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New Books we love: March 2019

The Star-Spun Web

Here are the books we reviewed and loved a lot this month: for preschoolers up into the teens. Happy reading!

  • A Moon Girl Stole My Friend

    Author: Rebecca Patterson
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    A funny, inventive story set in the year 2099, where skycars, cyber pets and flying sweets are the norm but the complexities of friendship and playground politics are just the same as now.

  • A Tudor Turk

    Author: Rehan Khan
    Publisher: Hope Road

    Will and Awa are caught up in a dangerous adventure across the Mediterranean and beyond, during the Turkish "golden age" in the late 1500s. Older children and teens who love Assassin's Creed will enjoy the setting, mission and swaggering sense of adventure.

  • B is for Baby

    Author: Atinuke Illustrator: Angela Brooksbank
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Atinuke’s text is a series of simple ‘B is for…’ phrases, that take us on a journey through the African landscape. A clever and unusual book, with beautiful illustrations and a fun story that little children will delight in following.

  • Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

    Author: Sabina Radeva
    Publisher: Puffin

    Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species is one of science’s most important texts. Sabina Radeva, a natural biologist, illustrator and designer, has now retold the book in an accessible picture book form for children – and it’s brilliant.

  • Circle

    Author: Mac Barnett Illustrator: Jon Klassen
    Publisher: Candlewick Press

    Circle, Square and Triangle are friends and each has a distinctive personality. Beautifully designed, funny and a little bit spooky, this is a wonderful book to share with young children, particularly those with a spirit of adventure.

  • Daisy and Bear

    Author: Fabi Santiago
    Publisher: Scholastic

    One Sunday afternoon, Daisy decides that she and Bear should go to the cinema. A funny book with a retro feel, full of silly expressions, happy chaos and a gentle reminder about cinema etiquette.

  • Ellie and the Cat

    Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Matt Robertson
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke

    Ellie gets magically swapped into the body of her pet cat, Jolly. In order to become human again, Ellie must complete a special task before sunset the next day. A magical and gently comic tale of friendship and thinking of others. 

  • #Goldilocks

    Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Tony Ross
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    This cautionary tale about the dangers of oversharing on social media is hilarious and timely, and it should be installed in every classroom in every junior and secondary school.

  • Hello Garage

    Author: Nicola Slater
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    Nosy Crow’s series of board books featuring Ludo the cat is great for toddlers who love to turn flaps, and any little animal enthusiasts. A deceptively simple book that has interest and detail.

  • Hotel Flamingo

    Author: Alex Milway
    Publisher: Piccadilly Press

    Anna is determined to bring back grandeur to Hotel Flamingo, so it can once again be full of sunshine and life.  Hotel Flamingo is a sweet story of working together, being optimistic and knowing anything is possible.

  • How High the Moon

    Author: Karyn Parsons
    Publisher: Puffin

    Inspired by the tragic true story of the youngest American ever to be executed, this ambitious novel weaves together family drama with an unflinching look at racism and prejudice in 1940s South Carolina.

  • Lightning Mary

    Author: Anthea Simmons
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    Lightning Mary tells the true story of Mary Anning, a Victorian fossil expert, whose discoveries of the ichthyosaur contributed to changes in scientific thinking about the history of the earth. A brilliant read.

  • Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties

    Author: Humza Ashad and Henry White Illustrator: Aleksei Bitskoff
    Publisher: Puffin Books

    Humza Khan is an 11-year-old who devotes most of his energy into trying to be a cool rapper, AKA Little Badman. A perfect read for Tom Gates fans: prepare for big belly laughs and great advice on how to be yourself.

  • Little People, Big Dreams: Muhammad Ali

    Author: Ma Isabel Sánchez Vegara
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

    Learn about African-American boxer Muhammad Ali in this accessible picture book biography for young children. This title builds on the inspiring Little People, Big Dreams series, which has expanded to include books about extraordinary men. 

  • Meekoo and the Big Red Potty

    Author: Camilla Reid Illustrator: Nicola Slater
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    A cute and thoughtfully produced book that is non-gender specific and will make the potty an approachable concept for even the most sensitive child. There are also interactive buttons!

  • Mira’s Curly Hair

    Author: Maryam al Serkal Illustrator: Rebeca Lucini
    Publisher: Lantana Publishing

    Mira wishes she had straight, smooth hair, just like Mama’s shiny elegant locks, but instead, she has an abundance of unruly curls. She tries everything she can think of to straighten them... A delightful tale that celebrates diversity and self-acceptance.

  • Mossbelly MacFearsome and the Dwarves of Doom

    Author: Alex Gardiner
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    Formidable dwarf warrior, Mossbelly MacFearsome, is on a quest to save humankind from obliteration. This hilarious fantasy adventure will delight and entertain young readers from start to finish.

