It’s about the kids really though isn’t it? Not to harp on or anything, but if you haven’t already come independently to the conclusion that reading is the best gift of all, then perhaps you’ve wandered over here by mistake. Or perhaps (and this is where it gets real, folks) we’re about to convince you that it doesn’t get much better than super-multi-storey treehouses, wimpy kids who also suck at basketball, grannies who dabble in a little jewel heisting on the side, mythic deep sea adventures, talking pigs with cunning plans, and… well, just all the incredible madness that makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records every year. The best gift you can give a kid for Christmas is a book (it’s actually books, plural). And that’s just the truth of it. Fortunately, you’re rather spoiled for choice this year. There’s a fair chance you’ll be needing to get all of these:
Big Shot (DOAWK 16) by Jeff Kinney
Our favourite Wimpy Kid tackles the high-action world of sports and it goes… well, it goes how things usually go for Greg – hilariously!
That’s it! Greg Heffley has had it with sports. He’s officially packing it all in. That last school competition was really the last straw. He will not be adding pro-athlete to his resume. And yet, somehow, Greg’s mom manages to convince him to give it another go. You know what mums are like. So Greg has a go at basketball. Seems simple enough. But tryouts are a disaster… although he still manages to make it onto the worst basketball team that has ever dribbled on itself. Who knows? Maybe they just might have a shot. Maybe Greg can turn it all around. The sixteenth Diary of a Wimpy Kid, half book, half cartoon strip, keeps the funny coming and the balls in motion.
Daughter of The Deep by Rick Riordan
This time Rick Riordan – master of action-packed legends retold – takes inspiration from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to deliver a deeply thrilling deep sea adventure.
Harding-Pencroft is a school for nautical champions. Marine biologists, underwater explorers, naval geniuses… this is what Harding-Pencroft does. And Ana Dakkar has just begun. Her parents perished in an expedition two years ago, so her brother is the only family she has left. He’s a student at Harding-Pencroft too. Now it’s time for the “trial at sea” , the final test of Ana’s first year. On the drive to the trial, however, Ana and her classmates witness a tragedy that will impact the rest of their lives. And somehow, The Land Institute, age-old rivals of her school, are involved. Ana is about to discover all sorts about her own capacity for leadership, her parental inheritance and deadly villainy.
Gangsta Granny Strikes Again! by David Walliams
Gangsta Granny is back… and this time the mayhem is even more unpredictable than before! Walliams is back with another corker.
Life’s just not been as much fun without his Granny, but Ben is reluctantly adjusting. At least he has the memories of their many scrabble games, their messes in the kitchen… that time they worked together to steal the Crown Jewels. Granny to some, international jewel thief The Black Cat to others, she is sorely missed. But wait. Could she be back somehow? When some of the world’s most valuable treasures go missing in the dead of night, some recognise it as The Black Cat’s work. There’s only one thing for it. Ben will have to get to the bottom of this himself! Cue the madcap hilarity and timeless shenanigans!
The 143-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
One, hundred, and, forty-three! Can you believe it? Can you even begin to imagine what that might look like? The Treehouse is back with more hilarity and boundless creativity than you could ever shake 143 sticks at.
Everybody’s favourite gravity-defying, expectation-confounding, mind-blowing treehouse is back at last with another thirteen absurd and marvelous levels. Is there no limit to the manic imagination of Andy and Terry? No. No is basically the answer.This time around, we get the word-o-matic (which knows every word in the whole universe… ‘nuff said), a cave with an actual real life dragon, a recycling centre (because a treehouse that big needs a way to deal properly with its rubbish), a graveyard (where it’s always midnight), and a nice tranquil campsite (because Andy and Terry are definitely going to need a break from all this excitement). The only thing is: the little camping holiday that they have planned for themselves, probably won’t end up being as chilled-out as our enterprising duo were hoping. But what ever does?
The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
All the spirit and friendship and heartwarmingness for which Rowling is beloved… plus a pretty awesome pig. Who could say no?
Rowling’s first kids’ book since what’s-his-name is a Christmassy romp of living toys, daring plans and porcine delight.
Dur Pig (DP for short) and Jack (Jack for short) have been together forever. Jack has never loved a toy as much as he loves DP. So when DP goes missing, one Christmas Eve, it’s completely heartbreaking. Thankfully, Christmas Eve is known to be a night of magic and wonder. On Christmas Eve, as every kid knows, things come to life. Jack is quick with a plan – and so is his replacement toy, Christmas Pig, and neither of them is low on bravery. Between them, they might just be able to save Jack’s very best friend. The whole family will fall in love with this gorgeous new tale of spirit and friendship. And, thanks to the singularly handsome illustrations of Jim Field and the all-round beauty of this heartwarming book, The Christmas Pig is a gift everyone will want to get.
Guinness World Records 2022
The record scouts have turned up some real treats this year, meaning that you can take a brand new, mad, intriguing, sometimes gross, always awesome tour of the world from the comfort of wherever you like.
GWR is back. What wonders and weirdnesses have we discovered this year? Environmental issues are at the forefront this year, which makes sense, so there’s lots of fascinating planet facts up for grabs… but there’s also a brimming bucketful of gaming achievements, remarkable people, brilliant animals, movie magic, sporting legends, space journeys, K-Pop sensations, deadly whatsits and so much more. This year’s edition also lets you make virtual visits to some of the world’s greatest attractions and offers an augmented reality experience (with dinosaurs). You know how it works. Dive in!