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New children's books for March 2018

Written by · Published Feb 28, 2018

A Bear is a Bear, The Knight Who Said No!, Brightstorm: high adventure in the frozen south

Board books

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

In this peep-through spin-off to the ‘That’s Not My …’ series:

“Zebra wishes she wasn’t black and white. Follow her in this colourful board book, as she meets a pink flamingo, a green crocodile, an orange giraffe and a blue parrot and imagines what it would be like if her stripes were the same colour as them. Peep through the holes in the pages to see what Zebra looks like as her stripes change colour.”

I’m Not Sleepy: helping toddlers go to sleep and No More Nappies: a potty-training book, by Marion Cocklico

Children can read about Ned’s bedtime routine and follow Millie and Mo’s potty-training journey.

All Aboard the Toilet Train!: a noisy Bing book

“Join Bing on a toilet training adventure in this interactive sound book - perfect for encouraging young children to use the toilet with confidence.”

Where’s Mrs Zebra? and Where’s My Dog?, by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Felt flaps that reveal cute animals in this new series.

100 First Animals, by DK

“Build little ones’ vocabulary with 100 important animals, all with bold photographs and beautiful illustrations. Bright and colourful themed pages cover pets, farm animals, big beasts, cute baby animals, and animal colours and patterns.”

Hello Zoo, by Nicola Slater

“Come with Ludo as he knocks on the zoo’s doors to ask his friends out to play! Soon, everyone’s ready except for Minty the panda, who is fast asleep - can you tickle her feet to wake her up so she can join in with the fun, too?”

Picture books

Cake, by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

“Cake has been invited to a party. He’s very excited! He’s never been to a birthday party before and he doesn’t know what to expect. But as the candles on his party hat begin to burn and the other guests start to sing, Cake starts to think that this is one party he’d rather not be at.”

This looks to be another darkly hilarious hit from the team behind Supertato.

How to Eat Pizza, by Jon Burgerman

The pizza in this book definitely does NOT want to be eaten. Another comic offering from the author of Rhyme Crime.

The New Neighbours, by Sarah McIntyre

“When new neighbours move in to the tower block, what will the other residents of Pickle Rye think? Find out in this hilarious and light-hearted book that is bursting with wonderful characters and humour. Giggle away as you hop, trot and totter down the stairs to share news of the new neighbours and learn just how important it is to leave judgements and prejudices far behind.”

Many of the characters from Vern and Lettuce star in this new title from inspirational BookTrust illustrator-in-residence McIntyre. She hopes it will get children thinking about ‘prejudice [and] jumping to conclusions about people before they’ve met them or tried to get to know them.’

The Knight Who Said ‘No!’, by Lucy Rowland & Kate Hindley

“Ned the knight always does exactly what he’s told. When his parents ask him to pick up his toys, dig up the cabbages or go to bed on time, he does it all with a smile. And when the dragon swoops into town every night, he always runs inside just as he’s asked.

“But one morning, instead of saying, “yes,” he says, “NO!” He will NOT help his dad find his shield, his arrow or his bow, and he will certainly NOT let the butcher go past. That night, he refuses to go inside, and in doing so he confronts the dragon, making a very unlikely friend.”

This is on the recommended list for the 2018 Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge.

After the Fall, by Dan Santat

“After the fall, Humpty Dumpty is a broken egg. Life is tough: he’s so afraid of heights, he can’t even bear to climb onto his bed, or reach his favourite cereal on the top shelf at the supermarket. But one day, fuelled by his passion for bird-watching, he decides to conquer his fears and something amazing happens.”

Splish, Splash, Ducky!, by Lucy Cousins

“Ducky Duckling loves playing outside in the rain. He hops with frog, squirms with wriggly worm and splashes with the fishes. But when the rain stops, Ducky feels sad. Can Daddy help cheer him up?”

A Bear is a Bear (except when he’s not), by Karl Newson & Anuska Allepuza

“When one sleepy bear wakes up early from his winter sleep, he’s confused. Is he a bird? Or a moose? A fox perhaps? Or even a squirrel? No! He’s definitely a bear, and it’s time this bear went back to sleep.”

