Books and gifts for Christmas Part 11: Games, jigsaws and books that are more than books...for kids!

Sometimes (just sometimes) you may want something a bit more than a simple book. It might be a game, or a jigsaw, but best of all it might be something that's a book plus a bit more. So we decided to walk around the Christmassy shop last night, whip out the Mostly Books polaroid and showcase a few gifts sitting on the shelves awaiting a good home and some wrapping paper...

Minecraft Blockopedia - £30
We have a whole shelf of Minecraft goodies, but this year along with books to show you how to make a 'Steve' cardboard head (we kid you not) there is the rather splendid 'Minecraft Blockopedia'. It's a beautifully-produced, reality-defying bookish rendering of a Minecraft block (you have to see it to get your head round it), fully illustrated and packed with essential information about each Minecraft block and its uses.

From basic plants and ores to enchantment tables and End stone, you'll find every single block in here. Blockopedia contains everything you need to know to make the most of the blocks that make up your world - it is the only Minecraft reference you'll ever need and is a wonderful gift for a Minecraft fan!

Periodic Table - Gill Arbuthnott - £8.99
A Beginners Guide to the Periodic Table is a mind-blowing guide to the elements that make up the periodic table. By linking each element to a story, wacky science analogy or fascinating fact, Gill creates a unique first reference to the periodic table. From smelly sulphur and exploding hydrogen to why Stevie Wonder is blind and everything in between, Gill seamlessly explains the mind-boggling 92 elements which will make you look at the periodic table in a whole new light!??Packed full of eye-catching illustrations and fantastic explanatory diagrams, prepare to be amazed by the most wacky and informative first introductory to the periodic table ever! Packed full of eye-catching illustrations and fantastic explanatory diagrams, prepare to be amazed by the most wacky and informative first introductory to the periodic table ever!

Knowledge Encyclopedia Dinosaur!
Dorling Kindersley - £16.99

The dinosaur world as you've never seen it before. Knowledge Encyclopedia Dinosaur! reveals jaw-dropping 3D dinosaur images which show each awe-inspiring creature in greater detail than ever before and bring the wonders of the dinosaur world to life. This is the only dinosaur encyclopedia you'll ever need, packed full of facts, charts, timelines and illustrations, bringing these prehistoric animals back to life.

Animation Studio - Helen Piercy - £12.99
This was on last year's Christmas recommends, but we still think it's brilliant! This little book and box gives you everything you need to create stop-motion videos on your mobile phone or digital camera. You can learn how to make stop-motion videos like a professional. Using tips and tricks from the experts, discover 2-D and 3-D techniques with puppets, clay-modelling, morphing and pixilation.

Pop To The Shops - Orchard Toys - £10
This year we started to stock a range of Orchard toys, and the response has been amazing. Designed and manufactured in the UK, Orchard games are both fun and educational, and our pick is 'Pop To The Shops'. Combining lotto with a race to get the items on your list, this teaches counting, money, giving change (and possibly entrepreneurial skills!)

Pop & Slot Christmas Decorations
Pop & Slots are cardboard punch-out-and-build scenes for kids to construct and play with. We've got Christmas trees, animal scenes - all from the hand of incredible embroidery illustrator, Clare Beaton.

The Fairytale Hairdresser: Playbox -
Abie Longstaff - £12.99

We love the Fairytale Hairdresser books - clever, witty, great fun and bags of appeal for anyone who loves fairytales. So we invite you to join Kittie Lacey, the fairytale hairdresser, in this wonderfully imaginative playset. Watch as she tames the wildest of locks, deals with the most demanding and unusual of customers, ultimately foils the Witch's evil plan and plays cupid to the newly coiffed Rapunzel. (A decent haircut really can work wonders!). Featuring a host of favourite fairytale characters including Red Riding Hood, the Wicked Witch, Goldilocks and many more, this magical playbox contains the bestselling picture book, sparkly hair clips and hair ties, a full-size hairbrush and a giant unfolding playmat game.

Computer Coding for Kids - Carol Vorderman - £12.99
You want to get your kids coding, but where do you start? One of the Mostly Books staff members has been running a computer coding club at a local primary school - and this is the book we recommend! It uses the freely available graphical programming language 'Scratch' as the starting point to learn how to write increasingly complex games that are fun, challenging and teach all the rudiments of great coding. You can literally write your first computer game in about 20 minutes - so put the xbox controller down and get creative!

Thames Valley and London Underground -
Pomegranate Artpiece Puzzles

We have started to stock a small range of jigsaw puzzles from Pomegranate Artpiece Puzzles - and these two 500 piece puzzles for children are definitely favourites. An artistic rendering of the London Underground, and 'To the Thames Valley by Motor Bus' based on a 1924 London Transport poster by Katherine Ritchie and Thomas Derrick.

A day trip from London to the River Thames in one of the cherry-red, double-decker motor buses of the 1920s promised an escape from city living—tranquility, history, greenery. That's exactly what London Transport advertised in its fascinatingly detailed poster To the Thames Valley by Motor Bus, with routes from the city and its outer reaches to attractions stretching from Kingston to Windsor. Thoughtfully conceived and engagingly intricate.

Come and take a look at these and other jigsaws we have in the children's room.

Nail Style Studio - Eva Steele-Staccio - £14.99
Klutz have long been a favourite a Mostly Books, attractively priced, fabulously creative craft sets for everything from paper aeroplanes to fashion studios. In 'Nail Style Studio' children of all ages are supplied with the techniques, tips and tools of the trade to create 25 tween approved nail designs that range from elaborate to quirky. With fully illustrated instructions and everything they need included, everyone can create beautiful nails.

The Awesome book of Awesomeness -
Adam Frost - £6.99

If one vampire bit one person and they turned into a vampire, how long would it take before the whole world filled up with vampires? How much snot do you drink in a year? If you unravelled a mummy, how long would the bandage be? And much more! Pick up this book to fill your mind with funny, weird, random and above all, AWESOME facts.

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