Books We Love in March 2023

Bear and Bird.jpg

Just a few titles we adored this month!

  • The Door of No Return

    Author: Kwame Alexander
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 12+

    In nineteenth-century Ghana, Kofi loves swimming and wants to talk to the beautiful Ama. But he has to fight for his life after a sudden death occurs. A deeply compelling, vital read.

  • The Tale of Truthwater Lake

    Author: Emma Carroll
    Publisher: Faber
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    In 2032, Polly dives into the world of the submerged town Syndercombe in 1952, where Nellie has set herself a swimming challenge she can only complete with the help of two good friends. Another superb story from the Queen of Historical Fiction.

  • Watch Me Bloom

    Author: Krina Patel-Sage
    Publisher: Lantana
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    From lavender to sunflowers and daffodils to orchids, discover a bouquet of short poems celebrating different flower species.

  • Wild Song

    Author: Candy Gourlay
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 9-11

    This story is set in the same world as Candy’s book Bone Talk, which focuses on Samkad’s story in the Philippines set just prior to this one and while it’s not necessary to read Bone Talk before reading Wild Song, it does add an extra dimension to the storytelling and is certainly wonderful partner read.

  • The Swifts

    Author: Beth Lincoln Illustrator: Claire Powell
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude is attacked during a family reunion, Shenanigan Swift and her sisters must work together to identify the would-be killer before they strike again. This hugely entertaining murder mystery is brimming with dire villains, secret passageways and deadly games of Scrabble.

  • Can You Get Rainbows in Space?

    Author: Dr Sheila Kanani Illustrator: Liz Kay
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Bursting with fantastic facts and cool science, approached through the prism of colour, this is a brilliantly original way to explore the world around us.

  • Not Now, Noor!

    Author: Farhana Islam Illustrator: Nabila Adani
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 4-5

    All the women in Noor’s family wear headscarves and she’s curious to find out why. Is a hijab worn to hide big ears or keep snacks safe? 

  • Mummy Time

    Author: Monique James-Duncan Illustrator: Ebony Glenn
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3-5

    Wake up, it’s mummy time! A warm and reassuring picture book about the everyday life of a stay-at-home mother and her two children over the course of a day.

  • When I Became Your Brother

    Author: Susannah Shane Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 7+

    A heartfelt picture book that celebrates the special bond between a brother and his new sibling. Two fox cub siblings share woodland adventures together from morning until night.

  • The Terror of Hilltop House

    Author: Dan Smith Illustrator: Chris King
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When something sinister escapes from Hilltop House scientific research centre, best friends Pete, Krish and Nancy must stop it before it reaches the village and destroys everything in its path.

  • I Send You a Hug

    Author: Anne Booth Illustrator: Åsa Gilland
    Publisher: Puffin Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    A heart-warming, uplifting picture book about the connection between you and someone you love, even if they’re far away.  

  • Bedtime Stories: Incredible Irish Tales from the Past

    Author: Rachel Pierce (and 11-year-old Lola-Mae McCormack) Illustrator: Donough O’Malley Erin Brown Eva Byrne Linda Fahrlin Lydia Hughes Róisín and Úna Woods (cover endpapers and border Jennifer Davison)
    Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This entertaining and informative collection of illustrated short stories shines a light on key people and events from Irish history.

  • The Day we Saved the Future

    Author: Ashley Banjo and Jordan Banjo with Alexandra Sheppard Illustrator: Brittney Bond
    Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When Earth is threatened by a terrifying supervillain, brothers Micah and Cass travel back in time to stop him. An exciting sci-fi adventure packed with futuristic technology.

  • Stink

    Author: Jenny McLachlan
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 7+

    When Danny accidentally summons a feisty green fairy, he does everything he can to send her back to Fairyland before she causes too much havoc. This hilarious tale has a bonkers plot and an imaginative cast of eccentric characters.

  • The Funniest Boy in the World

    Author: Helen Rutter Illustrator: Andrew Bannecker
    Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Billy dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian, so can’t believe his luck when celebrity comic Leo Leggett offers to be his mentor. At first, Billy loves the attention, but after a while, he begins to question Leo’s motives. A funny, heart-warming tale about the trappings of fame and the importance of standing up to bullies.

  • A Day in the Life of an Astronaut, Mars and the Distant Stars

    Author: Mike Barfield Illustrator: Jess Bradley
    Publisher: Buster Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Think you know about space? Think again! You might not have read about it in quite this way before…

  • Emerald and the Ocean Parade

    Author: Harriet Muncaster
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Can Emerald be a mermaid princess in her own special way? Gentle under-the-sea fun for young readers.

  • Ellie Pillai is (almost) in love

    Author: Christine Pillainayagam
    Publisher: Faber & Faber
    Interest age: 12+

    Teens will love this depiction of relationship complications – whether romantic or with friends or family – and won’t be able to help rooting for Ellie as she works out who she is and what she wants.

