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Recommendations

New children's books for February 2020

Birds, Evernight, Poems Aloud

Board books

Put Your Botty on the Potty, by Sam Lloyd

"Little Moo Monster is growing up and no longer happy to be in a nappy. Moo wants to be more grown-up. So the loveable monster discards the nappy and suddenly there's poop everywhere. Mum gets a potty, and Moo practises sitting on it - until finally success! Moo can progress to grown up pants - which means Moo can go to the Monster Pant Party with lots of little potty-trained (and not-quite-so-potty-trained!) friends.

"With lift the flaps plus great illustrations and laugh-out-loud humour, this book will be the perfect potty-training tool for all toddlers - girls and boys - and their parents."

That's Not My Sloth..., by Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells

Sloths get the touch-and-feel treatment in the latest in this super-series.

Where's Peppa's Magical Unicorn?

"Peppa wants to play with her magical unicorn but she can't find her anywhere! Is she hiding at the castle, the beach, or the end of the rainbow? Join Peppa and Daddy Pig's adventure and lift the flaps to find out!"

Pip the Puppy, by Axel Scheffler

"Little ones can join in the fun with mischievous Pip the Puppy by pulling out the sliders and pushing up the tabs. Follow Pip out and about as he chases the cat, frightens the postman, and woofs all afternoon at the park!"

Picture books

Rhinocorn Rules!, by Matt Carr

"Move over unicorns, it's time for a very special animal to take centre stage - meet Rhinocorn! Ron is a rhino like no other. He doesn't like to live by the other rhino rules - the other rhinos are grumpy, solitary and they will charge at anything that gets in their way. But not Ron. Ron likes music, art and only wants to have fun. He is determined to live his best life and not conform to the herd.

"When Ron paints himself into a bright unicorn, all of the other animals think he's the coolest animal ever, but his rhino family are less impressed. Will they learn to embrace Ron for who he really is?"

I am not an Elephant, by Karl Newson & Ross Collins

New from the team behind I am a Tiger.

"This laugh-out-loud story is about a bold and imaginative mouse who is accused of being an elephant by a gecko. Despite having a pointy nose and flappy ears, Mouse is definitely not an elephant - but could Mouse be an owl, a sheep, a yak, or a cow? Mouse persuades the others that it's what is on the inside that counts - and maybe Mouse is actually a moose?"

Everybody has a Body, by Jon Burgerman

From the author of Rhyme Crime.

"Everybody is different in some way - and being different is okay! Whether your body is big, small, wide or tall, it is something to celebrate and be proud of. This comical, bilingual picture book contains a positive, empowering message about being confident in yourself."

Starwhal, by Matilda Rose & Tim Budgen

Another magical creature from the creators of Pugicorn.

"In this magical mermaid adventure, Millie the mermaid has come to the Magic Pet Shop. And she's in luck. There's a brand-new, super-special pet for sale - Starwhal! A narwhal with the power to make anything sparkle and shimmer. Millie is over the moon with her new pet. But can she learn to share Starwhal's magic with the other mermaids?"

The Invisible Guest in Moominvalley, by Cecilia Davidsson, Filippa Widlund & Tove Jansson

A simplified retelling of Jansson’s short story, The Invisible Child.

The Last Tree, by Emily Haworth-Booth

"A group of friends make their home in a forest. After years of happiness, the community begins to build houses and walls. Soon the adults are not curious about the world beyond. Can the children save the last tree?"

Short chapter books

Unipiggle: Unicorn Muddle, by Hannah Shaw

"Welcome to Twinkleland Kingdom, where everything is 100% perfect. Except Princess Pea - she loves getting muddy and having fun and she's not keen on choosing her own perfect unicorn at the Royal Unicorn Parade. Until the final unicorn turns out to be a podgy, pongy, proud, magic-horned pig? And so the adventures of Princess Pea and Unipiggle begin!"

Ghoul Scouts: Welcome to Camp Croak!, by Taylor Dolan

First in a spooky new series.

"Lexie Wilde was pretty sure she was supposed to be joining the Happy Hollow Camp for Joyful Boys and Girls for the summer. So why did her Grams just drop her off under a big ol' sign saying WELCOME TO CAMP CROAK? And is she really sharing a cabin with a werewolf, a skeleton, a fancy schmancy zombie and a baseball-hat-wearing ghost? Yep, looks like she is!

"After earning some rather unusual Ghoul Scout badges, Lexie becomes the best of friends with her new pals, and before long is one of the team. However, danger lurks as the dastardly Euphemia Vile has plans of her own. And when their beloved camp counsellors succumb to an odd sleeping sickness, Lexie and her new friends become suspicious. Can they overcome the saccharine sweetness of their new Scoutmaster and save Camp Croak?"