  • My Grandma and Me

    Author: Mina Javaherbin Illustrator: Lindsey Yankey
    Publisher: Candlewick Press

    A true tale of a young girl in Iran, who idolises and follows her grandmother everything, this is a beautiful ode to family and lifelong memories, illustrated with wondrous and intricate detail. 

  • Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

    Author: Bali Rai
    Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books

    Narrated by Private Fazal Khan, a young Muslim soldier in Company 32 of the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, this is a moving and insightful account of a key event in the Second World War. Fifteen-year-old Fazal runs away from his family in northern India and lies about his age to join up and serve the British Empire, just as his grandfather did during World…

  • Rosie Is My Best Friend

    Author: Ali Pye
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

    A tale of Rosie and her best friend, who spend every day together and go on lots of adventures – with a twist at the end to delight young readers. A heartwarming, joyful and fun tale of friendship. 

  • Sam Wu is Not Afraid of the Dark

    Author: Katie & Kevin Tsang Illustrator: Nathan Reed
    Publisher: Egmont

    The quest continues for Sam Wu to prove that he is not afraid of anything. This time he is out to prove that he is not by any means afraid of the dark... This series is going from strength to strength and is a great accessible read.

  • Tales from Acorn Wood: Opposites

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

    Donaldson and Scheffler are already household names for those with young children, and now even the very newest members of the family can enjoy their work in this lovely board book about opposites, full of traditional illustration.

  • The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photographs

    Author: Fiona Robinson
    Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

    Fiona Robinson’s beautifully blue book about the life of 19th-century born Anna Atkins is an inspiring testament to a father’s commitment to his daughter’s education, and to her passion for the natural world. Young nature lovers will be inspired by Anna’s story.

  • The Boy Who Flew

    Author: Fleur Hitchcock
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    When Athan Wilde’s mentor, Mr Chen, is brutally murdered, he rescues secret plans that should enable him to complete the old man’s spectacular flying machine. But Athan needs help and he’s not sure who to trust. A tense and imaginative historical thriller.

  • The Day I Was Erased

    Author: Lisa Thompson
    Publisher: Scholastic

    A strange turn of events transports Maxwell to a world where nobody, not even his parents or sister, recognise him. The Day I Was Erased captures the vibrancy and buzz of school life and will ultimately leave readers with a warm glow and lots of hope.

  • The Key to Flambards

    Author: Linda Newbery
    Publisher: David Fickling Books

    After a car accident and her parents' divorce, Grace spends the holidays at Flambards, a quiet countryside arts centre. It’s a summer that will slowly change Grace’s feelings about her past, her future and her very place in the world. Readable and engaging. 

  • The Lost Book of Adventure

    Author: Unknown Adventurer and Teddy Keen
    Publisher: Lincoln Children's Books

    On a recent expedition to the Amazon, outdoor enthusiast Teddy Keen stumbled across a sealed metal container. Inside the box were sketchbooks and notebooks by an unknown adventurer. They have now been restored and pieced together in this treasure of a book.

  • The Star-Spun Web

    Author: Sinead O’Hart
    Publisher: Little Tiger

    A device called the star-spinner takes Tess on an adventure through multiple worlds in search of her lost family. Well-written and entertaining, this book convincingly weaves together strands of history and alternative history.

  • Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars - The Collected Edition

    Author: Jessica Abel; backgrounds and design by Lydia Roberts; colours by Walter
    Publisher: Super Genius Comics

    This collection of Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars, issues 1-3, is a fascinating graphic novel, melding a dystopian Mars society with the popular American sport of women’s Roller Derby. 

  • Unstoppable

    Author: Dan Freedman
    Publisher: David Fickling

    Twins Kaine and Roxy are both talented sportspeople but the harder they work, the further apart they seem to grow. A highly charged story of complex family relationships, misplaced loyalty and overcoming devastating disappointment.

  • Vote for Effie

    Author: Laura Wood
    Publisher: Scholastic

    Laura Wood brings us a contemporary book for fierce pre-teens who want to make the world a better place. Effie's aims to make her new school a more inclusive space will encourage everyone to fulfil their potential. 

  • Watch Us Rise

    Author: Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    Jasmine and her friends are fed up with casual discrimination and being pigeonholed as stereotypes. So they start a school blog addressing contemporary social and personal issues of sexism, racism and other forms of prejudice. A timely teen novel. 

  • Wisp: A Story of Hope

    Author: Zana Fraillon and Grahame Baker Smith
    Publisher: Orchard

    A haunting and immersive story of hope in the darkest of places, this picture book tells younger readers about a child's life in a refugee camp.