Suggestions for how your child can use a book voucher...

A selection of beautifully illustrated children’s books that make lasting gifts

Ciara O'Hara presented this feature in the Westmeath Examiner in early December, but now that lots of people have received book vouchers is a good time to revisit it.

A Field Guide to Leaflings by Owen Churcher and Niamh Sharkey, Templar Publishing (age 4 – 7)

Both educational and entertaining, this combines real facts about trees with tiny fictional caretakers. The intricate illustrations by Irish artist and author Niamh Sharkey include flaps to lift on every page.

Everyone Sang: A Poem for Every Feeling, edited by William Sieghart and illustrated by Emily Sutton, Walker Books (all ages)

Over a hundred poems by a variety of contemporary and classic poets from all over the world, divided into sections that represent different moods.

Frindleswylde by Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara, Walker Books (age 5 – 9)

A modern fairy tale that feels like a classic. Atmospheric and intriguing with stunning exquisite illustrations, this explores the legend of The Snow Queen in an entirely original way.

Huwie the Apple Tree by Dolores Keaveney, DBee Press (age 0 - 5)

From Mullingar’s answer to Beatrix Potter comes another lively rhyming tale with striking handpainted watercolours throughout. A gorgeous tribute to nature which celebrates how hope can blossom in the unlikeliest of places.

Margaret's Unicorn by Briony May Smith, Walker Books (age 4 – 7)

Another new book with a classic quality, this spectacular story is all about a little girl who finds a lost baby unicorn on a remote Scottish Island.

My Little Album of Ireland by Juliette Saumande and Tarsila Krüse, O’Brien Press (suitable for all ages)

This gorgeous, illustrated Irish-English wordbook takes readers on a tour of Ireland that includes mythology and sporting events as well as popular attractions. With a squirrel to spot in every scene, improving your Gaeilge has never been so much fun!

The Boys by Lauren Ace and Jenny Løvlie, Caterpillar Books (age 3 – 6)

A follow-up to bestselling picture book The Girls, this tells the story of four boys whose friendship lasts a lifetime. Moving and memorable, this makes a great gift for girls who loved the first book as well as for boys.

The Little Prince adapted by Louise Greig and illustrated by Sarah Massini, Farshore Books (age 3 – 6)

A new version of Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s enduring fable with enchanting illustrations by one of children’s literature’s top talents. Ideal for adults who love the original as well as young readers.

The Little Squirrel Who Worried by Katie O’Donoghue, Gill Books (age 4 – 12)

This introduces simple techniques to help children cope with anxiety, using a gentle tale about woodland creatures that’s accompanied by stunning illustrations.

The Secret Garden retold by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Margarita Kukhtina, Nosy Crow (age 4 – 8)

A deluxe edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless tale for younger readers. Both my four-year-old and six-year-old loved this, even though I worried it might be too long or old-fashioned for them.

Time to Move South for Winter by Clare Helen Welsh and Jenny Løvlie, Nosy Crow (age 3 – 6)

One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever held in my hands, this tells the story of the extraordinary migratory journeys of different animals. Its lyrical text reads like a lullaby and is perfect for soothing little ones to sleep.

Wild Child by Dara McAnulty and Barry Falls, Macmillan (age 7 – 12)

Explore Ireland’s natural habitats and find fantastic facts about native animals and plants. Divided into sections that include simply looking out a window or venturing into a garden, each one features an activity and magnificent illustrations.

Ciara O’Hara is a freelance editor, copywriter and publicist ( with a blog called