Children’s and Young Adult Books

We have books suitable for all ages from babies to young adults: pop-up books, colouring books, chapter books, books for teenagers, and more. Come in and have a look around. If we don’t have what you are looking for, we can order most books for delivery the next day.

Spring 2023

Earthsea: The First Four Books
by Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea: The First Four Books is a collection of one of the most beloved and influential fantasy works of all time. The series follows two main characters: Ged, who grows from an arrogant boy to one of the most powerful mages Earthsea has ever known; and Tenar, who escapes her fate as a child-priestess, and must fight for a life of her own.

This new edition is part of Rebel Voices, a six-part Puffin Classics collection of strikingly designed, highly collectible books, written by female authors, and celebrating courage, rebellion, strength and inspiration.

They’re Watching You
by Chelsea Ichaso

When a secret society has you in their sights, it can lead to power, privilege… or death.

It’s been two weeks since Polly St. James went missing. The police, the headmistress of Torrey-Wells Academy, and even her parents have ruled her a runaway. But not Maren, her best friend and roommate. She knows Polly had a secret that she was about to share with Maren before she disappeared― something to do with the elite, ultra-rich crowd at Torrey-Wells.

Then Maren finds an envelope hidden among Polly’s things: an invitation to the Gamemaster’s Society. Do not tell anyone, it says. 



The Alpha’s Son  by Penny Jessup

Another great read for the season in this Teen Wolf meets Young Royals YA offering. The Alpha’s Son is a heart-wrenching Young Adult, wolf shifter romance; full of yearning, comedy, and adventure.

If I had a Vampire Bat by Gabby Dawnay
and Alex Barrow

The latest edition in the ‘If I Had A..’ series! Perfect for the spooky season upon us.

‘I really want a spooky pet

that flaps around and hangs,

A toothy type of swoopy pet

with shiny pointed fangs…

Imagine if I had a…vampire bat!’



When I see Blue

When I see Blue by Lily Bailey

Sometime’s Ben’s brain makes him count to 4 to stop bad things happening. Sometimes it tells him to avoid certain colours. Mostly it makes the smallest things feel impossible. And with a new school, a moody big brother, and a mum and dad who are falling apart. Ben feels more out of control than ever.

Then he meets April, and Ben no longer feels alone. But when his new friend needs help, can Ben break his rules and be brave?

The Boy Who Rescued a Rainbow


The Boy Who Rescued a Rainbow by Corrina Campbell

When a little boy finds a broken rainbow lying on the ground he decides to take it home and look after it. The little boy loves the rainbow, but when it eventually disappears, he finds out what it really means to be strong, brave and fearless. A magical story exploring one boy’s journey through love and loss.

May/June 2022


Taking of Jake Livingston

The Taking of Jake Livingston
by Ryan Douglas

Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead.

GET OUT meets Holly Jackson in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.

OFFLINE diaries

The Offline Diaries as Told by Ade and Shanice
by Yomi Adegoke & Elizabeth Uviebinené

The major new middle-grade series from the authors of Slay in Your Lane is here! A universal story of friendship, falling out and unforgettable characters that will resonate with all readers of 9 and up.

March 2022


Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Pulled between old friendships, her creative passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she belongs – in the art studio or in the streets. And if she does find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost?

I Am Not a Prince

I am Not a Prince! 

by Rachael Davis and Beatrix Hatcher

This empowering and colourful picture book debut from Rachael Davis and Beatrix Hatcher should be on ever child’s bookshelf, ensuring that all children feel free to be themselves, without judgement or shame.

November 2021


Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson

A Fabulous Find from the Moomin Archives A classic Moomin Book with colour illustrations and a beautiful fold-out panorama . In 1961, at the request of her Italian publishers, Tove Jansson created a unique new edition of Moominland Midwinter, the tale in which Moomin wakes from hibernation to contend alone with the mysterious world of winter. The text and internal line drawings of this much loved story were unchanged, but Tove added a beautiful new cover illustration and seven glorious full-page colour illustrations. This was the only Moomin title that she illustrated in colour and it has long been a prized item for collectors.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

August 2021

The Upper World

The Upper World by Femi Fadugba


Esso is running out of time and into trouble. After he is accidentally caught up in a gang war, he is haunted by a vision of a bullet fired in an alleyway with devastating consequences.

A generation later, fifteen-year-old football prodigy Rhia is desperately searching for answers – and a catastrophic moment from the past holds the key to understanding the parents she never got to meet.

Whether on the roads of South London or in the mysterious Upper World, Esso and Rhia”s fates must collide.

And when they do, a race against the clock will become a race against time itself. . .


Ergo by Alexis Deacon, illus. by Viviane Schwarz

For budding philosophers of all ages, this is the uplifting story of Ergo the chick. Ergo wakes up and sets about exploring her world.

She discovers her toes. She discovers her wings and her beak. She has discovered EVERYTHING! But then she considers the wall.

And something outside the wall goes BUMP. What could it be? The only way to find out is to peck peck peck through to the other side… This is an inspiring story told with heaps of humour.

May 2021

You Are a Champion

You Are a Champion by Marcus Rashford

Written with journalist Carl Anka, this empowering guide is packed full of stories from Marcus’s own life, brilliant advice and top-tips from performance psychologist Katie Warriner. Perfect for readers who need to hear that they already are champions – they just might not know it yet.

