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New children's books for January 2018

Written by · Published Dec 29, 2017

Tweet! Tweet!, Come Home Already, Women in Sports

Board books

Tweet! Tweet!, by Sebastien Braun

“Five lavishly illustrated spreads, big, recessed flaps and a whole host of familiar garden birds to spot, name and mimic combine in this delightful little board book for the very young.”

A sturdy lift-the-flap book, part of the Can You Say It Too? series for children who are just beginning to talk.

What Are Stars?, by Katie Daynes & Marta Alvarez Miguens

“We see them twinkle in the night sky, but what are stars? Are they really star-shaped? What patterns do they make and which star is the nearest? This book zooms in on the answers.”

Norman’s New Shell, by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

“Norman really wants a new shell. But an ice cream with multicoloured sprinkles makes his back a bit chilly, and someone already lives inside this shiny red apple! Will Norman ever find the new shell he’s been dreaming of? A boldly illustrated and tactile way for little ones to discover shapes, colours and sounds.”

The Detective Dog, by Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie

One of our favourite children’s titles is coming out in board book format.

“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!”

A Little Paper Caper, by Oliver Jeffers

Another favourite adapted for very young children to enjoy.

“There was once a forest where everyone was contentedly going about their business. All was well until the strangest thing suddenly started happening. Without any warning, branches started disappearing from trees. Something would have to be done, everyone agreed - everyone that is, except for someone who was acting very mysteriously indeed.”

Picture books

The Last Chip, by Duncan Beedie

Heartfelt new tale from the author of The Bear Who Stared and The Lumberjack’s Beard:

“Percy is a little pigeon, and he’s very hungry. Every time he tries to get hold of a scrap of food, bigger, beefier birds bat him away. He’s about to give up when someone offers him her very last chip.”

All at Sea, by Gerry Byrne

“When Liam and Mary’s mum and dad bring their new baby brother home from the hospital they also bring some presents: for Mary, some building blocks and for Liam, a family of hippos. But the baby hippo of the family keeps going missing. First he gets eaten by a crocodile, then trampled by an elephant, then stuck after taking a swim in the toilet.”

The Bookseller has described this as ‘a warm reassuring story exploring the arrival of a new baby.’

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, by T. S. Eliot & Arthur Robins

The latest of Eliot’s Old Possum’s Cats to get a picture book makeover.

“Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple of cats. As knockabout clowns, quick-change comedians, tight-rope walkers, and acrobats. And when you heard a dining-room smash then the family would say: ‘It’s that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie! and Rumpelteazer!’ - And there’s nothing at all to be done about that!”

Animals with Tiny Cat, by Vivian Schwartz

“Tiny Cat is playing dressing-up! She rolls up in a rug to become a snake - hiss! And with booties on her paws, she’s a horse - neigh! In fact, with oodles of imagination, Tiny Cat can be any animal she wants to be!”

A hilarious and inventive first animal book for young readers.

Mr Men Chinese New Year, by Adam Hargreaves

Adam Hargreaves continues to build on the world created by his father, Roger, in the 1970s.

“The Mr Men are celebrating Chinese New Year. Little Miss Neat is having a party with traditional decorations and a New Year’s Eve feast and the next day there will even be a dragon dance. What could possibly go wrong?”

The Red Dread, by Tom Morgan-Jones

“THUMP THUMP. The Red Dread is on the loose and Shrew and the other animals are afraid. From stolen nuts to missing rabbits, they whisper of the terrible actions of the Red Dread. As panic increases, logic and team spirit evaporate and soon it’s every creature for itself.”

Come Home Already!, by John Jory & Benji Davies

Unlikely but adorable friends Duck and Bear return:

“Duck and Bear are back - but where has Bear gone? And what will Duck do without him? Duck just wants to hang out with his best buddy, bear. But Bear’s gone fishing for a whole week. What will Duck do without Bear? And more importantly, how will Bear survive without him?”

Short chapter books

Freya, by Steve Barlow, Steve Skidmore & Andrew Tunney

In the latest in the iHero Decide Your Destiny interactive adventure series:

“You are Freya, fearless goddess of the Vikings. You are called on by Odin, father of the gods, to find Thor’s lost hammer before it falls into the wrong hands. This is a choose-your-own-destiny adventure where you are the hero.”

