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New children's books for November 2019

Written by · Published Oct 30, 2019

Mr Penguin and the Catastrophic Cruise, Look Both Ways, Into the Forest

Board books

Evil Pea Rules, by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

Now our very youngest borrowers can enjoy the 2017 Supertato title.

“It’s all very well being a superhero and saving the day - but what if there was no one there to cause the chaos? To provide these heroes with their chances to shine? Would we even need superheroes?! Fortunately, this isn’t something we will have to worry about any time soon. The Evil Pea is back! And this time he has his biggest, most dastardly plan yet to take over the supermarket!”

That’s Not My Polar Bear…, by Fiona Watts & Rachel Wells

Wintry addition to the long-running series.

Be Brave Little Penguin, by Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees

Another 2017 title gets the board book treatment.

“Little Penguin Pip-Pip would love to join in with all his friends swimming in the sea, but there’s just one problem… he’s scared of water.

“Can Pip-Pip overcome his fears and finally take the plunge?”

Peek-a-Boo, by Fiona Watt & Stella Baggott

Colourful new addition to the Baby’s Very First Lift-the-flap series.

Picture books

Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell

This has won a Caldecott Medal in the US.

“A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home? Pictures rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts.”

I Am Perfectly Designed, by Karamo & Jason Brown & Anoosha Syed

I Am Perfectly Designed is a joyful celebration of loving who you are, exactly as you are.

“Written by Karamo Brown, culture expert on the hit Netflix series Queer Eye, and his son Jason, this empowering story sees a boy and his father take a walk through the city chatting about all the ways in which they are perfectly designed for each other. From playing in the park and getting ice cream to dressing up for Halloween and staring at the moon, the father and son remember past events and look forward to the future together.

“Funny and warm, with bright and lively pictures, this is a book for families of all kinds, everywhere.”

Shadow, by Lucy Christopher & Anastasia Suvorova

Picture book debut from the YA author.

“In our old house, Ma told me there was nothing to be scared of. No monsters hiding behind doors, or in wardrobes, or under beds. She said there were no dark places at all. But in the new house, under my new bed, that’s where I found Shadow.”

The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper & Carson Ellis

Illustrated poem from the author of the newly re-published The Dark is Rising series.

“As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again.

“Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper’s poem The Shortest Day captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before - and the hope for peace that we carry into the future.”

Peppa’s Frosty Fairy Tale

“Once upon a time, it was a snowy day and Granny and Grandpa Pig had a surprise for Peppa and George - they were all going to Frosty Kingdom! They set off in the sleigh and met the Sugar Plum Fairy on the way! Who else will they see on their wonderful wintery journey?”

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts

New from the team behind Rosie Revere, Engineer.

“Sofia Valdez did as much as she could for her family and friends and her whole neighborhood. A dreamer. A doer. A real-life go-getter. Most people like good, but Sofia liked better. In the newest picture book in the mega-bestselling Questioneers series, Sofia Valdez fights for change and finds her voice as a community leader!”

The Dinky Donkey, by Craig Smith & Katz Cowley

Follow-up to The Wonky Donkey.

“Wonky Donkey had a child, it was a little girl. Hee Haw! Featuring playful verses by Craig Smith and illustrations by Katz Cowley, The Dinky Donkey follows the same formula that made its predecessor a worldwide hit. Readers will love the antics of this stinky punky plinky-plonky winky-tinky pinky funky blinky dinky donkey!”

Short chapter books

Hotel Flamingo: Carnival Caper, by Alex Milway

It’s party time on our third visit to the lovely Hotel Flamingo, where everyone is welcome.

“It’s the last of the autumn days before winter sets in, which means it’s time for CARNIVAL! And Hotel Flamingo, the sunniest hotel in town, is all set to join the party.

“Animal Boulevard is a riot of colour, and every establishment is preparing a float for the annual procession. Anna is determined to win the prize for Hotel Flamingo for the best display, despite rival hotel the Glitz having won it every year since the Carnival began.

“Meanwhile Hotel Flamingo is welcoming its usual array of eclectic guests. Wilbur the sheepdog, who has no home, and needs a place to stay and someone to give him a chance at a new start. Mr and Mrs Kunkworth, a pair of skunks, who are rather anxious, and Mac Macaw the parrot, who is quite the opposite. Things start to get complicated, though, when Anna gets some very unexpected guests - the mega-famous band The Nocturnal Animals!”

Picture books for older readers

Artemis Fowl: the graphic novel, by Michael Moreci, Stephen Gilpin & Eoin Colfer

Released ready for the film adaptation next spring.

“At just 12 years old, Artemis Fowl is a criminal genius. No scheme is too dastardly, no plot too devious. And he’s just discovered that fairies are real. Poor fairies.

“But these are not the cuddly creatures of bedtime stories. They are armed. They are dangerous. And when Artemis captures Captain Holly Short for her fairy gold, he messes with the wrong elf. Holly isn’t armed but she’s incredibly dangerous, and pretty annoyed with all the kidnapping.

“Artemis Fowl is about to find out that fairies fight back. Let the misadventure begin.”

Bunny vs. Monkey: Apocalypse! and other astounding stories, by Jamie Smart

Book 6 in the brilliant series.

“Everything’s gone wrong! The eoods normally echo with the sounds of Bunny and Monkey fighting, but this time they are facing their greatest danger yet - the actual apocalypse!”

Mr Penguin and the catastrophic cruise, by Alex T. Smith

Third in the excellent Mr Penguin series from the author-illustrator of the Claude books.

“Mr Penguin is boarding a luxury cruise ship. He doesn’t like water, and he can’t swim, but his friend Colin is performing with the Ladies Choir on board - and anyway, Mr Penguin feels like a rest after some busy adventuring. What’s more, fish finger sandwiches are apparently available twenty-four hours a day. Heaven!