It shows kids how to:
– Be comfortable with who you are – you can’t be a champion until you’re happy being you!
– Dream big
– Practise like a champion – good things take hard work and time
– Get out of your comfort zone and learn from your mistakes
– Navigate adversity in a positive way
– Find your team
– Use your voice and stand up for others
– Never stop learning


SkyWake Invasion by Jamie Russell

An exciting and original debut sci-fi adventure trilogy for the gaming generation

Fifteen-year-old Casey Henderson is obsessed with smash-hit game SkyWake – and she’s good at it, too. Little does she realize it’s actually an alien training tool created by the mysterious extra-terrestrial Red Eyes. When the aliens swoop down on a national gaming tournament, Casey and her teammates discover they’re abducting the best gamers to fight in a distant alien war across the galaxy. Casey’s gaming skills are her best hope of stopping the aliens and rescuing her little brother – but first she and her online teammates must learn to work together in real life…

April 2021

Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence

Becks is into girls but didn’t come out because she was never in. She lives with her mum, stepdad and eighteen-year-old Silva, her stepdad’s daughter. Becks and Silva are opposites, but bond over their mutual obsession with K-pop.

When Becks’ mum and stepdad go on honeymoon to Japan, Becks and Silva are left alone. Except, Silva disappears. Becks ventures into the forbidden territory of Silva’s room and finds the first of eight clues that help her discover her sister’s secret life.


The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen

Turtle really likes standing in his favorite spot. He likes it so much that he asks his friend Armadillo to come over and stand in it, too. But now that Armadillo is standing in that spot, he has a bad feeling about it . . .

Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it.

October 2020


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.


Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble: Magical Poems by Paul Cookson

Can you hear the distant dragon’s rumble of thunder? And smell the sweet swampy aroma of the ogre? Can you taste the tangy tarantula tarts? And see the girl who’s really a wizard? From magic carpets and wands to unicorns, potions, creams and lotions, Paul Cookson’s brewing a spell of fantastically magic poems.

On this tattered magic carpet
You can choose your destination
For nothing’s quite as magical
As your imagination

Beautifully illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon, this enchanting anthology brings together work from a range of classic, established and rising poets. Whether you’re in the mood for a haunting or a spell gone wrong, this collection of mesmerising poems will have you bewitched from beginning to end!


August 2020

Heartbreak Boys


Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

Faking the best summer ever is a lot harder than it looks…
At the start of summer, Jack and Nate find themselves dumped as their respective exes, Dylan and Tariq, start up a new relationship together. Not only that, their exes start posting pics on social media, showing the whole world how fabulous their new life together is!

Jack and Nate are reeling. Not to be outdone, they decide to create their own ‘highlights reel’ and show their exes that they’re having an even better time.

But between the depressing motorway service station motels, damp campsites, and an ultimate showdown with the exes, something epic really is happening: Jack and Nate are learning to get over their heartache and open themselves up to new possibilities for love.

We are lucky enough to have Simon living around the corner from us! Pop into the shop to pick up a special signed copy for £7.99!

The Unwinding

Children’s Choice:

The Unwinding by Jackie Morris

She whispered into the ear of the dreaming bear. If I said that my love for you was like the spaces between the notes of a wren’s song, would you perceive my love to be, therefore, hardly present, almost nothing?


July 2020

Watch us Rise

YA Choice: Watch us Rise
by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.

Young Gifted and Black

Young, Gifted and Black
by Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins

Join us on a journey across borders, through time and even through space to meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in a celebration of achievement.

Meet figureheads, leaders, and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and sporting heroes, including Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey, and Serena Williams.

Discover how their childhood dreams and experiences influenced their adult achievements. This book will help the next generation to chase their own dream . . . whatever it may be.



March 2020

How Not to Lose It

YA Choice: How Not to Lose It by Anna Williamson

The go-to mental health guide for kids! Exam stress? Friendship issues? Panic attacks? How Not to Lose It will help you be the boss of all of this, and more. It’s not just your body that should be fit and healthy – your mind needs to be, too! How Not to Lose It is the go-to guide for achieving a balanced mind and strong emotional well-being.With immediate, heart of the matter advice and a chatty yet honest tone, Anna Williamson addresses all of the key issues affecting children today. ‘A fabulous message for young people – believe in yourselves!’ Liz Rowe, Childline TOPICS COVERED: anxiety depression stress friendship bullying relationships and sex family life and bereavement phobias peer pressure self-harm self-esteem and confidence.


Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o illus. by Vashti Harrison

All she wants is to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey through the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. In this stunning debut picture book, Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

February 2020

guide teens

YA Choice: Queer: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke 

Teen life is hard enough with all of the pressures kids face, but for teens who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), it’s even harder. When do you decide to come out? To whom? Will your friends accept you? And how on earth do you meet people to date? Updated in 2018, Queer is a humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBT teens come out to friends and family, navigate their new LGBT social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and rise up against bigotry and homophobia. Queer also includes personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history.

tango makes three

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
and Peter Parnell illus. by Henry Cole

In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango’s family is not like any of the others. This illustrated children’s book fictionalizes the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick in the Central Park Zoo.


January 2020

Be Happy Be you

YA Choice: Be Happy Be You: The Teenage Guide
by Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill

This positive and insightful guide gives you the tools to build your confidence, eliminate negative feelings and boost happiness in all areas of your life.

