Lesley Beake and Jay Heale give some very last minute choices form their very favourite books (today). It might be different tomorrow!
Lesley: I have chosen books for older readers, there is a huge choice for the smaller children, but Guess how much I love you (available in any bookshop around Christmas) remains a favourite.
I capture the Castle: by Dodie Smith. I have read and reread this book a dozen times and it still enchants me, old-fashioned by surviving the test of time.
Phillip Pullman’s other books! The Golden Compass trilogy is a given, but there is huge enjoyment in his Sally Lockhart series as well (The Ruby in the Smke, The Tiger in the Well and The Tin Princess). Scary, thrilling – very good reads.
Home of the Brave: by Katherine Applegate. Every CBN child has heard extracts from this challenging book about a boy from Africa, a refugee in a cold, snowy landscape. It is about bravery, and love, the most important things in any child’s life.
Lion Boy: by Zizou Corder (a mother and daughter team) a very different book with a lot of surprises.
In South Africa: Anything by Gcina Mhlophe, Jenny Seed, Niki Daly,
Jay: here’s my choice, starting young and working up
Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner (inseparable) by AA Milne, illustrated by EH Shepard – the book(s) I grew up on, still adore, and which when read aloud well can still enchant children today
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson – because of its sheer unexpected simplicity and dislike of brute force
Fly, Eagle, Fly! by Christopher Gregorowski, illustrated by Niki Daly – for its ringing strength of story and glorious pictures
The Sword in the Stone by TH White – because I adore the Arthur legend and it’s very funny
Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff, illustrated by Charles Keeping – a fantastic historical novel by a powerful author aided by a master illustrator
The Red Tree by Shaun Tan – because it is visually beautiful and unbelievable.
Image illustration from: Guess how much I love you