Trouble at School, by Chris Higgins & Emily MacKenzie

“It’s Bella’s first day at her new school and, lucky for her, she’s already got a best friend who will be in the same class - Magda! Bella is determined to make a good impression, but with Magda around, things don’t always go according to plan. By the time she arrives, she’s already drenched in yoghurt and marmalade, and things are about to get much, much worse.”

The Giggly Giraffe, by Amelia Cobb & Sophy Williams

Another adventure at Zoe’s Rescue Zoo.

“Something very exciting has happened at the Rescue Zoo - a giraffe has just been born! Jamie the baby giraffe’s wobbly walk on his long legs makes everyone laugh, and he just loves to play tricks. But his tricks can cause trouble, and with the Best Zoo Competition coming up, can Zoe help Jamie behave AND have fun?”

Picture books for older readers

Tamsin in the Dark, by Neill Cameron & Kate Brown

“Tamsin Thomas discovered that she is the Last Pellar, the ancestral protector of Cornwall - and she’s the holder of a magical staff, which gives her the power to fly. But now, Tamsin must face a new and ancient evil. Deep in the disused mines of Cornwall, there is a dark power lurking. And very soon, Tamsin’s brother starts to behave very strangely indeed. Tamsin will need all her courage to overcome this new danger.”

Attack of the Snack by Julian Gough & Jim Field

“Splash! A mysterious thing lands in Rabbit and Bear’s peaceful summer lake. Is it exciting, or terrifying? Is it a tiny fluffy owl, or a huge hungry monster? And has Rabbit finally met a creature with worse habits than himself? Rabbit’s sure he can solve this mystery. But when he accidentally turns the Best Day Ever into the Worst Day Ever, he needs Bear’s help.”

The first Rabbit and Bear book, Rabbit’s Bad Habits, was described by Neil Gaiman as ‘the sort of story that makes you want to send your children to bed early, so you can read it to them.’

Junior novels

The 1,000-year-old Boy, by Ross Welford

“Alfie Monk is like any other nearly teenage boy - except he’s 1,000 years old and can remember the last Viking invasion of England. Obviously no one believes him, so when everything Alfie knows and loves is destroyed in a fire, and the modern world comes crashing in, he embarks on a mission to find friendship, acceptance, and a different way to live - which means finding a way to make sure he will eventually die.”

Sky Song, by Abi Elphinstone

“In the snowy kingdom of Erkenwald, whales glide between icebergs, wolves hunt on the tundra and polar bears roam the glaciers. But the people of this land aren’t so easy to find. Because Erkenwald is ruled by the cruel Ice Queen and the tribes must stay hidden; if they are caught in the open they risk capture and imprisonment by the evil sorceress.

“Join Eska, a girl who breaks free from a cursed music box, and Flint, a boy whose inventions could change the fate of Erkenwald forever, as they journey to the Never Cliffs and beyond in search of an ancient, almost forgotten, song with the power to force the Ice Queen back.”

According to The Bookseller, ‘wilderness and children’s relationship to it is at the fore of this story: this is a world rich in golden eagles, snow hares and narwhals, where the bond between creature and child brings a sense of wonder and belonging.’

The Light Jar, by Lisa Thompson

“Nate and his mother are running away, hiding out in a dilapidated cottage in the middle of a dark forest. When Mum heads off for provisions, and then doesn’t return, Nate is left alone and afraid. But comfort can come from the most unexpected of places - a mysterious girl trying to solve a treasure hunt and the reappearance of an old friend.”

Sky Chasers, by Emma Carroll

“A encounter with a boy dangling from the sky changes pickpocket Magpie’s life forever. Like her, the boy dreams of flying over the rooftops of Paris. His family, the Montgolfiers, are desperate to be first to discover the secret of flight.

“Together with Pierre, Magpie is soon caught up in a world of inflatable bloomers, spies and a trio of unruly animals in a race to be the first to fly a hot air balloon - in front of the King and Queen of France.”

