This book from acclaimed duo Andy Stanton and David Litchfield tells the story of life as seen through a world-weary grandmother's eyes, and how her granddaughter Emily is the one who gives her the power to see magic and hope in the world again. We love books that show how transformative a child's wonder can be: "Come with me," says Emily, "I can show you how to see." The illustrations are stunning. This might just be the perfect gift for grandparent to share with grandchild.
While many children's books are a gentle nudge to marvel at the everyday, to see the magic in the mundane, some of the best conjure an enchanting vision of the world and plunge readers straight in. When I Was a Child (Hodder Children's, £12.99) is one such book: a new collaboration between acclaimed authors Andy Stanton (the Mr Gum series) and David Litchfield (creator of The Bear and the Piano books; on illustrating duties here), which looks at life through the eyes of a grandmother and her granddaughter Emily and dazzles from cover to cover. To begin, we see how life was once a colourful "crystal jewel", full of fun for the grandmother until "the magic shrank away. And it's not around today." As Emily resolves to show her grandmother that the world is still extraordinary, the story's images grow ever more fantastical. Reminiscent of Studio Ghibli animations and the tender drawings of Oliver Jeffers, mysterious creatures grin from the sky, seahorses swim under the toes of paddling children and landscapes buzz with life. A celebration of intergenerational affection, it also has a subtle but thoughtful environmental message running through, with the grandmother describing how in her childhood "the rivers ran young and wild". Above all, though, it's a reminder not to forget how wise kids can be: "Come with me," Emily says. "I can show you how to see."