Being a teenager has its own unique challenges, but it’s also the perfect time to shape your own mental wellbeing and happiness. Scientists reckon 40% of your happiness is within your control, that’s A LOT of happiness and this book will help you to harness it…

There are tons of ideas to try from creating an anxiety toolkit, planning a digital detox to meditating and forest bathing, plus you’ll learn the science behind why they work. Carry out the activities independently or with family and friends and take your happiness into your own hands!


Greta and the Giants by Zoe Tucker and Zoe Persico

This picture book tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children.


December 2019

Becoming Dinah

YA Choice: Becoming Dinah by Kit de Waal

Dinah is running away – from the commune she was raised in, from the wreckage of her family, and from everything she used to be.

But when her grumpy neighbour Ahab persuades her to take a road trip to chase a stolen campervan, she finds herself on a very different journey from the one she’d planned. One that will risk her life, but might finally show her which way to turn…

The Snowman

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Illustrated in full color, this is a wordless story. The pictures have “the hazy softness of air in snow.” A little boy rushes out into the wintry day to build a snowman, which comes alive in his dreams that night. The boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside.


November 2019

Carry On

YA Choice: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

Arthur and the Golden Rope

Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd-Stanton

Imagine a vault so cavernous that it could contain all the world’s greatest treasures and relics, from mummified remains of ancient monarchs to glistening swords brandished by legendary warriors. Who could be in charge of such a vault and how did he come into possession of such a unique collection? Who is…Professor Brownstone?

October 2019



YA Choice: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, illust. by Emily Carroll

The modern classic Speak is now a graphic novel.

“Speak up for yourself-we want to know what you have to say.”

From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless–an outcast–because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night.

Trigger Warning: assault, PTSD, self-harm, depression


The Boring Book

The Boring Book by Shinsuke Yoshitake

The Boring Book is a humorous picture book that follows the story of one particularly bored boy.

As the story progresses, our protagonist discovers there’s actually more to boredom than what meets the eye—more questions, more theories, and heaps of humor.

September 2019

Pumpkin Heads

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Smeds and Smoos

The Smeds and The Smoos
by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Soar into space with this glorious love story of alien folk, from the creators of The Gruffalo and Stick Man. The Smeds (who are red) never mix with the Smoos (who are blue). So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, their families strongly disapprove.

But peace is restored and love conquers all in this happiest of love stories. There’s even a gorgeous purple baby to celebrate! With fabulous rhymes and breathtaking illustrations, this book is literally out of this world!

August 2019

Catching Teller Crow

Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin and
Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since she died.

Her dad, a detective, is the only one who can see and hear her, and he’s drowning in grief. Only a suspected murder, and a mystery to solve, might save them both.

And they have a potential witness: Isobel Catching. Aboriginal by birth, like Beth, she seems lost and isolated in the world.

But as the two get closer, Isobel’s strange tale of glass-eyed monsters and stolen colours will intertwine with Beth’s investigation – and reveal something dark and terrible at the heart of this Australian town . . .


Grobblechops by Elizabeth Laird
illus. by Jenny Lucander

Amir’s worried about the monster under the bed! What if it has huge
teeth and growls like a lion? What if it tries to eat him up? And what if the
monster has a mum and dad too? But Dad reassures Amir that if
the monster family comes to play, then Amir might just make a friend

A timeless tale of monsters under the bed, Grobblechops is based on a
story by the thirteenth-century poet, philosopher and Sufi mystic Rumi


July 2019

anna at wat

Anna at War by Helen Peters 

As life for German Jews becomes increasingly perilous, Anna’s parents put her on one of the last trains leaving for England. But the war follows her to Kent, and soon Anna finds herself caught up in web of betrayal and secrecy. How can she prove whose side she’s on when she can’t tell anyone the truth? But actions speak louder than words, and Anna has a dangerous plan…

June 2019

Bear Out There

Bear Out There by Jacob Grant 

Bear and Spider are back in another charming odd-couple friendship story, perfect for fans of Peter Brown and Greg Pizzoli.

Bear’s favorite place is inside. He loves sharing his tidy home with his friend Spider. Spider loves the outdoors!

When Spider’s kite flies away, Bear must venture out and into the messy forest to help his friend.

As their quest in the forest goes from bad to worse, Bear and Spider show readers that being a friend means being there for each other, no matter what.

May 2019

The Story Orchestra

The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty illus. by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

A stunning retelling of the classic ballet story brought to life by music! Set to the sound of  Tchaikovsky’s original music, this favorite ballet story features a musical note to press on each spread. Join the King and Queen as they throw a party for their new baby, Princess Aurora. But when a terrible guest arrives and places a curse on princess, the kingdom must find the one special person who can defeat it…

Read the story, listen to accompanying music, then turn to the back of the book to find out more about the Tchaikovsky musical clips in this stunning gift book.

April 2019

Sing to the moon

Sing to the Moon by Nansubuga Nagaddya Isdahl, illus. by Sandra Van Doorn

For one little Ugandan boy, no wish is too big. First he dreams of reaching the stars and then of riding a supernova straight to Mars. But on a rainy day at his grandfather’s house, he is brought down to earth with a bump. Do adventures only happen in galaxies far away or can he find magic a little closer to home? A touching story of a grandfather’s love for his grandson and the quiet pleasures of a rainy day.

March 2019

five minutes peace

Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy

All Mrs. Large wants is five minutes’ peace from her energetic children, but chaos follows her all the way from the kitchen to the bath and back again.


