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New children's books for May 2018

Written by · Published Apr 30, 2018

Baby's Very First Slide and See Night Time, Gaspard the Fox, The Big Book of the Blue

Board books

On the Farm, by Axel Scheffler

Push, pull and slide rhyming board book from the illustrator of The Gruffalo.

“Little ones can join in the fun on the farm by pulling out the sliders, jiggling the animals and making all the different noises! Quack along with the ducks, moo with the cows and neigh with the horses.”

Peep Inside a Tree, by Anna Milbourne & Simona Dimitri

“Peep under leaves and behind branches to discover hibernating squirrels, creepy crawlies and more in this charming introduction to trees, filled with intricately cut flaps and holes to peep through. Find out what trees need to grow, what happens to a tree through the seasons, how long an oak tree can live for and much more.”

Pop-up Things That Go! and Pop-up Ocean, by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Discover things that fly, things that zoom, things that float and things on the beach, on the waves and under the sea in these colourful pop-up books.

Baby’s Very First Slide and See Night Time, by Fiona Watt & Stella Baggott

From the author of That’s Not My…. Pull the slider to see badgers playing, bats flying high in the sky and a panda going to sleep.

Picture books

Square, by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

Sequel to Triangle, and second in the planned trilogy.

“Every day, Square brings a block out of his cave and pushes it up a steep hill. This is his work. When Circle floats by, she declares Square a genius, a sculptor! ‘“This is a wonderful statue,’ she says. ‘It looks just like you!’ But now Circle wants a sculpture of her own - a circle! Will the genius manage to create one?”

Bob’s Blue Period, by Marion Deuchars

Sequel to Bob the Artist.

“Bob the bird loves to paint pictures with his best friend Bat. But one day Bat goes away and Bob is sad. He tries to paint, but everything he paints is blue! Can his friends help him to find his bright colours again?”

Jellybeans for Giants, by Adam Guillain

In George’s newest Amazing Adventure:

“When George plants a jellybean in his garden it grows into an enormous beanstalk and George is sure there must be a friendly giant at the top. As he climbs bravely up the beanstalk, higher and higher, George encounters a magical pixie, a stinky troll and gets stuck in a very sticky web…”

Cannonball Coralie and the Lion, by Grace Easton

“Coralie longs to join the circus - but the Man in the Big Hat says her tricks just aren’t good enough. With the help of her new friend, Lion, Coralie realises she’s perfect just the way she is.”

Dinosaur Firefighters, by Sarah McIntyre

Sequel to Dinosaur Police from the former BookTrust author-illustrator in residence.

“NEE-NAR, NEE-NAR! It’s all in a day’s work for a dippy Diplodocus who joins the Dinoville firefighters - with comic results! Join in with the Dinoville firefighters as they slide down poles, race to the rescue and untangle a Tyrannosaurus rex.”

We Wear Pants, by Kate Abey

“Pandas wearing pants? Surely not! And what about wombats wearing wellies, sloths in socks, or even giraffes wearing scarves? Whatever you do today, don’t forget to get dressed!”

My Daddy is a Silly Monkey, by Dianne Hofmeyr & Carol Thompson

“This charming picture book for younger children portrays a day in the life of a dad and daughter in a single-parent home, as they get up, have breakfast, go to school, go swimming, make dinner and prepare for bedtime. Dad is a great big bear, a silly monkey, a crocodile, an octopus and, at bedtime, a scary monster for a little while - but in the end it’s Daddy being Daddy that the little girl loves best.”

This features on Booktrust’s ‘Best Picture Books for Dads’ list and is released in good time for Fathers’ Day.

Space Tortoise, by Ross Montgomery & David Litchfield

“Once, in an old rusty bin in an old rusty playground in an old empty park. there lived a little tortoise. But Tortoise is lonely. He’s never seen any other tortoises, and wonders where they could all be hiding.

“Then, one day, he looks up and the night sky, and sees a million blinking lights winking at him. ‘That must be where the other tortoises are - at the top of the sky! I wish I could join them.’

“But how can a little tortoise get to the top of the sky? And so begins a magical journey.”

The publishers describe this as ‘a beautiful, moving and heartwarming tale about bravery, kindness and welcoming strangers, from the team behind The Building Boy.’

