Jacqueline Wilson

We didn’t have a mantelpiece in our flat, so I didn’t hang up a Christmas stocking when I was a little girl. I had a special Christmas box instead. My mum pretended Santa lobbed it through our open window when he went past our flats on his sleigh. The gifts in my box were always carefully colour co-ordinated. It was pink and white the Christmas I was eight. My box contained a doll in a pink and white checked dress, pink pyjamas patterned with white roses, a pink and white candy cane, and a Puffin paperback with a pink and white cover. It was The Family from One End Street by Eve Garnett. I’d finished it by Boxing Day and declared it the best book ever. I must have read this funny, tender family story at least ten times since. It’s a definite favourite.

Jacqueline Wilson is the author of the Tracy Beaker series

Ed Clarke

Our family’s special Christmas book is Robert L. May’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was the book my Gran read to my Dad every Christmas Eve when he was a boy, and then his battered 1950s hardback was read to me and my brother whenever we stayed at my grandparents' freezing cold farm in the Lake District at Christmastime. Now Yuletide festivities cannot start until my daughters have heard how Rudolph saved Christmas. Though thankfully these days it’s a lot warmer in their bedroom.

Ed Clarke is the author of The Secret Dragon

Eoin Colfer

I have received hundreds of beautifully wrapped novels over the years and enjoyed every one. But the book that had the biggest impact on me was Birds of the World, the seminal guide by Oliver Luther Austin Jr. and illustrator Arthur Singer, first published way back in 1967 and reprinted often since. I was gifted my copy in 1975 when I was ten by my wonderful Uncle Georgie. He had seen a dreadful picture of a dragon I had attempted on the family chalkboard, mistaken it for a bird and thoughtfully reasoned that I would appreciate a bird book – when in fact I was a fantasy fiction guy all the way. I hated that book when the wrapping came off. I could not believe that my favourite uncle had so fundamentally misunderstood his nephew. I may even have thrown a strop. However, as the months went by I grew fascinated by the intricate illustrations and appreciated the skill and patience involved in putting such a comprehensive volume together. And so I began to copy the pictures. Over the following year, it became a personal project to copy all of the illustrations, and my bedroom walls were papered with swallows, parakeets and terns. I never did get to the end of that project but my drawing improved exponentially so that eventually I reached the level of not bad. I am still a fantasy fiction guy all the way but I still enjoy sketching a bird in flight every now and then and I owe those contented moments to Birds of the World.

Eoin Colfer is the author of the Artemis Fowl series

Read more

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising