Great picture books for the summer holidays

Billy and the Beast

The summer holidays are here, which means picnics in the park, getaways to the beach and lazing in the back garden (weather permitting). 

Take one or two of these books out with you. You can have a read inbetween having lunch and playing on the swings!

  • Sunny Side Up

    Author: Clare Helen Welsh Illustrator: Ana Sanfelippo

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Sunny Side Up

    Author: Clare Helen Welsh Illustrator: Ana Sanfelippo

    Interest level: 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 d…

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  • Sofia Valdez, Future Prez

    Author: Andrea Beaty Illustrator: David Roberts

    Interest level: 6-11

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Sofia Valdez, Future Prez

    Author: Andrea Beaty Illustrator: David Roberts

    Interest level: 6-11

    Reading age: 6+

    Sofia Valdez isn’t just a do-gooder: she’s a do-better, visiting people in her community who can’t get out much, or just stopping …

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  • Trains, Boats and Planes

    Author: Michelle Robinson Illustrator: Jez Tuya

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Trains, Boats and Planes

    Author: Michelle Robinson Illustrator: Jez Tuya

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age: 7+

    Transport and dogs come together in this bright, joyful picture book which follows a train, boat and plane over the course of a bu…

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  • How To Be A Lion

    Author: Ed Vere

    Interest level: 3-7

    Reading age: 5+

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  • How To Be A Lion

    Author: Ed Vere

    Interest level: 3-7

    Reading age: 5+

    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…

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  • The Cloudspotter

    Author: Tom McLaughlin

    Interest level: 3-7

    Reading age: 6+

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  • The Cloudspotter

    Author: Tom McLaughlin

    Interest level: 3-7

    Reading age: 6+

    Franklin was called 'The Cloudspotter' - and he didn't want to share his clouds with anyone. That's why he pops the infuriating Sc…

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  • Snug as a Bug?

    Author: Karl Newson Illustrator: Alex Willmore

    Interest level: 4-5

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  • Snug as a Bug?

    Author: Karl Newson Illustrator: Alex Willmore

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age:

    Ronald the bug is very snug in his cosy home, until he makes the mistake of answering the door to Snake, who tries to eat him. Sad…

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  • Unicorn Not Wanted

    Author: Fred Blunt

    Interest level: 4-5

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  • Unicorn Not Wanted

    Author: Fred Blunt

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age:

    This is NOT a story about unicorns. Or pugs. It is set in the Wild West, with cowboys. But hang on a minute – who’s that? Toddlers…

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  • Into the Wild

    Author: Thomas Docherty

    Interest level: 4-5

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  • Into the Wild

    Author: Thomas Docherty

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age:

    Joe loves wild animals and nature, but he lives in the city where it feels like there is no wildness to be found.

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  • Hedgehog Holidays

    Author: Ruth Green

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Hedgehog Holidays

    Author: Ruth Green

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

    Herbert and Hilda Hedgehog have been enjoying a book about the seaside and decide to go and see it for themselves. This gentle sto…

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  • Don’t Be Silly!

    Author: Padmacandra

    Interest level: 4-5

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  • Don’t Be Silly!

    Author: Padmacandra

    Interest level: 4-5

    Reading age:

    Bouncy Bo and Little Smudge are always being told ‘Don’t Be Silly!’ when they’re just having fun. But what fun do their grandparen…

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  • Hector and Hummingbird

    Author: Nicholas John Frith

    Interest level: 4-7

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Hector and Hummingbird

    Author: Nicholas John Frith

    Interest level: 4-7

    Reading age: 5+

    The story of Hector and Hummingbird is a lovely one for children with - sometimes irritating but always lovable - little brothers …

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  • Seal Surfer

    Author: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Seal Surfer

    Author: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

    A welcome re-publication of Foreman's timeless and evocative account of a boy's relationship with life and death.

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  • Going to the Volcano

    Author: Andy Stanton Illustrator: Miguel Ordonez

    Interest level: 4-7

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Going to the Volcano

    Author: Andy Stanton Illustrator: Miguel Ordonez

    Interest level: 4-7

    Reading age: 5+

    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 a…

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  • We Are Not Frogs!

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Sam Usher

    Interest level: 4-6

    Reading age: 5+

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  • We Are Not Frogs!

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Sam Usher

    Interest level: 4-6

    Reading age: 5+

    Alice and Jago are playing in granny's garden one day when they find lots of toads in the long grass. Michael Morpurgo's lovely na…

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  • Rules of Summer

    Author: Shaun Tan

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Rules of Summer

    Author: Shaun Tan

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 5+

    An excellent book illustrating 'what I learned last summer' that would be an inspiring addition to any bookshelf.

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  • I Need a Wee!

    Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

    Interest level: 3-7

    Reading age: 5+

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  • I Need a Wee!

    Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

    Interest level: 3-7

    Reading age: 5+

    Alan the bear is having a fantastic time at the funfair until he starts dancing in that unmistakeable way and his friends have to …

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  • My Two Grandads

    Author: Floella Benjamin Illustrator: Margaret Chamerlain

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 8+

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  • My Two Grandads

    Author: Floella Benjamin Illustrator: Margaret Chamerlain

    Interest level: 6-8

    Reading age: 8+

    Aston’s granddads are different from each other, but both love playing musical instruments.

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  • Billy and the Beast

    Author: Nadia Shireen

    Interest level: 4-6

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Billy and the Beast

    Author: Nadia Shireen

    Interest level: 4-6

    Reading age: 6+

    Billy and her friend Fatcat are enjoying a walk in the woods when they notice that the bunnies and mice have gone missing – a…

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  • Pass It On

    Author: Sophy Henn

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Pass It On

    Author: Sophy Henn

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

    The little girl in this bright, happy book embraces the simple act of passing on smiles, laughs, chuckles and whoops to others.

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  • Friends

    Author: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 3-5

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  • Friends

    Author: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 3-5

    Reading age:

    Foreman's characteristic, beautifully soft and gentle illustrations are used to great effect in this simple but powerful picture b…

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  • Bee

    Author: Britta Teckentrup

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Bee

    Author: Britta Teckentrup

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

    This bee-autiful and special book takes children on a poetic journey through the bee's day.

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  • Smart About Sharks

    Author: Owen Davey

    Interest level: 4-12

    Reading age: 7+

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  • Smart About Sharks

    Author: Owen Davey

    Interest level: 4-12

    Reading age: 7+

    Presenting an ever-popular topic, this fantastic, high quality illustrated book is fascinating and attractive.

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  • Finn Family Moomintroll

    Author: Tove Jansson Translator: Elizabeth Portch

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Finn Family Moomintroll

    Author: Tove Jansson Translator: Elizabeth Portch

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

    Moomintroll is cheerful and chubby and lives in the magical Moominvalley with his mother, Moominmamma, his father, Moominpappa and…

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