Legs. A charming and beautifully told folk-inspired tale. We completely fell in love with Yanka. Perfect for kids aged 8+.

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Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Another fantastic and very well-reviewed debut, this is the first in a new fantasy series set in the chillingly named Eerie-on-Sea. Strange and spooky but utterly riveting. Perfect for kids aged 8+.

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The Frozen Sea by Piers Torday

The sequel to last year’s The Lost Magician, this is a truly spell-binding fantasy adventure story in which four siblings re-enter the literary-inspired magical world of Folio on a mysterious and dangerous quest. Ideal for fans of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Perfect for kids aged 9+.

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The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Rauf

The second book by Blue Peter Book Award-winning author Onjali Rauf, this inspiring tale tells the story of Aniya, who finds herself living in foster care following her mum’s disappearance. It’s a beautiful and carefully told story that explores the impacts of domestic violence. Perfect for kids aged 9+.

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The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

Katherine Rundell, author of Rooftoppers and The Explorer, needs no introduction. Her fifth novel is set in New York and offers the usual combination of outstanding imaginative storytelling and gripping adventure. Perfect for kids aged 9+.

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FloodWorld by Tom Huddleston

This gripping dystopian adventure story is set in a near-future world in which our cities as we know them have been entirely submerged by rising waters. The book stars two fearless young characters packed with fun and attitude. Perfect for kids aged 10+.

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Guardians of Magic by Chris Riddell

This is the first volume in a new magical adventure series written and illustrated by the wonderful Chris Riddell, creator of Goth Girl and Ottoline. Illustrated throughout in the author’s inimitable style, this promises to become a future classic. Perfect for kids aged 10+.


P.S. Our subscriptions also make great gifts for bookworms. After all, a book subscription really is the gift that keeps on giving, and we’ve made it easier than ever to give a gift subscription with our gift vouchers, which are available for 3, 6 and 12-month subscriptions. Find out more here.