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Recommendations

New children’s books for March 2020

Song of the tree, Are you there little puppy?, Obsessive about octopuses

Board books

Wild animals and Farm animals by Ingela P. Arrhenius

"Let's go to the farm! Meet rabbits, sheep, pigs and more on this stylish visit to the farm. With her much-loved bold and graphic illustration, and with stunning retro typography, Ingela P. Arrhenius brings the farmyard to life in this first-words board book, perfect for little readers."

"What animals can you see in the wild? Meet tall giraffes, stripy tigers, flamboyant flamingos and much more in this delightful first words board book. Illustrated in Ingela P. Arrhenius' much-loved bold and graphic style and with retro typography, this is perfect for little readers and their families."

Gruffalo, where are you?, by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

"You're never too young to meet a Gruffalo! Lift the soft felt flaps on every page to meet all your favourite characters from the deep dark wood.With soft fabric flaps which are easy to lift and help develop fine motor skills, this felt flaps book is perfect for sharing with babies. Designed to appeal to even the youngest child, simple patterns and bright colours combine with Axel Scheffler's instantly recognisable artwork to keep babies entertained for hours."

We are a garden by Louise Greig & Suzanne Barton

"The elements of a garden revealed here for little people from the author of Sweep. Explore a garden buzzing with life in this beautiful novelty board book. Children can peek through the pages to reveal all of the things that make up a garden: from the birds singing in the trees and the insects scuttling in the grass to the growing plants and rippling pond. The gorgeous illustrations combined with a novelty board book format make this a wonderful introduction to nature for young children."

Are you there little puppy?, by Sam Taplin & Essi Kimpimaki

"Little puppy is hiding! Very young children will love peeping through the holes and touching the textured pages in this beautiful hide-and-seek board book, spotting tortoises, cats and dragonflies along the way."

Peppa the Easter bunny

"It's Easter and Peppa and George are having an Easter egg hunt for their friends! Mummy and Daddy Pig help them paint all the colourful eggs and together they hide them all round the garden. Their friends arrive and are soon busy hunting for eggs but Peppa and George have disappeared... where could they have gone?"

My magical Easter bunny, by Yujin Shin

"Enter a magical world with a bouncy Easter Bunny as he hides Easter eggs in some surprising places! With push, pull and turn mechanisms and a sparkly foil cover wheel, My Magical Easter Bunny has plenty to keep little ones engaged and entertained. Yujin Shin's beautifully coloured illustrations are paired with gentle rhyming text and lots of things to spot in four bright and busy magical scenes."

Happy Easter Peter, by Beatrix Potter

"Peter Rabbit is such a good Easter bunny that he is giving all his friends Easter eggs. Hop along with Peter and meet all his friends in this adorable Easter book with touch and feel elements on every page! Perfect for little bunnies everywhere!"

Picture books

Egg, by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

"A hilarious story by bestselling picture book pair Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, all about a non-conforming egg. The shaped format adds to the eggy fun. Perfect for Easter and for any other time of the year too!"

The best place in the world, by Petr Horacek

""Do you think this is the best place in the world?" Hare asks his friends, Rabbit, Bear, Duck and Owl."

"Certain there must be somewhere better out there, Hare sets out on an adventure that takes him to mountains higher than the clouds, sun-kissed beaches and starlit deserts. But even the most beautiful place isn't perfect without friends to share it with, and perhaps the best place in the world is actually closer than Hare thinks."

The diddle that dummed, by Kes Gray & Fred Blunt

From the author of the Oi Frog! series.

"A laugh-out-loud musical story full of hilarious word play and silliness from the author of Oi Frog!, brilliantly illustrated by Fred Blunt."

"Flinty Bo Diddle is writing a tune for his fiddle. All his diddles have lined up nicely - except for one who keeps going DUM, right in the middle! No matter what he tries he just can't get this diddle to diddle like it's supposed to!"