The Day that Aliens Nearly Ate our Brains, by Tom McLaughlin

“Best friends Freddy and Sal have accidentally intercepted a message from Alan - a spectacularly grumpy, brain-munching alien from outer space. Alan has only one message. Earth is going to be invaded in exactly ten hours’ time.

“Soon the police, NASA and even presidents from around the world are getting involved - and Freddy is about to become the most famous kid on planet earth for all the wrong reasons.”

Radio Boy and the Revenge of Grandad, by Christian O’Connell & Rob Biddulph

“Radio Boy and his team, Artie and Holly, are back and continue to broadcast live to the world from Spike’s garden shed. Then, following a shock split from Nan, Grandad Ray comes to stay. Spike decides to cheer him up by inviting him onto the show. He becomes an instant hit with the listeners and Spike keeps him on as a new team member. This turns out to be a mistake.

“Meanwhile Radio Radio announce the launch of a competition to find a new DJ, Radio Star. Open to all ages. This is Spike’s big chance. The only trouble is, Spike has lots of competition, including from his arch nemesis Martin Harris. Things get really awkward when Spike realises Grandad Ray only has three stories and keeps telling them over and over again. Spike is forced to sack his own Grandad, who swears vengeance on his own grandson. Grandad Ray is the world’s most competitive man and he always plays to win - at any cost.”

I Swapped My Brother on the Internet, by Jo Simmons

“‘I can get a new brother? On the Internet?’ Jonny muttered. ‘Oh sweet mangoes of heaven!’

“Everyone has dreamed of being able to get rid of their brother or sister at one time or another - but for Jonny, the dream is about to become a reality with SiblingSwap.com! What could be better than someone awesome to replace Ted, Jonny’s obnoxious older brother?

“But finding the perfect brother isn’t easy, as Jonny discovers when Sibling Swap sends him a line of increasingly bizarre replacements: first a merboy, then a brother raised by meerkats, and then the ghost of Henry the Eighth! What’s coming next? Suddenly old Ted isn’t looking so bad. But can Jonny ever get him back?”

Ask Oscar, by Alan MacDonald & Sarah Horne

“Meet Oscar. He’s no ordinary dog. Sam has wanted a dog for ages, so when Oscar turns up on this doorstep he can’t believe his luck. And when he finds out Oscar’s secret he can’t believe his ears! Oscar thinks humans are silly and rather badly trained - but when the freedom of the town’s dogs is under threat, Oscar’s about to discover that a dog’s best friend is his boy.”

Junior non-fiction

The Last Jedi: the visual dictionary, by Pablo Hidalgo

“The definitive guide to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, reveals the characters, creatures, droids, locations, and technology from the new film. Packed with 100+ images and information.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: incredible cross-sections, by Kemp Remillard & Jason Fry

“This beautiful hardback book reveals the inner workings of 13 key vehicles from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Each vehicle is shown as an intricately detailed, full-colour cross-section artwork, complete with callouts to the important features of each ship.”

Robots, by Nathan Lepora

“Get a up-close look at all kinds of cool robots, from cyborgs and humanoids to robots in movies, with amazing images and mind-blowing facts. Find out why and how robots are made, how they help humans and what they will do in the future.”

Rebel Voices: the rise of votes for women, by Louise K. Stewart & Eve Lloyd Knight

“Campaigning through wars and facism, demanding their vote via protests, rallies and even imprisonment, global women’s suffrage took more than a century to achieve and is still ongoing today.

“Tracing its history from New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, follow this empowering movement as it spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then Africa and Asia up to the present day.”

Young, Gifted and Black: meet 52 iconic talents from past and present, by Jamia Wilson & Andrea Pippins

“Jamia Wilson brings together 52 icons of colour from the past and present and celebrates their inspirational achievements. Meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and sporting heroes, including Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.

“Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream.”

Hidden Figures: the true story of four black women and the space race, by Margot Lee Shetterly & Laura Freeman

“Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at maths - really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.

“In this picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.”

Women in Sports: 50 fearless athletes who played to win, by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women in Sport celebrates the success of the tough, bold and fearless women who paved the way for today’s athletes. The sportswomen featured include well-known figures like tennis player Serena Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and Keiko Fukuda, the highest-ranked female judoka in history.”

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.