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New children’s books for March 2016

Written by · Published Mar 1, 2016

A river by Marc Martin

Board books

Usborne baby’s very first fingertrail play book – garden by Stella Baggott

Usborne baby's very first fingertrail play book - garden by Stella Baggott

This sturdy board book is filled with tactile features such as die-cut or raised sparkly tracks of garden creatures and flaps to peep behind. It’s bright and jolly and full of interest for a baby or toddler.

Let’s name!: a point-and-say book by Rod Campbell

Let's name!: a point-and-say book by Rod Campbell

It’s made up of just 40 full colour photographs of everyday objects, each with single word captions. A good sturdy board book for babies and young toddlers.

It’s a little baby by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb

It's a little baby by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb

Another delightful book from Julia Donaldson; this one is a sing-song rhyme with peeps flaps and it’s gorgeous. Plus, it has a QR code if you want it in audio.

Picture books

Betty goes bananas in her pyjamas by Steve Antony

Betty goes bananas in her pyjamas by Steve Antony

We reviewed it last summer when it came out in hardback, but now it’s in paperback too, so we’ve bought loads more copies. If you have a toddler, read it and smile together. If you no longer have a toddler, read it and be thankful.

I’ll wait, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

I'll wait, Mr Panda by Steve Antony

I’ll wait, Mr Panda features the cutest penguin, whose quiet, mannerly persistence wins him a huge doughnut. It’s a sequel to the utterly brilliant Please Mr Panda which has recently been longlisted for the Carnegie award. OK, we’ll admit it; we’re hooked on Steve Antony’s picture books.

Double Dave by Sue Hendra and Lee Wildish

Double Dave by Sue Hendra and Lee Wildish

It’s 6 years now since Dave first squeezed through the cat flap and into our libraries and we celebrate his return, hungry as ever in this his third title. But wait, it can’t be true – There are two Daves where once there was one. But how can that be? If you want a good laugh, read it and find out.

A river by Marc Martin

A river by Marc Martin

“There is a river outside my window. Where will it take me? So begins an imaginary journey from the city to the sea. From factories to farmlands, freeways to forest, each new landscape is explored through stunning illustrations and poetic text from this award-winning picture-book creator.”

A tale of two beasts by Fiona Robertson

A tale of two beasts by Fiona Robertson

A little girl takes home a squirrel she finds in the woods, that’s all. However, we experience the story twice in this funny imaginative picture book, and the second telling is by the squirrel!

Beginner reads

The jaguar and the javelin by A H Benjamin and Yuliya Somina

The jaguar and the javelin by A H Benjamin and Yuliya Somina

Large clear type, clean pages, funny illustrations, a nice story and a successful outcome – what more could you want? A good choice for children who are taking their first steps in reading by themselves, this book is one of a new series, the Froglets Animal Olympics being published this spring.

Short chapter books

The ugly duckling by Jackie Walter and Sarah Horne and The princess and the pea by Jackie Walter and Jane Cope

The princess and the pea by Jackie Walter and Jane Cope

Both of these books, from the publisher Franklin Watts, were previously issued as “Hopscotch Fairy Tales”. The lively re-tellings of not-quite-so well-known tales, have a little bit extra at the end of each.

Junior novels

Attack of the demon dinner ladies by Pamela Butchart

Attack of the demon dinner ladies by Pamela Butchart

If you’re already familiar with Pamela Butchart’s heroines you’ll have grown fond of Izzy and her friends, so no doubt you’re as relieved as we were to read that “No children were eaten by dinner ladies in the making of this book”. It’s fast moving and funny read that should go down well at school story times, and it features girls! Good. The boys have had most of the fun for a long time now…

The dragonsitter to the rescue by Josh Lacey

The dragonsitter to the rescue by Josh Lacey

Have you read the other titles in the Dragonsitter series? Because this is the sixth. Of course you could start here, but if I were you, I’d read the first one, and work my way through. It won’t take long, because they are very funny in a deadpan sort of a way, and epistolary. Oh, and the illustrations by Garry Parsons are a perfect accompaniment. Now the letters (NB: the books are epistolary) are mostly from young Edward to his yeti hunting Uncle Morton, owner of the dragons in question. In this episode, baby dragon Arthur escapes from a back pack in the Natural History Museum in his quest to get a closer look at T-Rex. And that’s where it all starts to go wrong.

