“Take your seat in the front row and watch in wonder as three cheeky little circus pigs make a wild wolf jump through hoops, endure feats of astounding derring-do, and even withstand perilous games of dress-up. Safe in the thought that wolf won’t bite! They even put their heads between his jaws, but can you push a wolf too far?”
This board book is from the new Amazing Me! series to be published this month by Child’s Play. The diverse children illustrated in the titles are all having exuberant fun.
This is a positive and heart-warming picture book in which a father encourages his small boy to jump off the high diving board.
She’s been to the library, she’s been swimming, she has taken part in sports day, and now Maisy gets to visit a bookshop too. Lucy Cousins books are always bright and accessible. Perfect for explaining and celebrating those first experiences.
“Look away now” if you don’t like books with toilet humour, but if your children enjoy a good laugh, borrow this book:
“Prince Freddie is off to save a castle from a ferocious dragon, when he realises he really, really needs to pee. But what with scary ogres, damsels in distress, and massive queues for the only toilet in the forest, it doesn’t look like Freddie will ever get to go.”
“When the great magician, Hypno, goes missing just before a show, his rabbits Abra and Cadabra step in to save the day. But are they all that they seem? Or is there more to their sleight of paw than meets the eye?”
Now if anyone can successfully turn the pesky issue of headlice into a brilliant picture book, it is Teresa Heapy. And oh my goodness, what a lot of hair!
“All the other dragons laugh at the Littlest Dragon because he can’t breathe fire, no matter how hard he tries. But when winter comes and all the other dragons are counting on him to keep the valley warm, Little Bird shows that with a little help from a friend, anything is possible.”
“Olaf is excited when he finds a book. But his friends quickly turn into busybodies, telling him to read - lying down like a crocodile - standing on one leg like a flamingo - and even hanging upside down like a monkey! What is a clumsy giraffe to do?”
From the author of Tiger in a Tutu comes another highly original picture book, and a riotous celebration of reading. I wonder why picture books about giraffes are often brilliant?”
This little book has only 32 pages, with a limited number of words per page, so it is perfect for young children who need lots of practice with their reading.
Short chapter books
Another funny title in the Wigglesbottom Primary series:
“Three perfectly pitched school stories hilariously told by Pamela Butchart and brilliantly illustrated by Becka Moor. Is that a superhero dog on the school roof? Yes! Is the lunchtime mashed potato really, really weird? Yes! Does Susie Keys own an alien egg? Yes! So what are Class 2R going to do about it all? Have a lot of fun!”
Elys Dolan’s picture books (Nuts in Space and Weasels) have attracted wide acclaim. This is her first short chapter book for children who have started to read on their own, and it’s full of life and a little bit bonkers too. Basically, it’s about a knight called Dave who rides a goat and really likes dragons…
Children who have just mastered reading on their own enjoy the familiarity of characters they already know from picture books. Winnie the Witch has proved very popular in the short chapter book format, and these three stories about her are brought gloriously to life by Korky Paul’s crazy illustrations.
From the author of the brilliant The Bubble Boy comes a novel with two voices, Dan, a bully, and Alex, whom he bullies. Alex has severe anxiety and OCD, but Dan has problems at home, so the sympathies of the reader go out towards both the boys.
For fans of Alex Rider, here he is back in a brand new explosive mission, set immediately after the events in Scorpia Rising – should be good!
“After the great battle at King Alfie’s coronation, the nation thinks it’s seen the last of the Black Dragon. But when a band of undead Vikings appears, Alfie, Hayley and the rest of the Yeoman Warders must prepare for the epic battle that’s brewing.”
The follow-up to Defender of the Realm, an exciting thriller of a book.
It’s always great to come across the first title of a new series by a debut author, and this spy fantasy set in a primary school is funny too. As the children become just too polite, superhero in training Alex and his friend Jess (who can talk with the animals) set out to discover who or what is controlling the children. Like Stepford Wives meets Wigglesbottom Primary!
From the author of the very popular Witch Wars comes this first title in a new series, set beneath the waves. I predict a book full of funny action and fishy puns.
“Pattern is only 13, but is already rising through the ranks at Mrs Minchin’s Academy of Domestic Servitude and seems destined for a life below stairs. But fate intervenes when she is packed off to the small and secretive Duchy of Elffinberg, to serve as lady’s maid to the lately orphaned Grand Duchess. Pattern’s young new mistress is excitable and paranoid, yet despite their differences the two girls forge an unlikely friendship that quickly turns into a battle for survival.”
First in a new Victorian adventure series, with a brave and resourceful heroine and a beautiful silhouette on the cover, just like a Katherine Woodfine novel.
“Magic is long-gone - or is it? A chain of fantastical mishaps in schoolboy Bert’s dull life spiral out of control - but then he’s rescued by Finch, a plucky girl-adventurer with metal legs. Soon they’re sailing across a sea of clouds. Magic is their destination, for reasons Bert will soon discover.”
Sky pirates, rip-roaring adventures - sounds good to us!
“This pocket-sized survival guide teaches young adventurers the essentials: what to pack, how to build a shelter, how to craft your own tools, how to cook food over a campfire - and even how to get drinking water from wee! Children will also learn exactly what not to do, from eating poisonous mushrooms to starting a bushfire. With fun games to play in the woods, advice on tracking animals, and a useful chapter on first aid, this is the perfect book for little adventurers!”
With National Trust branding, this is bound to be full of reliable advice as well as fun activities.
“Bees, beetles, bugs, butterflies and more - love them or hate them, insects are everywhere. Discover the different varieties, body structures, life cycles, and behaviour - from why bees make honey to which insects have ears on their knees. Find out what the earliest insects looked like, how insects fly, and what a wasp’s-eye-view looks like. Learn how insects, often seen as pests by humans, perform a vital role as pollinators of food crops.”
Children who are reluctant to read often prefer non-fiction to novels. These guides are a great place for them to start.