February 2019

Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee

A foolish knight is certain that his side of the wall is the safe side in this meta picture book.

There’s a wall in the middle of the book, and our hero–a young knight–is sure that the wall protects his side of the book from the dangers of the other side–like an angry tiger and giant rhino, and worst of all, an ogre who would gobble him up in a second! But our knight doesn’t seem to notice the crocodile and growing sea of water that are emerging on his side. When he’s almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue? An individual who isn’t as dangerous as the knight thought–from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all!

January 2019

sonam and the silence


Sonam and the Silence by Eddie Ayres,
illus. by Ronak Taher

In Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Sonam’s world is dark and silent. Then one day, she follows a magical melodious sound to a walled garden, and her world is silent no more. The sound is music, and it lifts her up amongst the stars and takes her deeper than the tree roots in the earth. How can she hold on to this feeling in a world where music is forbidden?

A lyrical fable-like story by the well-known musician, author and broadcaster Eddie Ayres, about the irrepressible power of music.


December 2018

a christmas story

A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith

The familiar Christmas story is seen afresh through the eyes of young Rebecca and a little donkey who follow Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. When the two travellers reach the stable at the inn, they find what they were searching for — and a gift they weren’t expecting.

November 2018

The Ice Monster

The Ice Monster by David Walliams

From No. 1 bestselling children’s author, David Walliams comes his biggest and most epic adventure yet! Illustrated by the artistic genius Tony Ross. This is the story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth…

Read all about it! Read all about it! ICE MONSTER FOUND IN ARCTIC! When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more… A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic! Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes in David Walliams’ biggest and most epic adventure yet!

October 2018

into the jungle

Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli
by Katherine Rundell, illus. by Kristjana S. Williams

Into the Jungle is a modern classic in the making, as Katherine Rundell creates charming and compelling origin stories for all Kipling’s best-known characters, from Baloo and Shere Khan to Kaa and Bagheera. As Mowgli travels through the Indian jungle, this brilliantly visual tale, which weaves each short story together into a wider whole, will make readers both laugh and cry. A gorgeously produced gift hardback with foiled cover, a ribbon marker and colour illustrations throughout by creative genius Kristjana S Williams, this is truly a book for all the family to treasure and share.

September 2018

bunny wunny

The Rescue of Bunny Wunny by Emma Chichester Clark

A wickedly funny modern cautionary tale from Emma Chichester Clark, the highly regarded, award-winning creator of Blue Kangaroo. Introducing high-spirited Imelda and her long-suffering toy rabbit, Oliver Small! Imelda always gets what she wants, so when Oliver Small goes missing her parents let her have a real rabbit – with extremely surprising consequences! Wickedly irreverent, this stylish and contemporary take ont he cautionary tale is perfect for fans of Eloise and Madeline. Emma is one of today’s foremost artists and has created a book to entice every reader.

August 2018

Julian is a mermaid

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Mesmerizing and full of heart, this is a picture book about self-confidence and love, and a radiant celebration of individuality. While riding the subway home with his Nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage.

When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself?

July 2018

Coming to England

Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

Floella Benjamin’s classic memoir, Coming to England, includes a foreword by the author and some additional historical information. It is beautifully illustrated by Michael Frith. Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months.

They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Reunited with her mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced.

She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else. This inspirational story is a powerful reminder that courage and determination can overcome adversity.

June 2018

Bob's Blue Period

Bob’s Blue Period by Marion Deuchars

Bob the bird loves to paint pictures with his best friend Bat. But one day Bat goes away and Bob is sad. He tries to paint, but everything he paints is blue! Can his friends help him to find his bright colours again? From Marion Deuchars comes this charming and funny follow-up to Bob the Artist, about feeling sad, expressing your emotions and ways to feel better.


May 2018


The Last Hedgehog by Pam Ayres, illus. by Alice Tait

To mark and celebrate National Hedgehog Awareness Week, Pam Ayres has written a less-than-fond farewell from ‘the last hedgehog left on earth’ – a delightful, hilarious and thought-provoking elegy to that most beloved inhabitant of the British countryside, the common hedgehog.

Pam Ayres’ spiky and wonderful creation reminds us that unless we take steps to prevent it, they will soon be far from ‘common’ indeed: beautifully illustrated by Alice Tait, the poem sees our hero tell of all the terrible ends his family come to at our own hands – and exactly what we can still do to keep them alive, and see them thrive once more.


April 2018

Young Gifted and Black

Young, Gifted and Black

by Jamia Wilson illustrated by Andrea Pippins

Meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and athletes like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. All children deserve to see themselves represented positively in the books they read. Highlighting the talent and contributions of black leaders and changemakers from around the world, readers of all backgrounds will be empowered to discover what they too can achieve.


March 2018

Ten Fat Sausages

Ten Fat Sausages by Michelle Robinson, illus. Tor Freeman

A freaky, macabre and hilarious counting exercise for calculating carnivores.

February 2018


I Love You, Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

As a onetime owner of some (and then many) stick insects, I can confirm that the species is not one that’s overburdened with intelligence. The animal’s resemblance to a stick is literally all that it has going for it. So I’m impressed that this hilarious book has managed to turn those same deficiencies into a good-humoured tale of frustrated romance.

January 2018

Jan 2018

The Last Chip: The Story of a Very Hungry Pigeon
by Duncan Beedie

It’s a tough life out there for a pigeon on his own like Percy, the hero of this story. Living from one scavenged meal to the next, Percy is robbed at every turn. But then…well, I can’t reveal the rest without spoiling it for you.

