Books for younger children
You can’t go wrong with a picture-book at Christmas, but you can sometimes get buried under a snowy avalanche of choice. These favourites from the past year are bound to not only delight the small children in your life but also meet with the approval of their super-chic parents. As an added bonus, many are such objects of beauty that your attempts at gift-wrapping may be interrupted by the desire to curl up and pore over their pages yourself.
Elena Ferrante, the formerly anonymous novelist, has now surfaced in children’s fiction, with a haunting little tale about a lost doll, The Beach at Night (Europa Editions, £7.99, Buy it now). An oddly sinister story, creepily illustrated by Mara Cerri.