Books we love in January 2023

All Four Quarters of the Moon.jpg

A few of our favourite books of January 2023

  • The Kindest Red

    Author: Ibtihaj Mohammed and S. K. Ali Illustrator: Hatem Aly
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Faizah wants the world to be kind – and she and her class set about being kind to each other.


    Mae athrawes Faizah yn gofyn i'w dosbarth pa fath o fyd hoffen nhw ei gael. Mae rhai eisiau byd hufen ia neu fyd uncorn; hoffai Faizah fyd caredig, felly aeth hi a'i ffrind Sophie ati i greu un yn yr ysgol.

  • Luma and the Hiccupping Dragon

    Author: Leah Mohammed Illustrator: Loretta Schauer
    Publisher: Welbeck Flame
    Interest age: 6-8

    Luma’s best friend in the world is Timir, a very cute puppy-like creature who sometimes turns into a baby dragon. Yet, when Timir gets the hiccups, purple flame starts bursting out of his nose! What will Luma do?

  • All Four Quarters of the Moon

    Author: Shirley Marr
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When Peijing’s family move from Singapore to Australia, everything is different. Will they ever adjust to a life so unlike the one they have left behind?

  • The Detention Detectives

    Author: Lis Jardine Illustrator: Glenn Thomas
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When Jonno discovers a dead body at school, he and fellow classmates Daniel and Lydia launch their own murder investigation. This extremely funny murder-mystery tale will keep readers guessing to the very end.

  • Oskar and the Things

    Author: Andrus Kivirähk Illustrator: Anne Pikkov Translator: Adam Cullen
    Publisher: The Emma Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When Oskar makes a toy phone from a piece of wood, he is astounded when he discovers he can use it to call objects in and around Grandma’s house. Set in Estonia and translated into English, this quirky chapter book celebrates the power of imaginative play.

  • The Whale Watchers

    Author: Dougie Poynter Illustrator: Amberin Huq
    Publisher: Owlet Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Can Finn and his new friend Skye save the beached minke whale? A charming story about how you can make a difference to the planet, no matter how small you are.

  • All About Lunar New Year (Things to Make and Do)

    Author: Kevin Tsang Illustrator: Linh Nguyen
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    With beautiful illustrations and lots of information about Lunar New Year, this activity book is the perfect gift for any creative child.

  • A Tricky Kind of Magic

    Author: Nigel Baines
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    This action-packed, black and white graphic novel is witty, original and dynamic with a unique take on grief, and learning to find the magic in life after the loss of a loved one.

  • Failosophy: a handbook for when things go wrong

    Author: Elizabeth Day
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 10+

    Written by the award-winning author and podcaster Elizabeth Day, this is a sensible, kind and practical tool for all teenagers (and adults!) showing how to re-frame supposed failures into essential parts of life that we can learn from.

  • Bedtime Stories: Amazing Asian Tales from the Past

    Author: Hannah Jiang Saima Mir Shae Davies Maisie Chan Cynthia So Annabelle Sami Bali Rai Sufiya Ahmed Rebeka Shaid and Rekha Waheed Illustrator: Aaliya Jaleel Abeeha Tariq Amanda Yoshida Debby Rahmalia Ginnie Hsu Hannah Li Jen Khatun Jocelyn Kao Kübra Teber and Tika and Tata
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This attractive giftbook features sixteen biographical tales from across Asia and throughout history, with contributions from a range of authors and illustrators, all of Asian heritage.

  • Fritz and Kurt

    Author: Jeremy Dronfield Illustrator: David Ziggy Greene
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The true story of two brothers and their family whose lives were torn apart by the Nazi plan to rid the world of anyone they considered ‘different’.

  • How to be More Hedgehog

    Author: Anne-Marie Conway Illustrator: Danielle Dey
    Publisher: Uclan Publishing
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Lily has a stammer and when a video of her practising a school presentation is posted online, she feels humiliated. She wants to hide away but knows that she must face her fears if she is to find her own voice. This heart-warming novel incorporates themes of friendship, bullying and the environment.

  • Lizzie and Lucky: The Mystery of the Disappearing Rabbit

    Author: Megan Rix Illustrator: Tim Budgen
    Publisher: Penguin Random House
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Perfect for animal lovers and mystery fans alike, this gentle series stars a Deaf character and her beloved dog. Can Lizzie and Lucky find Ruby, the star magician’s rabbit?


    Mae yna gystadleuaeth hud yn y dref ac mae Lizzie, ei chi Lucky a'i ffrind Ted yn llawn cyffro i'w gweld. Bydd yr enwog Lady Azeena'n perfformio gyda'i chwningen Ruby – ac mae hi'n fydda…

  • Saving Neverland

    Author: Abi Elphinstone Illustrator: Geraldine Rodriguez
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    An enchanting reimagining of Peter Pan for contemporary times, where Martha must help Peter stop Captain Hook’s curse.

  • Well Done, Mummy Penguin

    Author: Chris Haughton
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 7+

    In this suspenseful and gently humorous picture book, Mummy Penguin goes off to hunt for fish whilst Little Penguin and Daddy Penguin watch on. Will she make it back safely with dinner? 


