Books We Love in July 2023

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A selection of books we love this month!

  • Plants to the Rescue

    Author: Vikram Baliga Illustrator: Brian Lambert
    Publisher: Neon Squid
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Plants are amazing, complex organisms. In Plants to the Rescue, Vikram Baliga, a horticulturalist, takes readers through many ways that plants are helping humans deal with tricky environmental problems, from producing food to dealing with climate change. In fact, it could be said that plants are coming to our rescue!

  • Ravencave

    Author: Marcus Sedgwick
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    A tense, accessible ghost story that also exposes harsh truths about social injustice.

  • The Moon's Gorgonzola

    Author: Debra Bertulis Illustrator: Zoe Williams
    Publisher: Troika
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 5+

    A vibrant poetry collection that is perfect for Key Stage 1, or ages 5 and above. Packed with poems  spanning the silly, the thought-provoking and the emotional, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. 

  • Secrets of a Rebel Rock Star

    Author: Nat Amoore
    Publisher: Rock the Boat
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Can Mac and his new friend Flynn create a musical to save their teachers? Pulsing with a love of music, this is funny and heart-warming – and a call to save the arts in education.

  • We’ve Got This!: Six Steps to Build Your Empathy Superpower

    Author: Rashmi Sirdeshpande in partnership with Empathy Lab Illustrator: Juliana Eigner
    Publisher: Words & Pictures
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Split into six chapters, We’ve Got This! explores what empathy is, how it works, using empathy, learning to recognise emotions, being a good communicator and, finally, puts it all together to help you become an empathy superhero. 

  • Yomi and the Fury of Ninki Nanka

    Author: Davina Tijani Illustrator: Adam Douglas-Bagley
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 8-10
    Reading age: 8+

    Yomi, aged around 10 and her younger brother Kay are spending the summer with their Uncle Olu who is a Nkara (dragon) researcher travelling the world lecturing on African studies. They are in The Gambia’s capital city Banjul when Yomi sees Ninki Nanka, the famous and ferocious water dragon and realises it is in trouble.

  • Sunny Side Up

    Author: Clare Helen Welsh Illustrator: Ana Sanfelippo
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 6+

    This is a joyful and warm-hearted picture book which takes inspiration from CBT coping skills to explore how children can manage difficult feelings. The minimal and sensitive text comes together beautifully with the innovative holes and flaps that are used to recast the child’s negative experiences into positive ones.

  • Is that your mama?

    Author: Patrice Lawrence and Diane Ewen
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 2-3

    Josie doesn’t look like her mum, and  worries that she should. But her family show her that all families are different, and all are special. A beautiful book full of empathy and heart. 

  • If I Were Prime Minister

    Author: Trygve Skaug Illustrator: Ella Okstad
    Publisher: Lantana
    Interest age: 3-5

    If you were prime minister, what new laws would you pass? For one young boy, the possibilities are endless. His new rules range from having libraries open day and night to ensuring that anyone who wanted a dog, or a bicycle, would have one, and grown ups would go to nursery once a month to learn how to play.


    Pe baech chi’n brif weinidog, pa ddeddfau newydd …

  • Rhubarb Lemonade

    Author: Oskar Kroon Translator: A. A. Prime
    Publisher: Hot Key Books
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    Vinga is happy to spend the summer on a tranquil Swedish island with her beloved Grandpa, leaving her troubles behind in the city. This translated novel beautifully captures the transition from childhood to young adulthood, and explores the complex emotions surrounding parental separation, bereavement and first love.

  • The Last Mapmaker

    Author: Christina Soontornvat
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Apprentice mapmaker, 12-year-old Sai, joins an expedition to sail the southern seas and chart new lands, but how much is she willing to risk in order to make her fortune? This Thai-inspired fantasy adventure is a thrilling and thought-provoking read.

  • The Time Tider

    Author: Sinéad O’Hart
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Someone is stealing Lost Time and Mara must stop them and find her missing father, before it’s too late. Full of twists and turns, this gripping page turner, set in the Republic of Ireland, is an exhilarating and imaginative read.

  • Safiyyah’s War

    Author: Hiba Noor Khan
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    Focussing on the experiences of a small group of individuals, Safiyyah’s story shines a spotlight on an under-recognised pocket of resistance from World War II when hundreds of Jews were led to safety via underground passages from the Grand Mosque in Paris.

