Christmas 2023: Five Magical and Enchanting Reads for Children

Curated By: Sukanya Nandy

Last Updated: December 25, 2023, 08:00 IST

Five books to gift to children this Christmas (Representative image)

Christmas Adventures: Here is a curated list of books to stir creativity and kindle the festive spirit in a multitude of engaging and captivating ways among children

Beyond the joy of unwrapping presents or the comfort of cherished family traditions, this festive period provides an ideal moment to cozy up with a compelling book. Young readers may immerse themselves into the charm of these tales, and journey across fantastical realms that may ignite their imaginations and infuse the very essence of the season within their hearts. British Council Digital Library provides a curated list of books to stir creativity and kindle the festive spirit in a multitude of engaging and captivating ways.

Weirdo by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird

Meet Maud: a guinea pig who inexplicably wears a judo suit – and not everyone understands or approves. When Maud is thrown into a new and confusing situation, it takes brave decisions and serendipitous encounters for her to find her place and embrace her individuality. Weirdo is an endearing story about the quiet power of being different by two veteran writers and introduces an exciting debut illustrator. Together they have created a picture book that adults and children alike will treasure.

The Owl Service by Alan Garner

Set in a remote Welsh valley, the story revolves around three teenagers—Alison, Gwyn, and Roger—who unwittingly become entangled in an ancient and mysterious tale tied to a set of dinner plates featuring an owl design. As the trio discovers the plates and unwittingly reenacts an old myth, strange and unsettling events begin to occur, blurring the lines between past and present. Garner’s narrative skillfully explores themes of fate, love, and the cyclical nature of history, creating an atmospheric and haunting tale filled with mystery, suspense, and a deep sense of the supernatural.

Haroun and The Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

Haroun and The Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie is a whimsical and enchanting tale that combines elements of fantasy and allegory. The story follows young Haroun Khalifa, whose father, Rashid, is a renowned storyteller. When Rashid loses his storytelling abilities due to a sudden tragedy, Haroun embarks on a magical adventure to the fabled Sea of Stories in order to help his father regain his gift of storytelling. Within the fantastical land of Kahani, Haroun encounters a diverse array of characters and experiences breathtaking adventures, encountering both allies and adversaries along the way.

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass is the gripping finale in Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, continuing the enthralling journey of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry across parallel universes. Pullman’s intricate storytelling unfolds against a backdrop of destiny, love, and the eternal struggle between good and evil. As the young protagonists navigate through diverse worlds, they encounter challenges, allies, and adversaries while exploring the enigmatic Dust and confronting complex relationships. This concluding installment weaves together fantasy, philosophy, and adventure in a compelling narrative, leaving readers captivated by its profound themes and the impactful resolution of the series’ overarching conflicts.

Meg’s Christmas by Jan Pieńkowski and David Walser

Meg’s Christmas is a heartwarming and whimsical children’s book that follows the adventures of Meg, a witch, and her quirky cat, Mog, as they prepare for Christmas. Their holiday preparations take an unexpected turn as they encounter magical mishaps along the way. This delightful story is filled with vibrant illustrations and a charming narrative that captures the joy and excitement of the festive season. It’s a perfect read-aloud choice for younger children, combining humor and warmth in a magical Christmas setting.

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