Wednesday 7 December 2022

Finch's Frosty Festive Fifty! A seasonal booklist by Dawn Finch


Well, here we are again - Christmas and time for my 8th annual frosty and festive children's book list.

This is a list of books for young independent readers that are set in winter or the festive season. I always hope to have a list comprised of some newer titles that you can add to your future classics list and I hope you approve. There may be some big name classics that I've left out but it's probably because they don't need a plug so I'm giving more space to books you might not yet have discovered.

Books make such wonderful gifts but so does sharing a story. There is something truly magical about gathering in for a fine story and I think that this is such a great tradition to have (or start) at Christmas. A book shared aloud with loved ones is an experience that costs so little and carries such a great reward.

I like to pick a book to focus on as a Christmas special and this year I would like to pick A Ukrainian Christmas by Yaroslav Hrytsak and Nadiyka Gerbish - translated by Marta Gosovska and Anastasiya Feher. The authors say "Christmas brings the indestructibility of hope in times of the greatest hopelessness. As long as we celebrate this holiday, we can neither be defeated nor destroyed. This is the message that Ukraine is trying to convey to the world. And this is what our book is about."

This beautiful book has illustrations by Olena Staranchuk and it has been republished with an introduction allowing context with the war in Ukraine and the Publisher is making a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

I haven't posted reviews in the list below because that would take up more space (and time!) than I have, but these are all books I've personally enjoyed. As always please do remember to buy from independent booksellers where possible and support the incomes and further careers of creatives. I'm sure I've missed out a few more so please do add those in the comments - and do please share your own titles that fit the frosty & festive requirements

Happy Christmas, and happy reading!
  1. Arden, Katherine – The Bear and the Nightingale
  2. Bell, Alex and Tomic, Tomislav – Polar Bear Explorers’ Club
  3. Bello, Abiola et al - The Very Merry Murder Club (short story collection)
  4. Butterworth, Jess – Running on the Roof of the World
  5. Carroll, Emma – Frost Hollow Hall
  6. Casey, Dawn - Winter Tales
  7. Clive, Mary - Christmas with the Savages
  8. Crossley-Holland, Kevin – Between Worlds (illustrated by Frances Castle)
  9. Doherty, Berlie – Children of Winter
  10. Doyle, Catherine - Miracle on Ebenezer Street
  11. Esiri, Ali (editor) - A Poem for Every Winter Day (poetry)
  12. Elphinstone, Abi (editor) - Winter Magic (anthology)
  13. Farr, David - Book of Stolen Dreams
  14. Fisher, Catherine – Snow Walker
  15. Fisher, Catherine – The Clockwork Crow
  16. Foxlee, Karen – Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy
  17. Gaarder, Jostein – The Christmas Mystery
  18. Gardner, Sally and David Roberts – Tinder
  19. Gayton, Sam – the Snow Merchant
  20. Gold, Hannah (illustrations by Levi Pinfold) - The Last Bear
  21. Goodfellow, Matt - Let's Chase Stars Together (poetry)
  22. Gordon, John – The Giant Under The Snow
  23. Hargrave, Kiran Millwood – Leila and the Blue Fox
  24. Hitchcock, Fleur – Murder at Snowfall
  25. Horwood, William – The Willows in Winter
  26. Ivey, Eowyn – Snow Child
  27. Landman, Tanya - Midwinter Burning
  28. Lauren, Ruth – Prisoner of Ice and Snow
  29. Lean, Sarah - The Good Bear
  30. Leonard, M G - The Arctic Railway Assassin
  31. Matthews, Caitlin and Helen Cann – Fireside Stories, Tales for a Winter’s Eve
  32. Montgomery, Ross - The Midnight Guardians
  33. Morris, Jackie – East of the Sun, West of the Moon
  34. Nicholls, Sally - The Silent Stars Go By
  35. Nimmo, Jenny – The Snow Spider
  36. Penfold, Nicola - Beyond the Frozen Horizon
  37. Pratchett, Terry – Wintersmith
  38. Preussler, Otfried – Krabat
  39. Priestley, Chris – The Last of the Spirits
  40. Riddell, Chris (poems chosen by) - We Wish You A Merry Christmas and other festive poems
  41. Rundell, Katherine – Wolf Wilder 
  42. Smith, Alex T - The Grumpus and his Dastardly Deadly Christmas Plan
  43. Stevens, Robin - Mistletoe and Murder
  44. St John, Lauren – The Snow Angel
  45. Streatfeild, Noel – White Boots
  46. Thebo, Mimi - Dreaming the Bear
  47. Torday, Piers – There May Be A Castle
  48. Webb, Holly - Luna
  49. Wilson, Amy – Snowglobe
  50. Woodfine, Katherine – The Midnight Peacock
As always - please add your own additions in the comments. I would love to see someone do a list of poetry for the season too! Apologies for missing anyone out but I only ever list books that I've actually read. If you'd like me to read yours, drop me a line.

As this is a list for older and independent readers, here's some links to pages listing great picture books and festive books for younger children.

Dawn Finch is an author and former children's librarian and former chair of the Society of Author's Children's Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG) 

This may well be the last Finch's Frosty Festive Fifty as I no longer write under the name Finch! My married name is McLachlan and from 2023 I will be exclusively using that. I shall have to think of a decent festive rhyme - "McLachlans a' cracklin list" maybe? Maybe not!

1 comment:

Abbeybufo said...

Susan Cooper - Dark is Rising
Jenny Overton - Thirteen Days of Christmas