I can't believe it's December already and it's time to get organised for Christmas and I thought I would share my top five ...

BookBairn's Christmas Gift Guide 2018 - Toddlers

Friday, December 07, 2018 BookBairn 4 Comments

I can't believe it's December already and it's time to get organised for Christmas and I thought I would share my top five books for toddlers to give this year (but actually I couldn't decide so there's six!). Before I share, I just want to say that there are many many great books out there for little readers but these are some of our favourites that we have discovered this year. If you want to see our gift guide from last year, or any of our other gift guides from this year you can find them all linked here. I've tried to include a variety of books so that there is something for everyone.

Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett

This is such a truly enchanting story with characters that are utterly stupendous that it would make a wonderful gift! The novelty of having letters to pull out and read is always an appealing prospect to toddlers. Alex, a little boy, is convinced that a dragon is living in his basement (don't worry he's a friendly dragon). But having a dragon in your basement does pose some issues: fire hazards, noise complaints, animal welfare issues. So Alex writes and receives letters about how best to care for his dragon. I don't want to spoil to much other than to say that this book is packed full of humour, fun and illustrations that are simply adorable. The letters themselves are all in different styles, poking fun at some of the institutions that might get involved if you really did have a dragon in your basement as well as showing that even official types have a sense of humour sometimes. We particularly like the letter from the butcher. But our stand out favourite letter is from Alex's best friend, Hillary, whose adorable drawings and sage advice are a perfect way to end the book. Except for one last letter. From Dragon. Such an utterly charming story about friendship, making it a lovely gift!

How far would you go for cake? Mini Rabbit really really wants his mother's berry cake, but when they run out of berries, he sets off before his mother has a chance to stop him. He passes people along the way, all of whom try to warn him not to stray too far from home in search of berries (especially as in each scene there are berries hidden) but Mini Rabbit is single-mindedly hunting for berries on his own. Until he finally finds one, of course, but then he realises that he really is lost. How can he find his way home again? But wait, he can smell something... cake! He follows the scent all the way home. But with a hilarious twist (in typical toddler fashion) at the end, this one will have you laughing out loud. BookBairn just giggles and giggles at the ending! I adore the colour palette in this and I love the deceptive simplicity with which Mini Rabbit is brought to life. A wonderful story, and makes the perfect gift along with some cake!

So many activity books are really great... if your child can draw, cut and generally follow instructions. They are all aimed at school aged kids. But what about preschoolers? This is the perfect solution! With easy drawing, colouring, foam stickers, stencils, pop-ups and matching, it's packed full of 25 activities that your toddler can actually do. And all you need is a pencil! (Or some colours) so it's just great for taking out and about with you - it's the perfect travel activity book! It's brilliant! Combined with some colouring pencils or crayons and you have the perfect gift.

Alphabet Street by Jonathan Emmett & Ingela P. Arrhenius

This 'book' goes beyond the normal conventions we know about books. Yes, it's a lovely rhyming tale of alphabetical animals doing things in alliterative alphabetical order. But it's also so much more! When you fold-out the giant concertina frieze, you have a whole play-scene street with two flaps on every building with the lovely story underneath. The bold graphic artwork is incredibly striking and lots and lots of fun! Each shop front has so much to discuss with bears baking, cats cooking and so on (alphabetically, of course!). But we also enjoy folding the whole street out and getting some little characters and vehicles from our toy boy and bringing Alphabet Street to life. It's witty, beautiful and so much fun and little ones and would be a great gift for Christmas!

Lifesize by Sophy Henn

Kids are just fascinating by animals and there are lots of great non-fiction books out there for them. But none quite life this one! Each image (and that's downplaying the brilliant artistry in creating them!) stars an animal's feature in it's lifesize scale! So the giant squid's eye takes up a whole page, the stretched jaw of the tiger is big enough to pop your head inside (and kids will love that!) and you can also go paw-to-paw and high-five a polar bear! With accompanying facts, and lots of smaller creatures too this is such a fun book that is completely novel but far too good to be a novelty book. We have had so much fun reading it! (And can't wait for the lifesize dinosaur book next year!)

When I'm buying a book for a Christmas gift, I like it to be a little bit more than a book. With something extra-special. So when this book landed on our doormat I knew immediately that I wanted it include it on this list. It's a version of Cinderella, shortened in some ways and with a slightly more modern ending - the Prince and Cinderella become friends for a few years before getting married and living happily ever after. But that's not what makes it special. The illustrations are lovely and soft with a beautifully soothing colour palette and feature characters of all colours and ethnicities. But again that's not the speciality! It's the magic wand that is tucked under the cover - do you see it? You take it out, and your little readers can wave it around and when it lands on the musical notes on each page the book plays beautiful little tunes to enhance the story! Just magical! And BookBairn adores it! This is a perfect gift, especially for a princess fan!

I hope you have found something that your toddlers would love! Please keep a look-out for my next list of recommendations which should be up as soon as possible.

And if you want any specific recommendations please feel free to get in touch! All our social media links are in the header at the top of the blog - or you can just search 'bookbairn' to find us!

I've also created a 'shop' on amazon where you can easily find all our favourites! I'll keep adding to it as we go so it's just small at the moment but if you check back it should have more as I build it!

You can find it here: BookBairn's Amazon Shop.

Happy Christmas Shopping,

Kim and the elves xx

Disclaimer: these are all my choices. Some were sent from publishers but they were not sent in connection with this post. Their inclusion here is my choice. Because I really do think they are great. Please read our review policy if you want to know more. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to Amazon.co.uk using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on Amazon.co.uk, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.


  1. I absolutely love Dragon Post and hope Santa has a good stock to delight readers. Cinderella also very clever concept and well known story

    1. They are both so good! I don't know if Santa managed Dragon Post - I know that Amazon sold out! And the Cinderella book is a dream!

  2. I like Dragon Post too. The letters are very clever and it’s a great story. I also like the sound of your “toy boy” who helps in Alphabet Street. :-)