Roald Dahl: On the First Day of Christmas by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake

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On the twelfth day of Christmas a grown-up gave to me...
12 books a-balancing...

And so begins a less-than-traditional countdown to Christmas featuring many of Dahl's most well-known and well-loved characters and Quentin Blake's iconic illustrations. But as well as being a counting book, it is also the best introduction for little ones to the works of this much-loved author whose books, while largely written for more independent readers, will nevertheless entertain our youngest ones if they're shared as a read-aloud. No child should go through their young life without knowing what a whizz-popper is or dreaming of winning that golden ticket!

And when they've heard those classics, there are the other stories featured in this book to work through and then a whole host of others crafted by one of the most popular authors in a primary school library. Can you think of a better, more enduring gift to give a little one?

Barbara Braxton