Kitty and the Sky Garden Adventure, by Paula Harrison & Jenny Løvlie

"Kitty is a superhero-in-training with feline superpowers. She dreams of being like her superhero mum one day, but she's still got a lot to learn. Join Kitty in this rooftop adventure, as she explores an enchanting sky garden with her cat friends Pixie and Pumpkin. Mee-Ow! Will you answer the call for adventure?"

Picture books for older readers

Narwhal's Otter Friend, by Ben Claton

New episode in the Narwhal and Jelly comic series.

"Narwhal and Jelly - and Otty?! In the fourth book of this blockbuster early graphic novel series, exuberant Narwhal and sceptical Jelly test the waters of adding a new friend to their pod when they meet Otty the super-adventurous otter! A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three short stories and a super fun ocean fact page - and joke page too!"

Junior novels

A Sprinkle of Sorcery, by Michelle Harrison

Sequel to A Pinch of Magic.

"The family curse has been lifted and the Widdershins sisters: Betty, Fliss and Charlie are free to leave the prison island of Crowstone. But when a mysterious girl arrives at the Poacher's Pocket with a pocketful of hagstones and accompanied by a will-o'-the-wisp, it seems another adventure has landed on their doorstep. And when Charlie goes missing, it's up to Betty and Fliss to journey through misty marches, past wisp catchers and on to a secret island that doesn't exist on any map."

Charlie Morphs into a Mammoth, by Sam Copeland & Sarah Horne

Second title in the hilarious series that also explores anxiety.

"Charlie McGuffin is closer than ever to being able to control his crazy ability to turn into animals - he's even able to use it to turn the tables on school bully Dylan. But there are some things Charlie can't control, like the arguments his parents keep having (which are making him more worried than ever) or the spate of mysterious animal disappearances spreading through town (which seem somehow to be connected to Charlie himself) or the fact that he doesn't have a date for the school dance (which is coming up fast).

"With the support of best friends Flora, Mohsen and Wogan, can Charlie unravel the mystery of the pet-nappings in time to shake a tail-feather at the disco? Or will his hidden adversary reveal Charlie's biggest secret to the world?"

Here in the Real World, by Sara Pennypacker

From the author of Pax.

"Ware can't wait to spend summer 'off in his own world' and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where he must endure 'Meaningful Social Interaction' and whatever activities so-called 'normal' kids do.

"On his first day Ware meets Jolene, a tough, secretive girl planting a garden in the rubble of an abandoned church next to the camp. Soon Ware starts skipping Rec, creating a castle-like space of his own in the church lot. Jolene scoffs, calling him a dreamer - he doesn't live in the 'real world' like she does.

"As different as Ware and Jolene are, though, they have one thing in common: for them, the lot is a refuge. And when their sanctuary is threatened, Ware vows to save the lot. But what does a hero look like in real life? And what can two misfit kids do?"

A Super Weird! Mystery: Danger at Donut Diner, by Jim Smith

First in a new series from the author of the Barry Loser books.

"When Melvin moves from the city to Donut (a perfectly round island with a hole in the middle), he thinks it's the most rubbish place ever. Then he meets Rhubarb. Rhubarb is OBSESSED with mysteries and has her own school newspaper to investigate the strange goings on in Donut. (Unfortunately nothing ever happens in Donut so she's never had anything to write about.) But then Melvin notices that the kids at school are acting very strangely. Could it be something to do with the Donut Hole Monsters that everyone is collecting?

"Soon Melvin and Rhubarb are on the trail of a mystery - one that is going to lead them right into the centre of the donut hole... And Rhubarb might actually have something to write about in her newspaper, if they make it out alive. Will they get to the bottom of the Donut Hole Monster mystery before it's too late and the whole town is brainwashed?"

Orphans of the Tide, by Struan Murray

Debut novel from the winner of the 2018 Bath Children’s Novel award.

"When a whale washes up on the City roofs and a mysterious boy emerges from its belly, the superstitious citizens assume the Enemy has come again. Only Ellie - a fearless inventor striving to live up to her mother's legacy - believes the boy is innocent. Thrown together with the young fugitive, now on the run from the ruthless Inquisition, Ellie must discover who this boy really is - and what that means for her own terrible secret."

Darkwhispers, by Vashti Hardy

"The Brightstorm twins are back for another adventure! Eudora Vane has organized an explorer fleet to search the Eastern Isles, the last known destination of missing adventurer Ermitage Wrigglesworth. Harriet Culpepper and the crew of the Aurora join the mission, but they don't believe that Eudora has good intentions. What is she really looking for?"

Evernight, by Ross MacKenzie

New from the author of The Nowhere Emporium.

