Great Gifts for Christmas (A Review)

How’s the Christmas shopping going? Me? I have one more gift to get…but that’s another story!

Seriously though, if you are even a little in a panic, stop. Take a deep breath and read on! It’s still not too late to pop out or order in those last minute gifts and I have a few ideas that might just be what you’re looking for.

First up, those kind people at Egmont Publishing invited me to choose some books to review for you, from their list of new publications for Christmas 2013.

I chose three which I thought might appeal to Little Chap (who is now five and learning to read himself and whose bookshelves are literally groaning under the weight of his collection, so we’re always looking for something new to read together). That said, I think there’s something for everyone here, whether you are looking for a stocking filler, a special gift for a young child or a pre-Christmas treat to get you and the kids into the Christmas spirit.

imageThe first is a reprint of Little Robin’s Christmas
by Jan Fearnley. Previously published as Little Robin Red Vest, this is a delightful picture book with a lovely story of the little Robin, who selflessly gives away each of his seven little woolly vests to various friends in greater need. Of course, he ends up with his own special little red vest to keep him warm for good but how he gets it, is the subject of a seasonal twist to this feel good Christmas tale that truly shares the real message of Christmas.

It would suit little ones as a bed time story from age 2/3 upwards. It is beautifully illustrated and Little Chap loved that he could anticipate that Robin was going to give away another vest each time he met another friend in need.

Recommended Retail Price: £6.99


The second book is not the sort I would usually buy and to be honest, the price might put me off until Little Chap was a few years older. Angry Birds: The Great Egg Hunt Press Out and Play Book. The push out pieces are quite sturdy but one or two of the longer pieces couldn’t withstand a little frustrated behaviour, when Little Chap was unable to deconstruct what he’d made quick enough for his liking! The book comes with a story book, which an older child could probably try reading themselves.

Recommended Retail Price: £14.99

imageFinally, I chose a book I thought we would enjoy reading together on those nights when we have a little longer for a bedtime story. Michael Morpurgo Christmas Stories
by Michael Morpurgo is a delightful collection of four of his short stories, all with a Christmas Theme and beautifully illustrated by four of the best children’s illustrators of our time – Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman, Emma Chichester Clark and Sophie Allsopp. The stories are probably aimed at slightly older children, maybe 7/8 year olds judging by the number of questions arising from reading the first of them tonight (The Goose is Getting Fat) but with Mr Morpurgo’s smooth, descriptive writing and Sophie Allsopp’s charming illustrations, the story still held his attention and will hopefully help to broaden his vocabulary some more. In true Morpurgo style, his stories deal with difficult subjects (the goose that will be fattened for Christmas Day, sadness, war and the Christmas miracle) but in a way that is accessible to children and the beautiful illustrations help to convey the meaning of some of the new words a younger child may not have come across before.

Recommended Retail Price: £14.99

imageFinally, I would like to tell you that happily, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment have released Shrek the Musical [DVD]
which is now available on Blu-ray, Digital HDT and DVD to add to your joy this Christmas! A live TV recording of the award-winning Broadway show, it is loud (no less than 17 new songs), it is bright, it is full of good feeling and happy endings, with its fair share of goodies, baddies and princesses along the way, with the odd panto dame thrown in for good measure! Let’s not forget everyone’s favourite hero.

It has to be just what you need to keep the kids occupied now they’re under your feet home from school, while you relax with a cup of tea and a mince pie wrap those last minute purchases!

Format: DVD / Blu-ray /Digital HDT
Cert: PG
Price: £24.99 (Blu-ray) / £19.99 (DVD) / £9.99 (Digital HD)

That’s it from me now until the New Year, I’m going to take a few weeks’ break so will take this opportunity to wish all my lovely readers (yes, you too!) a very happy, peaceful and loving Christmas holiday and I look forward to picking up again with you all in 2014!

Disclaimer: All views expressed are my own. I received the items referenced above for the purpose of reviewing them.

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