Christmas Book Quandries

By Katherine Woodfine | 19 December, 2015

As part of our 2015 Christmas Special, we answered your festive book queries and helped recommend the perfect books to put under the Christmas tree this year. Here are some of our recommendations:


Rudolph Fitzgerald @writingruth: Suggestions please for books for 11 yr old who loves Zoella & Geek Girl and a 15 yr old who loves @oneilllo & @holly_bourneYA

For the 11 year old:

The Model Undercover series by Carina Axelsson (Usborne)

The It Girl by Katy Birchall (Egmont)

Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan (Bloomsbury)

Love, Lies And Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon (Stripes)

Cathy Cassidy’s Chocolate Box series

Waiting For Callback by Honor and Perdita Cargill (S&S)

For the 15 year old:

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Tanya Byrne

Non Pratt

The Art Of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (DFB)

All Of The Above by James Dawson (Hot Key Books)

The Disreputable History of Frankie Banks by E Lockhart (Hot Key Books)

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhew (Hot Key Books)


Laura @272BookFaith: Any recommendations for Faith (11) would be fab!

Terry Pratchett – Truckers series or Dodger

Betsy-Tacy series – Maud Hart Lovelace (US import)

Louie Stowell @louiestowell: A mate was asking the other day for non-bestseller pic books for his 2 year old, as he felt he only heard about the famous ones.

Kirstie Meehan - What about contemporary picture books for small children that you think might become classics, and are worth getting to build up a child’s library? I’m thinking of books like the Oliver Jeffers books, which are so beautifully illustrated.

Kevin Waldron – Mr Peek And The Misunderstanding At The Zoo (Templar), Tiny Little Fly (Walker), The Owl And The Pussycat (Simon & Schuster)

Marta Altés – I Am An Artist; Draw With Marta Altés: You Are An Artist (Macmillan)

Louise Yates – Dog Loves Books, Dog Loves Numbers, Dog Loves Drawing (Random House)

Beatrice Alemagna – A Lion In Paris (Tate), The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty (Thames & Hudson)

Andrea Beaty and David Roberts - Happy Birthday Mme Chapeau (Little, Brown)

Rebecca Cobb – Aunt Amelia, The Paper Dolls (Macmillan)

Emma Chichester Clark

Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Axel Scheffler - Pip And Posy (Nosy Crow)

Catherine Rayner

Jon Klassen

Chris Haughton

Shaun Tan - Rules Of Summer


Judith Evans - Brainy and lovely 4 year old, into vehicles, singing, dinosaurs and Frozen. Loved “You Choose” when he was a bit younger. Any book suggestions much appreciated!

Daisy Knox Calvo - 5 year old - into dinosaurs, dancing, machines, jokes, facts; hates peril/sad bits; looking for books he can read himself (very competent reader)

Penny Dale’s Dinosaur Digs! Series (Nosy Crow)

The Claude Books – Alex T Smith (Hodder)

Dixie O’Day series – Shirley Hughes & Clara Vuillamy (Random House)

Mango and Bambang series – Polly Faber & Clara Vuillamy (Walker)


Bronwyn Graves - Yay! I love this. Ok, so the girl is 13 now and continues to be a tremendous bookworm. The last few books that she got really into were To Kill a Mockingbird, Never Let Me Go, 1984, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, and The Night Circus. She loves anything by Connie Willis. She doesn’t like Austen (sob) but she liked Jane Eyre and Great Expectations.

Margaret Atwood – Alias Grace (Virago)

Laini Taylor – Daughter Of Smoke & Bone (Hodder)

Leigh Bardugo

Lev Grossman - The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Arrow)

Frances Hardinge – The Lie Tree (Macmillan)

Emily St John Mandel – Station Eleven (Macmillan)

The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (W&N)


Listen to our 2015 Christmas Special for lots more festive book recommendations and ideas

Books of the Year 2015

By Katherine Woodfine | 17 December, 2015

Check out our favourite children's books of 2015 - as discussed in our DTRH Christmas Special!


Picture books


The Christmas Tree Story by Della Huddy and Emily Sutton (Walker)

Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder)

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph (HarperCollins)

Non and Louise:

The Princess And The Pony by Kate Beaton (Walker)


Imelda and The Goblin King by Briony May Smith (Flying Eye)

Dinosaur Rocket by Penny Dale (Nosy Crow)


Super Happy Magic Forest by Matty Long (Oxford University Press)

Middle Grade


The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine (Egmont)


The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury)

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine (Egmont)

Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (PRH)

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons (Nosy Crow)


An Island Of Our Own by Sally Nicholls (Scholastic)


Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (Andersen)


Teen and Young Adult


Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (Andersen)

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (PRH)


Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne (Usborne)


Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Puffin)

Seed by Lisa Heathfield (Egmont)


PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han (Scholastic)



Tom & Melissa:

The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan and Sol Linero (Wide-Eyed)


The Story Of Money by Martin Jenkins illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura (Walker)


Swan: The Life And Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder illustrated by Julie Morstad (Chronicle)



Listen to the 2015 DTRH Christmas Special with special guests Non Pratt, Nadia Shireen and Tom Bonnick