Well, Christmas is finally upon us. Probably you’re doing the final run-throughs in your head, making sure that you have gotten everything that you need, that everyone is catered for and that all of your gifts are top-notch. But, it never really ends, does it? Not until Christmas morning can we say beyond a doubt that we are done with shopping and racing around and list-juggling. So, in case there are still some young folks that you still need to get gifts for, here are our five final picks for the kids:
The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams
The Walliams catalogue is already quite gloriously extensive and is most certainly stocked already with dozens of unforgettable characters. From Billionaire Boy to Gangsta Granny, from The World’s Worst Kids to The World’s Worst Teachers, Walliams has constructed a character roster that challenges even Roald Dahl’s in terms of scope and charm. But there is certainly room for one more…
The Beast of Buckingham Palace, Walliams’s newest, is the author’s first leap into fantasy and science fiction (why not do them both at once?) and the results are both magical and hilarious. In it, the London of the 22nd century is a ruin populated by all-manner of fantastical creatures and bumptious beasts… not that young Prince Alfred knows it. He knows little of the goings-on beyond the walls of the palace in which he has spent his sheltered life. But when the gates are breached by peculiar forces and the Queen is dragged off to the Tower of London, Alfred must summon what little courage he can find to save his mother, and the entire city, from the clutches of mythical madness.
It’s an adventure like no other, full of Walliams’ trademark outrageous humour and brimming with mysterious and creative adversaries.
Children of Vengeance and Virtue by Tomi Adeyemi
Adeyemi first burst onto the YA scene with her unique and enthralling West-Africa inspired fantasy series Legacy of Orïsha. With Children of Blood and Bone, Adeyemi created a magical and allegorical world mired in oppression and prejudice, and a lowly protagonist who draws strength from her connection with the dead. The story now continues with this much anticipated sequel.
After a blistering struggle, Amari and Zelie finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orisha. But in so doing, they also managed to give rise to new enemies and set in motion a series of events that seemingly leads to nowhere but civil war. The monarchy and the military – forces responsible for much of the oppression endured by the people of Orïsha – now have their own magic and both Amari’s claim to the throne and the future of the maji are threatened anew. What began as a fight for freedom has quickly become an impossible struggle to keep the entire country from destruction.
What is most notable and essential about Adeyemi’s series is the motivation and energy that it draws from real societal issues concerning race and civil conflict. It has everything you want from a fantasy series but is rooted in a recognizable world that will resonate with many.
Knock Three Times: Wizards of Once #3 by Cressida Cowell
Cressida Cowell, of dragon-training fame, it turns out, is a dab-hand at wizards too. The Wizards of Once series is thrilling, hilarious and completely enchanting… and it’s now up to three books.
Xar and Wish are heroes with a huge task ahead… confronting the Nuckalavee is not for the faint hearted. But with Magic and Iron together, they might just have a chance of saving their beloved homes from those who seek to destroy everything they hold dear. The third electrifying book in The Wizards of Once series fizzes with magic and introduces us to a host of glorious new characters: bears and piskies and magical pins and needles to name but a few.
Beloved, bestselling author Cressida Cowell once again brings her trademark wit and stunning combination of action, adventure, humor, and incredible artwork to this epic new adventure, sure to transport and enchant readers. Stunningly written, magnificent in scope, hilarious and thrilling, Knock Three Times immerses you in a world you won’t ever wish to leave.
Dork Diaries #14: Spectacular Superstar by Rachel Renee Russell
Yep, the drama just keeps on coming in Russell’s beloved series. Infatuations and feuds, friends and boys and music, enemies, frenemies, schools and summers and dorkeries abound. Is Nikki Maxwell ever going to have a summer that goes perfectly as planned? Is her life ever actually going to be simple?
Nikki and her bandmates are looking forward to an awesome summer on tour as the opening act for the world famous Bad Boyz! Nikki is a little worried when her frenemy, MacKenzie Hollister, weasels her way into a social media intern position with the tour. But she has a total MELTDOWN when she learns that MacKenzie is her new roommate! Will Nikki survive her dream tour as it quickly goes from awesome to awful?! The drama continues in Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not-So-Best Friend Forever!
Where’s Spot Book and Gift Set by Eric Hill
And then, just in case you still have a little one to find something for, there is this lovely gift set from the world of the ever-popular Spot.
Join the hunt to find the lovable puppy, Spot, in Eric Hill’s first-ever lift-the-flap tale. Lift each flap to find all sorts of funny animal surprises, before discovering where cheeky Spot has been hiding.
And while the little ones are searching for him, they can cuddle their very own Spot soft toy. Brilliant for engaging curiosity, and as a first step toward reading together.