December 2017

November 2017

wolf duck mouse

The Wolf the Duck and the Mouse

by Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen

wolf kitchen

Finally somebody has written a book set chiefly in the belly of a wolf, an environment which is much as I had imagined it. Without giving anything away, you’ll already know that the fate of fictional wolves is rarely better than that of their real-world counterparts. Also I congratulate this book on containing the words “flagon” and “wraiths”.


September 2017

Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen (illus. Kevin Waldron)

Chocolate Cake

The nocturnal nabbing of a spare bit of chocolate cake may seem like the perfect crime, especially when the execution has been planned down to the finest detail. What could possibly go wrong? Michael Rosen’s performances of this piece always go down a storm, and here it is ideally complemented by Kevin Waldron’s hilarious illustrations.

August 2017

Rapunzel by Bethan Woolvin



What, no prince? Fairy tales are clearly getting a bit more realistic these days. Bethan Woolvin first grabbed our attention when she subverted the tale of Little Red Riding Hood – and now strikes again! Her fabulous illustrations perfectly complement a fresh and witty take on an old favourite. This is a damsel with attitude.

July 2017

Sleep Well, Siba & Saba
by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl and Sandra Van Doorn



Siba and Saba are young sisters who live in Uganda. Their daytime life is a little accident-prone, but at night their dreams are on a grand scale. With beautiful illustrations, this is one of the latest picture-books from Lantana Publishing, who for the last few years have been doing a fine job of expanding the global diversity of children’s books available to readers in the UK. We recommend the rest of their range too!

June 2017

Daddy Long Legs

by Nadine Brun-Cosmes

daddy long legs

Mercifully not to be confused with the Jean Webster novel, this is an enchanting story of a dad reassuring his child’s worries. I know! A capable dad! Well, it is fiction after all. With lovely illustrations by Aurélie Guillerey.

May 2017

by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Triangle, a plane figure with three straight sides and three angles, decides to play a sneaky trick on his friend Square (a plane figure with four equal straight sides and four right angles). Barnett and Klassen struck gold with Sam & Dave Dig a Hole and now they’ve done it again. Daft as a brush.

April 2017



The Egg by Britta Teckentrop

Everybody loves Britta Teckentrop’s illustrations. Also, everybody loves eggs. Eggcept vegans. Here we have a sumptuous selection of different critters’ first homes. Definitely worth..shelling out for. Eggsquisite, eggciting, eggcellent!

March 2017

In this new series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists, activists and performers. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. Including fantastic illustrations and short, simple facts about incredible women throughout history. This series is perfect to celebrate and teach children about the achievements of women in a history that often forgets them.

February 2017

images-4Motor Miles by John Burningham

Goold old John Burningham. Good new John Burningham. Surely you don’t need more information than that? It’s a beautifully illustrated book about a dog who drives around in a dog-sized car made by the next-door
neighbour. I think you’ll agree it’s pretty good stuff.



January 2017

Dave’s Rock 

daves-rock-72705-3by Frann Preston-Gannon

Everybody’s favourite caveman is back with the sequel to Dave’s Cave. Dave and Jon can’t agree whose rock is the best. Delivered in the authentically crude syntax for which cavemen are renowned, this book is a delight. At the end, Dave and Jon actually seem to be…EVOLVING.


November 2016


A Year Full of Stories by Angela McAllister (illus. Christopher Corr) 5125m9pos7l

This book is designed to take young readers through the year with a selection of folk tales from all around the world. To give you an example, St Swithin’s day is marked here by the African Bushman story of Elephant and the Rain Spirit!

we-found-a-hatWe Found a Hat by Jan Klassen

The hat sequence (“I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat”) moves to its lyrical conclusion here with two very sleepy turtles contemplating the eternal difficulty of sharing…a hat. A millennial millinery reptile reverie.

“Simple language and deceptively simple illustrations make this the kind of bedtime story that children will return to again and again.” The Irish Times

Time Now to Dream by Timothy Knapman (illus. Helen Oxenbury)619yyuyfsvl

What is it with forests? It’s almost as if they are the repository of our deepest primal fears..or something. Here a brother and sister go down to the woods (today, you’re sure of a big surprise) in pursuit of a dimly-heard song. As always, Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations are absolutely lovely.

October 2016

51nnz8-ovelOdd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Magic! Legend! Adventure! Bears! Giants! Thor! What more could you want in a book? This tale from the masterly Gaiman has been out before, but not like this: the new edition is spectacularly enriched by Chris Riddell’s fantastical illustrations to produce a new and thrilling reading experience.




Bake Me a Story by Nadiya 61tkueemvylHussain

Make yummy butter-bean patties and while they are in the oven, enjoy the story of Jack and the Bean-Patty Stalk or bake some pumpkin and spice flapjacks, then curl up with the tale of Cinderella and her pumpkins!

National Treasure Nadiya Hussain proves her worth here (that’s enough baking verbs). This book is a wonderful mixture of funny stories and tempting recipes – but best of all are the illustrations, which are hilarious and captivating.

516fg3nhhalAda’s Ideas
by Fiona Robinson

A graphic novel for children about the world’s first computer programmer? Why not? Ada Lovelace still deserves to be better known, and this could be just the book to do it. Fiona Robinson’s illustrations are perfectly judged. And I even understood some of the mathematical logic behind what Ada was doing. Well, a bit. Nearly.

