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New children's books for June 2019

Written by · Published May 30, 2019

The Garden of Lost Secrets, The Usborne Book of the Moon, The Dragon in the Library

Board books

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

The pink wading bird is the latest to get the That’s Not My… treatment.

Playbook, Peekaboo, Animals and Vehicles by Lemon Ribbon

The Baby Touch series gets a makeover.

Who’s on the Loo?, by Fiona Munro & Dean Gray

“Knock, knock! Who’s on the loo? Lift the flaps to find out in this hilarious board book featuring spotty, stripy, and colourful animals on their matching toilets. Delightful rhyming text and funny illustrations will make this bright board book appealing to pre-schoolers and parents alike. Every animal, from Zak Zebra to Tilly Toucan, once revealed under the flap, gives out some advice about how to use the bathroom that will serve as great reminders for children who have mastered the potty.”

Roald Dahl’s ABC and Roald Dahl’s Colours</cite>, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Introduce babies to the world of Roald Dahl with these sturdy board books.

What is the Moon?, by Katie Daynes & Marta Álvarez Miguéns

“Explore the magic and mystery of the moon, from why it changes shape and what makes it shine to how astronauts managed to land on it and what they found there.”

Picture books

Think Big!, by Kes Gray & Nathan Reed

New from the author of the Oi! books and the illustrator of the Sam Wu books.

“Humpty Dumpty and his nursery rhyme friends are discussing what they want to be when they grow up. Humpty wants to be a boiled egg, but his friends are encouraging him to think bigger!”

Penguinaut!, by Marcie Colleen & Emma Yarlett

“Orville lives at the zoo, surrounded by animal pals who go on exciting adventures. Orville struggles to keep up, so one day he concocts an adventure all his own: build a spaceship and fly to the moon. Can one tiny penguin get there alone? Or will Orville find that sometimes you need a little help from your friends?”

I Really Want to Win, by Simon Philip & Lucia Gaggioti

From the author of Waterstones Prize shortlisted I Really Want the Cake!.

“‘Today is Sports Day. I CAN’T WAIT! And as I know that I’ll be great, I’ve planned how I will celebrate - because I’m going to win.’

“Our heroine is determined that she’s going to win all the events at school sports day. The problem is that winning isn’t as easy as it looks. She doesn’t win the running race or the tug of war - and she can’t even win a dancing contest. But perhaps winning isn’t really the point.”

Quill Soup, by Alan Durant & Dale Blankenaar

An African version of Stone Soup.

“Noko, the porcupine, is very hungry. On arriving at a village, he asks the other animals for some food and shelter. But, despite their full bellies, all the animals say they have nothing to spare. Never mind: he’ll just have to make do and cook a pot of soup from the quills off his back - a soup so tasty even the king likes it. Once the villagers hear of his plan they offer just enough ingredients to make a soup worthy of them all.”

The Dinosaur Who Lost Her Voice, by Julie Ballard & Francesca Gambatesa

“Dinosaur Milly Jo has a beautiful singing voice, but when a storm rages and brings down a tree, it falls on top of Milly and she loses her lovely voice! But can she find a new way to shine with the help of her friends?”

Look Up!, by Nathan Byron & Dapo Adeola

‘Science-inspired adventures for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist’ - The Bookseller

“Rocket’s going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveller that has ever lived! But - first, she needs to convince her big brother Jamal to stop looking down at his phone and start looking up at the stars.”

Supertato: Carnival Catastro-pea!, by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

“It’s carnival time in the supermarket and the veggies are feeling festive! But someone is out to spoil the fun - with a devious device that could ruin EVERYTHING.

“Can Supertato and the veggies stop their colourful carnival from turning into a carnival catastro-pea?!”

The Princess and the Shoe, by Caryl Hart & Sarah Warburton

“Princess Jasmine is not like her stepsisters. She hates long dresses and sitting still and would much rather take part in the big cross-country race. So, when a fairy godmother appears with a new pair of speedy magic trainers, well, it looks like her dream has come true! That is, until she loses one of her trainers - how will she even finish the race?

“But when she goes on to WIN, was it the magic trainers or was it Jasmine’s determination and belief in herself?”

Rabbit Races Ahead!, by Lydia Monks

Third in the Twit Twoo School series.

“It’s Sports Day at Twit Twoo School and all of the children are very excited. But no one is more excited than Rabbit. She’s decided she is going to win every race, and has been practising very hard.

“But as Rabbit wins medal after medal, she seems to be losing friend after friend. Perhaps they are getting tired of her boasting. And now there is just one big race to go. Will Rabbit keep her eyes on the prize, or might there still be time for her to learn that being kind can feel every bit as good as winning?”

Short chapter books

Hotel Flamingo: holiday heatwave, by Alex Milway

We loved the first Hotel Flamingo book, so we’re looking forward to a return visit! Author Alex Milway will be holding a children’s drawing workshop for Felixstowe Book Festival at Felixstowe Library on Saturday 29 June.

