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Great Books Guide 2018: for 4 to 5 year olds

The New Neighbours

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2018), which we think any child aged 4 to 5 will love. We definitely do!

Check out the full Great Books Guide

  • A Dog With Nice Ears

    Author: Lauren Child
    Publisher: Hachette

    It’s always a delight and a comfort to step into the lovely world of Charlie and Lola and this charming, warm and very funny book is no exception. Lauren Child captures perfectly the thought processes and dialogue of children who wish they had a dog.

  • Billy and the Beast

    Author: Nadia Shireen
    Publisher: Puffin

    Billy and her friend Fatcat are enjoying a walk in the woods when they notice that the bunnies and mice have gone missing – and a hungry Beast is collecting ingredients for a terrible soup. An empowering story, full of humour and humanity. 

  • Cake

    Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet
    Publisher: Macmillan

    Cake is delighted when he receives his first ever party invitation. But will being a cake at a birthday party really end well…? Lots of humour and vibrant illustrations will have children giggling in anticipation as they wait to discover Cake’s fate.

  • Creature Features

    Author: Natasha Durley
    Publisher: Big Picture Press

    This large format book about nature features tough card pages full of brightly illustrated animals, organised by their special features: excellent for young readers building their vocabulary and learning about the natural world.

  • Cyril and Pat

    Author: Emily Gravett
    Publisher: Two Hoots

    When a squirrel and a rat in Lake Park become friends, no one seems to approve of their friendship. A colourful, funny and endearing story about friendship against the odds.

  • Gary’s Banana Drama

    Author: Jane Massey
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

    When Gary the gorilla runs out of bananas, his favourite food, he’s forced to go out and find more. An engaging central character and bold illustrations packed with visual puns will make this comical story an instant favourite.

  • Going to the Volcano

    Author: Andy Stanton Illustrator: Miguel Ordonez
    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

    Dwayne is heading off with Jane to look at the volcano. But when they get there, they have a bit of a shock! This hilarious and anarchic picture book from the author of the Mr Gum series is ideal for reading aloud.

  • Hello, Hot Dog!

    Author: Lily Murray Illustrator: Jarvis
    Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books

    Hot Dog is having a lovely snooze on a comfy bread roll when he suddenly realises he’s about to become... LUNCH! A quirky tale that's likely to induce fits of giggling in young readers.

  • How To Be A Lion

    Author: Ed Vere
    Publisher: Puffin

    Leonard is a gentle lion: just because you’re a lion doesn’t mean that you have to roar. A book about ignoring the aggressive voices in our society and lending an ear to our quieter thoughts, this is a warm and reassuring story. 

  • Julian is a Mermaid

    Author: Jessica Love
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Julian decides to become a mermaid – with a little help from his nana’s soft furnishings! Sparse text and vibrant illustrations celebrate Julian’s individuality in a story of acceptance, joy and living your dreams. 

  • Juniper Jupiter

    Author: Lizzy Stewart
    Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books

    Juniper Jupiter is a real-life superhero, but something is missing. What is a hero without an amazing sidekick? An utterly witty and earnest story about the quest for friendship and realising special bonds already forged.

  • Luna Loves Library Day

    Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Fiona Lumbers
    Publisher: Anderson Press

    From the talented poet Joseph Coelho, this charming picture book highlights the wonders of libraries for families and communities. Accompanying the poetic text is gloriously bright and delightful illustrations to bring the magic of the library to life.

  • Mixed

    Author: Arree Chung
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

    Reds, Yellows and Blues have always lived happily together, but when a renegade Red causes conflict, the colours divide. A funny, vibrantly illustrated, allegorical tale about understanding and acceptance.

  • Planet Awesome!

    Author: Stacy McAnulty Illustrator: David Litchfield
    Publisher: Faber & Faber

    A humorous and entertaining introduction to astronomy, geology, natural history and ecology, from the point of view of planet Earth (we mean 'Awesome') herself.

  • Simon Sock

    Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet Illustrator: Nick East
    Publisher: Hodder Children's Books

    All the socks in the draw have pairs except for Simon Sock - he's all alone. He's odd. But when there's a voice from under the chest of drawers, will he be about to meet his perfect match? A bright and sweet book about relationships.

  • Ten Fat Sausages

    Author: Michelle Robinson Illustrator: Tor Freeman
    Publisher: Andersen Press

    Everything in this sausagey counting book works perfectly: from the big, bold illustration to the satisfying rhyme that works well for preschoolers. It will also entertain adults and older children, who will really get the silly humour.

  • The Last Wolf

    Author: Mini Grey
    Publisher: Jonathan Cape

    The Last Wolf ranks alongside Mini Grey’s other picture book masterpieces, with all her trademark rich, characterful illustration, quirky humour and perfect pacing. The story has an environmental message but is in no way preachy or boring.

  • The New Neighbours

    Author: Sarah McIntyre
    Publisher: David Fickling Books

    Sarah McIntyre returns to Pickle Rye, the setting for her comic Vern and Lettuce, in this clever book about tolerance and not believing gossip. Readers will love her customary attention to detail, as well as the message about being a good neighbour.

  • Valdemar's Peas

    Author: Maria Jönsson
    Publisher: Gecko Press

    Valdemar knows that all his peas must be eaten before he can have ice cream. How unfair! Yet a brilliant idea makes sure he gets his ice cream without eating a single pea...

  • Katinka’s Tail

    Author: Judith Kerr
    Publisher: HarperCollins

    Katinka is an ordinary and lovely white pussycat – apart from her tail, which is stripy. This is a beautiful, funny, warm and tender picture book, which takes a joyous and magical twist at the end. Fans of Judith Kerr’s Mog books will love it, of course...