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Why Give Your Child A Book This Christmas?
Robert Bullock, Features Writer
A book won't be opened first but it makes a cherished present this Christmas.

Whilst books are not 'high impact' presents - they won't be opened first and if they are they'll probably be flung into a corner of a child's bedroom. But when the hysteria of a new computer game has worn off and after edible goodies are consumed and hopefully not thrown back up, a book will still be there for your child!

Always a favourite - keeps them quiet for hours!
As a child I always looked forward to reading books as the festive mayhem died down. The Guiness Book of World Records would provide endless hours of perusing. Even now I think it could keep me occupied until spring! And it may inspire me to write a new book! And it still appeals to children! Recently, I was overjoyed that my seven year old granddaughter asked for a copy for Christmas this year!

Annuals were always awesome presents! And, for me, the Blue Peter Annual was top of my Christmas list to Santa! I think I had every one from 1974 to 1987 along with a few from the dark ages that I'd picked up at jumble sales! I think it's safe to say that a teenage crush on Janet Ellis extended the Blue Peter Annual's place on my santa list longer than normal!

But Christmas would not be Christmas without a good festive story or poem. I think one of the most famous festive opening lines has to be from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' by Major Henry Livingston Jr. (previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore).

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

You just can't get any more festive than this! And almost everyone in the world knows this line!

Friends in the United States tell me that The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is the best Christmas book of all time but I have to admit that The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is the story that brings the magic to my Christmas, even though Aled Jones tried to ruin it all for everyone! The stark simplicity of this book just can't be beat.

Nothing can really eclipse the real Christmas story though. The story of how Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem has been told for over two thousand years and it's still wonderfully magical.

But as a writer, it's the best feeling in the world to think that around the world children are waking up on Christmas morning, ripping the wrapping off their presents, opening one of my books and then flinging them into the farthest corner of their living room!

Rob Bullock is a Yorkshire writer and children's author. His
Noah Ramsbottom and Sam Marsh books are available from all good booksellers and make fantastic Christmas gifts for children of all ages to fling to the corner of their room for later reading!

Why Give Your Child A Book This Christmas?, 6th December 2012, 10:06 AM