  • Bite Risk

    Author: S. J. Wills
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    Each month, when there’s a full moon, the adults of Tremorglade transform into werewolves and the children must lock them away until they return to their human form. However, a series of escapes puts the whole town at risk. A gripping teenage horror, with just the right balance of gore, tension and humour.

  • Trixie Pickle Art Avenger: Toxic Takedown

    Author: Olaf Falafel
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Art-enthusiast Trixie Pickle has a secret superhero identity: as the Art Avenger, she embarks on top secret, art-inspired missions to tackle injustice and challenge bullies. Bursting with zany characters, comic strip illustrations and fact files on real artists, this hilarious tale is hugely entertaining. 

  • Bramble Fox

    Author: Kathrin Tordasi Transated by Cathrin Wirtz
    Publisher: Pushkin Children’s
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A fantasy thriller to take your breath away. Packed with beautifully imagined details that build a spellbinding world of magic, threat and terrifying danger, it will have you on the edge of your seat right to the last page.

  • One Chance Dance

    Author: Efua Traoré
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    A stunning, joyful, coming-of-age story, set in Nigeria, that vibrates with the same energy as the city of Lagos itself.

  • There's No Such Thing as Dragons

    Author: Lucy Rowland Illustrator: Katy Halford
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 3-5
    Reading age: 8+

    When a little boy is told by his grandpa that there’s no such thing as dragons, he doesn’t believe it for a second. But if the boy has any chance of proving that the mythological beasts are real, he needs proof!


    Yn llawn darluniau bywiog, lliwgar, mae yna lawer o fanylion i'w mwynhau, gan gynnwys dreigiau cudd y bydd y plant wrth eu boddau'n dod o hyd iddyn…

  • You Grow Girl!

    Author: Dr Zoe Williams Illustrator: Luna Valentine
    Publisher: Wren and Rook
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    An all-encompassing guide to puberty, including periods, healthy eating and navigating the online world. 

  • Momo Arashima: Steals the Sword of the Wind

    Author: Misa Sugiura
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A thrilling fantasy adventure exploring the rich mythology of Japan and the intense feelings of a lonely girl.

  • The Curio Collectors

    Author: Eloise Williams Illustrator: Anna Shepeta
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Can Lily and Tom help their new friend find the special treasure her mother left for her? An engaging historical mystery, set in a dyslexia-friendly way.

  • 5 Funny Animals

    Author: Adam & Charlotte Guillain Illustrator: Tom Knight
    Publisher: Ladybird
    Interest age: 4-5

    A fun, interactive counting book that uses rhyme and friendly illustrations to encourage children to count, and make connections between numbers.


    Mae gan y llyfr cyfareddol hwn bump o anifeiliaid ar bob tudalen ddwbl, ond mae rhai yn gwneud pethau gwahanol. Os oes yna bedair arth yn bwyta mêl ac un arth yn darllen, faint o eirth sydd yna i gyd?

  • Imagine IF… Veggies

    Author: Aya Watanabe
    Publisher: Templar Books
    Interest age: 2-3

    Discover different ways to look at veggies in this delightful board book with sturdy tabs to push and pull. Irresistible interactive fun for babies and toddlers.

  • Sammy Striker and the Football Cup

    Author: Catherine Emmett Illustrator: Joe Berger
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Can Sammy work out why she can’t score a goal? Fizzing with energy and positivity, this rhyming picture book explores finding the confidence to embrace your individuality.


    Mae Sammy wrth ei bodd yn chwarae pêl-droed! Un diwrnod, mae hyfforddwr y tîm cenedlaethol yn sylwi ar ei photensial. Ond bob tro mae hi'n anelu at y gôl, mae'r bêl yn gwyro i'r ochr. Sut…

  • The Quickest Bedtime Story Ever!

    Author: Louise Fitzgerald Illustrator: Kate Hindley
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 4-5

    Settle down with this laugh-out-loud book – and then get up and join in all the necessary things to do before listening to the super-quick ten-word bedtime story! Huge fun.

  • Pigs Make Me Sneeze! An Elephant and Piggie Book

    Author: Mo Willems
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Gerald the elephant thinks that pigs make him sneeze, but his best friend is a pig! What is he to do? A very funny simple story told in speech bubbles – perfect for beginner readers.


