For a perfect storytime with very young children, read this picture book because it’s full of repetition and humour. Bad tempered Betty tries to open a banana advised by a long suffering toucan. But oh my goodness, she’s got a temper on her!
If you, like bear, have quite enough books already, then reading this one would be totally unnecessary. On the other hand, it’s a joy of a story and the illustrations by Kady MacDonald Denton are perfectly matched, so perhaps you could read just one more?
This book simply consumes it’s cast, so you need to give it a good shake to rescue the characters. Have you tried Richard Byrne’s first title This book belongs to Aye Aye? That’s a bit bonkers too.
We see a garden change through the year in this beautiful dreamy book about a child whose ball rolls down a hole under the cherry tree. No one noticed the hole before or knows who made it, but all imagine the creatures living under the garden. It might be rabbits or frogs or a badger or a mole or a fox or dragon or even a troll. But we’ll never know. Mind you, I think the dog knows.
Planning a night out anytime soon? Be very careful who you get to babysit. Robots are not recommended. Mind you they do make bath and bedtime “interesting”.
If you already love Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! you won’t need persuading to try another Mo Willems picture book. This one looks like a silent movie, in which a wicked fox is outwitted by a goose. Oh no, now I’ve gone and spoiled the ending!
This is just one of the books in the Songbirds series of phonically regular stories, by the previous Children’s Laureate.
Short chapter books
A hilarious rhyming book in which aliens abduct the English teacher from genius child Mortimer Keene’s school. The army try blasting the alien spaceship but Mortimer makes contact with the ship via his laptop and effects a more peaceful rescue. At the back of the book are several useful sections including a plan for Mortimer’s Gravity Gun, and a list of alien phrases, including the rather tempting, “YMMMFRKLLM” (or as we would say “I have chocolate”). And the aliens? Turns out they just wanted Mr Bevan to teach them Shakespeare.
Picture books for older readers
A sleepy afternoon in a pastoral idyll is disturbed by a dreadful pong. Pond life and farm animals accuse each other in this rhyming romp of a book, so evocatively illustrated by Tony Ross. I love his shifty looking fox, and his newts aren’t half bad either, and as for the cows…
A group of friends develop super powers, after being exposed to a serum as tiny babies. Their super powers of invisibility, walking through walls and floating, help them defeat an industrial spy who wants to steal the serum. This is a pacy adventure story for 10–12 year olds, about the more enduring powers of friendship, loyalty and trust. Jessica Jenkins is a feisty female lead in this first book of a new series.
Tom starts walking the dog of a magician who moved to his street. In a good old-fashioned sort of a way, the dog has a magic tail and grants wishes. Tom and the dog have all sorts of adventures and even defeat a gang of bullies, before the dog and the magician move away, leaving Tom with more self-confidence, and a puppy of his own. Tony Ross’s illustrations are perfect for this delightful story aimed at 8 -10 year olds.
Zack’s father has died, Alice’s adoptive mum is having a baby, but their blossoming friendship helps them to tackle the issues in their life. A warm and engaging story about love, friendship and families, set on the Cornish coast.
Did you know that 99% of all species that have already lived on earth have already died out? Neither did I till I read this book. It’s packed full of interesting, rather gruesome facts. Great.
An impressive collection of short stories about women during the First World War. In addition to Teresa Breslin, who also wrote the brilliant WWI book Remembrance, the stellar list of authors include Berlie Doherty, Anne Fine, Melvin Burgess and more
Like Wimpy Kid, but a bit younger and a girl, Jelly is a “hapless heroine” for tweenagers.
The latest title in the popular One Dollar Horse series, this one is a thriller set at the Burghley Horse Trials.
I can’t wait to read this sequel to the brilliant Vivian Versus The Apocalypse in which a young teenage girl fled across the US on the run but travelling towards the terrifying fundamentalist Church of America.
This is the third in the Throne of Glass series of fantasy adventure stories which is developing a substantial fan following. If you prefer to read them in sequence, the earlier titles are Throne of glass and Assassin’s Blade.