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New children's books for July 2018

Written by · Published Jun 29, 2018

You Can't Let an Elephant Drive a Digger, The Boy Who Hit Play, The Storm Keeper's Island

Board books

That’s Not My Bee…, by Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells

Another addition to the well-loved ‘That’s Not My…’ series.

Jane Foster’s Summertime, by Jane Foster

“This beautiful board book is the perfect introduction to Summertime. From sand castles to ice cream, explore the vibrant artwork created by acclaimed artist Jane Foster.”

Flip Flap Peppa

“What will Peppa be today? A witch, a fairy, a doctor or an astronaut? Little hands will love to flip the flaps and create lots of different outfits for Peppa.”

Bing’s First 100 Words: a lift-the-flap book

“Explore Bing’s world and discover over 100 everyday words in this fantastic lift-the-flap book. From around the house to out and about at nursery and at the park, this book is packed with objects Bingsters will encounter as part of their daily routines. With lots to look at on every page and word labels to encourage pointing and naming, it is perfect for increasing vocabulary and developing word-recognition skills.”

Picture books

You Can’t Let an Elephant Drive a Digger, by Patricia Cleveland-Peck & David Tazzyman

The follow-up to You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus. Tazzyman is probably best known for his anarchic illustrations of Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum series.

“Elephants driving diggers? Gorillas on scooters? A shark in the bath? A kangaroo on the loo? Join in with the fun as an array of improbable creatures try to be helpful (with hilarious consequences) in this laugh-out-loud picture book.”

The Cook and the King, by Julia Donaldson & David Roberts

Donaldson, one of the UK’s most perennially popular children’s authors, previously worked with illustrator Roberts on Tyrannosaurus Drip.

“The hungry king needs a new cook, but will he ever find someone who can make his favourite dish? With clever rhyming verse and richly detailed illustrations, this is sure to become a firm favourite with children and adults alike.”

The Dog that Ate the World, by Sandra Dieckmann

Author-illustrator Dieckmann’s previous book, Leaf, was nominated for the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize and the 2018 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

“Down in the valley, all the animals live in peace among their own kind, happy but not quite united until the day the enormous dog appeared. The animals run as fast as they can, but the big dog is so terrible and so greedy that he swallows them all one by one!

“With their whole world in darkness, they have no choice but to band together to rebuild their lives, and in the process they discover value in each other.”

The Missing Masterpiece, by Stacey Corderoy & Steven Lenton

“Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam have made it to the magical streets of Paris, baking a spectacular gingerbread Eiffel Tower for a very important art exhibition at ‘Gallerie Bonbon’.

“But, quelle horreur!, a sneaky fox has made off across the Seine with the precious masterpiece. Will Shifty and Sam ever catch the dastardly Cunningham Sly and dish up their tasty tower in time?”

The Princess and the Pit Stop, by Tom Angleberger & Dan Santat

“Once upon a time there was a Princess - who made a pit stop. While the birds and beasts changed her tires, her Fairy Godmother told her she was in last place! With just one lap left! She might as well give up! Give up? Not THIS princess! Instead, she hit the gas!

“Join Her Royal Highness for a mad dash to the finish in this exciting ode to auto racing. With appearances by fractured fairy tale favorites including the Tortoise and the Hare, the Frog Prince, and ALL of the Wicked Witches, this rollicking mashup of racecars and royalty is a true celebration of both girl power and horsepower.”

Spooky Fairy Tale Mix-up, by Hilary Robinson & Jim Smith

More ‘Consequences’ style mix and match stories from the team behind Mixed Up Fairy Tales

“Create your own hilarious spooky fairy tales with this ingenious, split-page, spiral-bound book, illustrated by the creator of the much-loved Barry Loser.Rapunzel has her hair tangled with spiders, while the Three Bears are terrified by Ghostilocks and Beauty dresses up as a Beast! What other funny combinations can you make?”

Quick, Barney, RUN!, by Pip Jones & Laura Hughes

“It’s raining, it’s pouring. And Daddy is snoring. Mummy is working. Oh, everything’s boring.

“What can Ruby Roo do on a rainy holiday? Use her imagination! This jaunty, thrilling rhyming text sees these two intrepid explorers sail through the air in a seaplane (cardboard box) and land in the Amazon jungle (house plants).”

Cyril and Pat, by Emily Gravett

A lovely story of friendship.