"Thousands of years ago, the Evernight came to the Silver Kingdom and turned everything to darkness and chaos. It was only defeated thanks to the skill and bravery of the Witches. But now the Evernight is about to return, released by the evil Mrs Hester, and the only spell that might stop it is lost, deep below the great city of King's Haven.

"Then orphan Larabelle Fox stumbles across a mysterious wooden box while treasure-hunting in the city's sewers. Little does she realise she is about to be catapulted into an adventure, facing wild magic and mortal danger - and a man who casts no shadow."

Max and the Midknights, by Lincoln Peirce

"Max wants to be a knight! Too bad that dream is about as likely as finding a friendly dragon. But when Max's uncle Budrick is kidnapped by the cruel King Gastley, Max has to act - and fast! Joined by a band of brave adventurers - the Midknights - Max sets out on a thrilling quest: to save Uncle Budrick and restore the realm of Byjovia to its former high spirits!"

The House of One Hundred Clocks, by A. M. Howell

From the author of The Garden of Lost Secrets.

"1905. 12-year-old Helena's father is appointed clock-winder to the Marquis of Norfolk's enormous collection of clocks. It's a risky job - if the clocks stop, Helena's father will lose everything. But when Helena starts helping out, she discovers the Marquis is hiding many secrets, and finds herself in a race against time to discover the truth."

Junior non-fiction

The Bat Book, by Charlotte Milner

From the author of The Bee Book and The Sea Book.

"Bright, bold and beautiful illustrations accompany fascinating facts about these furry flying mammals and their importance to the world we live in. From the way they fly, to how they communicate with each other, how they hunt, and why they sleep upside-down, each of the world's 1,300 types of bat is unique and utterly fascinating.

"Bats are also incredibly important to the environment. As well as gobbling up pests, and spreading seeds through the forests, they also pollinate over 500 different species of plants throughout the world, including some of our favourite fruits such as mangoes and bananas."

Little People, Big Dreams: Martin Luther King, Jr., by Ma Isabel Sánchez Vegara & Mai Ly Degnan

The inspiring minister and civil rights activist gets the Little People, Big Dreams treatment.

Little People, Big Dreams: David Attenborough, by Ma Isabel Sánchez Vegara & Mikyo Noh

"Little David grew up in Leicester on the campus of a university, where his father was a professor. As a child, he spent hours in the science library, collating his own specimens and creating a mini animal museum. When he was old enough to go to university, he studied science and zoology - but what he wanted most of all was to be close to the animals he was studying. So, he started working in television, visiting animals in their natural habitats and telling the world the untold stories of these animals."

Music Is My Life: soundtrack your mood with 80 artists for every occasion, by Myles Tanzer & Ali Mac

"Content, stressed, miserable, in love - or a million things in between? Fortunately, there's music to match any mood you can think of. This book has collected together a library of music's finest artists to get you through the good, bad and sad times. Whatever you are feeling, these artists have been there and sung about it. Organised by mood, dip into the library to get creative with Björk, dance around with Blondie, or cry it out with Adele. Let them guide you through the messy business of life."

Moon Base and Beyond: the lunar gateway to deep space, by Alicia Klepeis

"The Moon is more than a giant rock orbiting Earth it could become a gateway into deeper space! Find out how NASA and other international and commercial agencies are working together to explore and build on the Moon."

Fantastically Great Women Who Saved the Planet, by Kate Pankhurst

Latest in the Fantastically Great Women series.

Everybody Counts: a counting story from 0 to 7.5 billion, by Kristin Roskifte

"This fun book teaches you to count from 0 to 7.5 billion, but also to do so much more. Follow the characters' stories through the book and see how their lives collide with those of others. There are a lot of secrets to be discovered for the sharp-eyed! You'll see that everyone is different, everyone has their own life, and that - most importantly - everybody counts. At the end, a spotting section allows you to go back and have even more fun."

Poems Aloud: an anthology of poems to read out loud, by Joseph Coelho & Daniel Gray-Barnett

"A wittily illustrated anthology of poems, written to be read aloud. 20 poems arm children with techniques for lifting poetry off the page and performing with confidence."

Birds: explore their extraordinary world, by Miranda Krestonikoff & Angela Harding

RSPB book written by TV presenter Krestovnikoff.

"The sky is splendid with fierce, clever and spectacular birds. From the bitter cold polar regions to the lush tropics, birds have found incredible ways to adapt and survive anywhere. White-winged diuca finches nest high upon freezing glaciers and mighty peregrine falcons circle skyscrapers in busy cities. Look up!

"What birds can do is extraordinary. The statuesque golden eagle spots prey from kilometres away. You can tell what time of day an owl hunts by looking at the colour of its eyes. With its long, muscular legs, the secretary bird has a powerful kick that is enough to kill large prey like snakes and hares.

"Discover which bird is the fastest, the smallest, the cleverest, the most colourful and much more in this collection."