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Great Christmas reading for children 2004

Santa Kid by James Patterson (Headline $29.95) Best selling thriller writer James Patterson turns his hand to writing for...

Santa Kid by James Patterson (Headline $29.95) Best selling thriller writer James Patterson turns his hand to writing for children with delightful results. The story of how greedy Vernon Ransom stole Christmas one year by roaring into town and buying the North Pole is a charmer with a warm, positive message and divine illustrations by the award winning Michael Garland. Wings by Carol Chataway & Declan Lee (Lothian $26.95) Very beautiful, unusual story about Saffy, whose parents leave in search of the rare Moon Moth. Saffy is grumpy that she has to stay with her boring old, thirty-something Aunt Joesa, until some very strange things begin to happen to Saffy and her life will never ever be the same. Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley (HarperCollins $24.95) From the same team that brought you the splendid Diary of a Wombat – one of my all-time favourites - comes this gorgeous Aussie tale about Shaun the shearer and Pete the sheep who has a special talent for finding out just what each sheep wants from their shearer. Original and hilarious. 30 Australian Ghost Stories For Children edited by Linsay Knight, illustrated by Gregory Rogers (Random House $19.95) This terrific collection of 30 eerie tales is all Australian and has everything, from the spooky to the sad, the silly and the funny. Contributors include Paul Jennings, Ruth Park, Emily Rodda, Andy Griffiths, Gretel Killeen and John Marsden. I Wish I had A Dinosaur by Ian Anggabrata with Mingga Anggawan, illustrations by Peter Sheehan (Scholastic $19.95) A gorgeous picture book, with the author, a six year old, wishing for a dinosaur. “Life would be so different with a dinosaur by your side. Then you would be braver, faster, stronger. You would climb higher, see further, sleep sounder.” I want one too! Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp by Philip Pullman, illustrated by Sophy Williams (Scholastic $29.95) It’s gone through hundreds of translations, been told in dozens of languages and for two centuries, been one of the best loved pantomimes. This is a re-telling of the fabled story with exquisite illustrations. A very beautiful book, worth collecting, even by grown-ups.

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