  • AdventureMice: Otter Chaos!

    Author: Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    When Pedro the mouse meets the Adventuremice, he has a chance to prove his bravery. Can they stop an otter from terrorising the Mouse Islands? A delightful bite-size adventure vibrantly illustrated in full colour.


    Mae Pedro'r llygoden fach wastad wedi breuddwydio am antur fawr, felly gyda chês yn ei law mae'n dechrau ar ei daith ac yn cael ei hun ar y traet…

  • Xanthe and the Ruby Crown

    Author: Jasbinder Bilan
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Nani is becoming very forgetful and Xanthe doesn’t know how to help – until a mysterious cat leads her to long-lost artefacts that help bring Nani’s memories back to life. Captivating.

  • The Children’s Book of Birdwatching

    Author: Dan Rouse
    Publisher: DK
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    With bird numbers in decline around the world, it’s more important than ever for us to understand what our feathered friends need and how we can help them, and encourage them back to our outdoor spaces.

  • Call the Puffins!

    Author: Cath Howe Illustrator: Ella Okstad
    Publisher: Welbeck Flame
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Muffin the puffin wants to join the Puffin Rescue Team, but will her oddly-shaped feet let her down? A delightful tale of courage, making friends and starting new challenges.


    Mae hon yn stori hyfryd, wedi'i darlunio'n hardd mewn du a gwyn gyda phalod annwyl dros ben. Bydd darllenwyr ifanc yn deall pryderon Muffin am ffitio mewn yn yr 'ysgol' a gwneud ffrind…

  • The Worry Jar

    Author: Lou John Illustrator: Jenny Bloomfield
    Publisher: Oxford
    Interest age: 4-5

    Frida is a bit of a worrier. She worries what clothes to wear to go out, whose table to sit at at school, the peas on her plate and she definitely worries about swimming. What if there’s a shark in the pool?

  • The Táin

    Author: Alan Titley Illustrator: Eoin Coveney
    Publisher: Little Island Books
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    A gory re-telling of Ireland’s traditional battle epic, with many gruesome details of the violence that the warrior Cúchulainn inflicts on his enemies. Suitable for older children, this is a prose version of the myth that explores courage, jealousy and the futility of violence.

  • these are the words

    Author: Nikita Gill
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 11+

    Fearless verse for the times when you need a friendly, wise voice. Feminist, inclusive and warm – this must-have collection of poems will speak to all teens.

  • Bear and Bird: The Picnic and Other Stories

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

    Bear and Bird are best friends, and, like many friends, sometimes one or the other of them makes a mistake or gets cross or jealous of the other. Luckily, though, they’re good enough friends to get past any hiccups or mishaps they might encounter, and get on with the important stuff: enjoying each other’s company and being a bit silly, now and again.


    Llyfr …

  • Being You: Poems of Positivity

    Author: Daniel Thompson Illustrator: Julia Murray
    Publisher: Collins
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 7+

    Sometimes we all need a bit of a positive boost, and this book of 50 poems packed with positivity and happiness is just the ticket.

  • The Laugh

    Author: Fay Evans Illustrator: Ayşe Klinge
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    A deeply moving picture book about grief and bereavement that will be sure to help children feel that someone understands what they’re feeling.

  • Epic Animal Journeys: Navigations and Migrations by Air, Land and Sea

    Author: Ed J Brown
    Publisher: Cicada Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Migrating animals are found in all areas of the animal kingdom: birds, fish, reptiles, crustaceans, amphibians, mammals and insects. But why do they do it, and how does it work? There’s so much to learn, from the varying migration routes of different birds (gannets can cross oceans easily as they can take breaks to swim, float and fish for food, and storks r…

  • Ten Ways to Build a Brilliant Brain

    Author: Nicola Morgan Illustrator: Risa Rodil
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    We all have a brain, but it’s likely that, ironically, we very rarely ever think about what it’s doing for us all day long (and at night). But it’s doing some pretty amazing things: keeping us breathing, giving us dreams, regulating our blood pressure and all manner of other complicated things.

  • When I’m Gone

    Author: Marguerite McLaren Illustrator: Hayley Wells
    Publisher: Ladybird Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    Heart-breaking and beautiful, while also accessible and practical, this picture book about grief and bereavement will be an invaluable resource for children who’ve suffered loss.

  • Moonflight

    Author: Gill Lewis Illustrator: Pippa Curnick
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Could Tilbury Twitch-Whiskers really be the rat hero to return the legendary diamond and break its curse? A thrilling adventure with a classic feel, set in a richly drawn world of rats.

  • Engineers Making a Difference

    Author: Dr Shini Somara Illustrator: Manuel Šumberac and Adam Allsuch Boardman
    Publisher: What on Earth Books
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 12+

    A fascinating and accessible introduction to the variety of engineers across the globe making a difference in their jobs. Sure to inspire all secondary school pupils.