Well, we're doing okay with the merry - but the bright has been somewhat submerged under this weather event we've been complaining about. There has been a LOT of rain. If this continues through Christmas and into the New Year*, your 6-13-year-olds are going to need some serious indoor entertainment options.
As ever, we are here to help...
The Great Big Enormous Tashi by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg and Kim
ALL the Tashi stories. ALL in one great big enormous bundle of WIN. Plus it'll take up a lot of room in the stocking.
Nothing further, your honour.
A fancy, grand hotel is an excellent indoor entertainment option! And what's not to love about busy Mr Badger, Special Events Manager at the Boubles (pronounced Boublay) Grand Hotel where Miss Sylvia Smothers-Carruthers is having her seventh birthday bash and from where Algernon the ape goes missing. Secrets! Mysteriousnesses! Absolutely adorable illustrations! Love. Love. Love. (Which is all you need.)
Careful What You Wish For by Maureen McCarthy
Everything you love about Maureen McCarthy's writing - interesting, complex characters; warm-hearted, chaotic families; real emotional pull; and a cracking good story - but this time for the younger kids. You will love Ruth, you will be intrigued by her best friend Howard and you will have very mixed feeling about a certain acid-tongue creature with a dubious line in 'helpful' magic. Perhaps the most glorious thing about this book is its mix of honest, real-life drama and hilarious, chaotic magic.
Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner
What can we...
We are rendered speechless by how great this book is. You will love Goldie and believe utterly in her strange world. You will hiss at the treacherous Fugleman and cheer for the Keepers. You will lose your heart to a brizzlehound. You will be unable to wait for the next book. But you'll just have to because City of Lies is not out until next year!** www.keepersbooks.com.au
The Complete Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix
They look so pretty all boxed up! And there is so much goodness within. This box contains all seven (Count them, SEVEN!) adventures. Arthur begins as an asthmatic boy who can't make it through a cross-country run without just-about dying, but where will he end up? There are seven Keys and seven obstreperous parts of The Will of the Architect, and there are... ooo wait, we feel a song coming on *ahem*
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true-love gave to me
12 Dog-faced Fetchers
11 Pipers children
10 Nasty Nithlings
9 Guilded Youths
8 Scary Scouchers
7 Morrow Days
6 Sorcerous Supernumeraries
5 Raised Rats
3 drafted soldiers
2 Artful Loungers
And one all over cracking good read.
So now that we're all in a singing-Twelve-Days-of-Christmas kind of mood: FIVE GOLDEN OLDIES.***
Sunny Side Up by Marion Roberts
Pip: The Story of Olive by Kim Kane
Cicada Summer by Kate Constable
The Dog that Dumped on My Doona by Barry Jonsberg
Three Favourites by Odo Hirsch
* Or if you live in a snowy clime, or a roasting hot one, or well - anywhere - actually.
** In good news, next year is alarmingly close to being this year.
*** Bah humbug! to anyone who can't make the word 'oldies' squeeze into this line. We are following a fine tradition of Christmas covers - and in that spirit we give you Billy Mack. (Although, be warned, he is not for the ears of those younger readers.)