Bookbug Detective: buying books as a gift

Bookbug Detective: buying books as a gift
Category: Parents

The Bookbug Detective is on hand to help you with any questions you have about books and reading for your little one. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions so far. The Detective has selected a question to answer below. If you'd like some book recommendations or advice send the Bookbug Detective an email, or post it in the comments below!

I’m going to a Christening in a couple of weeks’ time and would like to buy a book as a gift. I don’t know the family particularly well so I’m not sure of their tastes but I’d really like to give them something that will be treasured forever.

Good choice! I think a book is the perfect gift, whether it's for a Christening, baby shower or just... because.

There are lots of lovely gift editions of classic books, such as Winnie the Pooh – the Complete Collection of Stories and Poems, the Paddington Treasury for the Very Young or the Peter Rabbit Classic Gift Set. Beatrix Potter is a very popular choice for gifts, and there's a huge range of her titles to choose from. There’s also a very beautiful slipcase edition of the classic story The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which is still selling in droves.

If you suspect the family might already have the classics, why not go for something a bit different?

You can also get some very cute toy and book sets. For example, Kiss Goodnight Sam by Amy Hest comes with a plush toy of Sam the bear. And you may not be able to resist the edition of Owl Babies by Martin Waddell that comes with its own fluffy owl. You could also buy a toy separately and pair it with a book. For example, you can buy pretty much all of Julia Donaldson's Gruffalo characters as toys now.

If you suspect the family might already have the classics, why not go for something a bit different? The Moomins aren’t to everyone’s taste but you can't deny the stories' charm. There are lots of collections but I’d go for Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip - Book One. Petr Horacek’s The Mouse Who Ate the Moon would make a very sweet gift and you should seek out the fabulous new edition of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man – every child should read these stories, they’re wonderful. Or what about A Children’s Treasury of Milliganhilarious and delightful.

Paddington Bear Illustration

My final suggestion would be a nice collection of fairy tales or nursery rhymes. I’ve listed a few that I think are particularly lovely below:

I hope this helps. I’d also suggest you pop into a bookshop, have a browse and ask a bookseller for any suggestions they may have. Please do let us know what you choose.


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Catch up on the previous Bookbug Detective blogs for advice on everything from books for long car journeys to advice on alternative activities for the baby that would sit still at storytime.

Kirsty Sinclair

Kirsty Sinclair is the Early Years Outreach Co-ordinator for Scottish Book Trust.