With Christmas approaching, it is a good opportunity to find that special book that your child or children will grow to cherish forever and maybe even pass on to the next generation.

Many parents tend to focus their attention on Christmas themed books around this time of year. However, children will often lose interest in these books once the holiday season is over. This is why we recommend offering at least 1 book with a general theme that can be of interest at any time of the year and why not, which has been awarded one of the prestigious children’s books awards across the world. The text and the illustrations in these books are of the highest quality giving parents reassurance that the values and context they will be exposed to can only be enriching. We have covered in detail the topic of why book awards are so important in children’s literature in the blog article here.

Here are our book recommendations for each of the 5 languages available in our bookstore:

Awarded with 2019 ALA Mildred L. Batchelder Award this book is available in our shop in both Romanian and Italian language.

In a quest for treasure, Pete, an excited and persistent young mouse, appears in the Professor's class at the University of Mice. A simple request for assistance turns into a complex and technical adventure with an unexpected conclusion that parallels one of the most important inventions of all time.

Recommended age 5+

  • Cyparissus. That which dies is never forgotten by Marta Sanmamed and illustrated by Sonja Wimmer

Winner of multiple awards like Independent Book Publisher Book Award 2015 & Living Now Books Awards 2015, this touching book is available in our shop in English, Romanian and Spanish.

Four different stories, four children that lose their beloved animal. A picture book that helps children to overcome the loss of a pet and help with the grief process, learning how to confront other losses that may happen in their life.

In Cyparissus there is a little dog who gets lost in a park, a sleeping rabbit, a horse up in the clouds, and a bird setting off on a long, long journey.

In Cyparissus there is Irene playing jump rope, George looking up at the sky, Molly who has bad dreams, and Danny carrying a backpack full of T-shirts.

Recommended age: 4+

  • Le visage de Mamina by Simona Ciraolo

Winner of the Prix Chronos 2018 , this book is a tender and touching dialogue between a grandmother and her granddaughter.

On her grandmother's birthday, the little girl worries about the wrinkles that parchment her face. It is the occasion of a wonderful dialogue between the child and his grandmother. Each wrinkle has its memory: the opportunity to tell about the significant events in her life.

Recommended age: 3+

  • Kas yra upė written and illustrated by Monika Vaicenavičienė

This book was nominated and awarded multiple awards like The Most Beautiful Book of the Year 2019 - The Awards of the Lithuanian Section of IBBY 2020 or Publisher's Choice Award - Shanghai International Children's Book Fair 2018

“What Is a River?” is a picture book is about rivers and the plentiful connections they have with us, humans. It follows a child and her grandma as they look for answers to a question – what is a river? In their imaginary expedition, they discover rivers flowing in the sky and living organisms; meet pilgrims and conquistadores, magical shape-shifting river dolphins and older-than-dinosaurs species of sturgeons; fish and bathe; and explore many other things.

Recommended age: 4+

Browse more award-winning books directly in our bookstore. Look for the Award Winner label!

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Traditionally, advent calendars let you open a door and find a little chocolate treasure every day from December 1 through December 24. All nice, but not something that gives an opportunity for connection. Creating a book advent calendar can become a wonderful Christmas tradition for the entire family and create an opportunity for family bonding.

There are many ways to go about creating a book advent calendar, and you can find your own special way to do it to fit your family. Here are a few suggestions from our side.

Get the 24 books ready

Get the books well in advance and hide them away so that the unwrapping is a real surprise for everyone else. Include Christmas classics with beautiful illustrations, but also children's books with themes that interest your children at that time. Keep the most beautiful, special book for opening on Christmas Eve. If you are a multicultural family, add books in other languages and books that show how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

Wrap the books - Get your Book Advent Calendar ready!

There are different ways of going about wrapping, it depends a lot on how much effort you want to put in. With wrapping, we know that it can go from newspaper wrap to exquisite bows and ribbons. It's all up to our own style. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Divide the books into a few categories and use different wrapping paper so you can identify them easily. Then create some kind of raffle mechanism to help the family pick out what style of book to open. It can be a simple pick from the hat or a more elaborate spinner.

Use one style of wrapping paper and add numbers to each wrapped book, opening each book on its corresponding day.

Display the books

Put the books in a basket, under the Christmas tree or on a shelf. There is nothing like the sight of a wrapped item to get kids excited about an activity.

Create a festive and cosy atmosphere

Make sure all devices are off, the room is nice and cosy, everyone has a cup of something to drink and that the light is soft. The Christmas tree in the background is a must for magical family time. If you want to learn more about the art of cosiness, read about the Danish concept of Hygge in The Little Book of Hygge. We are big fans in our home!

If you are a busy family like ours, you might not have the chance to create a magical atmosphere every December evening. Don't put too much pressure on ourselves and open 2 or 3 books every few days instead when the mood is right and the entire family is relaxed instead. As you get closer to Christmas Eve, the excitement is bound to overflow!

Merry Christmas!

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As a parent, teacher and even a librarian, it’s important to know what questions to ask oneself when deciding what books to expose (our) children to.

The list below was written by Donna E Norton, an expert in children’s literature and author of “Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature”.

1. Is this a good story?

2. Is the story about something that I think could really happen? Is the story believable?

3. Did the main character overcome the problem, but not too easily?

4. Did the climax seem natural?

5. Did the characters seem real? Did I understand the character’s personalities and the reasons for their actions?

6. Did the characters in the story grow?

7. Did I find out about more than 1 side of the characters? Did the characters have both strengths and weaknesses?

8. Did the setting resent what is actually known about the time or place?

9. Did the characters fin into the setting?

10. Did I feel like I was really in that time or place?

11. What did the author want to tell me in the story?

12. Was the theme worthwhile?

13. When I read the book out loud, did the characters sound like real people actually talking?

14. Did the rest of the language sound natural?

[Donna E. Norton, 1993]

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