Ah, books. A failsafe gift that will put a smile on the faces of both (most) children and parents. Christmas is the time to go all out with arty tomes, gift editions and activity books. Here are 20 of our favourites for 2013.
Touchthinklearn: Opposites by Xavier Deneux (Chronicle Books, RRP £9.25)
Super-stylish board book to introduce babies to the concept of opposites – features robust, textured pages.
BabyLit Pride & Prejudice playset by Jennifer Adams (Gibbs M. Smith, RRP £16)
Uses Austen’s novel to help teach numbers and comes with a divine paper doll set.
Pantone Colour Puzzles (RRP £9.99, Abrams Appleseed)
The Pantone empire continues to expand – this board book features the happy illustrations of Tad Carpenter and quirky colour-matching puzzles.
Playbook Pirates by Britta Teckentrup (RRP £14.99, Nosy Crow)
Another two-in-one gift, this comes with a fold-out playmat and figures.
The Dot: Make Your Mark Kit by Peter H. Reynolds (RRP £12.99, Walker Books)
A classic title in a new package with The Blank Book and a set of coloured pencils.
The Big Book of Art by Herve Tullet (RRP £14.95, Phaidon)
The always reliable Monsieur Tullet has created a flip book of art sure to thrill children of all ages.
Animal Opposites by Petr Horacek (RRP £10.99, Walker)
Fun comparisons including snail (slow) with cheetah (fast) and hippo (heavy) with butterfly (light).
Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli (RRP £10.99, Abrams Appleseed)
Beautiful introduction to the alphabet from the ever-fabulous Peskimo.
Walk This World by Lotta Niemenen (RRP £14.99, Big Picture Press)
This is one of our favourites at home – explore different nations and cultures by peeking through windows and doors.
What’s Inside? by Okido (RRP £12.95, Thames & Hudson)
We make no secret of our love for Okido – hold up pages to the light to see what goes on in the body or under the bonnet.
Belle & Boo and The Very Merry Christmas by Mandy Sutcliffe (RRP £10.99, Hachette Childrens)
A delightful festive adventure for little girl Belle and her rabbit friend Boo.
Little Golden Book Friendly Tales by Margaret Wise Brown (RRP £8.99, Golden Books)
Timeless collection of stories from the author of the wonderful Goodnight Moon.
Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski (RRP £20, Big Picture Press)
This gorgeous book is packed with detailed illustrations and will appeal to all generations.
The Big Book of Anorak by Cathy Olmedillas (RRP £18.99, Anorak Press)
Fantastic compilation of all our favourite Anorak characters and illustrators in a chunky hardback.
Pop-up Numbers by Courtney Watson McCarthy (RRP £12.95, Thames & Hudson)
Make maths fun with this clever piece of paper engineering with pull-outs, pop-ups and puzzles.
Three Little Owls by Quentin Blake and Emanuele Luzzati (RRP £11.99, Tate)
Wonderful rhyming tale follows a trio of mischievous birds.
Lifetime by Lola M Schaefer (RRP £10.99, Chronicle Books)
Mix numbers and nature with this educational but fun look at animals.
Richard Scarry’s Busiest Pop-Up Ever (RRP £15.99, Golden Books)
Who doesn’t love the crazy adventures of the folk of Busytown?
The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford (RRP £10.99, Bloomsbury)
Lovely edition of stories about the infamous litter pickers, with a CD narrated by Bernard Cribbins.
Architecture According to Pigeons by Stella Gurney (RRP £12.95, Phaidon)
Brilliant introduction to building design from the perspective of our feathered friends.