A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
I’m fond of telling people that I’ve got enough children’s books to build a fort. In that fort an entire wing and possibly a walk-in wardrobe would be made of Christmas children’s books. I own a squillion. My absolute favourite, that I read to my children every year and always end up sobbing, is The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden. It’s got everything: an adorable orphan, snow, toys that come to life and a power-crazed stuffed owl. Nothing says Christmas like a power-crazed stuffed owl.
The Box of Delights was shown on the BBC in the run up to Christmas a very long time ago. I remember this because as my son likes to tell his friends, the postman and strangers in the street, I am very old. Actually, I was a bit scared of this programme; there was a lot of talk of people being ‘scrobbled’ and ground into mincemeat (put my best friend right off mince pies, but I’m made of sterner, more sugar-addicted, stuff). As well as the festive threats of violence, there’s also a delightfully quaint 1930s village setting, one of my favourite feisty girl characters (Maria, whose only wish in life is to encounter pirates or burglars – preferably one moonlighting as the other), all topped off with a dusting of snow and a talking rat.
Personally, I have nightmares about my Christmas eve attempt to drink my own body weight in Baileys being interrupted by discovering I’m the only person standing in the way of twelve evil Euro terrorists and then realising I’m not even wearing any shoes. But when it’s happening to someone else it makes for excellent entertainment. Nothing says Christmas like Bruce Willis in a grubby vest. Except of course that power-crazed stuffed owl. Imagine if Bruce Willis held the owl. The levels of Christmassyness would probably cause me to implode in a shower of tinsel.