Emily Sparkes and the disco disaster by Ruth Fitzgerald

Emily Sparkes and the disco disaster by Ruth Fitzgerald

We love Ruth Fitzgeralds’ tweeny series about poor Emily. Her dad is soooo embarrassing. I mean can you imagine how AWFUL it would be if he actually was the actual DJ for the school disco? No? Emily can’t either. And we’ll have to wait until May to read the next one …missing her already.

Barry Loser hates half term! by Jim Smith

Barry Loser hates half term! by Jim Smith

I’m sure he doesn’t always hate half term, but in this particular week, Barry was destined for pirate camp. Cold, wet, animal poo – you know the sort of thing. Jim Smith’s hilarious cartoons throughout, make this a quick fix for 8 – 10 year old boys. And Jim Smith’s cartoons aren’t just any old cartoons; they are English cartoons.

The seriously extraordinary diary of Pig by Emer Stamp

The seriously extraordinary diary of Pig by Emer Stamp

Don’t be duped by the comic cover and faux ink splatters, into thinking this won’t take much reading. It will, and it will repay your time in spades. Pig is such an endearing character and this is his 3rd ludicrously funny diary. I’m not sure why it reminds me of Finnigan’s Wake, it’s so much funnier!

Hamish and the Neverpeople by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler

Hamish and the Neverpeople by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler

In a parallel universe with a king on the throne of England, and Buckingham Palace guarded by huge women, Hamish has to save the world all over again. (This is his second adventure). Frank Cottrell Boyce wrote of it “Tee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!” and we simply have to agree.

Time travelling with a hamster by Ross Welford

Time travelling with a hamster by Ross Welford

Big themes from science have become the backdrop for several great books for children and YAs over the last few years, and this is another cracker. It’s the story of a boy using Einstein’s theory of relativity and his late father’s time machine, to travel back in time, and change history and so prevent his dad’s death. It’s exciting, funny, clever and poignant in equal measure and a really good middle grade read. It’s Ross Welford’s first book, which is good news for us!

The boy who could do what he liked by David Baddiel (eBook)

The boy who could do what he liked by David Baddiel

We were thrilled to see that David Baddiel has written a book for World Book Day this year, because we just loved The Parent Agency and The Person Controller. Reading about Alfie, (the boy who could do what he liked) is as just as funny and in common with all great books for children, it manages to convey a life lesson too. A pill well sugared.

Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis (eBook)

Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis

When zoo is threatened with closure, the occupants hatch plans to attract more visitors, and some of those plans involve a lot of rehearsals. Muriel, my favourite penguin in this “rollicking laugh aloud” title, becomes very annoyed that the others won’t put in the work, and “when Muriel wasn’t happy, everybody knew about it”. Jeanne Willis is superb on funny animal stories, all of which would appeal to boys as well as girls.

Junior non-fiction

Think of a number by Johnny Ball

Think of a number by Johnny Ball

What a great book! It’s packed with mathematical facts and tricks, written with infectious enthusiasm and sumptuously illustrated throughout in typical DK style. Stunning.

Vikings by Carrie Love

Vikings by Carrie Love

Lots of re-enactors were involved in the making of this book! The type face is clear, there’s an index and a glossary, and the whole book is brought to life with stunning photographs.

Wild adventures by Mick Manning and Brita Granström

Wild adventures by Mick Manning and Brita Granström

There are loads of simple ideas for getting families involved in nature, in the garden and beyond, from building a den, making kites and catapults, watching clouds to recognising bird tracks. The illustrations and the text so work well together, the layout is inviting, safety warnings are clearly circled in red and in all, it’s a super little guide.

The Usborne book of astronomy and space by Lisa Miles

The Usborne book of astronomy and space by Lisa Miles

Attractively presented, informative and with a great index, this is such a useful book. The maps of the night sky are just about the clearest I’ve seen.