September 2016

Tale of Kitty-in-Boots written by Beatrix Potter. Illustrated by Quentin Blake Beatrix Potter The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots

What happened to Peter Rabbit in later life? We’ve all wondered at some point. The question is answered here, though that’s not the main element in this surprising late arrival: a new Beatrix Potter book- undiscovered for the last hundred years! Beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake, this is a worthy addition to the Potter canon: a sly tale of mistaken identities, devious villains and rather fancy footwear.

This Book Thinks You’re a Scientist by

The Science Museum, LondonThis Books Thinks You're a Scientist

How would you make a book fly? What would a magnetic dog be like? These are among the challenging questions presented by this book, which aims to encourage young readers to investigate their surroundings in new ways.


  Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Swallows and Amazons

You’d have to be a DUFFER not to love this classic story, re-issued to accompany a new film version. Four kids on a sailing trip (yep, insert Health and Safety comment here) enjoy a summer of adventure and excitement. Lord of the Flies could have been like this, if there had been any girls.


August 2016

beautiful oopsBeautiful Oops by Barney Saltzburg

Every mistake can lead to a beautiful new adventure: That s the lovely life lesson behind this inspiring board book full of pop-ups, pull-the-flaps, and pretty amazing not to mention surprising feats of paper engineering.

goodnightGoodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton

From the multi award-winning picture book maker of A Bit Lost, Oh No, George! and Shh! We Have a Plan, comes the ultimate bedtime book.

A series of exquisitely coloured cut pages of increasing size introduce woodland families – bears, deer, rabbits and teeny, tiny mice – who are all beginning to feel really … rather … tired … YAWN! “Dear me,” says Great Big Bear, “it must be time for bed!” But Little Bear is certainly not sleepy – he’s wide awake! (For now…) With sublime, starry night time scenes and an infectious yawny “Good night” refrain, Chris Haughton creates a lulling bedtime read, perfect for parents and children to share together.

NeverwhereNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s extraordinary modern classic, illustrated for the first time by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. This beautiful edition is like no other, featuring the fully illustrated short story, HOW THE MARQUIS GOT HIS COAT BACK, and will delight fans of Coraline, Philip Pullman and Doctor Who.

Under the streets of London lies a world most people could never dream of.

When Richard Mayhew helps a mysterious girl he finds bleeding on the pavement, his boring life changes in an instant. Her name is Door, she’s on the run from two assassins in black suits and she comes from London Below.

His act of kindness leads him to a place filled with monsters and angels, a Beast in a labyrinth and an Earl who holds Court in a Tube train.

It is strangely familiar yet utterly bizarre.

July 2016

Colin and leeColin and Lee, Carrot and Pea by Morag Hood

Lee is a pea. All of his friends are peas; except Colin. Colin isn’t a pea.

And so begins the deliciously funny story of two very different friends: a small green pea and a tall orange carrot stick. Colin the carrot can’t do everything the peas can, but he has some special carrot-y qualities that make him a very good friend to have.

All about the beauty of making friends with people (or vegetables) who are different from you, boys and girls alike will love Colin and Lee’s clear shapes, bright colours and the playful approach to everyday objects that make this book an instant favourite.

Made using just a collage of supermarket plastic bags and painted facial expressions, Morag Hood has created a timeless picture book with unique and engaging artwork that is brimming with warmth and humour. With the bold simplicity of Herve Tullet or Dick Bruna’s Miffy, and a dry wit and charm all of Morag’s own, it is a fantastically funny story that appeals to the very youngest child – and makes adults laugh out loud.

Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea is a brilliant debut from Morag Hood, runner-up in The Macmillan Prize for Illustration.

detective dogThe Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie

Peter’s dog Nell has an amazing sense of smell. Whether it’s finding a lost shoe or discovering who did a poo on the new gravel path, her ever-sniffing nose is always hard at work. But Nell has other talents too. Every Monday she goes to school with Peter and listens to children read. So who better to have on hand when they arrive one morning to discover that the school’s books have all disappeared! Who could have taken them? And why? There’s only one dog for the job … and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the culprit!

Written by the brilliant Julia Donaldson and stunningly illustrated by the multi-talented illustrator and printmaker Sara Ogilvie, Detective Dog is a fast-paced celebration of books, reading, libraries, and the relationship between a little boy and his rather special dog.

do not wash this bearDo Not Wash This Bear by Sam Hay and Nick East

Toy Story meets Gremlins in this hilarious, rhythmic family caper where Daddy ignores a washing label and Bear comes alive!

Bear has a very clear label sewn under his bottom. It says Do not wash this bear! But when Daddy puts him through a spin cycle anyway, a very naughty Bear comes out – one who causes mischief and mayhem all around the house! Father and son need Mummy to come home and save the day, but will she be back in time to show Bear who’s boss before it’s too late?

With brightly coloured and exciting artwork from the illustrator of the Goodnight series, this is an action-packed story with rhythmic, funny text perfect for reading aloud to boys and girls who love their teddies and a little bit of mischief.