You’re Safe with Me, by Chitra Soundar & Poonam Mistry

“When the moon rises and the stars twinkle, it is bedtime for the baby animals of the Indian forest. But tonight, when the skies turn dark and the night grows stormy, the little ones can’t sleep. Only Mama Elephant with her words of wisdom can reassure them ‘you’re safe with me’.”

A comforting bedtime read filled with intricate patterned illustrations, based on Indian textile design.

Gaspard the Fox, by Zeb Soanes & James Mayhew

First in a new series about urban fox and internet sensation Gaspard, by Radio 4 news and shipping forecast reader Zeb Soanes.

There’s a Dragon in your Book, by Tom Fletcher & Greg Abbott

Sequel to the bestselling There’s a Monster in your Book.

“Oh look, there’s an egg in your book! But this isn’t any old egg - there’s a dragon in it. And pretty soon she has set your book on fire.”

Junior novels

Biscuits, Bands and Very Big Plan, by Liz Pichon

The new Tom Gates book is bound to be very popular.

“This story is VERY important because it contains BISCUITS, BANDS and all my (doodled) plans to make DogZombies the BEST band in the world.”

In the Mouth of the Wolf, by Michael Morpurgo & Barroux

“Francis and Pieter are brothers. As shadow of one war lingers, and the rumbles of another approach, the brothers argue. Francis is a fierce pacifist, while Pieter signs up to fight. What happens next will change the course of Francis’s life forever . . . and throw him into the mouth of the wolf.”

This is bound to be a magical book, created by one of the UK’s best contemporary children’s writers and one of France’s best illustrators.

The Burning Maze, by Rick Riordan

In the third Trials of Apollo book:

“Lester Papadopoulos was once the glorious god Apollo - now he’s an awkward (mortal) teenager stuck on Earth, out of favour with Zeus, and without his powers. The way out? A series of scary and dangerous trials, of course. With two particularly scary and dangerous trials already under his belt, Lester must now journey to the Labyrinth - a burning maze that at its centre contains an Oracle whose puzzles may hold the key to a return to godly glory.

“But the Labyrinth holds a far more deadly threat - the third Roman emperor, part of a group of three Roman rulers bent on death and destruction. The mortal and immortal worlds won’t be safe whilst they live, and only Lester and his demigod friends have the power, bravery (and luck) to stop them.”

Barry Loser is the Best at Football NOT!, by Jim Smith

“Everyone at Barry’s school has gone football crazy, but Barry gets thrown out of the team (the Mogden Maniacs) for being completely rubbish. Then it turns out that his best friend Bunky is a super striker - so Barry becomes his manager.

“The cup final match is approaching and Bunky’s getting carried away with his football fame - can Barry keep his head in the game?”

Rose Rivers, by Jacqueline Wilson

“Rose Rivers lives in a beautiful house with her artist father, her difficult, fragile mother and her many siblings. She has everything money can buy - beautiful dresses, horse-riding lessons, books - but she’s not satisfied. Why can’t she be sent away to a good school like her twin brother? Why can’t she learn to become a famous artist like her father or his friend Paris Walker? Why is life so unfair for people who were not born rich?

“When a young girl, Clover Moon, joins the household as a nursemaid to Rose’s troubled sister Beth, Rose finds a true friend for the first time and she starts to learn more about the world outside. Will Rose finally achieve her dreams? And will she be able to help Clover find her own dream?”

Child I, by Steve Tasane

“A group of undocumented children with letters for names are stuck living in a refugee camp, with stories to tell but no papers to prove them. As they try to forge a new family amongst themselves, they also long to keep memories of their old identities alive. Will they be heard and believed? And what will happen to them if they aren’t?”

The Goat, by Anne Fleming

“A blind skateboarding writer, an old man who can’t speak (and his wife), a smartly dressed non-hamster-owner, plus Kid and her parents, are all apparently sharing their Manhattan apartment building with a mountain goat.

“But in all the wonders and marvels of New York City, who has time to see this impossible goat? How did the goat even get there? And is the goat really capable of something a little like magic?”

Kat Wolfe Investigates, by Lauren St John

First in a new series about a petsitter and amateur detective.

“After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinary-surgeon mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr Wolfe’s new job in idyllic Bluebell Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: they have to adopt Tiny, a huge, near-wild Savannah, who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering.

“When she starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, her troubles escalate. The owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his fortified, gadget-filled mansion, leaving a half-packed suitcase and a mysterious parcel. The only person who shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play is Harper Lamb, the American daughter of a palaeontology professor. A language and coding whizz, Harper is laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse, the ‘Pocket Rocket’. What starts out as mystery-solving holiday fun quickly turns deadly for Wolfe and Lamb.”

