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New children's books for January 2019

Written by · Published Dec 28, 2018

The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai, The Hug, The Dog Who Saved the World

Board books

Opposites and Friends, by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Two new titles for the Tales from Acorn Wood series.

My Magical Dragon, by Yujin Shin

Follow-up to My Magical Unicorn.

Baby’s First Chinese New Year, by DK

“Celebrate Chinese New Year with this delightful baby board book that little ones will adore. The bright and colourful images in this book are the perfect way to discover the new year holiday traditions together. From colourful lanterns, to beautiful traditional clothes, to special animals that each year is named after, Baby’s First Chinese New Year features all the familiar favourites associated with Asia’s biggest and brightest celebration.”

How Does a Butterfly Grow?, by DK

“From egg to hungry caterpillar, to beautiful, fluttery butterfly, this picture book with exciting flaps tells the amazing story of a butterfly’s life. With friendly, read-aloud text, sturdy board book pages, and surprise flaps to lift, it’s the perfect life cycle book for young children.”

Picture books

We Eat Bananas, by Katie Abey

“Is that a flamingo munching on a banana? What about that hippo flipping pancakes? And why is that llama dressed as a lemon? There’s even a shark slurping a fruit smoothie. All the animals are eating their favourite foods in their own hilarious way. So whatever you’re eating today - tell us how it should be done!

“This delightfully funny book will have parents and children giggling together as they find their favourite animals eating the silliest meals.”

This follow-up to the riotous We Wear Pants is great for encouraging fussy eaters.

Amazing, by Steve Antony

“A little boy and his pet dragon are the very best of friends. They laugh, they sing, they dance, they snooze. They are both amazing - just like everyone else!”

A joyous celebration of being yourself by the author of the Mr Panda books.

Aalfred and Aalbert, by Morag Hood

New from the author of Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea and I Am Bat.

“Aardvarks Aalfred and Aalbert both need a pal. But Aalfred sleeps in the day, and Aalbert sleeps at night. How will they ever get the chance to meet? Bird conjures up a series of sillier and sillier schemes to get the two aardvarks into the same place, but their paths simply refuse to cross.

“Until one day, when they find each other in the most unexpected way - and now Aalfred and Aalbert will never lose each other again.”

Peppa the Mermaid

“Peppa and Rebecca Rabbit would love to be mermaids! When they come up with a plan to have an under-the-sea party, Peppa gets carried away and invites all her friends over for a swimming disco with starfish-shaped sandwiches and a real beach!

“But Mummy and Daddy Pig aren’t prepared for this at all. Can Miss Rabbit, Emergency Party Planner and Entertainer Extraordinaire, come to the rescue? Of course she can!”

The Great Race: story of the Chinese zodiac, by Christopher Corr

In good time to herald in the Year of the Pig.

“Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.”

Scarface Claw, Hold Tight!, by Lynley Dodd

“What a peaceful morning! The sun is out and Scarface Claw is busy doing what a cat does best - he’s lazing around in a sunny spot. A sunny spot that unfortunately happens to be the roof of a truck… “

“Off goes the truck down the drive - with Scarface ON TOP! Who will come to poor Scarface Claw’s rescue?”

When Sadness Comes to Call, by Eva Eland

“When Sadness arrives, try not to be afraid: give it a name, listen to it and spend some time together. Maybe all it wants is to know that it’s welcome.

“This beautiful debut by new author-illustrator talent Eva Eland takes a poignant but uplifting look at dealing with uncomfortable emotions.”

A great addition to the Talking about feelings list in our parenting advice section.

The Hug, by Eoin McLaughlin & Polly Dunbar

“Tortoise was feeling sad. As sad as a tortoise can feel. So sad only one thing could help.

“In this clever flipbook, both a hedgehog and a tortoise are looking for a hug. They ask all the other animals they come across but for some reason no one will hug them. Until a wise owl explains: Hedgehog is too spiky; Tortoise is too bony. And that’s when they find each other.”

Hugs and Kisses, by Sam Hay & Emma Dodd

“There are two sides to every story. Flip the book to read each side of the story in this enchanting tale of a whale and an octopus on their search for love, ending with a huge pop-up surprise.

