Welcome to the first instalment of the Frida Be Mighty gift guide!

It is the season after all, and I am already getting more messages than I can reply to asking about gifts and suggestions.  Over the course of the next couple of weeks I’m going to be sharing a number of posts with some great gift ideas for young children which have been tried and tested, either by Frida herself or by other children we know.  I’ll be covering books, art and craft materials, a whole range of toys, practical life gifts, “educational” gifts and more, all at a variety of price points.

Today I’m going to kick off with my favourite things to gift: books. I love gifting books as I’m always confident that they will be well received – by the child and their parents! I still love receiving books myself, and there are few things I enjoy more than carefully choosing a book for somebody that I hope they will love.

Here is a selection of books that I am sure any young child would be delighted to receive and will enjoy all year round. It’s not an exhaustive list – I wouldn’t have time to write one and you wouldn’t have time to read it! – but I hope it will give you some ideas. Many of these books I have recommended before, not out of laziness but because I stand by that recommendation and have seen them reached for and bring joy time and time again.

A note before we begin: I’ve left out many of the classics here (no Gruffalo, Bear Hunt, Dear Zoo, Hungry Caterpillar or Mog here) not because these aren’t great but because buying these always runs the risk of duplicating as they are so popular. I also haven’t included any seasonal books or holiday specific books in this list, though look out for blog posts on our favourite Winter, Christmas, and Chanukah books coming very soon. The same goes for chapter books; we’ve started reading more of these with Frida and I’m excited to share them with you soon!

Board books

I’m a fan of giving babies paper books that they will grow into, and I don’t believe you’re ever too young for a good poem or story. That said, there are some really beautiful board books on the market which definitely make my list!

The Gerda Muller Seasons Gift Collection: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I love these for babies and toddlers, but they last well into childhood as older children enjoy making up stories and describing what is happening in these stunning wordless books. They can also be bought separately.

My Day: A Book of Action. I love Melvin’s work, and this sweet book would be perfect for babies and toddlers. Melvin also has a number of other board books including I Am: A Book About Feelings and Me and You.

Love Makes a Family. This hasn’t been published yet but is available to preorder, and looks absolutely wonderful! What a vibrant celebration of family life.

Lift the flap books

Books with flaps are really popular with young children, and bring an extra element of fun (and fine motor skills!) to reading. 

Hidden World: Ocean. Great for toddlers and very young children, I adore this book which combines top illustrations with simple information about each sea creature. Also in this wonderful series is Animals and Forest.

Walk This Wild World. Each double page of this beautifully illustrated book shows a different habitat, with flaps to open for more information and a short poem on each spread.

The ‘Look Inside’ series, published by Usborne. Some of our favourites include Look Inside Our World and Look Inside Your Body, but the series includes a vast range of topics from transport to the stone age, space to science. For toddlers there is a simpler ‘Peep Inside’ series, and for older children a more detailed ‘See Inside’ series.

How Animals Build. This is a super book with lots of flaps and fold out pages showing a range of animal habitats and homes, with lots of surprising flaps! This is great for younger and older children alike.

Books with sound

These are truly exceptional, and well-worth considering even if you usually eschew battery-operated toys and books, and make for very special gifts. .

The Little Book of Garden Bird Songs. This series is wonderful, pairing real bird song recordings with information and photos of each species. There are a few books in this series including Woodland Birds and Wetland Birds.

Sounds of Nature: World of Birds. Another bird book, but this time organised by habitat and featuring a number of different sounds on each page. I’ve already pre-ordered the forests version which comes out in 2019.

The The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons. This book beautifully pairs clips of Vivaldi’s four seasons with beautiful illustrations. We also love The Nutcracker which we gifted Frida for Christmas last year, and this year we have bought her The Sleeping Beauty in the same series.

Books about the natural world

You really can’t go wrong with beautiful books about the natural world, and it was VERY hard to pick just a few to feature!

A First Book of Nature. I really love Nicola Davies, and this beautiful book does not disappoint, going through each season and highlighting different animals and natural treasures. Equally beautiful is her First Book of the Sea which is illustrated by Emily Sutton, one of my favourite illustrators. Bought separately or together these would make brilliant gifts.

The Natural History Book. This is one of our most-used books, and I recommend it to everyone. It’s a big, thick, heavy one, suited for adult as well as children, but the photography makes it something even very young children will enjoy looking at with their siblings or care givers. Older children will love using it to do their own research.

Wild World. This is a really lovely (and in my opinion, underrated) book with a different habitat on each illustrated double page and a poem to accompany each one.

Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature. This awesome book is a firm favourite in our home, covering habitats, species, and adaptations. It has enough detail that it’s perfect for older children, whilst being visually appealing enough to suit younger children too.

Atlas of Animal Adventures. I am always recommending this fun book and its companion Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures (which possibly wins the award for the book I have read the most with Frida!)

Whales: An Illustrated Celebration. This superb book would be great for slightly older children as it’s packed with information. It really is a treasure, and one of the most gorgeous books we own. This combined with a couple of Schleich whale toys would make a really special gift.

A World of Birds. Perfect for the budding ornithologist in your life, this book is separated into continents and shares information on over 70 birds.

The Polar Bear. This book is so beautiful, and full of information. Also in the series is The Blue Whale which is equally beautiful, and The Elephant which is a new release.