“The temperature is rising, which can only mean one thing: it’s summer! Bookings are up at Hotel Flamingo and the hotel is getting busy. Anna is excited to receive word from King Penguin royalty asking to holiday in their Royal Suite. But there’s a lot to get done, and it’s not easy to manage the needs of the penguins when there’s a heatwave on and a huge ice shortage. Help!

“When Mr Ruffian of the rival Glitz hotel finds out that the penguins have chosen to stay at Hotel Flamingo he is furious. It’s not long before Anna starts to suspect that there is a spy and saboteur at the hotel; how else to explain why everyone is going so wrong for the visit of the Royal Penguins? Can Anna return Hotel Flamingo to its usual shining self and have happy guests all round?”

The Jolley-Rogers and the Pirate Piper, by Jonny Duddle

Fourth in the series.

“One morning the townspeople of Dull-on-Sea wake to find that their town is overrun with rats. Big rats, small rats, fierce rats, hungry rats - it is an infestation! Just when everyone is at their wits’ end, a nautical stranger who plays the pipe turns up and offers to get rid of the rodent problem - for a fee.

“Once that rats have gone, the greedy town councillors refuse to pay - so of course the piper pirate leads the children away. It’s up to Matilda, Jim and Nugget to save them.”

Picture books for older readers

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Júlia Sardà

New edition from the illustrator of Mary and Frankenstein.

Junior novels

The Curse of the School Rabbit, by Judith Kerr

Final book from the late, great author-illustrator.

“Snowflake is the school rabbit, and Snowflake is trouble. At least that’s what Tommy thinks, and when Snowflake is unexpectedly left for him to look after and everything starts to go wrong, it looks like Tommy might be right. Even if he is getting more pocket money for feeding it and might be able to afford a new bike after all. And with a sick sister left in bed, a snobby actor left with suspiciously damp trousers, and no rabbit anywhere to be seen, Tommy can see his hopes of a new bike disappearing as fast as Snowflake.

“Will Snowflake turn up, and turn out to be more good luck than bad? Or are Tommy and his family doomed by the curse of the school rabbit?”

The Butterfly Circus, by Francesca Armour-Chelu

Spectacular fantasy adventure from the Suffolk librarian behind the Fenn Halflin duology.

“Sisters Tansy and Belle are the stars of the grand finale of a circus show; a dazzling and perfectly timed trapeze act where they soar through the air like shimmering butterflies. One night, desperate to impress her older sister, Tansy attempts a spectacular jump and falls.

“Now terrified of heights, all Tansy can do is watch from below while Belle shines above. But when Belle mysteriously vanishes and Tansy’s shadow miraculously comes to life, Tansy discovers that the courage she needs to rescue her sister may have been inside her all along.”

Milton the Mighty, by Emma Read

The most lovable literary spider since Charlotte.

“When little spider Milton discovers he’s been branded deadly on social media - and is targeted by pest-killers BugKILL - he fears for his life and the future of his species. He must clear his name, but is he mighty enough to achieve the impossible: convincing humankind?”

Mouse in Training, by Emer Stamp

New series from the author of the Diaries of Pig series.

“Meet Stix - he is the size of an egg cup, can jump the width of a dog’s bottom, and LOVES cheese. That’s because Stix is a mouse. He probably lives behind your washing machine, but you wouldn’t know it, because his Grandma’s taught him to always stay out of trouble and NEVER let the humans know he’s there.

“But now Stix has stumbled across PESTS - the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels, in the basement of his block of flats, and along with a whole host of new pesty friends (and enemies), he’s about to rip up Grandma’s rule book and make a REAL pest of himself.”

The Garden of Lost Secrets, by A. M. Howell

A debut novel being pitched for fans of Emma Carroll.

“October, 1916. Clara is sent to stay with her formidable aunt and uncle in the grounds of a country estate. She soon discovers that her new surroundings hold secrets: a locked room and a hidden key, and a mysterious boy who only appears in the gardens at night. But can Clara face up to her own secrets, and a war she’s desperate to forget?”

The Dragon in the Library, by Louie Stowell & Davide Ortu

“Kit can’t stand reading, She’d much rather be outside, playing games and getting muddy, than stuck inside with a book. But when she’s dragged along to the library one day by her two best friends, she makes an incredible discovery - and soon it’s up to Kit and her friends to save the library - and the world.”

Evie and the Animals, by Matt Haig & Emily Gravett

First time collaboration between the author of The Truth Pixie and the illustrator of The Afterwards.

“Evie is a girl with a special talent. She can talk to animals. But when she rescues the school rabbit, Kahlo, and sets her free, Evie lands in big trouble. She promises her dad that she’ll never talk to animals again. And for a whole year, Evie ignores them all. She doesn’t chat to Scruff the dog or Marmalade the cat. She even ignores Beak the bird. But when ‘Missing’ posters for cats, dogs, hamsters and tortoises appear outside school, Evie secretly starts using her magical gift again. With the help of Granny Flora, Evie must find out who is behind the disappearances.”