June 2016

Girl of Ink etcThe Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her cartographer father once mapped. When her friend disappears, she volunteers to guide the search. The world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.

roald dahlOxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

A new unique Roald Dahl Dictionary from Oxford. This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn’t expect an ‘Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary’ to be ordinary, would you? Lots of dictionaries tell you what an ‘alligator’ is, or how to spell ‘balloon’ but they won’t explain the difference between a ‘ringbeller’ and a ‘trogglehumper’, or say why witches need ‘gruntles’ eggs’ or suggest a word for the shape of a ‘Knid’. This dictionary does all those things. All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like ‘biffsquiggled’ and ‘whizzpopping’ to remind you what means what, but that is not all. You’ll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused. Oxford Children’s Dictionaries are perfect for supporting literacy and learning and this is the world’s first Roald Dahl Dictionary from the word experts at Oxford University Press. With real citations from Roald Dahl’s children’s books and illustrations by Quentin Blake, this is authoritative, engaging and accessible and will inspire and encourage young writers and readers.

memory treeThe Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup

Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest. One day, he lies down in his favourite clearing, takes a deep breath, and falls asleep for ever.

Before long, Fox’s friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive.

This gentle and comforting tale celebrates life and the memories that are left behind when a loved one die

MAy 2016

Dave's CaveDave’s Cave by Fran Preston-Gannon

Dave loves his cave. Inside is decorated EXACTLY the way he likes it. Outside there is a lovely spot for a fire and the grass is always lovely and green. But, Dave is unhappy. What if there might be an even better cave out there? And off he sets in search of a new home. But it turns out that good caves are hard to find. They’re either too small, or too big, or too full of bats, until he finds one that looks MUCH more promising. Outside has the perfect space for a fire and the grass is greener than any he’s ever seen …But why does it look so familiar?Stand-out new picture book from Frann Preston-Gannon, the first UK recipient of the Sendak Fellowship and author of The Journey Home, shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway 2014 and Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. A stylish, witty picture book with a heart-warming message – sometimes you have to find out for yourself that there really is no place like home. The text, written in caveman language, is laugh-out-loud funny and perfect for reading aloud!

BeforeBefore I Wake Up by Britta Teckentrup

A young girl falls asleep and travels in her dreams through the sky, down to the ocean’s depths and into a jungle. She is accompanied by a lion friend, who eases her fears, gives her confidence and helps her explore the world around her. Along the way she meets whales, jellyfish, grizzly bears and wolves. Then it is time for the moon balloon to take the girl home to her bed, where she awakes, snuggled safely next to the lion, who returns to being a stuffed toy. Award-winning children’s illustrator Britta Teckentrup’s collage-like artwork creates a magical world of captivating colours, classic shapes and softly detailed textures. The gently told story reassures children that they are never alone, even in their dreams. Exquisitely produced, this book is certain to become a bedtime favourite for children and their parents.

nestThe Nest by Kenneth Oppel

For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to fix the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.
All he has to do is say Yes. But yes is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?
Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen.

April 2016

Young Adult

Am I normal yetAm I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2016.

All Evie wants is to be normal. And now that she’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the-girl-who-went-nuts, there’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships can mess with anyone’s head – something Evie’s new friends Amber and Lottie know only too well. The trouble is, if Evie won’t tell them her secrets, how can they stop her making a huge mistake?

icarus showThe Icarus Show by Sally Christie

Alex has worked out a foolproof way to avoid being picked on. Don’t React. It’s so simple, it’s brilliant! David does react and becomes an outcast, nicknamed Bogsy. He’s branded a weirdo and Alex is determined to avoid the same fate. But one day, Alex gets a note in his bag that forces him out of his safe little world. Who sent the note? And is it true – will a boy really fly? A powerful story about friendship, loneliness and a strange kind of genius.



kingdom and caveThe Kingdom and the Cave by Joan Aiken

‘The Under People. They live in a huge Cave. They are thought to be boring upwards. Giant worms and flying ants. Underground magic.’

Mickle, the palace cat, knows the kingdom is in danger. He can feel it in his whiskers and he has found a mysterious note in the royal library… (Yes, of course he can read, and speak – if he chooses to!) Mickle can’t trust the King and Queen with his mission, so he and Prince Michael, with the help of their animal friends (and quite a bit of magic!), set out on a perilous quest to find the sinister Under People, discover their secret power and save the Kingdom of Astalon.

In her first novel, written when she was only a teenager, Joan Aiken showcases the imagination, wit and storytelling zest that would lead to classics like Arabel’s Raven and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Beetle-Boy-websiteBeetle Boy by M.G. Leonard

Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever. A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad’s disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery? A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer – if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it.

Picture Books

RainRain by Sam Usher

Sam wants to go out but it’s pouring with rain, so he and Grandpa decide to stay inside until the rain stops. Sam drinks hot chocolate and reads his books and dreams of adventures while Grandpa gets on with his important paperwork. Grandpa seems to have a VERY important letter to write. Then that very important letter has to be posted, despite the rain and floods. As they finally go outside, Sam and Grandpa have a magical adventure. Rain is the follow-up to the acclaimed Snow; and is the second title in a four-book series based on the weather.

StuckStuck by Oliver Jeffers

Delightful chaos ensues when a young boy gets his kite stuck in a tree in this laugh-out-loud new picture book from award-winning, internationally best-selling author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers!

Floyd gets his kite stuck up a tree. He throws up his shoe to shift it, but that gets stuck too. So he throws up his other shoe and that gets stuck, along with… a ladder, a pot of paint, the kitchen sink, an orang-utan and a whale, amongst other things!

Will Floyd ever get his kite back?