“Cyril is the only squirrel in Lake Park, and he’s very lonely. Until one day he meets Pat – Pat the big, grey … other squirrel. Cyril and Pat have lots of adventures and fun together and Cyril is so pleased he’s made a friend. But everyone is adamant that Cyril and Pat simply cannot be friends, and they soon reveal why: Pat, as the reader has known all along, is actually a RAT!”

Ruby’s Worry, by Tom Percival

From the author of Perfectly Norman.

“Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. at first it’s not such a big worry, and that’s alright, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of her worry and feel like herself again?”

The Girls, by Lauren Ace & Jenny Lovlie

“Four little girls meet under an apple tree and form a bond that grows as they share secrets, dreams, worries and schemes. This illustrated tale charts the girls’ lives through ups and downs and laughter and tears. Find out how their friendship flourishes as the years pass by and the girls become women.”

Baby Goes to Market, by Atinuke & Angela Brooksbank

“Join Baby and his mama at the bustling marketplace for a bright, bouncy read-aloud offering a gentle introduction to numbers. Rhythmic language, visual humour and a bounty of delectable food make this a tale that is sure to whet little appetites for story time.”

Ten Minutes to Bed Little Unicorn, by Rhiannon Fielding & Chris Chatterton

Part of a new series promoting bedtime stories.

“Weaving a journey from lively beginning to gentle end, the 10 minute countdown to bed is at the heart of this enchanting story. But will Twinkle get to bed on time?”

Short chapter books

Splash Day!, by Nick Sharratt

“Splish, splosh, splash! It’s Splash Day and everyone is ready for a water fight! They’ve got their trunks and wetsuits, some wellies and rubber rings, and Mrs Rose even has a great big hose!”

The Super Sloth, by Amelia Cobb & Sophy Williams

A new title for the Zoe’s Rescue Zoo series.

“Zoe is super-excited to welcome a new animal to the zoo - a sleepy sloth called Sabina. But the little sloth is behaving very strangely - and it’s up to Zoe to find out what’s going on!”

Kitten Rescue, Puppy in Peril, Fox Cub Danger and Bunny Trouble, by Lucy Daniels

Some parents might remember the Animal Ark series from the 1990s. Nearly 25 years since its first publication, the series is being ‘re-imagined’ for a new generation.

Junior novels

The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Rauf

“There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it. He’s eight years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!

“But the truth is, Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a war. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to be his friend. That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan.”

A Goat Called Willow, by Helen Peters & Ellie Snowdon

“Jasmine has secretly rescued a baby goat. She’s gorgeous but really naughty! Will her amazing antics persuade Jasmine’s parents to let her stay, or will Jasmine have to say goodbye to Willow forever?”

Mystery of the Skull, by Pamela Butchart & Tony Ross

Another re-imagining, this time of Enid Blyton’s classic Secret Seven detective series, from the author of the Wigglesbottom Primary books.

“When Peter discovers an old skull hidden in his bedroom, it’s time for an urgent meeting of the Secret Seven. Setting off to investigate, the friends see a gigantic hole in the grounds of a local hotel. Could there be any connection between the two strange events? The Secret Seven are determined to solve the mystery. It’s time to look behind the green door of the Secret Seven’s shed again.”

The Boy Who Hit Play, by Chloe Daykin

From the author of Fish Boy.

“The only thing that Elvis Crampton Lucas knows about where he’s from is that he was found on the bench at a zoo. And that his now father took him home in a Stetson hat, and named him after the first three vinyl he picked off his shelf.

“But now, on his twelfth ‘discovery day’, it’s time for Elvis to find out who left him at the zoo, and why? On an epic adventure that takes Elvis to an island off the coast of Norway, he will finally discover the truth about his past.”

Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Sharks, by Katie & Kevin Tsang & Nathan Reed

The sequel to Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts.

“Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except when he is). And when a shark TOTALLY tries to eat him at the local aquarium, he decides he’s not going to take any more chances. So at his friend’s birthday party at the beach, Sam refuses to dip even a toe in the water. Nothing could go wrong now - could it?”

The Frozen Telescope, by Jennifer Bell & Karl James Mountford

Concluding part of the Uncommoners trilogy.

“Ivy and Seb can’t wait to join Valian for their first ever overseas uncommon adventure - they’re meeting in Nubrook, the completely astonishing and totally-different-to-Ludinor trading market hidden underneath New York. But there’s no time to enjoy looking round all the incredible sights - they’re on a mission to find Valian’s long-lost sister, Rosie. But it seems they’re not the only ones looking for her.”

