Books we love in March 2022

Baby, Sleepy Baby

Discover the very best children's books out right now, from football books to lift-the-flap jungle adventures to spellbinding historical reads about The Greeks. 

  • 100 First Words: City

    Author: Edward Underwood
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 2-3

    Toddlers and preschoolers love this kind of “point and say” book, both from the point of view of having a sense of familiarity with their everyday world and getting a sense of belonging by naming things, but also because they love learning new words.

  • Aftershocks

    Author: Anne Fine
    Publisher: Old Barn Books
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 12+

    Louie and his dad are almost killed by a tsunami during a trip to the strange, desolate Endlands, and his dad chooses to stay and help the people devastated by the disaster. An absolutely masterful tale: a futuristic ghost story about loss, love and grief. 

  • Baby, Sleepy Baby

    Author: Atinuke Illustrator: Angela Brooksbank
    Publisher: Walker
    Interest age: 0-3

    This soothing picture book lullaby celebrates the beautifully tender moments that families share with their sleepy babies at bedtime.

  • Ballet Bunnies: The Big Audition

    Author: Swapna Reddy Illustrator: Binny Talib
    Publisher: Oxford
    Interest age: 5-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Can Millie overcome her self-doubt and audition for a chance to appear on her favourite TV show? A small-format first chapter book perfect for youngsters who love ballet, bunnies or magical storytelling.

  • Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms

    Author: Jamar J Perry
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    Cameron Battle and his friends must save a kingdom hidden inside the magical Book of Chidani. Packed full of action and adventure, this is a book that readers of fantasy aged 9 and above will find wholly engrossing.

  • Carnival of the Lost

    Author: Kieran Larwood Illustrator: Sam Usher
    Publisher: Faber
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    When 'wolf-girl' Sheba's sold to a London carnival show, she finally feels like she's made some friends - but the gang soon find themselves enveloped in a Victorian mystery of missing children, clockwork creations and ruthless villains...

  • Dinosaurs on Kitten Island

    Author: Michael Slack
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 3-5

    A group of bored dinosaurs head off for a playdate with adventurous kittens, but will it all end in cat-astrophe? A deliciously funny story about friendship and compromise.

  • Don’t Ask the Dragon

    Author: Lemn Sissay Illustrator: Greg Stobbs
    Publisher: Canongate
    Interest age: 3-5

    A charming tale about a young boy who wonders where is home. With the help of some animals and wise dragon, he discovers home is never far away. The first children's book from bestselling author and poet Lemn Sissay, this is a lovely celebration of curiosity and belonging. 

  • Hello, Frog

    Author: Isabel Otter Illustrator: Sophie Ledesma
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 0-2

    Join Frog on a jungle journey and say hello to lots of friendly creatures along the way, in this bright, fun and interactive board book full of touch-and-feel elements, peek-through holes and easy-to-lift flaps. 

  • Hide and Seek History: The Greeks

    Author: Jonny Marx Illustrator: Chaaya Prabhat
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 6+

    In this epic book, Marx and Prabhat explore the culture, science and life of Ancient Greece. Prabhat’s illustrations are appealing and colourful and this is a real joy of a “dip in and out” book for kids with short attention spans, who might appreciate the interactive flaps too.

  • If I Ran the Country

    Author: Rich Knight Illustrator: Alan Sanders
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 9-13
    Reading age: 9+

    This entertaining, fact-filled book about politics invites young readers to imagine how they would run a country if they unexpectedly found themselves in charge. This superb book will inspire children to question and understand more about the world in which they live.

  • Kemosha of the Caribbean

    Author: Alex Wheatle
    Publisher: Andersen
    Interest age: 14-16
    Reading age: 14+

    In the 1600s, 14 year old Kemosha escapes a life of slavery at the hands of the cruel Mr Powell and finds herself aboard the pirate ship The Satisfaction - armed with a sword and determined to save her family.

  • Mega Robo Bros: Double Threat

    Author: Neill Cameron
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    With massive mechanoid fights, explosions and laser battles, this fourth comic book adventure for the Mega Robo Bros once again asks thoughtful questions about what makes us human and features its customary cast of diverse characters.

  • Meowsterpieces: A Cat’s Guide to Art and Life

    Author: Jenn Bailey Illustrator: Nyansongi
    Publisher: Magic Cat Publishing
    Interest age: 4-8

    Featuring 13 catty recreations of famous works of art, you'll squeal at the cuteness of Nyansongi’s adorable round-faced cats, and the book is also great to introduce kids to art. A fun concept that makes purrfect reading!

  • Mike Falls Up

    Author: Candy Gourlay Illustrator: Carles Ballesteros
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    This quirky, imaginative tale is full of unexpected twists and turns, and is sure to engage young children. Distinctive, full-colour illustrations provide humour and visual interest, while the short chapters are ideal for newly-independent readers.

  • My Beautiful Voice

    Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Allison Colpoys
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 4-8

    When a child who never speaks gets a new teacher, she is blown away by her colourful personality. A gentle story that pays homage to the people that sometimes come into our lives to guide us through difficult times, and the power of a fantastic teacher.

  • My Mum is a Lioness

    Author: Swapna Haddow Illustrator: Dapo Adeola
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 4-5

    The delightful sequel to Haddow and Adeola’s My Dad is a Grizzly Bear features a powerful, energetic mum who is very much the centre of the family, cheering on her children and loving everyone fearlessly. 

