by Corinne Lamoral,  freelance writer and media consultant, practicing part time corporate communications. She lives with her husband and three children on a koppie in Johannesburg where she pretends the distant hum of traffic is the ocean.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of plastic pushed at children over Christmas, head to the refuge of a bookshop and stock up on some of these favourites.

FANTASTICAL FLYING MACHINES

By Simon Wild and Timothy Knapman (Macmillan Children’s Books)
Wildly original and entertaining, this pop up book tells a rhyming tale of Sally and Jack’s great race and little fight against Baron Von Bang Bang’s dirty tricks.
Age: 2 – 6

THE  PIG’S  KNICKERS

By Jonathan Emmett (Walker Books)
When pig finds a pair of knickers he puts them on and feels special, making him sing and dance for all his friends. What happens when he loses them teaches about how the person, not the clothes make you special. The sight of a pig wearing polka dot panties had my 4 year old in fits of giggles and the punch line even more so.
Age: 2-6

THE TROLL -  book and CD

By Julia Donaldson and David Roberts (Macmillan Children’s books)
The latest book from the bestselling author of The Gruffalo was an instant hit in our house. Loosely based on the story of the troll who calls out “Who’s that trip trapping across my bridge?” this story features hungry pirates and clever creatures that manage to outwit the troll. The CD inspires you to read with great gusto and pirate pizzazz.
Age: 2 -10

MY FIRST BOOK OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN CREEPY CRAWLIES

By Charmaine Uys (Struik)
A new release from Struik’s excellent range of children’s nature books, this is a well-illustrated introduction to some of the 58 spiders, scorpions, snails, millipedes and other creepy crawlies (not insects) that your children are likely to encounter in their environment. All text is in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu.
Age: 2 – 10

BINK AND GOLLIE

By Kate Di Camillo and Alison McGhee
(Walker Books)
Welcome to the adventures of Bink – who is tiny, impulsive and filled with enthusiasm and Gollie – who is tall, cool and uses big words. A charming friendship story with a really humorous storyline, the illustrations by Tony Fucile, who designed The Incredibles, add to the book’s originality.
Age: 6 -8

CHRISTMAS CAROLS

Macmillan Children’s Books
With words and music for 25 classic carols including Once in Royal David’s City,Little Drummer Boy and We Three Kings, this is a great buy for the whole family.
Age: 6 and up.

A FAMILY CHRISTMAS – music CD

Putumayo
World Music CD
Give your festive season a bluesy folk and jazz inspired feel with Putumayo’s roundup of Christmas classics like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Jolly Old St Nick. My kids were initially unsure of these less recognisable versions of Christmas songs but once we put it on in the background while making dinner, it gave a fun holiday vibe. Good for grown up parties too.

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