Riddle of the Runes, by Janina Ramirez & David Wyatt

“The Viking town of Kilsgard has its fair share of mysteries and in this exciting new series, young investigator and shield maiden Alva follows the clues to solve them. Fierce, stubborn, and curious-Alva’s bound to get in trouble along the way, but all that matters is being first to the crime scene.”

The Last Secret, by Sophie Cleverly

The final instalment in the Scarlet and Ivy series.

“When Scarlet and Ivy return to school after the holidays, they quickly realise that the school is in danger. The twins will need to confront enemies from their past and their present if they are to have any chance of it surviving. Could the last secret at Rookwood be the one that brings it down? Or will Scarlet and Ivy be able to untangle the trails of clues and red herrings in time to save it?”

The Storm Keeper’s Island, by Catherine Doyle

“Fionn Boyle and his older sister Tara have been sent to stay with their grandfather on the remote island of Arranmore for the summer. Though Fionn has never met his grandfather before - an eccentric old man who lives in a tiny cottage filled to the brim with candles - he knows he comes from a long line of brave lifeboat men, who wear the sea behind their eyes.

“Fionn is scared of the sea. He has no interest in adventure or shipwrecks or the restless wind that rustles through the island, as though in search of something. But an old magic is stirring deep inside the layers of Arranmore, and it is calling out to Fionn.”

“A story of family, memory, courage and sacrifice interlaced with Irish myths and legends” – Fiona Noble, The Bookseller.

The Accidental President, by Tom McLaughlin

“On a visit to the US things take a strange turn for 12-year-old Ajay when, completely at random and totally by accident, he is sworn in as the new president. Well, I guess he can’t be any worse than that guy who had the job before him, right?”

Where Do You Go, Birdy Jones?, by Joanna Nadin

“11-year-old Birdy Jones is all alone. She doesn’t belong at school, at home, or even with her dad anymore. The only place she feels like herself is at her grandpa’s pigeon loft, where the familiar warmth and birdsong block out the world. It’s also where she meets Dogger - her only friend and the one person who really seems to know where she’s coming from.

“Birdy used to be happy, when it was just her and Dad, but now she has a stepmum, a little sister, and another baby on the way. Worse, her growing family needs to move house, but Birdy doesn’t believe there’ll ever be enough room for her in Dad’s busy life - and she can’t leave Grandpa and the pigeons.”


Look and Find Bugs, by Kirsteen Robson & Gareth Lucas

Another addition to Usborne’s successful spotting puzzle book series.

“A wonderfully illustrated puzzle book teeming with all kinds of insects and other creepy crawlies to spot, count and match. Spot a bee on a bicycle, a butterfly tapping a tambourine and many more eye-catching challenges. The intricate illustrations make these seemingly simple puzzles a lot harder than you might think!”

A First Book of the Sea, by Nicola Davies & Emily Sutton

An illustrated blend of poetry and non-fiction, following on from Davies’ First Book of Nature and First Book of Animals.

The Great Big Green Book, by Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith

“From a simple introduction to our home in Space, Planet Earth, the authors explain what we need for life on Earth, and show the importance of the rainforests and the oceans; they stress the need to look after our planet and show how some of the things we take for granted are running out, and how we have polluted so much of our planet.”

RSPB Wild Facts About Nature, by Andy Seed & Scott Garrett

From the winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2015 for Best Books with Facts for The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff.

Computer Coding Python Games for Kids

“Learn how to code in Python by building and playing your own computer games, from mind-bending brainteasers to crazy action games with explosive sound effects and 3D graphics.

“Whether you’re a seasoned programmer or a beginner hoping to learn Python, you’ll find Computer Coding Python Games for Kids fun to read and easy to follow. Each chapter shows how to construct a complete working game in simple numbered steps. Using freely available resources, such as PyGame Zero and Blender, you can add animations, music, scrolling backgrounds, 3D scenery, and other exciting professional touches.”

Who Owns These Bones?, by Henri Cap & Renaud Vigourt

“Welcome to the secret world of skeletons! From the largest elephant to the smallest mouse, each animal is different, and that goes for their bones, too! Meet a whole host of amazing skeletons and learn about what makes each one unique, from how to tell a gorilla from a human to how to recognize a turtle just from its skull. Lift the flaps to discover each skeleton’s animal owner, and find out amazing anatomy facts along the way!”

Looking after your Mental Health, by Alice James, Louie Stowell, Nancy Leschnikoff & Freya Harrison

“The mental of health of children and teenagers hits the headlines on a regular basis, with more and more young people reporting mental health difficulties. This book provides a gentle guide to good mental health, with input from experts in both psychology and psychiatry.”

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.