Perfect Gifts for the 'Christening Season'

20th May 2019

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies." - J.M. Barrie, 'Peter and Wendy'.


First edition 'Peter and Wendy' with illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell.


Spring time is upon us once more and new life is all around, from lambs roaming in the fields to delicate blossom on the branches. And we are officially entering what I call the 'Christening Season'. 

While Christenings are lovely events for all family and friends, it's no secret that finding the perfect Christening present can pose something of a challenge! To help in your search we have put together a little summary of our favourite book-ish christening gifts to give you some inspiration. Afterall, what better gift is there than a book? 

First Rackham Edition of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.


" 'Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar. 

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.' " - Lewis Carroll, 'Alice in Wonderland'.


First published edition of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'.


The classics are always a good place to start, and you don’t get much more classic than Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland.’ Written in 1865, Alice's story remains one of the most well loved children’s tales to this day. A favourite with both children and adults, it's iconic imagery and nonsense genre make it a joyful bedtime read. 


Mabel Lucie Attwell's Little Mermaid

For classic fairy stories you can’t go wrong with 'The Fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen'. The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, and many more famous stories that have gone on to shape children's literature are contained in his collection of fairytales. Beautifully illustrated and the perfect introduction to reading, what more could you want? 


Beautiful illustration from Kay Nielsen's 'Fairytales by Hans Andersen''.

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long.

If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”

 A.A. Milne, 'Winnie The Pooh'.


A Fine First Edition of 'Winnie The Pooh' by A. A. Milne.

When it comes to Children's Literature, it seems you can't go wrong with talking animals. A.A. Milne's collection of stories (When We Were Very Young, Winnie the Pooh, Now We Are Six & The House at Pooh Corner) about one very famous honey-loving bear contains so many heart-warming quotes it's always a thoughtful gift for any new born. 

Or, if you fancy something that will fit into the palm of a small hand, Beatrix Potter's pocket size tales are equally delightful.


First published edition of Beatrix's Potter's 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'.


“Two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way - or always to have it.” 

― Frances Hodgson Burnett, 'The Secret Garden’.


A personal childhood favourite of mine will always be France Hodgson Burnett's 'The Secret Garden'. Mary and Colin's friendship, the mystery of the Garden, and of course the happy ending make it one of the most uplifting children's classics of all. 


First Edition 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett with illustrations by Charles Robinson.


When asking children’s authors whose books most influenced them one name crops up more than any other, Edith Nesbit, or E. Nesbit as she is most commonly known. Her stories, think  The Railway Children, Five Children and It and The Phoenix and The Carpet, include all the elements of a classic children’s book, adventure, intrigue, fantastical beasts and an air of mystery.


The Phoenix and The Carpet, first published in 1904

"You are honest enough by nature to be able to see and judge your own self clearly - and that is a great thing. [...] You will be a fine, strong character, of some real use in this muddled world of ours!” - Enid Blyton, 'Summer Term at St. Clares'.


First Edition of Enid Blyton's 'Summer Term at St. Clares'.

Enid Blyton's 'Summer Term at St. Clares', or one of her many 'Famous Five' stories, are books that bring back memories for the adults, and make great early reading companions. Whether it be her school stories, tales of fantastical worlds at the top of the Magic Faraway Tree or adventures and mysteries Blyton's work remains amongst the most popular of all children's tales.

Much like Richmal Crompton's 'Just William' series, including titles like 'William and The Witch', and 'Just William's Luck', every child loves a good adventure story. 


Signed First Edition of Richmal Crompton's 'William and the Witch'.


“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” 

― E.B. White, 'Charlotte's Web'.


First Edition 'Charlotte's Web', inscribed by E.B. White to Elizabeth Taylor.


E.B. White is a tremendous children's author; writing both 'Charlotte's Web' and 'Stuart Little', his animal tales are some of the most thoughtful of all. Not to mention, Garth Williams' illustrations of both titles which are just gorgeous, and make for a stunning present for anyone! 


First Edition of E.B. White's First Children's Book, 'Stuart Little'.


' “The matter with human beans," the BFG went on, "is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.”  '- Roald Dahl, 'The BFG'.


First Edition of Roald Dahl's 'The BFG'.

 You can never go wrong with a Roald Dahl; funny, colourful, and inventive, what's not to love? 

Or perhaps you're thinking of something even more modern? In which case Julia Donaldson's 'Gruffalo' and 'The Gruffalo's Child' are fast becoming modern classics. Written entirely in Iambic Pentameter, perhaps it'll inspire the little one to read some Shakespeare later on?


Signed First Edition of Julia Donaldson's 'The Gruffalo's Child'.


Lastly, you could always take a more decorative option, and go for a framed Illustration to decorate the little one's room with. From fairy tales and fairylands, to cats and other animals, bluebells and buebeards an original painting will be something that brightens a child's morning every day of their childhood -and beyond.


Original Watercolour for "In the Fairy Ring" by Florence Harrison.


Original Ink and Watercolour: The Pig, by Quentin Blake.


Graham Oakley's Church Mice

Andy Pandy and Louby Lou

"Grandma, What Big Eyes You Have!"

An original painting by Charles Folkard, 1930

To quote one of the most successful children's authors of all time, J.K. Rowling, "I think it's the books that you read when you're young that live with you forever". So what better gift is there to give a child than something that just might stay with them until they're an adult? 

There are so many children's books to choose from, if only we could list them all! 


Check out our full collection of Children's Literature and Artwork here.


Kelly Ann Stewart



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