The problem with problems, by Rachel Rooney & Zehra Hicks

"Have you ever met a Problem? They come in all shapes and sizes, and can pop up at the most inconvenient times. But you should know some things about them that will help you make them disappear. This one-of-a-kind picture book will help little ones and grown-ups alike deal with their pesky problems."

I don't want to be quiet!, by Laura Ellen Anderson

"From the excellent Laura Ellen Anderson, this is a very funny picture book about taking notice of the quieter things in life. Stairs are for STOMPING, spoons are for DRUMMING, and when my mum's working, I help her by HUMMING. Making noise is a LOT of fun - but what happens when you take the time to really listen to your world around you?"

I am brown, by Ashok Banker & Sandhya Prabhat

"I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book. A joyful celebration of the skin you're in - of being brown, of being amazing, of being you."

The weed, by Quentin Blake

"The Weed is a new title from the highly acclaimed author/illustrator Quentin Blake. An inspiring fable about the power of nature, encouraging children and adults alike to care for the environment and each other.

"The Meadowsweet family suddenly and expectedly find themselves at the bottom of a giant crack in the earth. With the help of their pet bird, Octavia and a magical seed, the family go on a journey to the surface. A charming, fantastical story about discovery, the potential for growth, the power of an idea and the importance of having faith in the unknown."

Big green crocodile: rhymes to say and play, by Carolina Rabei

"Specially devised to entertain and delight very young children (and incidentally to help along their vocabulary and cognitive skills) here are sixteen original play-rhymes with child-friendly illustrations to cover the events of a baby's or toddler's day."

Nine lives Newton, by Alice McKinley

"Meet Newton - the dog who thinks he has nine lives and infinite luck. And if Newton has nine lives, then that means he can do all his favourite things but be MUCH more daring. But what if Newton's got it all wrong and he's not quite as invincible as he thinks he is?"

Short chapter books

The pug who wanted to be a bunny, by Bella Swift

"Peggy the pug's family have adopted an adorable little bunny, just in time for Easter. Peggy used to be top dog, but now she has to share their attention with this long-eared newcomer. Jealous of the new pet, Peggy decides that she must become a rabbit to compete. Can every-bunny learn to get along and realise that there's more than enough love to go around?"

Third in the series which began with The pug who wanted to be a unicorn

Anisa, Accidental detective, by Serena Patel & Emma McCann

"Anisha Mistry is all set to be a bridesmaid at her Aunty Bindi's wedding tomorrow - until she finds a note in her family's letterbox. Bindi's groom has been kidnapped and will only be released if the wedding is called off! With best friend Milo, a mischievous granny, a runaway lobster, a giant chauffeur, and some super sleuthing skills, it's up to Anisha Mistry to find her uncle and save the big Indian wedding of the year."

Isadora Moon goes on holiday, by Harriet Muncaster

"When Isadora wins an amazing holiday for her whole family she's ready for sun, sea, and sand! But there's work to be done when she and her mermaid friend Marina discover a baby turtle in trouble. Can Isadora help the turtle find a way home?"

Picture books for older readers

The song of the tree, by Coralie Bickford-Smith

"Bird loves the towering tree that grows in the jungle, but when the season changes she must say goodbye until next year. Then one day Bird wonders: what happens to the tree when she flies away? As she discovers the stories of the other creatures who live in the tree, Bird learns to sing a new song. Lyrical, heart-warming and beautifully illustrated, this is a tale about growing up and finding our own way of exploring the world, and a celebration of belonging."

Junior novels

Talking to the moon, by S. E. Durrant

An insightful look at dementia from the author of Running on Empty.

"Iris's grandmother, Mimi, has started to put jam on her scrambled eggs and tie yellow ribbons around her fingers to remind her of stuff. Her house, always full of things, is becoming harder and harder to navigate, and when Iris goes to stay, she feels as if a whole life is becoming muddled up. As her grandmother's memory fades, a mystery is uncovered. Who is Coral, and what happened to her?"