Amazing animal journeys by Chris Packham and Jason Cockcroft

Amazing animal journeys by Chris Packham and Jason Cockcroft

This is a very nicely illustrated book about animal migration, suitable for children from about 6 to 8 yrs old. It describes in clear simple prose, the journeys of sea and river creatures, insects, birds, bats and land mammals.

Young teen

Accidental superstar by Marianne Levy

Accidental superstar by Marianne Levy

“Videoed by her mates, Katie sings a song about what’s wrong with her life. Before she can take it down, the song goes viral. And while her big sister’s ranting and Mum’s giving her the silent treatment, her Mum’s boyfriend’s old music industry mates are getting in touch in droves. Fresh, fun and authentic, it seems that Katie’s just what everyone’s been looking for.”

Wild lily by K M Peyton

Wild lily by K M Peyton

Her new heroine Lily is just 13 when she falls for 17 year old Antony “He’s rich, spoiled and arrogant, and Lily is completely and utterly no nonsense in love with him.” K M Peyton has won both Carnegie and Guardian book awards and has been publishing books since the late 1960s. How lucky we are to have a new novel from such a prestigious author.

Salt to the sea by Ruth Sepetys

Salt to the sea by Ruth Sepetys

Based on a true story, this harrowing tale of war time migration across frozen landscape is so well written you can almost feel the cold. Told though the voices of 4 young people whose paths converge on their frantic trek to escape the horrors of war, only to board a ship which is sunk not far from the coast. It’s a powerful and compelling read and deserves to be added to WWII reading lists.

These dark wings by John Owen Theobald

These dark wings by John Owen Theobald

An exciting historical novel set in war-torn London during the WWII. Inspired by the legend “If the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, Britain will fall” this is the first title in the of the Ravenmaster trilogy, by a great new author.

YA

How not to disappear by Clare Furniss

How not to disappear by Claire Furniss

I can’t wait to read this title, by “Year of the Rat” author. So far I’ve just dipped in and out and read the blurb “Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum’s wedding. Oh, and she’s also just discovered that she’s pregnant with Reuben’s baby. Then Gloria, Hattie’s great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria’s fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery – Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are erased from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.” But I’m hooked already!

Follow me back by Nicci Cloke

Follow me back by Nicci Cloke

A teenage girl is murdered by a stranger she met on Facebook in this chilling thriller about the dangers of social networking. “The first time Aiden Kendrick hears about Lizzie Summersall’s disappearance is when the police appear at his front door. He and Lizzie used to be friends; they aren’t anymore. And when Aiden finds out that Lizzie had been talking to strangers on Facebook; that the police think she went to meet one of them, he begins to wonder how well he ever really knew her, and Aiden doesn’t know it yet, but with Lizzie’s disappearance his life is about to take a twisted and desperate turn.”

Burning midnight by Will McIntosh

Burning midnight by Will McIntosh

Will McIntosh is a new author, and he’s getting great reviews for this first title, about a boy who finds and deals in small glass spheres that can change your personality. A good read for sci-fi fans.

The #1 rule for girls by Rachel McIntyre

The #1 rule for girls by Rachel McIntyre

A very readable YA romance about Daisy, a likeable but naive heroine. She falls for the rather manipulative Toby, who proves too perfect to be true. A lesson well learnt?

If Rock and Roll were a machine by Terry Davis (eBook)

If Rock and Roll were a machine by Terry Davis

This coming-of-age tale is an old story made new once again in the roar of Harleys, the pulse-like throb of an R&B baseline, and the silence of adolescent solitude. The story teaches us once again that the pain of coming of age is the purchase price of mature joy.

Lock and Mori by Heather Petty (eBook)

Lock and Mori by Heather Petty

Lock & Mori is a new crime series set in London and featuring as sleuths “two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty”. In this first title, the murder takes place in Regents Park, and the murderer lives very close to home. It’s well written, fast paced and exciting and should appeal to fans of the original. The second title Mind Games is due in September 2016.

Jo Dixon

I work for Suffolk Libraries Stock Team.