The ‘Nature Storybooks’ series, published by Walker. I’ve never been disappointed by these, and there are so many that you’re bound to find one to match the child’s interests (perhaps pairing with an animal figure for an amazing gift?). Each book combines a narrative story with facts about the animal. Our favourites include Surprising Sharks and Growing Frogs but they are honestly all brilliant. They can be bought in sets or separately.

Poetry books

Poetry is a wonderful way to build a child’s vocabulary and language structure, and a joy to read at any age.

I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year. This stunning book belongs on every child’s bookshelf. Gorgeous illustrations accompany nature poems for each day of the year. We read one every morning over breakfast and it’s a ritual we love. A truly wonderful gift.

When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. These are still my favourite poetry books for young children. I often pop a copy in my bag if we’re heading out for the day.

Around the Year. We read this through at the start of every month. Gorgeous short poems and dreamy illustrations make this a must-have book for families with young children.

Out and About: A First Book of Poems. The most gorgeous seasonal poetry for young children. Every family needs a copy. I also love this collection for very young children.

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies. Beautiful illustrations and words sit side by side, gently teaching children about seasonal flowers and plants. A joy to read. (These books can be purchased separately too).

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Brilliant fun to read aloud.

Books which celebrate diversity

There is still unfortunately a shocking lack of diversity in children’s books. Any of these books would make a welcome addition to any bookshelf, joyfully celebrating diversity without sacrificing beautiful illustrations or storylines.

The Barefoot Book of Children. A must-have for any child’s bookshelves, this glorious celebration of diversity – of all kinds – is a really beautiful book to gift.

Can You Say Peace? We love this book! Bonus point: it will teach you and your child how to say “peace” in many languages.

All the Ways to be Smart. I love that this book celebrates all of the ways children are “smart” – not just succeeding academically but being kind, having an imagination, enjoying drawing, and so on. This would be a wonderful book for a young child who attends school or pre-school.

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World. We love this book which shows the way that children from around the world are different, and crucially, the same. A super book which is a must-read.

Julian Is a Mermaid. This book is unbelievably beautiful and although it has few words, it sends a powerful message about celebrating self-expression. Frida will be receiving a copy of this.

All Are Welcome. We don’t have a copy of this book yet, but it is on my list and I’ve seen it recommended in a number of places.

Same, Same But Different. A sweet story of two pen-friends comparing their daily lives and celebrating each others differences.

Last Stop on Market Street. I love that this book not only has different skin colours portrayed, but also opens up conversations around different levels of wealth and poverty too, as well as different ways a language can be spoken.

Fiction books

Fiction is so personal, but here are a few suggestions that I feel confident most children would thoroughly enjoy. 

A Year in Our New Garden. As much a book about nature as it is a story of children moving into their new home and enjoying their garden throughout the year, this would be a wonderful gift. All of Muller’s books are fantastic; Where Do They Go When It Rains? is a firm favourite too.

The Brambly Hedge Complete Collection. Worth buying just for the illustrations alone, though the stories are wonderfully gentle and charming too, with just enough adventure. These are stories to be treasured for years to come, and this collection would be a perfect “big” present.

The Story of the Root Children. We love this book so much, and it’s wonderful to read whatever the season.

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children. We have bought this for Frida this year, I can’t wait to read it with her.

A Year of Stories and Things to Do. I love Shirley Hughes realistic stories showing the magic, joy, and beauty in everyday family life, and this treasury combines her stories and poems with craft, recipe and activity ideas for each month.

Sonya’s Chickens. One of our absolute favourites. This beautiful story is a really gentle, empathetic way of introducing children to the concept of death and the natural food chain, and is a brilliant preparation for learning about dinosaurs and other carnivores.

The Tale of the Castle Mice. Anything illustrated by the mega talented Emily Sutton gets my vote, and this is such a sweet story.

My Father’s Dragon: Three Tales. A very sweet “first chapter book” to share; I recently read this to Frida age 3 and she really enjoyed it. Each chapter has a resolution, making it perfect to read in short increments.

Goose In A Hole. A great option for young fans of Mog and the The Tiger Who Came To Tea which they are unlikely to already own.

The Mousehole Cat. A poetic story about a man and his cat, this book has a a strong moral message of selflessness and bravery. It’s one of my husband’s favourites, and great for preschool age onwards.

The Apple Cake. A gentle story with a kind message and beautiful illustrations.


These very special books are unique and would make for a truly wonderful gift.

The Lost Words. This important and stunning book highlights some of the words that children are now beginning to lose from their vocabulary, as they spend less and less time in nature. Acorn, adder, ivy and wren are just some of the words included. This would be a joy to unwrap for adults too!

Holes. An unlikely topic for a book? Perhaps. But it works. Covering everything from natural holes like caves, manmade holes such as sewers, animal holes like burrows, and bodily holes including ears, this book is an excellent addition to the bookshelves for children of all ages. It even includes a section on black holes, and the philosophy of holes. Fascinating!

The Street Beneath My Feet and The Skies Above My Eyes. These both unfold fully, stretching either up or down to show deep into the earth or up into the skies. These would make very cool gifts!

Vincent’s Starry Night: A Children’s History of Art. This is perfect for slightly older children, going through the history of art beginning with cave art 40,000 years ago to the modern age.

Phew! I hope this post has given you some inspiration for beautiful books to gift and share with the young children in your life. If you enjoyed this guide, don’t forget to check back over the next couple of weeks where I’ll be sharing many more gift ideas.

{This post contains some affiliate links at no cost to you. You get great book recommendations, and I get a tiny percentage of any orders paid back to me which helps to support this blog. Win win!}

Posted by:Eloise R

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