Almost Anything, by Sophy Henn

“George can’t roller-skate, George can’t paint, and George most certainly can’t dance. But Bear thinks that, with a little help, George can do all these things - and more. And, luckily for George, Bear has just a little magic to help.”

Publisher Penguin describe this as ‘an empowering book about the power of self-belief from rising picture-book star, Sophy Henn.’

Short chapter books

Barking Up the Wrong Tree, by Philip Ardagh & Elissa Elwick

The first in a new detective series, ‘Stick and Fetch’:

“Sally loves nothing more than investigating a good mystery - and her shaggy canine companion Fetch loves nothing more than to be at her side when she does. There’s just one small problem: they always gets the wrong end of the stick!

“The hapless pair remain undeterred, however, dashing from one crime scene to another on their bicycle, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake - yet always emerging blissfully unaware.”

Mascot!, by Alan MacDonald & David Roberts

In Dirty Bertie’s 30th(!) adventure, he is picked to be the mascot for Pudsley Rovers, attempts to get himself expelled from a geeky summer camp and designs his very own robot, a Bootosaurus, to replace Miss Boot!

Trouble on the Track, by Chris Hoy & Clare Elsom

In this new addition to the Flying Fergus series:

“It’s decision time for Fergus and the rest of the squad. Training together has been going well but the International Championships are nearly here, and it’s time to name the four riders who will be in the starting line-up. The coaches decide the only fair thing to do is hold official trials to decide who’s in - and who’s out. It’s neck and neck for Fergus and Daisy after the Keirin and the road race - and with just one race to go, tensions in the team are riding high.”

The Curious Kangaroo, by Amelia Cobb & Sophy Williams

The latest Zoe’s Rescue Zoo title. If you’re new to the series, Zoe lives at her uncle’s rescue zoo and can talk to the animals.

“Bouncer the baby kangaroo is new to the rescue zoo, and she’s interested in everything and everyone! But will the little joey’s curiosity get her into big trouble?”

Rae the Rollercoaster Fairy, Paloma the Dodgems Fairy, Bobbi the Bouncy Castle Fairy and Fatima the Face-Painting Fairy, by Daisy Meadows

In this new Rainbow Fairies set, Jack Frost steals the magical objects each of the fairies need to keep the fair fun. It’s up to Rachel and Kirsty to help them get them back.

Junior novels

Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes, by Greg James, Chris Smith & Erica Salcedo

The second in this laugh-out-load series by the radio DJs. Their first book, Kid Normal, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

“Running a team of crime-fighting superheroes is a complicated business - especially when your mum’s not allowed to know that you’re doing it. But Murph Cooper is making it work: he’s a schoolkid by day and a member of the top-secret Heroes’ Alliance by night. Not that anyone at The School seems to care. Most of Murph’s teachers and classmates still believe that unless you have a proper superpower you can’t be a real hero.

“But his achievements have caught the attention of at least one person. Far away in a maximum security prison, the world’s most notorious supervillain, Magpie, has just broken a 30-year silence. Magpie’s special power? Draining heroes of their Capabilities and taking them for his own. And his first words? ‘Bring Kid Normal to me.’”

Song of the Dolphin Boy, by Elizabeth Laird & Peter Bailey

“Finn has always been different, and in the tiny fishing village of Stromhead he sticks out like a sore thumb. Always told to keep away from the water, he’s felt that something was missing until one day he dives in and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, he feels completely at home.

“But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water - and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?”

This fictionalised tale of the dangers of discarded plastic to our marine life is very topical in the wake of Blue Planet 2.

Max and the Millions, by Ross Montgomery

“Max is used to spending time alone - it’s difficult to make friends in a big, chaotic school when you’re deaf. He prefers to give his attention to the little things in life - like making awesome, detailed replica models.

“Then Mr Darrow, the school caretaker and fellow modeller, goes missing. Max must follow his parting instruction: ‘Go to my room. You’ll know what to do’. On the floor he finds a pile of sand - and in the sand is Mr Darrow’s latest creation - a tiny boy, no bigger than a raisin, Luke, Prince of the Blues. And behind the tiny boy - millions of others - a thriving, bustling, sprawling civilisation!”

