Phaidon Children’s Christmas Gift List

Art This Way (Ages 2-5, November, £15.95) Unfold pages, lift flaps, gaze into mirrors, and interact with art like never before. Inspired by the many ways that art can be viewed and experienced, this book encourages children to spend time with a curated selection of art from the Whitney collection – and to dig deeper and consider all angles. Each artwork is showcased with a novelty mechanism and caption, for curious hands and wondering eyes. 

Jackson Pollock Splashed Paint and Wasn’t Sorry. (Ages 4-7, May, £12.95) Jackson Pollock was unlike any other painter. Instead of sitting in front of an easel with brushes, he poured paint over canvases rolled-out across the floor, moving, splashing, and making the vivid liquid run with energy and rhythm. Pollock’s story is told here with wit and eccentricity, perfectly paired with black-line illustrations – and splatters galore. Fausto Gilberti brings movement, life, and whimsy to the true life story of one of the most important contemporary artists of our time.

 Yves Klein Painted Everything Blue and Wasn’t Sorry. (Ages 4-7, September, £12.95) is the second in a series of biographies that relay the spirit and essence of the great modern and contemporary artists of our time, in a voice and style pitch-perfect for young readers. Artist Yves Klein always thought about how he could surprise his audience.

One day, he decided that he would only paint in one colour – blue. He covered canvases, globes, branches, gallery floors, and even people in blue paint. Klein’s story is told here with wit and eccentricity, perfectly paired with blackline illustrations and blue splashes galore. Fausto Gilberti brings movement, life, and whimsy to the true-life story of one of the most important modern French artists of our time. 

 The Silver Spoon for Children (Ages 7-10, September, £17.95) follows the global success of the first edition of The Silver Spoon for Children (adapted especially for children from the most influential Italian cookbook of the last 50 years), and marks the 10-year anniversary of its publication. This newly designed edition presents a fresh, easy-to use layout.

Kids will love to cook and eat the authentic regional Italian dishes – chosen by a nutritional specialist for their simple instructions, achievability, and balanced nutrition. With its charming specially commissioned illustrations, a lively layout, and bright and tempting photographs of the finished dishes, this book is sure to please budding cooks in kitchens around the world.

The Ball Book (Ages 3-5, September, £12.95) brings together footballs to eyeballs, beach balls to meatballs, if you can roll it, this book has it! With his signature whimsy and wordplay, author Joshua David Stein compares and contrasts different kinds of balls in this part-reference, part-comedy act. The book invites readers to identify various sports balls, while simultaneously weaving in a whole selection of unexpected rollable objects. A winning formula for every young reader who loves to kick, throw, catch, or giggle.

Lenny the Lobster Can’t Stay For Dinner (Ages 4-7, February £12.95) When invited to a fancy dinner party, Lenny brings thoughtful gifts for the hosts and enthusiasm for whatever’s in store. But when he’s greeted with a pot of boiling water and lobster bibs, Lenny [and readers] must quickly decide: should he stay or go? This laugh-out-loud text by bestselling author Michael Buckley and his 10-year-old son Finn is stunningly accompanied by illustrations that demonstrate Catherine Meurisse’s flare for the dramatic. 

 Book of Flight: 10 Record-breaking Animals With Wings (Ages 5-8, May, £16.95) Meet ten fascinating flyers through a series of superlatives – and guess who’s who while learning about airborne animals. From the fastest (white-throated needletail) to the most acrobatic (flying fox bat), and from the best glider (colugo) to the best backward flyer (hummingbird), each master of flight is cleverly depicted in a blueprint-inspired diagram, accompanied by playful, informative text. The stunning page-turn reveal features a full-colour illustration and an explanation of what makes each animal’s way of flying so special. 

 Emile: The Helpful Octopus (Ages 5-8, January, £12.95) When deep-sea diver Captain Samovar is attacked by a ferocious shark, Emile comes to his aid. Grateful to his rescuer, the Captain invites him to stay at his home, where Emile sleeps in a bathtub full of salt water. Emile turns out to be a fantastic octopus: he is a gifted musician (able to play three instruments simultaneously) and a great lifeguard, teaching children to swim and saving people from drowning. One day, Emile and the Captain, who works on a police launch, encounter a suspicious-looking boat in the ocean, with a dangerous group of smugglers on board… A charming tale of a fearless crime-fighting, eight-legged hero that will delight two-legged readers of all ages.


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