New books we love in February 2022

Grandpa Frank's Great Big Bucket List

Explore our pick of the best children's books in February 2022 – from thrilling escape rooms to the surprising adventures of a crisp packet, there's something for every reader to enjoy!

  • Zoom: Farm Adventure

    Author: Susan Hayes and Aviel Basil
    Publisher: What On Earth Publishing

    Every young child will adore joining in with Bo and his duck for a day's adventure at the farm, as they round up animals, pick fruit, harvest corn, and comfort a farm cat who's just had kittens. A brilliant and absorbing gateway to longer picture books that will help build up attention span. 

  • Time to Get Dressed

    Author: Penny Tassoni Illustrator: Mel Four
    Publisher: Featherstone
    Interest age: 2-5

    This cheerful and useful little book is made with little ones in mind that are learning to get dressed by themselves, and will be of great help to parents, carers, childminders and nursery practitioners.

  • Jack and the Giant Tantrum

    Author: Louis Growell and Chris Jevons
    Publisher: Ladybird Books
    Interest age: 2-3

    Jack and the Giant Tantrum is a helpful take on tantrums, with guidance at the back of the book for parents of kids that may be experiencing their first ones: a gentle and relatable read for little ones who will no doubt be able to see themselves in Jack.

  • How to be a Real Ballerina

    Author: Davina Bell Illustrator: Jenny Løvlie
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    This fun-filled picture book is narrated by a delightful young girl, who shares her thoughts on how to become a real ballerina. A light-hearted, inclusive tale with a diverse cast of characters, which will delight aspiring dancers, especially those who don’t quite conform.

  • The Hairdo That Got Away

    Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Fiona Lumbers
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    This is a lovely and gentle picture book to share with young children to prompt discussion about how upsetting situations, such as parental separation, can provoke feelings which are difficult to manage and may lead to uncharacteristic behaviour.

  • Love Grows Everywhere

    Author: Barry Timms Illustrator: Tisha Lee
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    This charming book celebrates the many ways love grows and how it helps make the world better and brighter.

  • My Pet Goldfish

    Author: Catherine Rayner
    Publisher: Walker
    Interest age: 4-5

    A heart-warming story of a young child's experience of getting their first ever pet, a shimmering goldfish named Richard. 

  • The Queen On Our Corner

    Author: Lucy Christopher Illustrator: Nia Tudor
    Publisher: Lantana
    Interest age: 4-5

    This marvellous picture book with stunning artwork from Nia Tudor will quite possibly provide an introduction to young children about the concept of homelessness, and it does so in a gentle but still realistic way. 

  • I'm Thinking of a Jungle Animal

    Author: Adam and Charlotte Guillain Illustrator: Lucia Gaggiotti
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 1-3

    Guess the jungle animal in this wonderfully interactive "peekaboo"-style board book for young ones, full of fantastically vibrant illustration by Lucia Gaggiotti and helpful, rhyming clues from writers Adam and Charlotte Guillain. Lively and fun reading for all. 

  • Lulu's Sleepover

    Author: Anna McQuinn Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw
    Publisher: Alanna Max
    Interest age: 2-5

    In this sweet instalment of the Lulu series, Lulu has a new adventure with her cousin Hani – her very first sleepover.  

  • Somebody Crunched Colin

    Author: Sarah Roberts Illustrator: Hannah Jayne Lewin
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 4-5

    Colin the crisp packet finds himself on the ground, outside in the leafy garden. The problem is that he doesn’t really belong there... This sweet rhyming book teaches children about some of the perils that litter can cause in the natural environment. 

  • The Smart Cookie

    Author: Jory John Illustrator: Pete Oswald
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 4-7

    This sweet and pun-filled story about gaining confidence in yourself and understanding your strengths and learning styles is rather lovely, and full of fun, foody illustrations of cakes, gingerbread houses, bakeries and other yummy details.

  • The Visible Sounds

    Author: Yin Jianling Illustrator: Yu Rong Translator: Filip Selucky
    Publisher: UCLan Publishing
    Interest age: 4-8

    A two-year-old girl loses her hearing as a result of illness. At first, little MiLi feels frustrated, tearful and cross. Then one day she realises that "sound" is not just something you hear – it can be touched, seen and felt within the body. A thought-provoking and multi-faceted depiction of deafness. 

  • Leonora Bolt: Secret Inventor

    Author: Lucy Brandt Illustrator: Gladys Jose
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Inventor Leonora Bolt has never left the remote island she lives on with her pet otter and an eccentric housekeeper! When a young castaway washes ashore, she begins to learn all about the mainland - which is in terrible danger. Can Leonora and her friends save it?

  • Aven Green: Baking Machine

    Author: Dusti Bowling Illustrator: Gina Perry
    Publisher: Union Square Kids
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Aven and her friends are getting excited for the big pudding competition and each of them has a dessert they want to make - but with so many cooks, can their friendship survive the heat?

  • Cally and Jimmy: Twins Together

    Author: Zoe Antoniades Illustrator: Katie Kear
    Publisher: Andersen
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Cally and Jimmy are 10-year-old twins who couldn’t be more different. While Cally is sensible, clever and hard-working, Jimmy’s ADHD makes it difficult for him to focus or stay calm. But no matter what trouble they get into, they're always in it together!