  • My Must-Have Mum

    Author: Maudie Smith Illustrator: Jen Khatun
    Publisher: Lantana
    Interest age: 4-6
    Reading age: 6+

    There is so much to enjoy in this charming, inclusive picture book, which beautifully celebrates diversity, acceptance and unconditional love. The bond between Jake and his mother, who happens to be a wheelchair user, is utterly heart-warming. 

  • Play Like Your Football Heroes

    Author: Seth Burkett and Matt Oldfield Illustrator: Tom Jennings
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 8-12
    Reading age: 8+

    A step-by-step guide to progressing from a kickabout in the park to playing like your footballing heroes; expect plenty of fun, interesting anecdotes and quite a few very bad jokes along the way.

  • Ready! Said Rabbit

    Author: Marjoke Henrichs
    Publisher: Scallywag Press
    Interest age: 2-5

    It is a lovely day so Dad and Rabbit decide to go to the park. Getting ready for a day out will be a familiar scenario for many young children and this funny picture book is sure to strike a chord with any adult who has experienced delays when attempting to leave the house. 

  • Rescuing Titanic: A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic

    Author: Flora Delargy
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Rescuing Titanic delves into the human story of the great tragedy and focuses on the actions of people involved. A really fascinating and beautifully realised book, perfect for schools and curious kids alike.

  • The Blue Book of Nebo

    Author: Manon Steffan Ros
    Publisher: Firefly Press
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 12+

    The End came in the form of a nuclear disaster in Anglesey, and 12-year-old Dylan and his mum are surviving alone in their deserted town, six years on. However, soon tensions begins to surface. A slim book that packs a huge emotional punch.

  • The Boy Whose Wishes Came True

    Author: Helen Rutter
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    Archie Crumb thinks he is nothing special, until a footballing fairy godfather gives him nine wishes and the chance to change everything. A rewarding read that deals with similar issues to Jacqueline Wilson but in a more reassuring way.

  • The Every Baby Book

    Author: Frann Preston-Gannon
    Publisher: Magic Cat
    Interest age: 1-3

    Over the course of one day, we see many different kinds of families engage in the same similar routines: breakfasts, nappy changes, dinners, bedtime. A warm and comforting book with an ultimate message of love and togetherness, which is perfect for bedtime or quieter moments. 

  • The Horror of Dunwick Farm

    Author: Dan Smith Illustrator: Chris King
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    A nightmarish thriller that will make your skin crawl – presented in a super-readable format.

  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements

    Author: Lisa Congdon
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This is probably the best book you’ll read about the periodic table of the elements, and brings a potentially dry subject to life with a bang. Congdon, an ex-teacher and now professional artist, explains things in simple terms, and her illustrations are brilliant and appealing.

  • The Last Firefox

    Author: Lee Newbery Illustrator:
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 8-11
    Reading age: 8+

    A funny, enchanting adventure about a scared boy, a magical fox, a monstrous shape-shifting beast and finding the courage to protect what you love.

  • The Little Things

    Author: Emma Dodd
    Publisher: Templar
    Interest age: 1-3

    International bestseller Emma Dodd is back with another typically heartwarming and sumptuous book for young children. This one follows a giant panda and its adorable cub as they discover the importance of helping others and what really matters in life.

  • The Mermaid in the Millpond

    Author: Lucy Strange Illustrator: Pam Smy
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 8+

    A short, engrossing, historical mystery tinged with fantasy elements that has a surprising amount of tense action and emotional heft. Presented in a super-readable format. 

  • The More Monster

    Author: Hayley Wells
    Publisher: Pavilion
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    This sophisticated and thought-provoking picture book is one for mid-primary school aged readers, or even older children, who can understand and discuss ideas of material possessions, consumerism and even how capitalism works. 

  • The Rollercoaster Boy

    Author: Lisa Thompson Illustrator: Gemma Correll
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Todd's life is like a rollercoaster ride, with endless twists and turns, exacerbated by the unpredictable behaviour of his mentally ill father. A wonderful, multi-layered story, with an intriguing plot, fabulous characters and plenty of humour. 

  • The Sad Ghost Club 2

    Author: Lize Meddings
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 9-13
    Reading age: 9+

    The second instalment in Lize Meddings’ brilliant comic about anxious introverts and their attempts to band together, make friends and start to operate in the outside world is hugely appealing, especially for kids in secondary school who want a quick but cool read. 

  • The Worst Class in the World Dares You!

    Author: Joanna Nadin Illustrator: Rikin Parekh
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
    Interest age: 7-10
    Reading age: 7+

    This is the third book in a hilarious series about the disorderly pupils of Class 4B, labelled 'the worst class in the world' by their brusque headteacher. With two side-splittingly funny short stories, it will delight mischievous children and strike fear into all teachers.

  • Two Terrible Vikings and Grunt the Berserker

    Author: Francesca Simon Illustrator: Steve May
    Publisher: Faber
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    You might know Francesca Simon from the fantastically popular Horrid Henry book, and the Two Terrible Vikings make Henry look like an angel! Packed with super-silly toilet humour, madcap action, and lively cartoonish illustrations.

  • Who Fed Zed?

    Author: Amelia McInerney Illustrator: Adam Nickel
    Publisher: Allen & Unwin
    Interest age: 3-5

    A darkly comic rhyming story about a pet in peril with a clever twist right at the end. Did someone feed Zed the fish bread?