Taking a baby to the seaside this summer? This lovely lift-the-flap board book is just the ticket. Not taking a baby to the seaside this summer? I bet you’ll like it too. In fact, so many people in Suffolk like this book, we’ve had to buy more copies!
A sturdy little board book which includes some very attractive black and white photos of babies. The mirrored end page is bound to be popular for any baby playing peek-a-boo; perhaps the baby equivalent of a selfie?
Subtitled “a tall tale of a small frog”, this is a wonderfully ludicrous version of The Frog Prince, but without the kiss and with a dragon for good measure. The narrative simply flows through the rhyming text and Sara Ogilvie’s illustrations are a delight.
I love stories with bossy little girls as the protagonist, and luckily for me, there are so many. Here is a classic in the making. This delightfully Africanised retake of Little Red Riding Hood is packed with visual humour and smashing to read aloud.
Jack Tickle’s story about a dinosaur who falls in a pond is interactive. Bound to go down well at pre-school story times.
A tender and sensitive portrayal of the overwhelming sense of rejection and bewilderment a new baby can bring. For poor little Atinuke, the pain seems doubled because her mum just had twins, so all the adults in her life are too busy for her. A beautiful book with a warm resolution; it brought tears to my eyes!
Beginner Reads and Short Chapter books
Melinda the Terrible wants to prove herself as fearsome as her pirate father Gingerbeard. She follows a map to find the treasure of the fabled Captain Sprogboggler and finds his teddy. Bags of pirating fun for children who have just started to read by themselves.
This first came out 4 years ago, so perhaps it shouldn’t be in a list a list of new books. But if you missed Silver Street first time round, you’ve got a treat in store because Walker books have just reissued this perfect series about a group of children who set up a city farm.
If you’ve just learnt to read by yourself, but need a bit of a laugh to help you along, try this new book by Rosen and Ross. Harry’s parents are so absent minded they forget to buy food, and one day they even forgot to take him to school. Good job Tiggs the cat is so sensible.
We’ve been waiting to read the next hilarious episode in the life of Emily Sparkes and here it is. Brainchild of local author Ruth Fitzgerald, Emily is a well-intentioned but hapless heroine. She entered her mum in a “Mum in a million competition”, but couldn’t have imagined in her worst nightmare that she would actually be shortlisted. I mean really, her mum is soooo embarrassing.
Jonny Jakes investigates dodgy hamburgers being handed out by a suspiciously alien looking head teacher in this first book of a new series by a debut author. It’s funny, well written and quite simply, brilliant. I reckon Jonny Jakes would get on well with Greg Heffley. I hope it’s not too long before the next instalment.
A gem of a book, first published in the US back in 1967. Republished now by Pushkin books, this beautifully written adventure story features two children, who having run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York become involved in a mystery. The writing style is a little old fashioned so won’t appeal to all avid readers aged 8-12, but a fair few will love it.
Now as much as I like cakes, I certainly wouldn’t want to meet one of the baked goods from this story. They have teeth and claws and They – Eat – People! Astra is our feisty heroine in this very funny inter-galactic romp. Reeve’s writing and McIntyre’s illustrations just go together, don’t they.
When Uncle Gobb came to stay, with his polished face and his “Do some more homework”, poor little Malcolm didn’t stand a chance. Not until his school friend Crackersnacker got thinking. Michael Rosen presents a barmy story and manages to explain what non-fiction is too, no mean feat that. Neal Layton’s illustrations just bring the tale to life.
100 Cupboards by N D Wilson (eBook)
This story is seriously weird! It’s an American classic fantasy story for children, and the first title in a trilogy. I haven’t come across it before, but it’s so famous in the States and Canada, it has its own section on Wikipedia. That’s one of the delights of eBook catalogues – you come across things that would never have crossed your path before.
YA: Younger teen
Ashley and Stewart have nothing in common except their newly blended family. Times are tough for both of them until genius Stewart rescues fashion icon Ashley from her heel of a boyfriend, and in so doing, cements a bond between them. The book deals with issues such as bullying, sexuality and bereavement in a sensitive manner. It’s a heart-warming read and deserves to do well.
YA: Older teen
Just in time for the festival season comes Remix, told in the voices of best friends Kaz and Ruby as they experience their first music festival. They get on each other’s nerves, drunk and all the rest. It’s funny, edgy and one to watch. If you haven’t read her first book, Trouble, try that next.
I can hardly wait to read Fire colour one in which teen protagonist Iris sets fire to her mum’s clothes. “A bold and brilliant novel about love, lies and redemption, from award-winning author Jenny Valentine – one of the greatest YA voices of her generation” Guardian.
Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy (eAudiobook)
I never got round to reading this amazing book when it was first published in 2004 and to be honest I think the difficult subject matter put me off. When JJ was 10, she killed a school friend and spent the next few years in a Young Offenders Institution. As the story starts, JJ has been released and is starting a new life with an assumed identity under the care of a social worker. The novel is totally absorbing, raises loads of important questions, for example about culpability, blame, redemption, and press freedom, but offers no easy answers. I got hooked on it and went straight on to the sequel Finding Jennifer Jones. Brilliant books, both of them and perfect in this eAudio format.
The must-have guide for children planning a career in space travel. Includes an introduction by British astronaut Tim Peake.
William Shakespeare: scenes from the life of the world’s greatest writer by Mick Manning & Brita Granström
Published by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and with an endorsement by Simon Callow, this is “a perfect introduction to the real Shakespeare”. It packs a huge amount of factual information broken into accessible chunks with cartoon-style illustrations.
High quality glossy photography, good clear captions, lots of facts set out like top trumps, a ton of sharks and some very weird looking ‘things’. Hope your arms are strong enough to carry it home from the library.
221 pages of fun facts. For example, on page 90; “Vending machines kill 4 times more people each year than sharks”. On page 61, “The Ancient Aztecs ate tortillas stuffed with tadpoles for dinner.” It’s square and easy to read, with lots of photos on matte paper. But don’t look for explanations because it’s just facts. And it’s addictive. Page 103 “Cows can be identified by their noseprints.” See?