Children’s authors share their best (and worst) Christmas gifts…

Still looking for ideas for last-minute Christmas gifts? We asked some of our children’s authors to share the best – and worst – Christmas presents they’ve ever received…


Ben Davis, Author of The Private Blog of Joe Cowley and Make Me Awesome

I’m a big Christmas fan. Especially now I have a three year old son. Obviously he gets all excited about it, but the main reason I like it is I can use the ever watchful eye of Santa to stop him kicking me in the face and throwing chips at me.

I’d have to say, my favourite Christmas present of all time is probably my guitar. I wish I could tell you it’s like the John Lewis advert and I got dead good at it and became an international superstar, but sadly, I’m still pretty awful at it. That doesn’t stop me, though.

My least favourite present? The roll-on deodorant from my wife’s nan will take some beating in that regard.


Elaine Wickson, Author of Planet Stan 

I have such warm, tinsel-bedecked memories of my 1970s Christmases, which were 70% Sindy dolls and 30% stuff made in the Palitoy factory.

This is me trying to edge my way in on my sister’s doll’s house. We lost hours playing with it together. It had actual working lights – I was bedazzled by it.


Tom McLaughlin, Author and illustrator of The Accidental series 

Christmas is my favourite time of the year; waking up early jumping up down on the bed with excitement at 4am. Tucking into to your selection box for breakfast before the inevitable tears and tantrums take hold. I know what you’re thinking, a man in his 40s is far too old to be doing all that, but it’s Christmas, I need one day where I can cut loose. But one has to get your kicks as best you can when you’re a grown-up, I’m afraid the quality of presents goes down fairly dramatically. I don’t know how, but there’s something about my demeanour that screams ‘socks,’ so I now have millions, far more than I’ll ever need, unless one day I grow and another 12 feet. It seems unlikely though.

My favourite presents when I was a kid, were always the little things, I remember going mad for a referee’s whistle when I was 4, I’ve no idea why, I had no intention of ever officiating any sporting event, but that’s what I wanted. My bestest present was probably when I was 5 or 6, I was desperate for a top hat (again, I’ve no idea why)… hats were sought, sourced and researched, but none could be found, so my grandfather, using only cardboard and a tin of black gloss, fashioned one up in his shed late at night. It was a fantastic effort. I was the smartest person at Christmas dinner that day, I wore it all day, even to bed. Thanks Grandpa.


Ali Sparkes, Author of The Shapeshifter and Night Speakers series

Ali Sparkes shares her best and worst present in this video