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Children's books for magic and fantasy fans

Christmas is such a magical time, and deserves to be accompanied by the most magical of stories! From the mishaps of our favourite witch, Winnie, to sinister events at the school for Children of Limitless Ability, these fantastic children's books will hold young readers under their spell. For your reluctant reader, hook them in with Tom’s Midnight Garden in graphic novel form, or tempt them in with the Boxtrolls of silver screen fame in Here Be Monsters.

Books for ages 0–4

Anna Currey
Christmas is only days away when Milly meets a unicorn. He patters softly into Grandpa's house on a snowy night and suddenly Milly's world is filled with magic, friendship, and the happiness she has been hoping for. This is a heart-warming story for everyone who believes in the magic of Christmas.
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Book extra: Create your own Christmas unicorn decorations

Marie Voigt
A contemporary and beautifully illustrated retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Can Red find her way to Grandma's house, or will she be swallowed up by the choices awaiting her in the big city?
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Matty Long
Join the residents of the Super Happy Magic Forest for epic quests and lots of fun. When the Ice Queen covers the entire forest in snow, can the heroes break her spell before they all freeze?
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Activity: Colouring in sheet [PDF]

Valerie Thomas, Korky Paul
It's Christmas Eve and Winnie and Wilbur are super excited. They've posted their letters to the North Pole and made everything festive. But then disaster strikes. Santa gets stuck in their chimney! He desperately needs help with his deliveries otherwise Christmas just won't happen.
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Video: Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa
Activity: Winnie's Christmas wordsearch [PDF]
Activity: Write a letter to Santa [PDF]

Books for ages 5–7

Harriet Muncaster
Isadora loves playing in the snow, especially when her creations come to life! But snow magic can't last forever. Will she be able to save her new friends before they melt away? Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic is also bursting with activities and fun things to make and do!
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More from Oxford Owl: Isadora Moon activities page

Laura Owen, Korky Paul
Winnie and Wilbur have just opened the latest door on their advent calendar when they wonder 'who gives Santa a present'? This thought leads to an epic Christmas quest. This is the perfect Christmas present for Winnie and Wilbur fans who are ready to move on to a longer story.
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Activity: Festive gingerbread recipe [PDF]

Anne Booth, Rosie Butcher
Every year the magnificent silver Snow Goose brings winter to the Magical Kingdom of Birds. But this year something is wrong: why hasn't he arrived? Lord Astor must be up to his tricks again. Can Maya and her friends uncover the mystery behind the missing snow goose?
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Activity: Magical Kingdom of Birds: The Snow Goose colouring sheet [PDF]

Compiled by Michael Morpurgo
From brave heroes and battling beasts to mighty gods and magic spells, these are timeless tales to treasure forever. An enchanting selection of classic myths and legends, chosen by the UK's best-loved storyteller.
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Paula Harrison, Jenny Lovlie
Girl by day. Cat by night. Ready for adventure. Kitty is a hero-in-training with incredible feline powers. She dreams of being just like her superhero mum one day, but she's still got a lot to learn.
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Activity: Make a Kitty mask [PDF]

Books for ages 7–9

Joshua Davidson, Buzz Burman
When Will accidentally creates a mysterious portal during a trip to the zoo, he’s transported into the world of the Night Zoo and thrust into an incredible adventure. The animals look to Will to save them, but does he have the strength to overcome his fears, and become the hero that the Night Zoo needs?
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Book extra: Meet the characters [PDF]
Activity: Create your own magical animal [PDF]
Activity: Write your own adventure story [PDF]

Elys Dolan
Best friends Dave and Albrecht are going undercover. They must disguise themselves as wizards to enter the notoriously secretive Wizarding Guild, in order to free their friends and stop the most evil wizard of them all – Terrence. Luckily, they have the perfect book to help them on their quest, the amazing, the brilliant, Wizarding for Beginners!
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Books for ages 9–11

Janina Ramirez, David Wyatt
Abruptly woken in the middle of the night by the village jarls calling upon her uncle to investigate the story of a mysterious English stranger, Alva is drawn into an epic quest that has her family at its very core. Protected by her tame wolf, Fenrir, and with the aid of her mother and uncle, Alva must decode mysterious runes, explore the farthest reaches of her homeland, and confront some difficult family truths.
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Book extra: Read an extract [PDF]
Activity: Create your own Viking Mischief Maker [PDF]

Ali Sparkes
Elena, Matt, and Tima have the power to talk to animals, birds and insects, but with power comes complications. Like having to stop the world from ending. Fast-paced action adventure about contemporary children with mysterious powers, told with Ali's classic humour and lightness of touch.
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Julia Golding
The Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures is facing their most deadly threat. Connie is the only member of the society who can keep peace between humans and the hidden mythical beings that are being destroyed by our pollution. But the shapeshifter Kullervo craves her power. He wants to use it to wipe out all of humanity. Perfect for fans of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this is a classic adventure story with a very modern twist!
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Astrid Lindgren
Ronja, the robber's daughter, causes mayhem by befriending the son of her father's sworn enemy. Together Ronja and Birk explore the magical forest they have fled to and must fend for themselves in the hope that one day they can return home. A beautiful illustrated edition to accompany the TV series.
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Tamsin Cooke
Fearless stunt double Finn is in Thailand working on the latest Rio Dinoni blockbuster. It's a dream job, but are the whispers around set true? Is the film really cursed? When stunt after stunt goes wrong, filming starts to get really dangerous. An action-packed adventure story with an exciting film location setting.
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Lorraine Gregory
Dumped as a baby, Mold has only ever been looked after by potion-maker Aggy, and when she’s wrongly arrested for poisoning the king, he’s determined to rescue her. With his strangely huge nose, Mold can sniff out the ingredients of any potion – and he knows his Aggy couldn’t have harmed anyone. So what can be going on at the royal palace?
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Book extra: Read an extract [PDF]

Philippa Pearce, Edith
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce is one of the great children’s classics. Loved by generations, it has been continuously in print since first published in 1958. Now this entrancing and magical story has been adapted into a graphic novel by top French illustrator Edith. A real Christmas treat for graphic novel and comic fans, as well as all story lovers, this luxury hardback edition makes a perfect gift.
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Hacker Murphy, Lucie Ebrey
Drip… Drip… DOOM. Does the water taste a bit funny to you? A creature is on the loose, a half-man-half-plant hell-bent on taking over the world and putting vegetation back in charge. He's in people's homes, tampering with the taps, and things are starting to get mossy. Maybe reading the Creeper Files will keep you safe. Maybe it'll keep you alive.
Fun, accessible fiction, ideal for readers who want action-packed excitement full of B-movie scares and tongue-in-cheek humour.
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Books for ages 11+

Philip Reeve
The Great Network is changing. For Threnody, the changes have brought great power. For Zen and Nova, they have brought separation. For the trains that run from world to world, they have brought questions. Now all of them must find out what really matters to them…
If you're new to the series, be sure to read the first installment, Railhead .
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Joss Stirling
The award-winning Savant series mixes heart-pounding romance with mystery and a hint of the supernatural. In Angel Dares, Angel's extraordinary savant ability allows her to manipulate water. Then she meets Marcus Cohen at a music festival and finds herself all at sea. Their mutual attraction is instant but Marcus's mistrust of savants is just as intense. How can they ever be together if Marcus is unable to accept who Angel is or what they could mean to each other? Another page-turning read for teens from Joss Stirling.
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Next: Books for fairy enthusiasts