I started this conversation on Facebook, and it was so instantly popular I thought I’d expand it. My kid will be four on the 24th December, and we’ll give him some sort of atheist Christmas present on the 25th. We’re also giving presents to various other children aged 3-11.

The conversation so far, with names changed/abreviated to protect the pseudonomous:
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Bins: Diary of a Wombat, Nicolas and The Gang!!!!
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Peasoup: Mr McGee, Alison whatsit who wrote Magic Beach, Hairy McLairy, anything by Julia Donaldson (Room on the Broom is my favourite)
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Lisette: elephant elements 🙂
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Bins: I repeat, Nicolas and The Gang!!!!
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Stomper: Q Pootle 5 or Thud by Nick Butterworth, run, don’t walk, to buy them. Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willem. The Foot Book and Inside Outside Upside Down by Seuss. Where Is The Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek.
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Stomper: We got a lot of mileage out of lift the flap books too: Maisy, Spot, Dear Zoo. Also both my kids love Charlie and Lola.
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Thirdcat: Jackie French’s Wombat books are fantastic. Also, I still think there is nothing better than Margaret Mahy’s Lion in the Meadow. Gruffalo of course. And Owl Babies…I’m a bit stuck in the past I’m afraid…Don’t forget Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek
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B: All of Oliver Jeffers’ books! Pure magic.
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Kelly: oh, i love owl babies! and green sheep gets a good workout
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B: Monkey monkey monkey by Cathy MacLennan. We read Green sheep every night at the moment!
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E: All of Mo Willems’ books about The Pigeon are great, esp ‘Don’t let the Pigeon Stay Up Late’. Emily Gravett’s books are nice too.
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Thirdcat: Jane Yolen is brilliant too
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Innercitygarden:
Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood, Clancy & Millie and the Very Fine House (kid moves house, makes new friend, plays with emptied boxes)
Not a box by Antoinette Portis – more imaginary play with boxes (it’s not a box, it’s a spaceship etc). Simple text and most of the meaning is in the very nice illustrations.
Glenda Millard & Stephen Michael King Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle – Applesauce learns that Christmas is about getting the family together, and that they’ll all recover from the bushfire.
Hello Baby by Jenni Overend and Julie Vivas – an Australian home birth, narrated by the big brother, answering all those “but how does the baby get out of her tummy” questions he was asking.
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M: I really like “we’re going on a bear hunt” it’s quite rhythmic and fun to read. (can’t remember author – but it’s been around for ages)
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B: Have a look at the “Touch the art” series on Amazon too. I haven’t seen them here. They are fantastic.

I’m glad Thirdcat mentioned Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek because I had forgotten it. Because we live in pretty monocultural little town I’ll be making a point of getting some books about non-Christian cultural festivals to make up for going to the sort of kinder where they only do Christmas & Easter. My shopping list currently hosts 28 items, so I’ll need to cut it back a bit. Or find some more neices and nephews. I don’t yet have anything for the older kids – they’ll be 8.5 and 11.5. Talking books would be particularly handy.

For younger kids the Sandra Boynton books are really good – particularly Hippos Go Beserk! Learn maths while shouting BESERK!

Thanking you in advance, yours &c…

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