Stuck for the perfect stocking filler for your little ones? Why not try a book. Here Clare Mitchell chooses her favourites.
Giving children the joy of a good read this Christmas is hard to beat.
But with such a vast selection to choose from, how do parents and grandparents know what is the most appropriate to choose?
Clare Mitchell, children's bookseller at Waterstone's on Albion Street in Leeds is an expert on the subject and here she gives her top choices for all ages.
For Babies and Toddlers
Zog, by Julia Donaldson (Scholastic, 10.99)
Follow Zog's training at dragon school, through Axel Scheffler's lovely illustrations, and Donaldson's trademark rhyming text. This bestselling picture book will have toddlers enthralled on Christmas morning.
Snuggle Bunny, by Lambert and Goldhawk (Templar 9.99)
Without a doubt the cutest book to be published this year, little ones will love the puppet format. The board book pages, complete with furry snuggle bunny is ideal for little hands, and as Snuggle Bunny gets ready for bed,
this should be the perfect bedtime story.
Beauty and the Beast Pop-Up, by Robert Sabuda (Simon and Schuster 19.99)
A gorgeous, intricate pop-up edition of this best-loved fairy tale. You can't really do this justice without opening it up to see the full-page, three-dimensional illustrations. A beautiful edition to any girl's bookshelf, and one that's sure to be treasured for years to come.
Lego Brickmaster Star Wars (Dorling Kindersley, 18.99)
A must-have gift for boys (and men!) this Xmas. This is sure to be one of the runaway bestsellers of this year, and is already flying off the shelves. With eight exclusive mini-figures to build, this will keep you amused right through the festive holidays, and the finished models are really great. Grab yours before they sell out!
Billionaire Boy, by David Walliams (Harpercollins 12.99)
An hilarious, touching and extraordinary new fable from the author of The Boy in the Dress and Mr Stink. Joe has a lot of reasons to be happy. About a billion of them, in fact. The problem is, Joe's about to learn that when money is involved, nothing is what it seems.
I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett, Doubleday 18.99
Sure to be a huge seller over Christmas, the fantastic new teen title from king of fantasy, Terry Pratchett. This is the fourth Discworld novel to feature the delightful teenage witch Tiffany Aching. This is much darker than the previous Tiffany novels, as Tiffany grows up along with the readers. That said, it's still filled with Pratchett's trademark quirky humour.
The Smelly Sprout, by Alex Plenderleith (Ravette, 5.99)
Poor old smelly sprout, he can't understand why nobody seems to like him… As he wanders around, looking for somewhere he fits in, he befriends a little mouse looking for food. But danger lurks in the form of a hungry fox. Can smelly sprout save the day? A sweet and funny little addition for anyone's stocking.
Mr Men – A Christmas Pantomime, by Roger Hargreaves (Egmont, 2.99)
The Mr Men books are classic stocking fillers, and the pantomime story is this year's Christmas offering. All the favourite characters are present from Little Miss Trouble, to Mr Greedy. An excellent extra stocking filler.
All books are available from Waterstone's, 93/97 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5JS Tel 0843 290 8443 and online at www.waterstones.com