    Dydy Gerald yr eliffant ddim yn gallu stopio tisian – a, bob tro mae'n gwneud, mae'n chwythu Piggie ei ffrind druan i'r awyr. Beth os ydy moch yn gwneud iddo disian? Yn ffodus,…

  • Finding her Feet

    Author: Eve Ainsworth Illustrator: Luna Valentine
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Can Lily’s talent for football help her overcome the challenges of starting at a new school? This dyslexia-friendly story is interspersed with women’s football facts.

  • Pizza Pete and the Perilous Potions

    Author: Carrie Sellon Illustrator: Sarah Horne
    Publisher: Guppy Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Can Pete and his friend Anna find the recipe to save Pete and his dad’s pizza shop? Fizzing with magical action and slapstick situations, this debut novel is great fun.

  • The Lucky Bottle

    Author: Chris Wormell
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When Jack is shipwrecked, he concocts a perilous plan to get back home. With pirates, sharks and sea monsters circling him, he’ll need an awful lot of luck! A ripping adventure with a classic feel.

  • Away with Words

    Author: Sophie Cameron
    Publisher: Little Tiger Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This is a relatable, engaging story about friendship, family and dealing with change. It’s also a great book for discussions around empathy – the idea of ‘spoken words’ is difficult to explain but absolutely works in the context of the story, creating themes of communication, the power of words, and the importance of listening.

  • Rivers An Incredible Journey from Source to Sea

    Author: Simon Chapman Illustrator: Qu Lan
    Publisher: Templar
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Rivers have always been important to humans, and in fact many cities and towns were built on rivers. Rivers allow people to travel on them, to trade and transport goods, and rivers also keep the land fertile.

  • Stone Age Beasts

    Author: Ben Lerwill Illustrator: Grahame Baker-Smith
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Three million years ago, humans had just started making stone tools. This was the beginning of the Stone Age, which only ended about 4000 years ago – not very long, in the grand scheme of things.

  • The Big Story of Being Alive

    Author: Neal Layton
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    In this clever picture book, Neal Layton explains that there are some things that everything alive has in common: they are cellular, they grow and they can reproduce. 


    Yn y llyfr lluniau clyfar hwn, rydyn ni'n dysgu bod yna rai pethau yn gyffredin i bopeth byw: maen nhw'n gellog, maen nhw'n tyfu ac maen nhw'n gallu atgenhedlu.

  • Magic Faces Heroes of the Pirate Ship

    Author: Esi Merleh Illustrator: Abeeha Tariq
    Publisher: Uclan Publishing
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 5+

    Can twins Austin and Alanna find the treasure chest before the sneaky pirates do? A fun young series sprinkled with magic.


    Dyma'r cyntaf mewn cyfres newydd hyfryd. Gyda darluniau cyfeillgar mewn lliw ar bob tudalen ddwbl a phenodau byr, mae hwn yn ddewis da i ddarllenwyr sydd newydd ddechrau magu hyder wrth ddarllen ac sy'n edrych am antur ysgafn.

  • Greenwild: The World Behind the Door

    Author: Pari Thomson Illustrator: Elisa Paganelli
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Daisy discovers a world where people use green magic to protect nature everywhere. But these Botanists are vanishing and precious plants are being stolen. Can Daisy and her friends save Greenwild – and her own world too? A thrilling, immersive fantasy, beautifully written and truly original.

  • Michael the Amazing Mind-reading Sausage Dog

    Author: Terrie Chilvers Illustrator: Tim Budgen
    Publisher: Firefly Press
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Michael the mind-reading sausage dog is extremely clever and talented. But can he get his own show in Hollywoof? With his friend Stanley Big Dog as his assistant, Michael discovers that talent can only get you so far without teamwork. A small dog with a big personality!

  • Olly Brown, God of Hamsters

    Author: Bethany Walker Illustrator: Jack Noel
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Olly is flabbergasted when a horde of hamsters appear in his bedroom after crash-landing their spaceship in his neighbour’s garden pond. This hilarious sci-fi adventure highlights the importance of friendship and having the courage to face your fears.

  • You’re SO Amazing!

    Author: James & Lucy Catchpole Illustrator: Karen George
    Publisher: Faber Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    Joe loves having fun at the playground with his friends. However, on-lookers insist on viewing one-legged Joe as a source of inspiration. A joyous read and an important reminder that we should all be able to get on with everyday life without comment.


    Mae Joe wrth ei fodd yn cael hwyl yn y maes chwarae gyda'i ffrindiau. Fodd bynnag, mae'r rhai sy'n eu gwylio…