This has been compared to The Borrowers and The Indian in the Cupboard

Brightstorm: high adventure in the frozen south, by Vashti Hardy

“Twins Arthur and Maudie receive word that their father died in a failed attempt to reach South Polaris. But a mysterious clue leads the twins to question the story they’ve been told, and they join the crew of a new exploration attempt in the hope of learning the truth. Will Arthur and Maudie find the answers they seek?”

A Witch Alone, by James Nicol

The sequel to The Apprentice Witch.

“During an eventful holiday in Kingsport, Arianwyn is recruited for an important mission: to retrieve the Book of Quiet Glyphs from its hiding place in the Great Wood. But as she returns home to Lull, feyling refugees gather outside the town walls and hex plagues the forest. As tensions lead to fall-outs with her friends, town squabbles and magical mishaps, Arianwyn faces a sobering truth: she alone can find the Book, and wield its secrets.”

Entangled with the Egyptians!, by Gary Northfield

“After being shipwrecked on the shores of Egypt and mistaken for a Horse God, Julius can’t believe his luck! Soon he and his bedraggled friends will be living it up in the city of Alexandria, preened and pampered like gods. Then a fancy boat procession will take them down the River Nile to Giza where, of course, a lavish party will be thrown in Julius’s honour - as well as getting the obligatory tour of the Pyramids. But it is this very tour that seems to signal the end to their glorious fortunes in Egypt!”

Publisher Walker describe the Julius Zebra series as ‘exciting, action-packed and hysterically funny … brimming with entertaining Roman and Egyptian facts.’

Running on Empty, by S. E. Durrant & Rob Biddulph

“AJ’s grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don’t really seem to notice. In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running.

“Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the nationals, running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster.”

Junior non-fiction

Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey, by Dr Dominic Walliman & Ben Newman

“Are our ears supposed to be a weird shape? Why do we sneeze? What is the point in having skin?

“The human body is one of the most complicated things in the Universe. Join Professor Astro Cat and the whole gang as they journey through all the wondrous parts of the human body, with the help of writer Dominic Walliman himself! From head to toe and everywhere in-between, there’s nothing left out of this fascinating human body odyssey!”

We love this beautifully produced series that looks at science topics in brilliant detail.

Dogs in Space: the amazing true story of Belka and Strelka by Victoria Southate & Iris Deppe

The incredible true story of Belka and Strelka who, unlike their predecessor, poor Laika, survived their space flight to become celebrities on their return.

“In 1960, two stray dogs were plucked from the streets of Moscow to be the guinea pigs of manned space flight.

“Selected from a number of potential canine cosmonauts, Belka and Strelka are put through their paces on the ground, as they practice rocket simulations and wearing spacesuits, before being launched into outer space as the first ever living creatures to successfully orbit the Earth. Miraculously, the dogs survive the mission and upon their return embark on a tour of the USSR, clad in their carefully tailored jumpsuits - one red, one green - becoming international celebrities in the process.”

A Short History of the World, by Ruth Brocklehurst, Henry Brook & Adam Larkum

“From hunter-gatherers in the Ice Age to technological innovators in modern times, this book provides a short introduction to the world’s history. Lively text introduces historical concepts such as civilisation, empires, revolutions, religion and democracy, while bitesize narrative accounts describe the people and events that have shaped our world.”

Birds and their Feathers, by Britta Teckentrup

The new title from the award-winning creator of The Egg.

“Employing the earth-tone coloring and delicate illustrations that have made her an enormously popular children’s author, Teckentrup turns her gaze to the endlessly fascinating feather. What are they made of? Why do birds have so many of them? How do they help birds fly? And what other purpose do they serve?”

Tallest Tower, Smallest Star: a pictoral compendium of comparisons

“Have you ever wondered how a dinosaur would measure up against the Great Pyramids of Giza, if a hummingbird could outfly a jet plane, or how many atoms could fit inside a grain of sand? These are just some of the questions explored in this book of comparisons.”

Earth Verse: explore our planet through poetry and art, by Sally M. Walker & William Grill

“From the hidden wonders of fossilization, rocks and the water cycle, to awe-inspiring spectacles like volcanoes, thunderstorms and glaciers, discover the magnificent ways the world works in this unique and beautiful approach to earth science.”

From the award-winning illustrator of Shackleton’s Journey and The Wolves of Currumpaw.

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.