Ella on the Outside, by Cath Howe

“Ella is the new girl at school. She doesn’t know anyone and she doesn’t have any friends. And she has a terrible secret.

“Ella can’t believe her luck when Lydia, the most popular girl in school, decides to be her new best friend - but what does Lydia really want? And what does it all have to do with Molly, the quiet, shy girl who won’t talk to anyone?”

Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi

“Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. Whilst her classmates are jetting off to exotic locales, she’ll be at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture where her mother works. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

“When Aru’s schoolmates dare her to prove that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, she doesn’t think there’s any harm in lighting it. Little does Aru know that lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and, accompanied by a wise-cracking pigeon and her long-lost half-sister, it’s up to Aru to save them.”

This novel is full of action and Indian mythology and will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan.

How to Bee, by Bren MacDibble

“Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand.

“All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony’s mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony’s grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe.”

Picture books for older children

Looshkin, by Jamie Smart

A collection of comic strips about the wild housecat from the pages of the brilliant children’s weekly, The Phoenix.

“Looshkin is the maddest cat in the world. You might think that your cat is the maddest cat in the world, but he’s got nothing on Looshkin. Look away for just one moment and you’ll discover that your house has flooded, a miniature hot air balloon filled with intreped explorers is making its way across the kitchen sink, and a portal to a hell dimension has opened in your loft.”

The Breadwinner: a graphic novel, by Shelley Tanaka, Deborah Ellis & Anita Doron

“This graphic-novel adaptation of The Breadwinner animated film tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.”

Junior non-fiction

Minecraft Guide to Enchantments and Potions, by Mojang

“In Minecraft, danger lurks around every corner and you’ll need powerful tools and equipment if you want to survive. The official Minecraft Guide to Enchantments and Potions will teach you how to improve your chances of survival. You’ll learn how to enchant your tools, weapons and armour with the right effect for every dangerous situation, and discover how to brew all manner of potions to improve your performance and to weaken your opponents.”

Bonkers About Beetles, by Owen Davey

“Did you know that there are roughly 400,000 different species of beetles? These incredible creatures make up about 25% of all animals on our planet! Beetles are superbly adapted to life in various climates across the world, wherever trees and flowers are found.

“From the mighty Goliath beetle to the beautiful iridescent scarab beetle, this captivating and stunningly illustrated guide will teach you everything you need to know about these fascinating insects.”

If you love M.G. Leonard’s Beetle Boy trilogy, or beetles more generally, this is the book for you.

Plantopedia: welcome to the greatest show on Earth, by Adrienne Barman

“Discover all kinds of plants - from the hugest tree to the tiniest seed - in this fabulous follow-up to Creaturepedia.”

The Big Book of the Blue, by Yuval Zommer

From the author-illustrator of the Big Book of Bugs and Big Book of Beasts.

“Why do octopuses have eight arms? Why do crabs run sideways? Are jellyfish made of jelly? Yuval Zommer’s beautiful book provides the answers to these and many more fishy questions. His wonderfully quirky illustrations show off all kinds of slippery, shimmery and surprising sea creatures, including sea turtles, whales, sharks, rays and seahorses.”

The Bacteria Book: gross germs, vile viruses, and funky fungi, by Steve Mould

A fun and fact-packed introduction to microbial science:

“Meet the bacteria, viruses, and other germs and microbes that are all around, but too small for us to see. Learn how they keep us and our world running.”

Fantastic Footballers: meet 40 game changers, by Jean-Michel Billioud

“The greatest goals. The most spectacular saves. The top 40 footballers of all time are here! Learn how these footballers became the best in the field in this book packed with hundreds of incredible facts.

“Relive Ronaldo’s most memorable moments, learn about Messi’s legendary left foot, meet the youngest-ever World Cup goal scorer, Pelé, and see the some of the most spectacular saves in history.”

People of Peace: meet 40 amazing activists, by Sandrine Mirza

“Dreamers. Leaders. And fighters for our rights. The top 40 people of peace are here! Learn how these heroes from history changed the world in this book packed with hundreds of incredible facts.

“From Martin Luther King’s dream, to Gandhi’s protest, to Nelson Mandela’s struggle, discover how each of these people dedicated their lives to making the world a better place in their own unique, and peaceful, way.”

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.