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The Best Books of 2020: Children's Gift Books

Posted on 18th November 2020 by Mark Skinner

There are few children's presents as special as a truly beautiful book and this year we have been blessed with many gorgeous gift editions for younger readers. Word and image have been exquisitely united in The Lost Spells, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris's stunning sequel to the bestselling The Lost Words, as well as Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, a sumptuous year's-worth of classic verse from the creators of former Waterstones Gift of the Year, I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree. Lavish illustrated editions from the worlds of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials would look glorious on any bookshelf and works of reference such as Fungarium and The Egyptians combine dazzling design with fascinating information.     

Story & Poetry Anthologies

£25.00
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Blessed with stunning illustrations from Britta Teckentrup, the follow-up to former Waterstones Gift of the Year, I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree, celebrates the animal kingdom through a diverse range of poetry, from Lewis Carroll to Grace Nichols.

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£12.99
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Curated by the peerless Katherine Rundell and designed with style and grace, The Book of Hopes garners words of possibility and optimism from the finest children’s writers and artists around.
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£14.99
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From the inspired pairing behind the award-winning The Lost Words comes a luminous hymn to nature and language adorned with Jackie Morris’s exquisite illustrations of beloved woodland creatures.
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£15.00
Hardback
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The renowned illustrator of The Lost Words and The Lost Spells delivers a sumptuous collection of nursery rhymes, both famous and little-known, accompanied by a series of breathtaking watercolour illustrations.
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£12.99
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Chris Riddell returns with another gorgeously illustrated anthology of poems, classic and modern, filled with inspiration for making the world a better place.
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£16.99
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Following on from the acclaimed Norse Myths, Kevin Crossley-Holland recounts pulsating new versions of classic folktales full of gods, glaciers and mountain-trolls.
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£14.99
Paperback
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Another spellbinding collection of seasonal verse courtesy of Allie Esiri, A Poem for Every Winter Day features snowy classics from Thomas Hardy, Robert Burns and Jackie Kay amongst many others.
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Beautiful Fiction

£30.00
Hardback
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Published to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Philip Pullman’s groundbreaking fantasy masterpiece, this sumptuous illustrated edition of Northern Lights brings the first part of Lyra’s epic quest to a whole new generation.
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£25.00
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Combining the storytelling talents of JK Rowling with the artistic gifts of Emily Gravett, this ravishing illustrated version of Quidditch Through the Ages boasts intricate artwork on every page.
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£25.00
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Recreating the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and many other legendary characters in his own distinctive style, former Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell delivers a landmark new Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the twenty-first century.
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£14.99
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Gathering together all of Michael Bond’s enchanting Parsley the Lion stories, this full-colour gift edition recaptures all of the magic of the Herb Garden’s memorable inhabitants.
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Reference

£20.00 £8.00
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Collating jaw-dropping, record-breaking facts and figures from across the globe and outer space, the 2021 edition of Guinness World Records is the biggest and most illuminating yet.
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£14.99
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From sea otters to humpback whales, dive in to the wonders of the earth’s oceans with this intricately illustrated and highly informative book accompanying the BBC series.
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£12.99
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Written with exuberance and passion and boasting exquisite print illustrations, this guide to the avian world will enchant younger readers and spawn countless future ornithologists.
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£25.00
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Combining the Encyclopedia Britannica’s authority and reputation with sumptuous design and illustration, this stunning children’s reference work is the perfect gift for inquisitive young readers eager to learn all about the world.
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£20.00
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Highlighting the varied and intriguing world of fungi and revealing how vital they are to human progress, this sumptuous and educational volume will hold budding botanists spellbound for hours.
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£17.95
Hardback
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A marvel of both accessible scholarship and graphic design, Exploring the Elements provides children with a vivid guide to the periodic table and the endless possibilities of chemistry.
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£20.00
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Brilliantly adapted from Bill Bryson’s phenomenal adult bestseller, A Really Short History of Nearly Everything crams in everything you could possibly want to know about the history of science and still has room for a series of vibrant illustrations.
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£25.00
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Merging the wizarding world of Harry Potter with the real-life marvels of natural history, Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature demonstrates that sometimes the most remarkable animals are not creatures of the imagination.
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£20.00
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From the inventive minds behind Illuminatlas and Illumanatomy, Illumisaurus utilises three differently coloured lens to bring to vivid life the locations, dinosaurs and wildlife of prehistory.
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£14.99
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Gathering together the facts, stats and data that formed the background to Stephen and Lucy Hawking’s beloved George’s Secret Key to the Universe books, this handsome volume forms a perfect introduction to time, space and the cosmos for young readers.
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£16.99
Novelty book
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With more than 80 flaps, readers can delve into the past to uncover all sorts of astonishing facts about ancient Greece. An exciting and interactive introduction to the ancient Greeks, a popular history subject in schools.
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Inspirational People

£25.00
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Furnishing rebel girls with fresh inspiration, this treasury of inspiring immigrant women – from Josephine Baker to Madeline Albright – is a marvellous addition to the beloved Good Night Stories family.
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£16.99
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Covering everyone from Mozart to Malala, this beautifully illustrated volume celebrates the lives and achievements of fifty young people from across the world and the centuries.
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£16.99
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From global icons like Muhammad Ali and Malala Yousafzai, to lesser known pioneers such as Sultan Razia and Noor Inayat Khan, Amazing Muslims Who Changed the World highlights the incalculable achievements of Muslims throughout history.
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£14.99
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Providing inspiration for those with disabilities and enlightenment for others, this informative and lavishly illustrated book profiles thirty pioneering individuals who refused to be held back by their disabilities, from Beethoven to Lady Gaga.
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Hobbies

£16.99
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Filled with beauty and a sense of wonder about the little miracles can be observed in the garden or even through the window, Slow Down features 50 gorgeously illustrated stories about the magical transformations that happen in nature every day.
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£20.00
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Stunningly illustrated and crafted with incredible attention to detail, this interactive quest to save the last remaining dragon from extinction combines thrilling adventure with a heartfelt message about conservation.
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£14.99
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A fresh, fun collection of recipes for adults and children to follow together, My First Cook Book brings all of The Great British Bake Off winner David Atherton's culinary skills to the table.
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Music & Film

£14.99
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Explore Neverland, Wonderland and many more iconic Disney and Pixar settings in this sumptuously designed, fully illustrated volume that will rekindle countless cinematic memories.
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A sumptuous addition to the Harry Potter Movie Scrapbook series, this interactive volume is packed with images and information about the festive season in the wizarding world.
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