Return to Wonderland, by various authors

A top line-up of middle grade authors reimagine Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Includes stories by Robin Stevens, Pamela Butchart and Piers Torday.

The Good Thieves, by Katherine Rundell

New from the Costa Children’s Book Award winning The Explorer

“Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack’s spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home. She finds a young pickpocket, working the streets of the city. And, nearby, two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own are about to be pulled into her lawless, death-defying plan.”

The Paninis of Pompeii, by Andy Stanton & Sholto Walker</cite>

First in a new series from the author of the Mr Gum books.

“Welcome to the last days of Pompeii as you’ve NEVER imagined them before! Join fart-trader Caecilius, his wife, Vesuvius, and their ten-year-old son, Filius, in a bizarre world of accidental gladiators, pizza-emitting volcanoes and the legendary Ma-wol-n-f.

“You’ll meet the household servant, Slavius; thrill at the misadventures of Barkus Wooferinicum and generally have an uproariously hilarious time of it all.”

New Class at Malory Towers, by Narinder Dhami, Patrice Lawrence, Lucy Mangan & Rebecca Westcott

“It’s time to welcome new girls to Malory Towers, the famous boarding school by the sea, in four brand-new stories by outstanding authors, set in Enid Blyton’s much-loved school.”

Non-fiction

Incredible Journeys: discovery, adventure, danger, endurance, by Levison Wood & Sam Brewster

“Embark on 20 epic expeditions alongside Levison Wood, from the Silk Road and medieval pilgrimages to the Holy Land to Nellie Bly’s trip around the world, and recent missions to the Moon and the Mariana Trench. Along the way, Levison shares his own insights into adventuring, telling you what it’s really like to follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great.”

Corpse Talk: Ground-breaking Rebels, by Adam & Lisa Murphy

New title for the highly popular Phoenix Presents series.

“Adam Murphy interviews the dead famous who made names for themselves in history by fighting against injustice - including Ghandi, George Washington, Mary Wollestonecraft and William Wallace. Discover the life stories of righteous rebels - many you’ll have heard of, and many you should have heard of!”

A Planet Full of Plastic and how you can help, by Neal Layton

“Everything is made of stuff. Some things are made of paper, like this book. And some things are made of plastic. If you look around you, plastic is everywhere. Even in places where it’s not meant to be. If it drops to the ground, it doesn’t rot away - it sticks around for ever. Our world is drowning in plastic, and it’s a big problem.”

Ask a Scientist: Professor Robert Winston answers 100 big questions from kids around the world!, by Professor Robert Winston

The eminent scientist answers real questions from children such as ‘why do freckles come in dots on your face?’, ‘could you jump off the world?’, ‘why is the sky blue?’, ‘why are there bubbles in boiling water’, ‘do dogs cry?’, and ‘why will the Sun explode?’.

Loads of moon-related non-fiction out this month, ready for the celebration of the Moon Landing anniversary and this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, Space Chase:

When We Walked on the Moon, by David Long & Sam Kalda

“This work tells the story of the Apollo Missions, when incredible intelligence, engineering and bravery allowed humans to stand on the surface of somewhere other than Earth for the very first time. From the 1969 first moon landing to the amazing rescue of Apollo 13, each chapter tells the story of a different mission.”

Balloon to the Moon, by Gill Arbuthnott & Chris Nielsen

“Long before anyone had designed a rocket, the Montgolfier brothers were making hot air balloons. In October 1783, they became the first people to experience controlled flight. Balloon to the Moon starts there and leads to Neil Armstrong’s ‘small step’ and beyond. But why stop there? Learn about the great innovations of the past, then get ready for blast off into an unknown but exciting future.”

SuperSpace: the furthest, largest, most incredible features of our universe

“Bursting with fascinating facts and the latest breathtaking images, this space book for children brings the wonders of the Solar System to life. Based on recent research and discoveries, SuperSpace showcases everything you need to know about the Universe - from the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets as well as the technology used to explore its unimaginable depths.”

The Usborne Book of the Moon, by Laura Cowan & Diana Toledano

“For thousands of years, the Moon has been the one thing in the night sky that everyone anywhere on our planet recognises. Trace the story of the Moon around the world and throughout history, from ancient legends about its creation, to its first sighting through a telescope, right up until the Apollo 11 mission and the first Moon landing in 1969.”

Blast off to the Moon!, by Ralph Timberlake & Euan Cook

“Based on Neil Armstrong’s original space manual & exclusive material from NASA, this book is all about man’s first journey to walk on the moon. Fully illustrated throughout with exclusive NASA photography, it contains material such as Neil Armstrong’s space menus and instructions on how to put on a spacesuit.”

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.