Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

December 19, 2009

Books Glorious Books

In my final festive guest post, I am very delighted to introduce the multi-talented and hugely successful author, Sarah Webb. Sarah tell us why she simply wants books this Christmas, and all year round!

All I want for Christmas is . . .
book tokens and books. I've worked in the book business all my life, as a children's buyer and marketing manager and now as a writer. I've worked for all the 'greats' in Ireland: Eason, Waterstone's, Hodges Figgis, DuBray Books and I've written three guides to children's books.

Unfortunately because of this people are afraid to give me books as presents. They think I have every book I could ever want. But the truth is I love books, books are my life and I'd like nothing better than to open chunky square packages on Christmas morning. Coffee table travel books with glossy pics of places I'd love to visit - currently Barcelona and Iceland; easy to read (I have 2 small children and a teenager and am wrecked by bedtime) yet engrossing and well written novels by authors I may not have come across; books on cd for the car; beautiful blank notebooks to scribble ideas in - I'm really not at all hard to buy for. And I adore book tokens - aren't they wonderful - giving you guilt free shopping trips to your favourite book shops. Bliss!
And children's books. I've never grown out of two things: Abba and children's books. The odd time people give me special editions of old children's books but it doesn't happen half often enough. So I end up buying them for myself! A first edition of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (my fave book of all time) is top of my wish list.

If you have book lovers in your life, do give them books or book tokens. Like me they will thank you for it. And if you have little 'uns at home here are some of my favourites from 2009 for the younger ages:

Yummy by Lucy Cousins - a stunning hardback collection of fairy tales for young readers of 3+. Vibrant, glowing illustrations. One of the best books of the year.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury - first published in 2008 but recently out in paperback, this is one of the most charming picture books I've come across in many years and bound to become a children's classic. Gentle text, beautiful watercolour illustrations of bouncing babies - a real winner for birth+.

Lauren Child's Who Wants to Be A Poodle sees her back on form with a delightful, witty story and clever collage illustrations. Age 3/4+.

Early readers will love the new Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton or Tiger Lily books by Maeve Friel; and if your young reader of 8+ hasn't discovered the Wimpy Kid books yet, press them into his or her hands right now. They are hilarious! Greg is smart, witty but is always in trouble for his efforts. Funny, funny, funny!

So what do I want for Christmas - well, books and more young readers enjoying books of course!

Sarah Webb is the author of the Amy Green Teen Agony Queen series and has also written eight bestselling adult novels including Anything for Love. She is also the children's book reviewer for the Irish Independent and writes a popular book blog. She is on the Board of Children's Books Ireland, the national organisation for books and reading and is passionate about children's books and getting children reading. She lives in Dublin with her partner and three children.

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  1. Can I just say that Mr Gum is the best discovery of last year as far as I am concerned. He is vile, and he eats endtrails, and my children ADORE him. Well spotted.

  2. Yummy is my best recent discovery - in fact I'm planning on buying it for all my friends for their birthdays !

  3. Books are definitely the best thing to get for me! I sometimes feel a little boring giving books to other people but if you give just the right one it's better than anything!

  4. I have just bought Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little toes for Little Legs who is nearly 8 months old. She loves it and she definitely recognises the pictures and repetition each time I read it to her I love this book!


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