The naughtiest unicorn on a school trip, by Pip Bird & David O'Connell

Third title in the series.

"Mira and Dave are so excited to go on a school trip with all their Unicorn School friends! They're visiting the Baby Animal Rainbow Care Centre (BARCC for short) and can't wait to meet all the adorable baby animals. Will Dave eat all of his lunch on the bus? Will Raheem ever put down his quest clipboard? Will Mira meet a super-rare caticorn? One thing is for sure... a school trip with Dave the naughtiest unicorn is going to be one big adventure!"

The house on hoarder hill, by Mikki Lish & Kelly Ngai

"When Hedy and Spencer start receiving messages on dusty picture frames, Christmas at their grandfather's spooky house turns into a mission to solve the mystery of their grandmother's disappearance. What is their magician grandfather not telling them? With the help of a (talking) mounted stag head, an (also talking) bear rug, and other (currently) disembodied spirits, and against the resistance of gargoyles and ravens, Hedy and Spencer set out to find the truth."

Crater Lake, by Jennifer Killick

Scary sci-fi from the author of the Alex Sparrow books.

"It could be the mysterious bloodstained man who tries to stop their coach, or the fact no one seems to be around at the brand-new activity centre when Lance and the rest of his class arrive for the Year 6 school trip, but something is definitely not right at Crater Lake! What follows is a fight for survival that sees five pupils band together to save their classmates from an alien fate far worse that death. But whatever happens, they must Never, Ever fall asleep!"

The Highland Falcon thief, by M.G Leonard & Sam Sedgman

"Harrison Beck is reluctantly joining his travel-writer Uncle Nat for the last journey of the royal train, The Highland Falcon. But as the train makes its way to Scotland, a priceless brooch goes missing, and things are suddenly a lot more interesting.

"As suspicions and accusations run high among the passengers, Harrison begins to investigate and uncovers a few surprises along the way. Can he solve the mystery of the jewel thief and catch the culprit before they reach the end of the line? Hear whispers in the dining car, find notes in the library, and unknown passengers among the luggage as you help Harrison to solve the mystery aboard one of the world's grandest trains."

The pear affair, by Judith Eagle & Kim Geyer

"When Penelope Magnificent's awful parents tell her they're taking a trip to Paris, she surprises them by begging to go along. Nell is usually content to avoid her money-obsessed father and her fashion-focussed mother, but Paris holds something very dear to her - her old au pair Perrine - Pear - lives there. Pear used to write to Nell every week promising to come to her rescue but recently the letters have stopped.

"Arriving at her parents' posh hotel, Nell is determined to find Pear - but no one has seen her at her last known address, and no one seems to want to tell her anything about Pear's whereabouts."

Clean getaway, by Nic Stone

Middle grade debut from the author of Dear Martin.

"Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a road trip through America past and present with New York Times bestselling Nic Stone and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that things aren't always what they seem - his G'ma included."

Operation Honeyhunt, by Jennifer Bell & Alice Lickens

First title in the new ‘Agents in the Wild’ series of ecology-inspired adventure stories.

"When 8-year-old Agnes is signed up for SPEARS (the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species), she has no idea of the adventures that lie ahead with her elephant-shrew mentor Attie (short for 'Attenborough'). Operation Honeyhunt sends them to the Brazilian rainforest, on a mission to save an endangered, dance-loving bee named Elton. Will Agnes pass the test and become a full SPEARS agent? Species in danger? Girl and shrew to the rescue!"

Meet Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking and the snirkle hunt, by Astrid Lindgren

It’s the 75th birthday of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking and to celebrate new editions are being released with the original illustrations by Ingrid Nyman.

"The perfect introduction to one of the best-loved characters in children's books. Meet Pippi Longstocking, the strongest and most independent girl in the world."

