Book review: The Christmas countdown is on with Little Tiger Press

The Christmas countdown is on with Little Tiger Press
The Christmas countdown is on with Little Tiger Press

The magic of Christmas springs to life in a colourful, fun-filled box of delights from dynamic children’s publisher Little Tiger Press.

With four imprints under one roof – each with its own unique style and distinctive voice – Little Tiger Press is an energetic and busy independent publisher which prides itself on seeking out the best new talent in writing and illustration.

And this year’s festive feast of beautifully produced books for the youngest members of the family blends humour, drama and imagination in suitably exuberant style.

Baby and toddler:

Surprise by Jonathan Litton and Fhiona Galloway

This robust and inventive Christmas cracker is billed as the book that keeps on giving and boy, does it pack a parcel of fun and games.

With Fhiona Galloway’s bold, eye-catching artwork, cut-out finger holes on every page and some jolly Christmas rhymes, Surprise reflects the joyful spirit of giving.

The animals are enjoying a game of pass-the-parcel and as the package keeps on getting smaller, the furry friends discover more and more festive excitement. But what will the final surprise be?

Babies and toddlers will love getting their hands to work on every page and sharing in the discoveries of the cute creatures and their festive parcels.

Surprise is guaranteed to make Christmas fun for all the family!

(Little Tiger Kids, boardbook, £5.99)

Age 3 plus:

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Britta Teckentrup

Enjoy an exciting, brand-new look at one of the most traditional festive season songs, The Twelve Days of Christmas, with this wonderful peep-through picture book featuring a pair of playful elves.

Illustrator Britta Teckentrup is on song as her vibrant pictures and an ingenious cut-out design take children on a magical trip through the verses of the well-loved refrain. The holes in the pages reveal each new Christmas gift, creating a stunning layered effect and bringing the words to life.

Little ones will delight in seeing the gradual appearance of swans a-swimming, geese a-laying, maids a-milking and all the other amazing creatures and characters featured in the song.

Immaculately produced and packed with innovative ideas, this is the perfect gift for your own little elves!

(Little Tiger Kids, hardback, £8.99)

One Special Christmas by M Christina Butler and Tina Macnaughton

Red is the colour this festive season, especially when you can reach out and touch its velvety smoothness!

Little Hedgehog creators M Christina Butler and Tina Macnaughton capture all the excitement of shared play in this gorgeously illustrated Christmas extravaganza.

One Special Christmas puts Little Hedgehog’s touch-and-feel red hat firmly in the picture as he sets out to deliver the presents for a poorly Santa. At the North Pole, Santa has a cold so Little Hedgehog sets out with a sledge full of presents. But there are far too many for one little hedgehog to handle and his good deed is making his woolly hat unravel at an alarming rate! He’s going to need some help from his woodland friends…

Tina Macnaughton’s wonderfully wintry illustrations, that eye-catching touch-and-feel hat and a beautiful, heartwarming story from M Christina Butler ensure that this will be a firm family favourite.

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a snow-filled Little Hedgehog adventure…

(Little Tiger Press, paperback, £6.99)

Jolly Snowmen by Annette Rusling and Ned Taylor

Author Annette Rusling and illustrator Ned Taylor conjure up an enchanting piece of Christmas magic as five little snowmen do a disappearing trick.

Watch the wonder on the faces of your little ones as each of the tactile 3D snowmen slowly skate, slide and slip away with the turn of every page.

Ideal for easy and enjoyable counting lessons, this adventurous rhyming tale encourages children to get their hands on the snowmen before they make their final appearance at a snow-dappled Christmas ball.

Jolly Snowmen is an engaging and entertaining concept and with its durable, hard-wearing design and addictive rhyming story, there can be no better way to welcome the winter season.

(Caterpillar Books, hardback, £8.99)

Age 6 plus:

The Winter Wolf by Holly Webb

Escape into a magical winter wonderland in a bewitching new time-travel story from popular children’s author Holly Webb.

A former children’s books editor, Webb has written over 70 books including the Animal Stories, My Naughty Little Puppy and the Maisie Hitchins series. Two years ago she wrote The Clever Little Kitten for World Book Day.

The Winter Wolf, which gives the eternal theme of friendship a starring role, will delight children (and their parents!) everywhere with its winning combination of beautiful story and gorgeous illustrations.

Amelia is exploring the huge old house in Scotland where her family are spending Christmas when she finds a diary hidden in the attic. It was written by a young American boy called Noah in Wisconsin in the United States in 1870.

She stays up long into the night, reading about how Noah finds a wolf cub and secretly cares for it during the long winter months. Before she knows it, Amelia is magically transported into the world of the diary and then it’s up to her to help Noah keep the wolf cub safe against winter storms. Together, can they find the little wolf’s mother out in the icy wilderness?

This timeless story, packaged here in a sumptuous hardback edition, is brimming with adventure, excitement and goodwill, and is brought to life with expressive and evocative illustrations sure to strike a chord with children of all ages.

A true classic in the making and the perfect Christmas gift…

(Stripes, hardback, £8.99)