A hilarious book with a wonderful surprise ending.


February 2016

Albie BrightThe Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge

When Albie’s mum dies, it’s natural he should wonder where she’s gone. His parents are both scientists and they usually have all the answers. Dad mutters something about Albie’s mum being alive and with them in a parallel universe. So Albie finds a box, his mum’s computer and a rotting banana, and sends himself through time and space to find her…

‘A big book with a big brain, big laughs and a big, big heart’ – Frank Cottrell Boyce

‘Hilarious and full of heart’ – Piers Torday

‘Proves the theory that novels about science can be enormous fun’ – The Times

The Lie Tree by Francis HardingeLie Tree

The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric novel by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly By Night.

Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter…

LungdonLungdon by Edward Carey

The dirt town of Foulsham has been destroyed, its ashes still smoldering. Darkness lies heavily over the city, the sun has not come up for days. Inside the houses throughout the capital, ordinary objects have begun to move. Strange new people run through the darkened streets. There are rumours of a terrible contagion. From the richest mansion to the poorest slum people have disappeared. The police have been instructed to carry arms. And rats, there are rats everywhere.

Someone has stolen a certain plug.
Someone is lighting a certain box of matches.
All will come tumbling down.

The Iremongers have come to London.

January 2016

How Machines Work — David Macaulay

How Machines WorkDavid Macaulay’s How Machines Work uses pop-ups and award-winning illustrations to demonstrate the technology of six simple machines.

Follow the mad antics of Sloth and his side-kick Sengi as they try to break out of the zoo with the help of levers, pulleys, screws, inclined planes, wedges and wheels. Brought to life through pop-ups and pull-outs meaning you can explore six simple machines, from bicycles and cranes to hammers and drills, through interactive science. Packed with engaging, hands-on activities, David Macaulay’s How Machines Work will gear kids up for scientific and engineering greatness!

Imaginary Fred — Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

Imaginary FredAn extraordinary collaboration between Irish Children’s Laureate, Eoin Colfer, and picture book superstar, Oliver Jeffers.

Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred…

Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other.

The perfect chemistry between Eoin Colfer’s text and Oliver Jeffer’s artwork make for a dazzlingly original colour gift book.

In the Land of the Giants: Selected Children’s Poems 

— George Szirtes

In the Land ofWinner of the CLPE Poetry Award George Szirtes’ children’s poems comprise riddles, mysteries and parables, strange encounters, cautionary tales, and meditations on just about everything under the sun – from the sea’s hands to the wind’s face. All Szirtes’ technical virtuosity is on display, the music, rhyme and cadence fusing together with an Eastern European sensibility to provide a unique collection that will be treasured by all children and not a few adults. This generous new selection displays wit and warm good humour with a hint of the absurd. Also included are a series of translations of children’s poems from Hungary including works by Sandor Weores and Zoltan Zelk.

A Song for Ella Grey — David Almond

Winner of the Guardian Children’s Book Prize 2015A Song For Ella Grey

I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both… knew how they lived and how they died.

Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.

way back homeThe Way Back Home – Oliver Jeffers

Zoom into space on an exciting adventure in this toddler-friendly board book from the award-winning, bestselling creator of How to Catch a Star and Lost and Found. One day a boy finds an aeroplane in his cupboard. Up, up and away he flies, past clouds and stars until suddenly, phut, phut phut, the plane runs out of petrol and the boy crash lands on the moon. Just as he is beginning to get cold and lonely, a Martian appears from the darkness – could this be the start of an unlikely friendship? And will the boy ever manage to get home again?

oh no georgeOh No, George! – Chris Haughton

Harris is off to do some shopping. “Will you be good, George?” he asks. George hopes he can. He really wants to …but chocolate cake is just so very delicious and he does love to chase cat…What will George do now? Chris Haughton’s distinctive artwork perfectly accompanies the innocent charm of affable George, a dog trying to be good – with hilarious results!

lie treeThe Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree is a wonderfully evocative and atmospheric novel by Frances Hardinge, award-winning author of Cuckoo Song and Fly By Night. Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered. The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter …

shapesSHAPES – Xavier Deneux

SHAPES offers simple raised die-cut shapes on a left-hand page mirrored in the scooped-out forms of the right: the clean beauty of a white full-moon paired with the adorable owl that perches nearby. Simultaneously bold and exquisite.

This is a wonderfully tactile book: one we are very fond of indeed.

spots and stripesSpots and Stripes: Pop-Up Paper Animals – David Pelham

A beautiful little book containing seven animals with spots or stripes, and one with both. Suitable for toddlers and older this a lovely way to learn about patterns and animals, as well as a lovely and remarkably engineered object in itself.

The Table That Ran Away to the WoodsThe Table That Ran Away To The Woods – Stefan and Franciszka Themerson

The Table that Ran Away to the Woods tells the tale of a writing desk that one day ‘grabbed two pairs of shoes/ran downstairs, and took flight’, escaping into the countryside with its owners in barefoot pursuit. This is the first time the story – first published in a Polish newspaper in 1940 and recreated in this exquisite collaged version in 1963 – has been made available to an English-speaking audience. Franciszka and Stefan Themerson were Polish avant-garde artists and filmmakers who arrived as refugees in London, she in 1940, he in 1942, and who continued to work on a huge range of creative projects in England. With her unique illustrations, and his deceptively simple, humorous stories, they created many successful children’s books together.

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