It’s that time of year when the search is on for the perfect present for our little ones – something that hits that sweet spot; a present that isn’t thrown out after a few plays, a gift that continues to give, and something that takes a bit of careful thought and was chosen with that child’s uniqueness in mind. Books are ideal, of course, so we asked Wexford Author Eve McDonnell to call into studio to tell us about her recommendations for this Christmas.
Age 2+ It’s too Dark, Puffling, Erika McGann and Gerry Daly (The O’Brien Press)
We return to Skellig Michael where Puffling snuggles in her cosy underground den. But Puffling’s friend is afraid of the dark and cannot sleep in his little burrow. Everyone on Skellig tries to help little puffling and help him overcome his fear of the dark. Stunning art by Gerry Daly and a gorgeous bedtime read. Simply snuggles in a book.
Next up for Children Age 4+ Kevin’s in a Mood, Sarah Bowie (The O’Brien Press)
Kevin the cat is having a bad day, and his little person, Suzy, is trying to make things better with the help of all their friends. Trouble is, they can’t figure out why Kevin is in a mood. A gorgeous picture book acknowledging how it feels to be left out.
We’re moving to early readers next and Age 6+ I am the Wind, edited by Sarah Webb and Lucinda Jacob. Illustrated by Ashwin Chacko (Little Island Books)
Winner of the An Post Children’s Book Senior Book of the Year Award, this is a triumph of a collection by Sarah Webb and Lucinda Jacob showcasing both old and new Irish poems covering a multitude of themes and styles. Ashwin Chacko’s art brings it all together beautifully. A keepsake for your child’s bookshelf for many years to come.
Wexford Author Eoin Colfer’s book is the next recommendation for readers Age 8+ Juniper’s Christmas by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat (Harper Collins)
One of four books published this year by Wexford writer Eoin Colfer, Juniper’s Christmas is a classic-style, joyful adventure wrapping up traditional Christmas themes with a current day setting. Featuring homelessness and family, Juniper’s mum has gone missing, and she needs the help of a reluctant Santa Claus to find her. Perfect for cosy Christmas reading!
Up next, we have a book for those Age 10+ . The Silver Road by Sinead O’Hart (Piccadilly)
The Silver Road is Gorey-born Sinéad O’Hart’s finest piece of work to-date, masterfully and respectfully weaving the powerful lore of Ireland’s ancient past with a modern-day story brimming with heart and adventure. Encountering themes of grief, bullying, friendship and the environment, Rose’s journey from school corridors to epic scenes both beastly and beautiful, gallops on at an astonishing pace, culminating in a thunderous, raging battle of breathtaking proportions. A powerful, intense and dazzling saga magically bridging the gap between the ancient past and life as we know it today. Pure gold.
Last but not least we’re not forgetting the teenagers Age 13+ Global by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano (Hodder)
This is a work of art – when words and pictures come together to create something spectacular. A powerful graphic novel set in two corners of the world, both impacted by climate change. Stunning for anyone aged 12+.
Eve’s own book The Chestnut Roaster is out now and is another perfect addition under the tree for kids this year.
You can listen to Eve Mc Donnell’s Christmas Children’s Book Recommendations here: https://pod.space/morningmix/eve-mc-donnell-s-christmas-children-s-book-recommendations