“10 doom and gloom busting books for kids this Christmas” by Pippa Wilson

If you looking for laughs or a bit of indulgent escapism for the kids’ bedtime stories, here’s my Top Ten of suggestions for you.

Horrid Henry's Christmas Play (Early Reader)

Guaranteed to have you howling with laughter at Horrid Henry’s reworking of his line in the school play, which drastically changes the whole Nativity story. A classic to hear every Christmas. Originally one of a number of stories in “Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker.”  Take a look at Francesca Simon’s website

Shortlisted for the Sheffield Book Awards 2013, the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2014, the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 and the Independent Booksellers Week Picture Book Award 2014 this book by Julia Donaldson inspired a Guinness World Record, and is beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. Guaranteed to have making your own paper dolls as soon as you’ve read it. A very magical story for younger readers.

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

Without a shadow of a doubt this is the funniest children’s book in a long, long time. So many children’s books claim to be hilarious and turn out to be a let down, but this is ridiculously funny. The start of the story is just brilliant, and laughs are guaranteed right through to the end. A great stocking filler! (A warning though: a certain song may stick in your head for a long time afterwards!)


Hailed as David Walliam’s best book yet, this will delight young readers, and keep them quiet for a long while. The adventure follows Awful Aunt Alberta as she tries to swindle Lady Stella Saxby out of her inheritance of Saxby Hall. Walliams, a master of the fine balance between the grotesque and the hilarious (as Roald Dahl),  has come up trumps with another book that is going to appear on many Christmas lists! Let’s hope Santa’s sleigh can take the weight…

Maia and Miss Minton will captivate you in their adventures down the Amazon. Funny, emotive and exciting. Michael Morpurgo describes this book as “perfect”. And I’ll add that it’s the perfect antidote to a rainy day.

A completely bonkers account of what happens while Mum is away and Dad’s in charge. Neil Gaiman takes you on a crazy, entertaining adventure…you never know what will happen next. Pure genius, and gloriously illustrated by Chris Riddell. A video about Neil Gaiman’s inspiration for this book here.

This is my 7 year old’s firm favourite. The fun, humorous illustrations are perfect for younger readers to enjoy with an adult. The interview scene had me crying with laughter for ages. My older children loved this equally, and Bobbins the angry mouse was voted “Best Character”. Plenty to amuse here. More in the series too! Check out Alex Milway’s website here.

One in a series of books about the Mack family by Booker prize winner Roddy Doyle, this is a great book for kids who are revelling in the toilet humour phase: yes, it’s full of poo ! Ideal for gigglers big and small, this ridiculous masterpiece of metafiction plays with you the reader as well as the characters. Sheer joy for adults and children alike. Here’s an extract read by Doc Brown.

Oliver and the Seawigs Cover
Calling all fun seekers and story explorers! In Philip Reeve’s story Oliver has lost his parents, so sets off to find them. This lovely story is brought to life by the formidably talented Sarah McIntyre. A book that oozes quality-even down to the feel of the book. Watch the trailer here.
Katherine Rundell

Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. This charming, old fashioned story takes us on a journey with Sophie, a girl who wishes more than anything to find her mother. Heart-warming and uplifting. Here’s Katherine Rundell talking about her book.

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