Socialist Worker

Christmas books: tour de forces for teenagers and toddlers at Xmas

Leading children’s author Alan Gibbons picks out are a few stocking fillers from the world of children’s books.

Issue No. 2132

Horrid Henry meets the queen

Horrid Henry meets the queen

For teenagers, few write better than Malorie Blackman. Noughts And Crosses is an original, thought-provoking, emotionally charged story of love, racism and betrayal. The fourth book in the series, Double Cross continues the story.

Also for teens there is the stunning Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick. Part mythic re-telling of the Russian Revolution, part thriller, this is an extraordinary tour de force by one of the most talented writers for adolescents. A must read.

For juniors Horrid Henry created by author Francesca Simon is unmissable. Henry is an iconic monsterkind who should feature on any child’s bookshelf. Not only are the stories great, but they are illustrated by legendary children’s artist Tony Ross.

For the very young you can’t do better than Steve Weatherill’s Baby Goz books. Why not try Shape Up Baby Goz? These heart warming tales feature one of the most appealing characters for young children – the world’s most adorable baby gosling.

Finally let’s give a mention to the most neglected area of children’s literature – poetry. Why not buck the trend with My Teacher’s as Wild as a Bison by Coral Rumble.

If children don’t play with words and rhythm how are they supposed to give their imagination wings?

Alan Gibbons is organiser of the Campaign for the Book. His latest novel is The Demon Assassin

These books are all available from Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop. Phone 020 7637 1848 or go to »

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Mon 15 Dec 2008, 19:00 GMT
Issue No. 2132
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