“But despite the glamorous film stars and party atmosphere, Mr Penguin can’t help but feel that something shifty is happening on board. And when he befriends a young stowaway with a mystery of her own to solve, he soon finds that adventures are lying in wait after all.”

Invisible in a Bright Light, by Sally Gardner

New from the author of I, Coriander.

“It is 1870: opening night at the Royal Opera House in a freezing city by the sea, where a huge crystal chandelier in the shape of a galleon sparkles magically with the light of 750 candles. Celeste, a theatre rat, wakes up in a costume basket from what she hopes is a bad dream, to find that everyone at the theatre where she works thinks she is someone else. When the chandelier falls, she is haunted by a strange girl who claims to know Celeste’s past and why she must play a game called the Reckoning to try to save the people she loves.”

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball, by Jeff Kinney

14th title in one of Suffolk Libraries readers’ favourite series.

“An unexpected inheritance gives the Heffley family a chance to make major improvements to their home. But they soon find that construction isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When things get rough, will the Heffleys be able to stay… or will they be forced to move?”

Explorers on Black Ice Bridge, by Alex Bell & Tomislav Tomic

Third in the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series.

“Ice princess Stella Starflake and her father Felix are in trouble: President Fogg has expelled them from the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, and banned them from going on any further expeditions. Stella’s not going to be put off by rules and regulations though. She knows her friend Shay is in danger of turning into a witch wolf himself, since receiving a deadly bite on their last adventure. It’s vital that Stella and her friends set out to find the spellbook that could save his life, even if it means travelling over the cursed Black Ice Bridge. It’s a formidable and dangerous task, and their journey takes them on a breathtaking, page-turning adventure!”

Goldsmith and the Master Thief, by Tonke Dragt & Laura Watkinson (trans.)

From the author of The Letter for the King, coming to Netflix next year.

“Twins Jiacomo and Laurenzo look exactly the same - but they are as different as night and day. Hard-working Laurenzo wants to make beautiful things and becomes a goldsmith; Jiacomo loves travel and adventure and uses his wiles to become an excellent thief.

“The goldsmith and the master thief can easily be mistaken for one another, and this gets them both into and out of all kinds of trouble. From a case of mistaken identity involving the Knight of the Red Rose to the pursuit of the precious silver cups of Talamura, the brothers find themselves caught up in wild adventures that require all of their combined wisdom and cunning.”

The Pearl in the Ice, by Cathryn Constable

New from the author of The Wolf Princess.

“Marina’s father, a naval captain, has been away for most of her life - certainly since her mother died - and yet Marina feels the pull of an ocean she’s never known.

“When sent to boarding school to learn to be a lady, Marina decides instead to stow away on her father’s ship. A perilous voyage awaits - but where are they sailing to and why, and what has it to do with the dark shape in the deep that seems to be following them?”

Look Both Ways, by Jason Reynolds

From the author of Ghost and Patina.

“Parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, nosy neighbours, babysitters - there’s not much of your day that isn’t dictated by someone else. Unless you walk home from school - walkers have a rare unsupervised independence! What waits for them is the mischief of curiosity, allies and enemies, a taste of freedom, and plenty of humour.”

Junior non-fiction

Where’s Spidey? A Spider-Man search & find book

“Spidey is missing!

“New York City is under attack. A horde of villains is causing mayhem across the city, and there’s only one person who can stop them - Spider-Man! But where is he? Search for Spidey among the crowds around NYC before the whole city falls to chaos!

“From Green Goblin attacking a bridge to strange experiments in Doctor Octopus’ lab, Spidey fans will love hunting down the villains and spotting lots of hidden details along the way.”

Football School: the incredible joke book, by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton & Spike Gerrell

Companion to the excellent series.

“What’s a striker’s favourite magic routine? A hat trick! Why was the peacock sent off? It was a professional fowl! What’s a chip-lover’s top footie show? Catch of the Day, with Gary Vinegar! Packed with great gags about silly stars, team titters and naughty nicknames, this is the perfect book to give any football fan the giggles.”

Into the Forest: wander through our woodland world, by Christiane Dorion & Jane McGuinness

Published in association with the Woodland Trust.

“The world is rich with marvellous forests and amazing communities of plants, animals, fungi and minute creatures that populate them. Learn all about the woods, experience each sound and smell and explore all the hidey-holes and cosy dens of its dwellers with this big and beautiful book all about forests.

“Marvel at the peaceful twilight of the deciduous forest, where birds gather twigs, bats shelter in tree trunks and the carpet of fallen leaves becomes small creatures’ homes. Spot a bald eagle soaring high up in the winter sky through the towering green giants of the redwood forest. Discover all the noises in the Amazonian rainforest, where most creatures live in the tree canopy together, creating a symphony of sounds.”

A World of Plants, by Martin Jenkins & James Brown

“This is an illustrated guide to the fascinating world of plants and botanical history. Covering over 25 topics, learn all about the different types of plant - from carnivorous, to climbing, to tropical; explore the world of trees; discover how plants have evolved and continue to survive in extreme environments and most importantly, how crucial they are to our life on Planet Earth. From the domestic to the international, there is something for the whole family here.”

Orchestra, by Avalon Nuovo & David Doran

“Learn about all of the ingenious instruments that make up the orchestra and the luminary composers whose work has endured for centuries. Travel from the stunning Wiener Musikverein in Vienna to the world’s greatest recording studios.”

M is for Mindfulness, by Carolyn Suzuki

From the author of F is for Feminism.

“An illustrated, gentle introduction to the concepts of mindfulness, such as the importance of being aware of your body and its sensations, and being aware of your breathing. In an increasingly anxious, stressful world, this book is a little oasis of calm and reflection.”

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.