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Books we love in April 2020

I Can Do It by Patricia Hegarty

Here are our favourite new books in April 2020.

  • Sequin and Stitch

    Author: Laura Dockrill Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Sequin's mum has been asked to make the Princess' wedding dress! It's top secret, but the princess herself is coming to their flat to try it on - Sequin is so excited. But when a terrible disaster threatens to ruin everything, Sequin realises that the most important thing is the love that stitches her and her mum together. 

  • Goodnight Bear: A Magic Torch Book

    Author: Joshua George
    Publisher: Imagine That
    Interest age: 2-3

    Bear is going to help us all get ready for bed, but first, she needs to say goodnight to all her friends. Can you help find them? A clever 'magic torch' slides behind an illustrated plastic screen, illuminating the images and enabling children to find certain animals and see what’s on the panel. So ingenious you’ll wonder why you haven’t seen it before.…

  • I Can Do It! A Book of 5 Fastenings

    Author: Patricia Hegarty. Illustrator: Hilli Kushnir
    Publisher: Caterpillar Books
    Interest age: 2-5

    Buttons, shoelaces, velcro, poppers and zips:  they can all be tough to get used to, especially for little hands, but this book is here to help. Bright and zingy illustrations, straightforward instructions and a fun feel means that really little ones can enjoy playing with the interactive elements and slightly older ones can perfect their fastening…

  • My Friend Earth

    Author: Patricia McLachlan. Illustrator: Francesca Sanna
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Francesca Sanna’s stunning illustrations are the star of this lovely picture book which (rather like Disney’s Moana) depicts Nature as a young girl deity, tending the landscape which is a part of her. A lovely book to inspire children to want to be a good friend to Earth, who will perhaps read this alongside some factual books about nature when they get…

  • Love Your Body

    Author: Jessica Sanders Illustrator: Carol Rossetti
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 7+

    Written specifically for girls and full of lovely, diverse illustrations, this reassuring, inclusive book has a message for all about self-acceptance and body positivity - that building a loving bond with oneself is the most important relationship we will ever have, and, when we can be kind to ourselves, we can also be kind to others who are also learning to…

  • Obsessive About Octopuses

    Author: Owen Davey
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Owen Davey’s sixth book in this brilliant nonfiction series is as insightful, fascinating and beautifully designed as the rest, with a perfect amount of stunning illustrations and well-selected information about octopuses for mid and upper primary school children.

  • Why Do I Feel Like This?

    Author: Shinsuke Yoshitake
    Publisher: Thames & Hudson
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Shinsuke Yoshitake’s quirky book has a cartoonish feel and a sweet, appealing way of working through a little girl’s fantastical yet meaningful ideas around sadness and anger. It’s visually appealing with lots to look at as well as recognising the importance of feeling our feelings.

  • Supermouse and the Big Cheese Robbery

    Author: M N Tahl. Illustrator: Mark Chambers
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    It's time for the grand unveiling of the Big Cheese in Mouseopolis - but a thief has stolen it and left a taunting note! Can Supermouse, local mouse superhero, identify the culprit? With innovative die-cuts on every page and plenty of sophisticated lift the flap features, children will enjoy caerphilly reading this delightfully silly, cheesy s…

  • The Bat Book

    Author: Charlotte Milner
    Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    This fabulous all-you-need-to-know book about bats is perfectly pitched for 7-9 year olds. It’s colourful and attractive, with a clear, simple font and an enthusiastic yet factual tone. There’s some lovely tips at the end too for making a bat-friendly garden, making seed balls and supporting bat charities.

  • Viper's Daughter

    Author: Michelle Paver
    Publisher: Zephyr
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Torak and his mate Renn have been living happily with their wolf pack in the great Forest for two years. Yet one day, Torak discovers that Renn has taken a canoe and disappeared. Why has she left, and can Torak find her? The seventh book in Paver's multi-million selling Wolf Brother is an epic new adventure for fans of the franchise or those coming to i…

  • Eating Chips with Monkey

    Author: Mark Lowery
    Publisher: Piccadilly Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Daniel loves eating fish and chips, but after a shock accident, he retreats from his family. Will a nationwide jaunt to find the best chippie in the country help to bring them back together? A moving exploration of trauma.