“Big Blue Whale is feeing small. Everyone has someone to hug except from him! On his journey to find the perfect hug he meets lots of sea creatures who want to hug him including a kind clown fish and a sea horse with a very swirly, whirly tail. But he’s just too big for them to hug!

“On the other side of the ocean, Octopus is playing bubble ball with her friends. But when she bangs her head (ouch!) she really needs a kiss better. She meets lots of friendly creatures who offer to give her a kiss, but her tentacles are just too tangly and she begins to think she will never get a kiss better. Join the two creatures as they journey across the ocean to find their perfect match.”

Peter in Peril: courage and hope in World War Two, by Helen Bate

This graphic novel has been endorsed by Amnesty.

“Peter is just an ordinary boy, who loves playing football with his friends and eating cake - until war comes to his city and the whole family have to go into hiding. This moving, true story of the Second World War, set in Budapest, Hungary, shows in vivid words and pictures how Peter, his cousin Eva and his mum and dad bravely struggle to survive in a city torn apart by warfare.”

Junior novels

The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods, by Samuel J. Halpin & Hannah Peck

A dark, magical adventure.

“When Poppy moves to Suds to stay with her grandmother, she discovers three peculiar women at the heart of this sleepy little town who seen to weave a strange magic over the inhabitants.”

The Dog Who Saved the World, by Ross Welford

New from the author of The 1,000 Year Old Boy

“When 12-year-old Georgie makes friends with an eccentric retired scientist, she becomes the test-subject for a thrilling new experiment: a virtual reality, 3D version of the future. Then a deadly virus threatens to wipe out every dog in the country, and Georgie’s beloved dog Mr Mash gets sick. Which is bad - but worse is still to come.

“As the world is thrown into chaos, Georgie embarks on a desperate quest: to save every dog on earth and all of humanity - without actually leaving the room.”

The Day I Was Erased, by Lisa Thompson

From the author of The Goldfish Boy.

“Maxwell is always in trouble. Roaming the town with his beloved dog, Monster, as a way to escape his parents’ constant sniping at home, he’s a menace to the neighbours and teachers at school.

“While visiting an elderly neighbour, he comes across a mysterious cabinet of curiosities and suddenly finds himself erased from his life: it’s as if he’s never existed.”

The Boy Who Flew with Dragons, by Andy Shepherd & Sara Ogilvie

Third and final instalment in the series that started with The Boy Who Grew Dragons.

“Tomas can’t imagine life without his little dragon Flicker. He’s become more than a pet - he’s a friend like no other. And growing dragons on the dragonfruit tree in the garden with his friends Ted, Kat and Kai is the most amazing thing ever.

“But Tomas has promised Grandad something - that he and his friends will let their dragons go back to where they belong. The only problem is - that isn’t such an easy thing to do. Not when they are still having so much fun with dragons Flicker, Sunny, Crystal and Dodger. Not when they still have to work out where the dragons’ home is, and how to get the dragons to leave. And not when Tomas is so close to uncovering the true story of the mysterious dragonfruit tree…”

Our Castle by the Sea, by Lucy Strange

From the author of The Secret of Nightingale Wood.

“England is at war. Growing up in a lighthouse, Pet’s world has been one of storms, secret tunnels and stories about sea monsters. But now the clifftops are a terrifying battleground, and her family is torn apart.

“This is the story of a girl who is small, afraid and unnoticed. A girl who freezes with fear at the enemy planes ripping through the skies overhead. A girl who is somehow destined to become part of the strange, ancient legend of the Daughters of Stone.”

The Darkdeep, by Brendon Reichs & Ally Condie

Penned by two New York Times bestsellers and pitched for fans of The Goonies and Stranger Things.

“When a bullying incident sends 12 year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella - and even ‘cool kid’ Opal - rush to his rescue.

“They discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below. Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can’t quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they’ve never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable.

“As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries - and their lives - begin to intertwine in weird and spooky ways. Something ancient has awakened and it knows their wishes and dreams - and their deepest secrets.”

