Books we love in February 2023

out of the blue

A selection of books we love this month

  • History’s Biggest Show-Offs: The Boldest, Bravest and Brainiest People of All Time

    Author: Andy Seed Illustrator: Sam Caldwell
    Publisher: Happy Yak
    Interest age: 8-9

    Who are the biggest show-offs of all time? The people that have done some of the flashiest and most outrageously impressive things? Some of them were super powerful, some others were amazingly talented and some were extra clever. This book aims to give children an introduction to some of humanity’s greats, and inspire them to want to show off about their tal…

  • Rainforest (Now You See it!)

    Author: Sarah Dellow
    Publisher: Child’s Play
    Interest age: 2-3

    Find the hidden rainforest animals in this brilliant board book, featuring die-cut holes and high-contrast graphics. Perfect for building early visual perception skills.

  • Look Touch Learn: Sea (Tummy Time)

    Author: Illustrator: Charlotte Archer
    Publisher: Child’s Play
    Interest age: 0-1

    A wiggly, slippery fish, a knobbly spiny starfish and swaying rubbery seaweed are just a few interesting words to listen to and shapes to look at in this seaside-inspired book for babies.

  • Unspoken

    Author: Kwame Alexander Illustrator: Dare Coulter
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    How do you talk to children about slavery? An incredibly moving and honest look at the ways to discuss such an emotional topic – the perfect tool for teachers, and an important read for all.

  • Black Poppies

    Author: Stephen Bourne
    Publisher: The History Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This informative and thought-provoking collection of true stories shines a light on the contributions made by Britain’s Black community during the First World War.

  • We Need to Talk About Vaginas

    Author: Dr Allison K Rodgers Illustrator: Anika Le Large
    Publisher: Neon Squid
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    A comprehensive guide to vaginas and the changes, experiences and feelings that go with them.

  • The Rescue of Ravenwood

    Author: Natasha Farrant
    Publisher: Faber
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Can Bea, Raffy and Noa save their home – and the ancient ash tree – in time? A compelling, moving adventure with a classic feel.

  • Glitter Boy

    Author: Ian Eagleton
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    James is being bullied at school, while dealing with grief and normal Year 6 worries. Can James find the sparkle in his life again? Brilliantly deals with bullying, friendship issues and working out who you are.

  • Bertie and the Alien Chicken

    Author: Jenny Pearson Illustrator: Alexsei Bitskoff
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Bertie must help Nugget the alien chicken find Earth’s most valuable resource - before the aliens blow up the planet! A brilliant humorous, dyslexia-friendly story.

  • The Tiger Who Sleeps Under My Chair

    Author: Hannah Foley
    Publisher: Head of Zeus
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9-12

    In 1884, Emma Linden dreams of being a fossil hunter like her hero Mary Anning - but her world comes crashing down when her brother James becomes mysteriously ill. Meanwhile, in 2023, football-mad Jude finds a friend in Rosie Linden, who is plagued by visions of tigers and the need to protect the ones she loves.

  • Ways to Say I Love You

    Author: Madeleine Cook Illustrator: Fiona Lee
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    A gorgeous celebration of all the things we do with and for the people we love – from listening, to sharing, to playing together, to hugging.

  • Boys Will be Human

    Author: Justin Baldoni
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    An excellent all-encompassing guide to being a boy, covering essential topics in a conversational tone. Sensible, sensitive and searingly honest.

  • Out of the Blue

    Author: Robert Tregoning Illustrator: Stef Murphy
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 4-5

    In a world where everything has to be blue, what happens if you like yellow? A joyous celebration of being individual.

    Mae bachgen ifanc yn byw mewn man lle mae unrhyw beth nad yw'n las yn cael ei wahardd, trwy orchymyn y llywodraeth. Ond mae gan y bachgen gyfrinach: mae wrth ei fodd â'r lliw melyn. Mae'n teimlo bod hoffi melyn yn gorfod bod yn beth drwg.

  • Secret Beast Club: The Unicorns of Silver Street

    Author: Robin Birch Illustrator: Jobe Anderson
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    When best friends Aisha and Jayden become members of the Secret Beast Club, their first magical mission is to rescue a lost unicorn foal before he falls into the wrong hands. An exciting fantasy adventure for confident young readers.

    Y llyfr llawn cyffro hwn ydy'r cyntaf yn y gyfres Secret Beast Club ac mae'n cynnwys prif gymeriadau Duon ac mae'n ddelfrydol…

  • This Book Will Save the Planet

    Author: Dany Sigwalt Illustrator: Aurélia Durand
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This powerful book for older readers explores links between inequality and the climate crisis, with suggestions about how to effect change to ensure climate justice for everyone.  