  • TrooFriend

    Author: Kirsty Applebaum
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When Sarah's mum buys her a TrooFriend android, she's not impressed at first - but could there be any truth to the rumours that the robots have feelings? A fascinating exploration of artificial intelligence and what makes us human.

  • Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy

    Author: Zanib Mian Illustrator: Nasaya Mafaridik
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Omar's mosque is in danger of being closed down, so quick-thinking Omar holds a school talent show to raise the money needed for the emergency building repairs. When the money goes missing, it's up to Omar and his friends to become super spies to track down the culprit!

  • Mickey and the Animal Spies

    Author: Anne Miller Illustrator: Becka Moor
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Top codebreaker Mickey joins COBRA - a secret organisation protecting animals, currently investigating a spate of diamond robberies. Is Mickey up to the challenge? Anne Miller's debut story is full of sparky wit and colourful characters - plus, plenty of puzzles to crack.

  • The Not Bad Animals

    Author: Sophie Corrigan
    Publisher: Francis Lincoln
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    For too long people have misrepresented, maligned and demonised animals like hyenas, vultures and rats. In this myth-busting fact book these creatures set the record straight and explain that they're actually a friendly bunch! Jaw-dropping facts and adorable illustrations make this a perfect book for animal-lovers.

  • Alex Rider Mission 13: Nightshade

    Author: Anthony Horowitz
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    Alex Rider thought he'd finally left his spying days behind him; but when a dangerous band of 'terrorists for hire' emerges onto the world stage, he's dragged into another risky undercover operation. The 13th book in the Alex Rider series, this slick and sophisticated spy drama which will thrill existing fans and convert new ones.

  • The Infinite

    Author: Patience Agbabi
    Publisher: Canongate
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    Only a very few Leaplings (born on 29th February) have ‘The Gift’: the ability to leap backwards or forwards through time. Elle Bibi-Imbelé Ifiè - who loves her name, white food, and her Nigerian heritage - is one of them. The first book in Patience Agbabi's Leap Cycle series is fresh, exciting, bold and witty, with a thoughtful character-driven plot an…

  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency

    Author: L D Lapinski
    Publisher: Orion
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    When Flick moves to a rural village with her family, she finds herself drawn to a mysterious old shop and a strange young man with a magical piece of glass. So begins her adventures at the Strangeworlds travel agency - where, to find incredible new worlds, you need only step inside a suitcase. Original, fantastical, and with moments of real peril, the first …

  • Bright Bursts of Colour

    Author: Matt Goodfellow. Illustrator: Aleksei Bitskoff
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Drawing on over 10 years’ experience of teaching in primary schools, Matt Goodfellow explores a vast range of topics in this fun and funky poetry collection, which features expressive black and white illustrations. 

  • Pests

    Author: Emer Stamp
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    A little mouse loses his grandmother but finds hilarious friends at a school for pests. Hilarious and full of warmth and humour, this adventure will appeal to all kinds of readers.

  • Thimble Wonga Bonkers

    Author: Jon Blake Illustrator: Martin Chatterton
    Publisher: Firefly
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    When Jams, Dad and Thimble the monkey are left alone for a week, with no money, things go swiftly and hilariously wrong.

  • The House on Hoarder Hill

    Author: Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Hedy and Spencer are staying at their Grandpa's spooky house over Christmas, and nothing is quite what it seems... with the help of some very unusual new friends, they must unravel the mystery of Grandma Rose's disappearance.

