Books we love in July 2022

Party Parade cover

Just a few of the very best books we are excited about this month.

  • I’m the Tractor Driver

    Author: Katie Woolley Illustrator: David Semple
    Publisher: Oxford

    A perfect, interactive book for young tractor fans, I’m The Tractor Driver follows a day in the life of a busy tractor driver as they help out the farmers with different jobs.

  • Noah’s Seal

    Author: Layn Marlow
    Publisher: Oxford

    Layn Marlow’s utterly delightful story about a boy’s love for seals and his faith in finding them is touching and sensitively told, illustrated in a mix of soft watercolours and beautifully details. There’s something here about “if you build it, they will come” in Noah’s summoning of the seals by building a sand one and imbuing it with love: a message about …

  • Sophie Goes to Sleep

    Author: Ruth Symons Illustrator: Vulli
    Publisher: Templar

    Part of the “Sophie la giraffe” series, which includes the title Sophie Has Lunch, Sophie Goes to Sleep treads similar ground, easing young ones into their daily routines with the help of a friendly giraffe, Sophie, based on the iconic teething toy used seemingly by families everywhere.

  • Legendarium

    Author: Jennifer Bell
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Best friends Arthur, Ren and Cecily are swept through time and space into another mind-boggling adventure in this sequel to Wonderscape. This time, they’re thrown almost 500 years into the future to the world of Legendarium, where myths become reality and they’re not sure who they can trust. 

  • The Colour of Hope

    Author: Ross Mackenzie
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8-9

    This classic good versus evil fantasy adventure builds on a fascinating idea of a world devoid of colour and joy. But there’s much more to it than that.

  • Return to Factopia

    Author: Kate Hale Illustrator: Andy Smith
    Publisher: Britannica Books
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Wow your friends and family with 400 more jaw-dropping facts in this jam-packed followup to Factopia.

  • Party Parade

    Author: Leanne Miller Illustrator: Sara Miller
    Publisher: Scholastic

    Can you find the five flamboyant flamingos frolicking or the nine proud penguins partying in the snow? A beautifully illustrated hide-and-seek counting book created by homeware brand designer Sara Miller.

  • Hot Dog

    Author: Mark Sperring Illustrator: Sophie Corrigan
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 4-5

    It’s a hot day and a lonely hot dog sausage watches the dogs playing on the beach with envy. How he wishes he could run and jump and chase his tail – if he had one.

  • Sadé and Her Shadow Beasts

    Author: Rachel Faturoti
    Publisher: Hodder (Hachette)
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Since her mum died, Sadé has been escaping to a magical imaginary land to deal with her grief - but the lines between the real world and her imagination start blurring as her feelings begin to get too much. A beautiful story that tackles big feelings in an accessible and relatable way.

  • Pop and Peek: Hatch

    Author: Carly Blake Illustrator: Mel Matthews
    Publisher: Templar Books

    Part of the entertaining Pop and Peek series comes Hatch: another pop-up peekaboo book for babies that toddlers, this time exploring all the amazing animals and insects that come into the world out of eggs!

  • Peek Inside: Farm

    Author: Becky Davies Illustrator: Fhiona Galloway
    Publisher: Little Tiger

    This chunky board book will grab your child’s attention from the word go: delightfully oversized and shaped like a farm barn, everything about it screams “fun”!

  • The Girl who Lost a Leopard

    Author: Nizrana Farook Illustrator: David Dean
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    This exciting adventure raises awareness of the illegal trade in wild animals and encompasses themes of friendship, loyalty and standing up for what is right. The chapter headings are illustrated with striking black-and-white artwork, which will help readers to visualise the characters and setting of this engaging tale.

  • The Aquanaut

    Author: Dan Santat
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    When a strange man wearing an old-fashioned diving helmet breaks into her uncle's research lab, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is in fact a robot controlled by four sea creatures. The creatures in the aquanaut are looking for a safe haven, but when they discover what’s going on at Aqualand, they decide to free the Orca who is kept in a tiny tank and made…

  • Ajay and the Mumbai Sun

    Author: Varsha Shah Illustrator: Sonia Albert
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8-9

    When street kid, Ajay, uncovers a scandal that threatens to evict thousands of the poorest people of Mumbai from their homes, he knows he has an important story to tell.

  • Cluck Cluck Duck: Lift the Flaps

    Author: Mama Makes Books Illustrator: Rachael Saunders
    Publisher: Mama Makes Books

    Cluck Cluck Duck is part of the light-hearted “Funny Farm” series. Just like Tractor Tractor, the title combines humour and interaction with some fun and subtle early learning, as well as a wider social angle.

  • SkyWake: Battlefield

    Author: Jamie Russell
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8-9

    This second book in the SkyWake trilogy is an adrenaline-fuelled, futuristic, gaming thriller which is immersive and exhilarating but also funny and thoughtful in places.

  • The Unmorrow Curse

    Author: Jasmine Richards
    Publisher: Uclan Publishing
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    As Buzz and Mari walk home from school through Tangley Woods, they are astonished to find a woman bound to a tree with a magical rope. She is Sunna, Norse goddess of the sun and Sunday’s guardian, and has been captured by Loki, the trickster god.

  • The Insiders

    Author: Cath Howe
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8-9

    This poignant novel about the complexities of friendship dynamics is perceptive, insightful and sensitively written, with touches of humour. The chapters are narrated in turn by Callie, Ted and Billy, which will help readers to develop empathy, as they are able to explore different viewpoints and understand that people’s circumstances can dramatically affect…

  • Neon’s Secret Universe

    Author: Sibéal Pounder Illustrator: Sarah Warburton
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8-9

    Unless Neon Gallup can learn to command goo (the source of Unicorn magic) before her 10th birthday, she’ll be trapped in the UniVerse forever. A zany, funny and irrepressibly bright fantasy adventure.