    Mae'n amser cinio yn yr Antarctig ac mae Mummy Penguin yn dechrau ar daith i chwilio am bysgod. Mae Little Penguin a Daddy Penguin yn gwylio'n bryderus wrth i Mummy fe…

  • Blue

    Author: Sarah Christou
    Publisher: Faber Publishing
    Interest age: 5-6
    Reading age: 6+

    A tender and encouraging picture book about the importance of sharing difficult feelings. A young child shares their secret – a secret which takes the form of a big, scary monster called Blue…

  • Little Explorers: Science

    Author: Templar Books
    Publisher: Templar Books
    Interest age: 6-8

    This would make a lovely addition particularly to a school library, or a great gift for a young science enthusiast with lots of questions.

  • The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Die

    Author: Peter Lantos
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The harrowing true story of a Hungarian Jewish boy and his mother and their journey to – and escape from – Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in the Second World War. Extraordinary and moving.

  • Where in the World Are You?

    Author: Marie G. Rohde
    Publisher: What on Earth Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    The lovely black cat in this book is playing under a wobbly table, but that table is on a blue rug in a yellow room in a colourful flat. More than that, the flat is on a cheerful street in a crowded city on planet Earth which spins around the scorching Sun.

  • The Woodcutter and the Snow Prince

    Author: Ian Eagleton Illustrator: Davide Ortu
    Publisher: Owlet Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Kai the lonely woodcutter meets the cursed Snow Prince – but can they ever be friends?

  • Questions and Answers about Money

    Author: Lara Bryan Illustrator: Marie-Eve Tremblay
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 6-9

    Part of Usborne’s Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers series, this is an invaluable and accessible introduction to money for younger readers.

  • Speak Up!

    Author: Rebecca Burgess
    Publisher: Quill Tree Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Mia is a secret superstar musician, writing song lyrics that her friends love. But in real life she’s bullied for being different. Is Mia ready to show the world who she really is?

  • Don’t Mix Up My Dinosaur

    Author: Rosamund Lloyd Illustrator: Spencer Wilson
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 2-3

    Mix and match the dinosaurs’ horns and tails to create new dino friends! A super-fun, colourful touch and feel book.

  • A Different Kind of Freedom: A Romani Story

    Author: Richard O’Neill
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Lijah loves football, but his Romani father doesn’t want him to play. How can Lijah follow his passion if he has to hide it from his dad?

  • Filippo, Me and the Cherry Tree

    Author: Paola Peretti Translator: Denise Muir
    Publisher: Hot Key Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9-11

    A sequel to Peretti’s first story about Mafalda, this is also an effective stand-alone read. Unusual, quirky and touching, it’s a book that remains with you after the last page.

  • I Did See a Mammoth!

    Author: Alex Willmore
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 4-5

    A wonderfully funny picture book about daring to believe the unexpected. A group of explorers have come to the Antarctic to see penguins, but one young explorer discovers something quite different – a great big mammoth! But will anyone believe it?

  • The Circle Breakers

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

    The third book in The Leap Cycle series, this is a great example of a thrilling timeslip adventure which embraces diversity and inclusion.

  • Goodbye Hobbs

    Author: Emma Bettridge Illustrator: Josephine Birch
    Publisher: Graffeg
    Interest age: 4-5

    Merlin the dog desperately misses his friend Hobbs, and finds some comforting scent messages from him. A touching story about grief – perfect for anyone who’s lost a pet.

  • Scared?

    Author: Neal Zetter and Joshua Seigal Illustrator: Zoe Williams
    Publisher: Troika
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    A vibrant collection of funny, thoughtful and inventive poems, perfect for sharing in the classroom and for reading aloud.

  • Our Incredible Library Book and the wonderful journeys it took

    Author: Caroline Crowe Illustrator: John Joseph
    Publisher: Floris Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    Follow one book as lots of different children enjoy reading it. That’s the magic of a library book!

  • Bork

    Author: Rhys Kitson
    Publisher: Sunbird Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    In this charming picture book, one dog maintains that the right way to woof is to say “bork”. Desperate to persuade the international cast of dogs that think their way is the right way, it’s an uphill task until a cat arrives, and all the dogs unite to bork at it.


    Yn ogystal â thynnu sylw at synau gwahanol diddorol cŵn o ledled y byd, y bydd y pla…

  • First 100 Nature Words

    Author: Illustrator: Jean-Claude
    Publisher: Priddy Books
    Interest age: 2-3

    This bright board book introduces babies and toddlers to the wonderful world around them.

  • Brrr! Where Did the Dinosaurs Really Go?

    Author: Kes Gray Illustrator: Nick East
    Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    The Ice Age is coming, and all the dinosaurs are getting worried about the lowering temperatures. It’s even too cold for the woolly mammoths! So, the dinosaurs decide that they should start knitting some nice cosy jumpers.

  • The Midnight Panther

    Author: Poonam Mistry
    Publisher: Templar Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    A stunning book, full of magnificent, decorative artwork, with a powerful message: we are all glorious in our own way.

  • Big Sky Mountain: The Beach Otters

    Author: Alex Milway
    Publisher: Piccadilly Press
    Interest age: 6-8

    This is the third in Alex Milway’s lovely and highly illustrated Big Sky Mountain series, and this time Rosa and Grandma Nan have to investigate who has let off a distress flare in Toe-Dipper Bay. When they arrive, they find the beach covered in plastic rubbish and a family of beach otters trying their best to tidy up. But who has let off the distr…

  • I Love Chinese New Year

    Author: Eva Wong Nava Illustrator: Xin Li
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 4-5

    Mai-Anne can’t wait to take part in her family traditions at Chinese New Year.