  • Crater Lake

    Author: Jennifer Killick
    Publisher: Firefly Press
    Interest age: 10-13
    Reading age: 11+

    Lance and his friends aren't looking forward to the school trip to Crater Lake - for one thing, school bully Trent hasn't forgiven Lance for the incident at the start of Year Six. For another, they've just seen a man covered in blood at the side of the road warning them to run. And there's definitely something weird about their teachers... Spooky, thrilling …

  • Princess Kevin

    Author: Michaël Escoffier Illustrator: Roland Garrigue
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 4-5

    Kevin is immensely pleased with his princess outfit for the fancy dress show, but he can't find a knight to go with him! Instead he sticks with his friend Chloe the Dragon - even though her outfit looks like a sock. This marvellous picture book with its self-assured protagonist celebrates individuality and provides a light-hearted platform to discuss gender …

  • Hugo

    Author: Atinuke Illustrator: Birgitta Sif
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 4-5

    Hugo the pigeon is a park warden. Every day he patrols the park, talking to the dog walkers, playing with the children, and keeping everything tidy and clean. Then, one day, he meets a new, shy friend, a little girl who who stays indoors to hide. This gentle picture book beautifully celebrates the power of friendship and acceptance.

  • I Don't Like Books. Never. Ever. The End.

    Author: Emma Perry Illustrator: Sharon Davey
    Publisher: David Fickling
    Interest age: 4-5

    Mabel is adamant that she doesn't like books, but people keep giving them to her! She stacks books to make ladders, piles them up as doorstops, and sledges down the stairs on them - but she won't read them. Until, one night, the books take her on a magical journey of their own... 

  • A Fox Called Herbert

    Author: Margaret Sturton
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Herbert's mother cannot understand why he won’t be a good rabbit, but Herbert doesn’t want to be a rabbit – he wants to be a fox! This charming picture introduces themes of identity and acceptance to young children through bright, expressive illustrations and visual clues to help children predict what will happen next.

  • Eco Rangers: Wildfire Rescue

    Author: Candice Lemon-Scott
    Publisher: New Frontier Publishing
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Young nature-lovers Ebony and Jay are Eco Rangers, protecting wildlife at their local conservation centre. After a terrible bushfire they rescue an injured possum - and when they discover evidence of people camping in the area, they're determined to uncover the truth about the bushfire. This thrilling adventure is perfect for budding conservation enthusiasts…

  • Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt

    Author: Jennifer Bell Illustrator: Alice Lickens
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Orphan Agnes is flabbergasted to find a shrew in a safari suit sitting on her bed one afternoon. He informs Agnes that she has been selected as a field agent for the covert organisation SPEARS, the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species Can she rise to the challenge? Fast-paced and funny, this entertaining eco-chapter book with a…

  • Magnificent Mabel and the Rabbit Riot

    Author: Ruth Quayle Illustrator: Julia Christians
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Mabel is desperate for a pet rabbit, and absolutely furious when her big sister is given on for her birthday. Deciding Meg doesn't know how to care for a rabbit, Mabel takes matters into her own hands... Mabel's no nonsense approach to life is hilarious and her observation that "sometimes life isn't even fair" will resonate with young readers, who will love …

  • Love Frankie

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 10+

    14 year old Frankie is having to grow up quickly to help her mum with her developing MS - and now that one of her bullies is starting to strike up an actual friendship with her, Frankie's starting to think it might be something a little more. A delicate exploration of teen sexuality and the difficulties of growing up by the inimitable Jacqueline Wilson.

  • Egg!

    Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 2-4

    Six eggs are having a lovely time when a seventh egg appears – but this egg is totally the wrong way around! Containing only one word - 'egg' - this picture book is delightfully expressive and funny, as well as being a clever story about acceptance.

  • Bear Shaped

    Author: Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 2-6

    This beautiful picture book is based on the true story of a family’s public search for a missing toy. The Jack of the illustrations are utterly convincing, a testimony to the fact that the illustrator worked so closely with the ‘real’ Jack (who happens to be on the autistic spectrum). Delicate, timeless artwork also cleverly incorporates all sorts of satisfy…