  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s Life of Invention

    Author: Jake Williams
    Publisher: Pavilion
    Interest age: 8-10
    Reading age: 8+

    Jake Williams’ brilliant overview of the famous polymath’s work, including his legacy today, is presented with beautiful graphic illustration that really draws the reader in and is sure to inspire many young inventors, artists and musicians.

  • Black and British: An Illustrated History

    Author: David Olusoga Illustrator: Jake Alexander and Melleny Taylor
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This fascinating illustrated book tells the often heartbreaking story of Black people in Britain’s history clearly, and with a focus on the real humans involved. Doubtless, the book will be an education for many parents, as well as their children. 

  • Mummies Unwrapped

    Author: Tom Froese
    Publisher: Nosy Crow and the British Museum
    Interest age: 7-10
    Reading age: 7+

    Fans of ancient Egypt or kids studying it at primary school will really enjoy this attractive guide to the mysterious practice of mummification.

  • Escape Room

    Author: Christopher Edge
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Twelve year old Ami can’t wait to get started when she arrives at The Escape Room – she loves puzzles, riddles, and all things brain-bending! But the stakes for this particular game are sky-high... can she and her teammates get out in time?

  • Jummy At the River School

    Author: Sabine Adeyinka Illustrator: Hanako Clulow
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    Jummy is thrilled to get a place at top Nigerian boarding school The River School, but how can she make sure her best friend Caro gets to go there too? An absolutely joyous book that will put a wide smile on my face. 

  • Nisha's War

    Author: Dan Smith
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 10-13
    Reading age: 9+

    During World War II, an Anglo-Indian refugee is offered a deal by a ghostly child: her mother’s life in exchange for three truths.

  • Sleepover Takeover

    Author: Simon James Green Illustrator: Aleksei Bitskoff
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Otis and his mate Jagger are the class weirdos, so they're surprised to get an invite to cool-kid Rocco's sleepover party! When they wake up the next day, however, all hell has broken loose... and it's time to unravel the mystery of exactly what happened.

  • What's New, Harper Drew?

    Author: Kathy Weeks Illustrator: Aleksei Bitskoff
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Welcome to the totally hilarious and utterly daft life of Harper Drew and her VERY eccentric family. Queen Bee Maisie's birthday is coming up and Harper is desperate for an invite to her party - but that's easier said than done when her family are SO embarrassing!

  • My Story: Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

    Author: Sufiya Ahmed
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 10-12
    Reading age: 9+

    A biography of the suffragette Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, whose fascinating life has been ignored by many other books for children and teenagers about the suffragettes.  Sufiya Ahmed’s powerful and detailed biography puts right the unfair impression that only white women in history cared about women’s rights.

  • Grandpa Frank's Great Big Bucket List

    Author: Jenny Pearson Illustrator: David O'Connell
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Funny, heart-warming and full of slapstick comedy: Frank’s on a mission to use his half-a-million-pound inheritance to make his grandpa happy.

  • Greta and the Ghost Hunters

    Author: Sam Copeland Illustrator: Sarah Horne
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Greta's mum and dad want to put Grandma in a home because she keeps insisting she can see ghosts... but Greta discovers their house really IS haunted. Part ghost story, part absurdist comedy, welcome to the world of Greta’s hilariously dysfunctional family - told by a very unusual narrator!

  • Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good

    Author: Louie Stowell
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 7-11
    Reading age: 8+

    After playing one trick too many, Loki, Norse god of mischief, is sent by Odin to live on earth as an 11-year-old boy for one month to mend his ways. Furious that he must suffer indignities such as attending school and doing chores, Loki struggles to be good.

  • Peekaboo House

    Author: Camilla Reid Illustrator: Ingela P Arrhenius
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 0-2

    This is a terrific first book to share with someone who loves to play peekaboo, complete with ten sliders to pull and a surprise mirror at the end.

  • Vi Spy: Never Say Whatever Again

    Author: Maz Evans
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    The second adventure for Vi, the wannabe spy, and her blended family as they seek to foil Umbra’s latest dastardly plot for world domination. 

  • My Period: Find your flow and feel proud of your period!

    Author: Milli Hill Illustrator: Sarah Eichert
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 9-13
    Reading age: 9+

    Explaining what puberty is, how your period works, the period products there are on the market, how to chart and understand your menstrual cycle, and much more, this friendly and down to earth book is a real must for those who are about to start or who have recently started menstruating.

  • The Secrets Act

    Author: Alison Weatherby
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 12-16
    Reading age: 12+

    Recruited to work at Bletchley Park, Ellen and Pearl are working hard to crack codes - but when a driver is killed, they have a brand new mystery to solve. A breakneck historical thriller.

  • Frankie’s World

    Author: Aoife Dooley
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This lovely, often funny, relatable and sensitive story about Frankie, a girl with autism, was inspired by the author Aoife Dooley’s own real life experiences. A great story about growing up and learning who you are.