Are you looking for ideas for your Christmas shopping? I always find that books make a wonderful gift for children. You’re giving them the gift of a magical adventure in another world, the gift of discovery and learning and wonder. And if you or someone else will read the book with the child, then you’re also giving them that precious time and attention.
I grew up on a steady literary diet of fairy tale, followed by fairy tale, followed by fairy tale. I simply couldn’t get enough of classic children’s stories, whether from the Arabian Nights or the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson… any story, in fact, of fantasy and magic and adventure. To this day, when I walk into a bookstore I am drawn to any new edition of a fairy tale or any new foray by an author into this genre.
Naturally, then, I enjoy giving fairy-tale books as gifts. A traditional gift, and a timeless one, I feel. There are so many beautiful books to choose from, and it’s an absolute pleasure browsing!
Here’s a selection of fairy-tale books that make lovely gifts. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration here for a child in your life. Or even yourself? As
‘If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.’
Cinderella by Matthew Reinhart
A stunning pop-up book by writer, illustrator and paper engineer Matthew Reinhart, with six full-page spreads and integrated mini books. It really is a work of art.
Fairy Tales for Little Children by Susannah Davidson (author) and Lorena Alvarez (illustrator)
Fairy tales can be rather dark, with all those wolves and evil stepmothers, so here’s a gentle introduction for little ones.
The O’Brien Book of Irish Fairy Tales and Legends by Una Leavy (author) and Susan Field (illustrator)
Ireland has such a rich heritage of folklore and legend, and this book marries ten well-loved tales with beautiful illustrations.
Letters from Fairyland by Charles van Sandwyk
Produced by the Folio Society, this book is so imaginative and the artwork is simply exquisite.
An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales by Theresa Breslin (author) and Kate Leiper (illustrator)
Enchanting, charming and just a little bit dark in places – just what we expect of fairy tales.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This special hardback edition of the classic book was created through a collaboration with the V&A Museum, London, and the cover is inspired by their William Morris collection.
The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and MinaLima (illustrator)
Favourite Hans Christian Andersen stories are brought to life here with vivid and original interactive designs that are sure to captivate a child.
Arabian Nights by Anna Milbourne (author) and Alida Massari (illustrator)
In this Usborne Illustrated edition the stories are retold with great warmth and colour. There’s also a section explaining the origins of the stories.
Sleeping Beauty by Anna Milbourne (author) and Karl James Mountford (illustrator)
A lovely read for babies and toddlers, this ‘Peep Inside a Fairy Tale’ board book is a visual treat, with lots of flaps and peek-a-boo holes.
The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
And finally, the perfect Christmas fairy tale. This ‘Story Orchestra’ edition of The Nutcracker draws the child not only into the story but also into Tchaikovsky’s music: when the child presses the musical notes on the pages, they hear music from ‘The Dance of the Reed Flutes’, ‘The Waltz of Flowers’ and ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’. Simply magical.
Photo credit: Mimma Key/Shutterstock.com.