  • Sisters of the Mist

    Author: Marlyn Spaaij
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    It’s summer and Margot, Kyra and Janna are staying with their granny in Frygea Forest, a place full of legend. Trolls stalk the forest, as does the Hellhound, a beast with burning eyes. Worst of all are the Fog Furies who abduct the young girls they find in the forest.

  • Anisha, Accidental Detective: Holiday Adventure

    Author: Serena Patel Illustrator: Emma McCann
    Publisher: Usborne
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8-9

    Anisha is not thrilled at the prospect of a family holiday to an outdoor adventure park, as she prefers science and reading to archery and zip wires. However, to her surprise, she finds plenty of things to keep her occupied, including an intriguing mystery to solve. 

  • Women Who Led the Way: Great Explorers and Adventurers

    Author: Mick Manning and Brita Granström
    Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 6-8

    In this wonderful book, Granström and Manning tell the stories of 21 amazing women from across the world, as well as highlighting the stories of other women relevant to their stories. 

  • One World: 24 Hours on Planet Earth

    Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Jenni Desmond
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    Two children follow one moment across the world, observing wonderful animals and amazing landscapes and environments, but there’s a dark side too: pollution, rising temperatures, plastic in the oceans, poachers.

  • Arabic Folktales: The Three Princes of Serendip & Other Stories

    Author: Rodaan Al Galidi Illustrator: Geertje Aalders Translator: Laura Watkinson
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 6-8

    Featuring twenty folk tales with stunning paper cut illustrations, this book delights with its fanciful tales of kings and treasures, but also with relatable themes of acceptance, love and the perils of arrogance.

  • The Greatest Show on Earth: The 4.6 Billion Year Story of Life on our Planet

    Author: Mini Grey
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    Rod the Roach and his troupe of cockroach performers (what better animals to tell the story than the insects known to be the best at surviving?) are about to perform the Greatest Show on Earth from their Shoebox Theatre in the middle of a rubbish dump – and it’s a pretty great show.

  • Princess Minna: The Enchanted Forest

    Author: Kirsty Applebaum Illustrator: Sahar Haghgoo
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 7-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    When Princess Minna learns that her neighbour, Prince Welling-Tunboot, has fallen under a sleeping spell cast by a bad fairy, she is keen to help. He must be woken before sunset, or he will never wake again. Princess Minna summons her dragon Lorenzo, and flies to the enchanted forest to rescue the prince. But with several distractions along the way, will she…

  • Ted Rules the World

    Author: Frank Cottrell Boyce Illustrator: Cate James (cover illustration Chris Riddell)
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7-8

    When a new Prime Minister is elected on Ted’s birthday, strange things begin to happen. At first, Ted thinks it’s a happy coincidence that some of his ideas become government policy. However, as his more obscure thoughts are adopted by the Prime Minister, he wonders if he is genuinely influencing parliamentary decisions. 

  • Xtinct!: T-Rex Terror

    Author: Ash Stone
    Publisher: Orchard
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7-8

    First instalment of a riotous, science fiction adventure series in which long-extinct creatures are brought back to life. 

  • Needle

    Author: Patrice Lawrence
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 12-13
    Reading age: 8-9

    How come, if there’s any kind of ‘incident’ at school, at home, at the shopping centre, it’s always the Black kid in care who gets the blame?

  • Rebel Skies

    Author: Ann Sei Lin
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9-12

    The book follows Kurara, who has the magical ability to manipulate paper into living creatures, as she tries to hone her abilities, impress the powerful Princess Tsukimi in order to save her best friend's life and discover the truth about the dangerous Shikigami.

  • No More Peas

    Author: Madeleine Cook Illustrator: Erika Meza
    Publisher: Oxford University Press

    Oliver only wants to eat chips and pizza for dinner. But Daddy keeps cooking vegetables – yuk! A story about growing vegetables, eating healthily and being brave enough to try new things.

  • Solo

    Author: Adam Beer
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 4-5

    Solo the dog has a great life on his island, playing with his favourite ball, chasing the annoying birds, scratching, sniffing, and swimming in the sea. He’s the only dog on the island and he likes it that way – even though, sometimes, he gets a bit lonely.

  • Punk Rocker Poodle

    Author: Laura Dockrill Illustrator: Sandhya Prabhat
    Publisher: Faber

    From the moment the alarm clock starts to ring, this little Punk Rocker Poodle is in a terrible mood. Absolutely everything that can be refused is refused. All this pup wants is to stay at home. This is a fast-paced picture book full of humour and anarchy. Presented as a poetic rap, it cries to be read aloud – to be chanted even! 

  • Puddling!

    Author: Emma Perry Illustrator: Claire Alexander
    Publisher: Walker Books

    This delightful celebration of splashing in puddles is a joyous book, full of community, friendship and the pleasure of being outdoors, whatever the weather.  Parents and carers of little ones will know how fun “puddling” is and it’s nice to see this popular game reflected in a picture book.

  • Leilong’s Too Long!

    Author: Julia Liu & Bei Lynn Translator: Helen Wang
    Publisher: Gecko Press

    Leilong is a brontosaurus, but he’s a dinosaur with a difference: this brontosaurus carries children to school. His long neck is a perfect slide for children living on the top floor of a block of flats, and there’s plenty of room on his back for everyone.