In our busy 21st century lives it can be very hard to unwind, and escape from the busy whirlwind that is modern life. But for me, there is nothing better than delving into a really good book. Apart from a little stint in my teenage years when I’d only read More! or Smash Hits, I’ve always been an avid reader. The stories from my childhood still whirl in my mind, never forgotten and definitely stories for life. I loved Milly Molly Mandy and The Worst Witch as a small child, then moved on to the Judy Blume books, re reading each one several times. As a teen, I discovered that books can move you to tears when I read To Kill A Mocking Bird. Recently, I’ve introduced my children to the wonderful stories from Arthur Ransom, and to my delight, they really love them, especially Swallows and Amazons. Given it was written over 80 years ago, it still holds such appeal. What’s more, they’ve both asked to do more sailing, so it’s spilled into their real lives too.

This Christmas, Penguin Random House Children’s books are reminding us that books make such wonderful presents, and that a story can really stay with you for a lifetime. They’ve very kindly sent me three books to gift to three budding readers and hope they are inspired by these stories and they become their stories for life.

For the Reluctant Reader:

My daughter is 11, and the school work has ramped up for her. Although, you can often find her nose in a non-fiction book, it’s been harder to find books that she has really immersed herself in. However, recently she saw that popular Youtuber, Zoella, has released a series of books entitled ‘Girl Online’ which have very much caught her eye. I was delighted that the newest instalment, Girl Online: Going Solo was included, and this will be under the tree for my daughter.

The book all the boys want:

The Wimpy Kids book are so very cleverly constructed: The diary style is interspersed with quirky drawings and the font is a little more fun and appealing to the younger reader. According to my son, all the boys in his class want this latest installment, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Double Down. This time Greg is told to drop the video games and release his creative side, so he sets out to make a Halloween movie.

To give a good dose of girl power:

I’m a feminist, and proud of it. My daughter has subliminally shown she is too and any time I can inspire my god daughter, I will! Clare Balding’s rather heart-warming story, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, as a girl accidentally buys a racehorse, who obviously, won’t gallop! The themes of friendship, positive body image and solving problems are prevalant and there’s much talk of women succeeding. I will definitely be wrapping this up for my goddaughter to show her just how great us girls can be!

I would love to know what books you are gifting this year, or indeed, which childhood books have stayed with you and are your stories for life.

Happy Bookmass all!