Lightning Chase Me Home, by Amber Lee Dodd

“Amelia McLeod lives on a tiny Scottish island, her mum has walked out on her and she’s about to start at a whole new, scary school. Her dyslexia means she’s a target for the school bullies.

“When she makes a wish on her birthday to be reunited with her mum, she finds herself quite literally disappearing at times of stress and reappearing elsewhere on the island, where she finds clues and snapshots of her parents’ past.”

Another tale of extraordinary family life filled with courage and warmth from the author of We Are Giants.

Mossbelly MacFearsome and the Dwarves of Doom, by Alex Gardiner

“Roger is just an ordinary boy, in an ordinary world - or so he thinks, until a grumpy dwarf warrior, Mossbelly MacFearsome, appears out of thin air and saves him from the school bully. If that isn’t incredible enough, now Moss has decided that Roger is the perfect human companion for his daring quest to defeat the dwarves’ arch-enemy Leatherhead Barnstorm and his horrifying horde of monstrous (but very polite) gorefiends.

“If Roger doesn’t help Moss, the world as we know it will be destroyed by ogres and dragons and the race of humans will be annihilated. If he does help, he will be late for his tea and his mum will be going mad with worry.”

The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth, by Cerrie Burnell

“Minnow is different from the other girls in her town and there’s plenty to set her apart: the blossom of pale scars which lie beneath Minnow’s delicate ears, the fact that she has an affinity with the water which leaves people speechless, and that once - she is sure - in deep, deep water, her body began to glow like a sunken star.

“When her mum gets into trouble and is taken from their boat in the dead of night, Minnow is alone with one instruction: sail to Reykjavik to find your grandmother, she will keep you safe.

“Minnow has never sailed on her own before, but the call of the deep is a call she’s been waiting to answer her whole young life. Perhaps a girl who is lost on land can be found in the Wild Deep.”


A Year of Nature Poems, by Joseph Coelho & Kelly Louise Judd

“A beautifully illustrated portrait of one complete year in nature, with a double page spread dedicated to each month from January through to December.”

Look Inside a Hospital, by Katie Daynes & Stefano Tognetti

Look Inside a Hospital presents a fascinating insight into what really goes on in a hospital and is an important book for any child who might be visiting ill relatives or need to go into hospital themselves. Find out what it’s like to stay overnight, how operations happen and where babies are born.”

See Inside Bridges, Towers and Tunnels, by Struan Reid & Annie Carbo

“Delve behind the scenes to look inside bridges, tunnels and towers around the world. Lift the flaps to reveal the mechanics and engineering of constructions including the Channel Tunnel connecting England and France, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and many more.”

A to Z of Science, by Tom Jackson, Dan Green, Adrian Dingle & Simon Basher

“This visual reference book in the Basher Science series covers the core National Curriculum subjects of biology, chemistry and physics.”

Meet the Ancient Greeks, by James Davies

“Get to know the basics on Ancient Greece from religious ceremonies to day to day life, with easy-to-digest, humorous text.”

Katherine Johnson, by Ebony Joy Wilkin & Charlotte Ager

New in the DK Life Stories series.

“In this biography, discover the inspiring story of Katherine Johnson, famed NASA mathematician and one of the subjects of the award-winning 2016 film Hidden Figures. I

“t was an incredible accomplishment when the United States first put a person on the Moon - but without the incredible behind-the-scenes work of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, such a feat could not have been possible. Follow her remarkable journey from growing up in West Virginia, to becoming a teacher, to breaking barriers at NASA and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.”

The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai, The Extraordinary Life of Michelle Obama and The Extraordinary Life of Stephen Hawking

Releases from a new Puffin series highlighting some of our most empowered and extraordinary people.

Marvel Fearless and Fantastic! Female super heroes save the world, by Sam Maggs, Emma Grange & Ruth Amos

“Women can save the world. More than 50 incredible female super heroes from the Marvel Comics universe inspire girls and women of all ages to be powerful, passionate and persistent. From Captain Marvel and Wasp to Storm and Shuri, this book profiles dozens of aspirational female comic-book characters, all of whom use their intelligence, strength, kindness, and courage to help others and save the world.”

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.