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Best children's books of 2012

We're delighted to have featured some wonderful books in our kids' book club over its first 12 months. Here's a round-up of some more of our recent favourites. Perfect Christmas presents for grandchildren!


What's the time Mr Wolf?What's the Time Mr Wolf? - Debi Gliori. Is Mr Wolf really as big and bad as his reputation suggests? Accompany him as he goes about his daily routine from breakfast to bedtime - and find out for yourself! Little ones will enjoy recognising familiar faces from a plethora of nursery rhymes, including Little Red Riding Hood (masquerading as the post girl) and three cheeky little pigs (who make prank calls). 


This Moose Belongs To MeThis Moose Belongs to Me - Oliver Jeffers. The age-old tale of a boy and his moose... Wilfred is a boy who abides by rules. He is a very ordinary boy with an extraordinary pet... A moose! He hadn't always had a moose: Marcel came to him one day and Wilfred knew that he was meant to be his pet. He names his moose Marcel. Most of the time Marcel is very obedient, abiding by the many rules on How to Be a Good Pet. But one dark day, while deep in the woods, someone else claims the moose as their own…


Hans and MatildaHans and Matilda - Yokococo. The quirky bold artwork style from Japanese writer and illustrator Yokococo won her the Best New Talent award in Parenting Magazine for this book. This visually appealing story of Hans (very naughty) and Matilda (very good) has a hilarious story line and with a surprising twist at the end, it is set to be a firm favourite with children. (And adults!)


Diary of a Wimpy KidDiary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel - Jeff Kinney In this, the seventh book in the series, a Valentine's Day dance at Greg's school has turned his world upside down. As Greg scrambles to find a date, he's worried he'll be left out in the cold on the big night. His best friend, Rowley, doesn't have any prospects either, but that's small consolation. An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night. In the end, you never know who's going to be lucky in love...


 The Velveteen RabbitThe Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams. This gorgeous hardback is the only edition to feature the original illustrations. In the nursery, only the toys that are old and wise truly understand what it means to be Real. "Real isn't how you're made," says the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real. It doesn't happen all at once. You become..." And so begins the Velveteen Rabbit's journey towards becoming real.


Penny Dreadful Cooks up a CalamityPenny Dreadful Cooks Up a Calamity - Joanna Nadin. “My name is not actually Penny Dreadful. It is Penelope Jones. The 'Dreadful' bit is my dad's JOKE. But I do not mean to be dreadful... sawing Bridget Grimes in half for the school show was supposed to be a GOOD THING. And I didn't mean to get up to any SHENANIGANS on the school trip. Plus I worked extra-especially hard on the CAKE OF DREAMS for Mum's birthday... but somehow it still turned into a HUGE calamity.” Three brand-new, fantastically funny adventures in one fab book.


Zoe and BeansZoe and Beans: Zoe's Christmas list - Mick Inkpen and Chloe Inkpen. Zoe knows exactly what she wants for Christmas, and to make sure Father Christmas does too, she and Beans take a trip across the Arctic all the way to the North Pole. But with a baby polar bear to rescue and a swirling snowstorm to contend with, will they ever make it? This is a wonderful Christmas story with an amazing pull-out page.


Just ImagineJust Imagine - Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt. Just imagine what it would be like to be as small as a mouse; or as big as a house. Imagine exploring the depths of the ocean, travelling into the past or the future - or something even stranger... This wonderfully inventive and interactive book allows a child to tell their own story, combining new elements each time. A book to share time and time again.


The AbominablesThe Abominables - Eva Ibbotson. Many years ago, Agatha Farlingham was kidnapped by a huge, hairy but very friendly Yeti He wanted her to help raise his Yeti children and so Agatha raised the family with upright morals and impeccable manners in their hidden valley in the Himalayas. But as tourists begin visiting the mountains, Agatha knows that there is one place in the world where they would be protected - her ancestral home back in England, Farley Towers. This final book by Eva Ibbotson is full of comedy, loveable and eccentric characters and perfectly-crafted plotting."


The King Who Wouldn't SleepThe King Who Wouldn't Sleep - Debbie Singleton and Holly Swain. There once was a king who wouldn't sleep - not even a wink! - until he found the perfect prince for his lovely daughter. Princes came from all around bearing gifts. Not one of them was right. But there was someone else watching with an unexpectedly cunning plan up his not-so-royal sleeve... A brilliantly colourful picture book that can be used to teach children the days of the week and to count from one to ten.


GoldilocksGoldilocks - Allan Ahlberg. Everyone knows what happened when Goldilocks met the three bears. But when she encounters a whopping thirty-three bears or even three little pigs on her search for porridge, the stories end a bit differently. Children can lift the flaps and pull the tabs to join Goldilocks in a hilarious series of adventures, as award-winning storyteller Allan Ahlberg and his daughter, Jessica, put their own stamp on a timeless tale.


The Wind in the WillowsThe Wind in the Willows (gift edition) - Kenneth Grahame. Mole abandons his spring-cleaning to explore the world beyond his burrow. There he meets Ratty, Mr Toad, and Mr Badger. Stolen cars, prison sentences, daring escapes, and dastardly villains all feature in this tale of high jinks and rock- solid friendship – but through it all the four retain their loyalty and good humour. This classic story of loyalty and adventure has been stunningly reimagined through the illustrations of David Roberts. 


Other things you might like...

Pirates Love UnderpantsPirates Love Underpants - Clare Freedman and Ben Cort. Grab your cutlass and sail on the pirate ship Black Bloomer past angry crocs, sharks in fancy pants and through gurgling swamps on a quest to find…the Pants of Gold! Pirates Love Underpants is the sixth collaboration from bestselling and award-winning duo Freedman and Cort. With the pant-loving antics of aliens and even dinosaurs having already been exposed in this hilarious series, it’s now the turn of pirates to show us what their pants are made of…