  • Two Places to Call Home

    Author: Phil Earle Illustrator: Jess Rose
    Publisher: Ladybird
    Interest age: 4-5

    Florrie has a home with her mum and a home with her dad – and she loves them both! An uplifting picture book to soothe worries about separation or divorce.

  • The Littlest Yak: The New Arrival

    Author: Lu Fraser Illustrator: Kate Hindley
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 2-3

    Gertie, the littlest yak, is thrilled to learn that she will soon be a big sister but worries that there won’t be enough room in Mummy's heart for two little yaks. This humorous picture book is perfect to reassure young children who are expecting their own new sibling. 

  • Jayben and the Golden Torch

    Author: Thomas Leeds
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A curious, immersive fantasy with complex world-building, engaging characters and quirky creatures. Ideal for readers who enjoy an exciting adventure with added depth and intensity.

  • The Sleeping Stones

    Author: Beatrice Wallbank
    Publisher: Firefly Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Why are Gruff and Mat being irresistibly drawn towards the dangerous waters around their Welsh island? Can they right an ancient wrong? A gripping story of legend and magic, set in a close-knit community in Wales.

  • The Marvellers

    Author: Dhonielle Clayton
    Publisher: Piccadilly
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Ella Durant is the first Conjuror to attend the Marveller school in the sky, but not everyone is welcoming. And then her favourite teacher goes missing... Magical fantasy adventure in an intricately detailed world.

  • I Really Really Love You So

    Author: Karl Newson Illustrator: Duncan Beedie
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 2-3

    Can Bush Baby find the best way to show love? A delightfully funny book that avoids cliché and sickly sentiment – but will certainly end with a hug!

  • My Best Friend is A Giraffe

    Author: Siân Roberts
    Publisher: Priddy Books
    Interest age: 2-3

    A delightful and playful touch and feel board book. Bird’s best friend is a giraffe and this giraffe likes getting up to all kinds of silly antics…

  • Montgomery Bonbon: Murder at the Museum

    Author: Alasdair Beckett-King Illustrator: Claire Powell
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When a murdered man is discovered in a room that is locked from the inside, who better to investigate than Montgomery Bonbon, the world’s greatest detective – aka 10-year-old Bonnie Montgomery.

  • Dread Wood: Fear Ground

    Author: Jennifer Killick
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    In this follow-up to Dread Wood, which can be read as a stand-alone story, the adrenaline is pumping again as old enemies resurface to threaten the lives and sanity of a feisty group of teenagers.

  • Dare We Be Dragons?

    Author: Barry Falls
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 4-5

    A dad is putting his young daughter to bed, and as he tucks her in, they both start to imagine all of the adventures they could have together the next day. They could be dragons, or walk with giants in the woods, or fly to the moon and then swim with huge whales in the oceans. There are so many adventures that Dad and his little girl can have together – and,…

  • Press Start! Game On, Super Rabbit Boy!

    Author: Thomas Flintham
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Aimed specifically at early readers, this super-fun colourful and accessible story will appeal to young gamers, and any child who enjoys simple yet engaging books.

    Mae gan y llyfr penodau hwn ddarluniau blociog lliwgar iawn wedi'u dylunio'n arbennig i edrych fel Minecraft a Lego, fel bo'n apelio'n fawr at y rhai ifanc sy'n chwarae'r gemau hyn. Dyma'r cyntaf…

  • You Are History

    Author: Greg Jenner Illustrator: Jenny Taylor
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    A fun and riotous introduction to world history through fifty objects children encounter in everyday life.

  • I’m (Almost) Never Bored

    Author: Anna Milbourne Illustrator: Åsa Gilland
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    A warm and comforting picture book about a little girl who learns to appreciate life’s boring moments away from screentime by having fun with her imagination.

  • The Kiss

    Author: Eoin McLaughlin Illustrator: Polly Dunbar
    Publisher: Faber & Faber
    Interest age: 2-3

    Crocodile and Tiger are both feeling as sleepy as can be, and they both need someone to give them a goodnight kiss. Unfortunately, no one will, until they find their parents in the middle of the book who are always there to help them into dreamland.

  • Glow up Lara Bloom

    Author: Dee Benson
    Publisher: Hot Key
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 10+

    Funny and heart-warming, this diary is an ode to celebrating yourself just as you are.