Junior non-fiction

Obsessive about octopuses, by Owen Davey

From the author of Fanatical about frogs and Bonkers about Beetles.

"Dive into this fascinating illustrated guide all about the aliens of the deep. From the truly terrifying giant Pacific octopus to the inventive common octopus, find out where they live, what they eat and how we can protect them."

Mars: explore the mysteries of the red planet

"The launch of Mars rovers by NASA, Europe, and China in 2020 will be the biggest science news of the year, and will reveal more about Mars than ever before. Get ahead with this amazing new book, which explores the evidence for past life on Mars, what's happening there now, and what it might look like to one day live on the red planet.

"Discover incredible space technology, learn how to spot the planet in the night sky throughout the year, and find out if YOU'VE got what it takes to join the teams travelling to Mars in the coming years. Children will adore this essential guide to the red planet."

Under your feet: soil, sand and other stuff, by Wenjia Tang

"Soil is essential to life on Earth, and this book explains exactly how it impacts different areas of our lives - from the link between soil and climate change, to growing the food that we eat, and why we need to protect the ground. Under Your Feet delves beneath the Earth's surface and explores the diverse wonders hidden there.

"Encounter creatures of the deep and marvel at the mind-boggling size of the humongous fungus - the biggest organism in the world. Discover all the stuff you never knew about the world under your feet, from exactly what soil is made of, to the creepy crawly creatures who make it their home. Learn how one handful of ordinary soil contains more organisms than there are people on Earth, and carry out experiments using dirt from your own back garden.

"Produced in association with the Royal Horticultural Society."

Professor Astro Cat's deep-sea voyage, by Dominic DR Walliman & Ben Newman

"Despite covering over 70% of the Earth's surface, the ocean is still roughly 95% unexplored. Join Professor Astro Cat and the gang as they take a deep dive from the sea shore all the way to the darkest depths of the ocean floor to find out more about this mysterious watery world. From coral reefs to deep-sea vents, there's so much to discover on this Deep-Sea Voyage."

Welcome to Moominvalley: the handbook, by Amanda Li and Tove Jansson

"This is the exclusive and comprehensive guide to the characters, places and stories of the Moominvalley animation, based on the classic world and characters created by Tove Jansson."

Astrid Lindgren & Evonne Goolagong, by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara & Linzie Hunter

Two new books for the Little People, Big Dreams collection.

Stephen Biesty's incredible cross-sections of everything, by Richard Platt & Stephen Biesty

"Step inside the extraordinary world of Stephen Biesty and find out how a variety of curious things are made, from tower blocks and underground tunnels to the milk, chocolate, and doughnuts on your table, via matches, diamond rings, and sports shoes - not to mention racing cars, planes, and rockets. The artwork will have children and adults alike poring over every detail, whether it's following the production line of a factory making nails or newspapers, or exploring the insides of a Boeing 777 plane and the Saturn V rocket."

Generation Hope, by Kimberlie Hamilton

"Generation Hope introduces 20 global issues and the young activists - like Greta Thunberg - who are taking action to bring about positive change. It looks at everything from climate change to plastic pollution, to children's rights and education. Facts and stats are laid out in a clear, graphic style, with issues explained in a bitesized no-nonsense manner. Issues covered include gender equality, nature conservation, poverty, social justice and green energy."

Recycle and remake: creative projects for eco kids

"This gentle, but empowering book is full of creative making activities, information, and ideas that give young eco-warriors (like you!) the know-how to really help the environment. With Recycle and Remake you will soon be saving trees by making your own seeded recycled paper from junk mail, cleaning up the oceans by turning old carrier bags into kites, friendship bracelets, and colourful weaved baskets, and repurposing a cardboard box into a periscope.

"You'll also learn about sustainable energies by creating a simple solar oven, cutting down on cling-film by making a food wrap from scrap cotton and beeswax, and turning an old t-shirt into a reusable tote bag so you never need to buy a plastic carrier bag again."