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Books we love in June 2020

The front cover of Fig Swims the World

Here's our pick of the top books for children in June 2020.

  • This is Crab

    Author: Harriet Evans Illustrator: Jacqui Lee
    Publisher: Caterpillar Books
    Interest age: 2-5

    Meet Crab! He needs a bit of encouragement to come out of his cave - and he might need some help in learning not to pinch a nearby octopus. This tongue-in-cheek picture book for little ones combines gentle humour with plenty of movement cues, and is a surefire hit at bedtime.

  • Ceri & Deri: The Very Smelly Telly Show

    Author: Max Low
    Publisher: Graffeg
    Interest age: 4-5

    Best friends Ceri and Deri can't seem to pull Dai the duck away from his telly to play with them - until they find a smelly old cardboard box to make their own show with!

  • Don't Call Me Grumpycorn

    Author: Sarah McIntyre
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Unicorn gets annoyed when his friend Jellyfish calls him Grumpycorn… even though he's being very grumpy indeed! But is being a Unicorn all it's cracked up to be - and might his friends have a point? A bright, funny story about how we can all be Grumpycorns when things aren’t quite going our way.

  • I'm Not A Mouse!

    Author: Evgenia Golubeva
    Publisher: Child's Play
    Interest age: 4-5

    Olivia hates her mum's pet name for her - 'Mouse' - because every time Mum calls her mouse, Olivia turns into one! Olivia decides to stop responding to 'Mouse', but then starts to realise that she's not the only one with a nickname problem...

  • Mrs Noah's Garden

    Author: Jackie Morris Illustrator: James Mayhew
    Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    Inspired by the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, the central character in this charming picture book is the strong, compassionate and quietly determined figure of Mrs Noah, who is determined to create a beautiful garden once the Ark reaches dry land.

  • I Didn't Do It!

    Author: Michael Foreman
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Milo wants to get to the big bike race in town - and he's in such a hurry, he manages to leave a path of destruction in his wake. A lovely picture book which gently encourages children to think about the consequences of their actions.

  • The Seed of Compassion

    Author: His Holiness the Dalai Lama Illustrator: Bao Luu
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 4-8

    This interesting non-fiction book introduces children to the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, charting his life from early childhood to the present day. 

  • Llama Glamarama

    Author: Simon James Green Illustrator: Garry Parsons
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 4-5

    Larry the llama has a secret: at night, he becomes a dazzling llama with a penchant for sparkle. Yet Larry worries that the other llamas won’t understand. Will Larry find a place where he fits in? And, perhaps, will he end up feeling comfortable enough to be himself with the other llamas too?

  • The Moonlight Zoo

    Author: Maudie Powell-Tuck Illustrator: Karl James Mountford
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Eva's cat, Luna, has been missing for two days and Eva is really worried. Yet, as Eva stares out at the moon, wishing for Luna to come home, she hears a noise under her bed and finds The Moonlight Zoo, a place that keeps all lost animals safe at night. A magical tale with high colour artwork and a reassuring story.

  • Karate Kids

    Author: Holly Sterling
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    It’s Saturday morning and Maya is excited to go to her karate class at the dojo! A perfect read for little ones who might be starting a karate or other martial arts class, Karate Kids is reassuring, kind and will dispel any potential nervousness.

  • Elephant in My Kitchen!

    Author: Smriti Halls Illustrator: Ella Okstad
    Publisher: Egmont
    Interest age: 4-5

    A young boy is rather perturbed when he discovers an elephant in his kitchen, munching her way through the chocolate biscuits. What's she doing there and how can he get rid of her?  The important environmental message of this book is delivered in an accessible manner, and children are sure to delight in the cheeky animal antics.

  • Mrs Bibi's Elephant

    Author: Reza Dalvand
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 5+

    Mrs Bibi and her pet elephant love going for walks, playing with the local children, having afternoon tea and reading stories - but the money-obsessed townspeople don’t like this at all and want Mrs Bibi's elephant to be put in a zoo. A stunning, colourful work about the importance of happiness, animals, and friendship.

  • Kitty and the Sky Garden Adventure

    Author: Paula Harrison Illustrator: Jenny Løvlie
    Publisher: Oxford
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 6+

    A densely illustrated superhero adventure for young readers. Can Kitty, a superhero-in-training, control a gang of naughty cats and protect the magical sky garden high above the city?

  • Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World

    Author: Rachel Ignotofsky
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 8+

    An appealing, meaningful and well-researched book, perfectly pitched for older primary aged children. It’s impossible not to be inspired by the work of these women artists, and hopefully learning about their contributions will ensure a new generation of artists.

  • Climate Rebels

    Author: Ben Lerwill
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    An inspiring collection of climate activists from all over the world, perfect for older primary school children. It’s the ideal way to feel informed about what’s going on now, and will have young readers thinking about they can help in their own communities.

  • Dream Team: Attack of the Heebie Jeebies

    Author: Tom Percival
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    After storming off to bed upset and in a terrible mood, Erika wakes up in the most incredible place ever: there are rainbow-coloured trees, super bouncy grass and waterfalls that flow up instead of down. But she's in danger of being trapped there... can she find her way home?

  • Scribble Witch: Notes in Class

    Author: Inky Willis
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    When a tiny, papery witch springs from Molly’s pen pot, she hopes for some magical help but what she actually gets is trouble – with a capital T! 

  • Viking Voyagers: Discover the Story of the Vikings

    Author: Jack Tite
    Publisher: Big Picture Press
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 6+

    Engaging, clear and stylish illustration along with some glorious fold-out sections make this book a real treat to discover. A wonderful, detailed look at all aspects of Viking culture, from crafts to boats, legends, social hierarchies, food, animals and fighting methods

  • Hello, Universe

    Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
    Publisher: Piccadilly
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Virgil, or 'Turtle' for his shyness, has a crush on Valencia - the trouble is, she doesn't know he exists. After a run-in with the school bully leaves Virgil trapped in an old well, it's up to Virgil's friends to rescue him before it's too late.

  • Starfell: Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale

    Author: Dominique Valente Illustrator: Sarah Warburton
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Can a young witch, who once saved the world, rescue her friend from ruthless kidnappers now that her magic is misbehaving?

  • Hope Jones Saves the World

    Author: Josh Lacey Illustrator: Beatriz Castro
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Hope has managed to convince her dad to switch to eco-friendly products to save the planet - but getting her sister to ditch her favourite over-packaged make-up is trickier. When Hope begins protesting outside the supermarket, she quickly attracts lots of media attention - but when she's invited to meet the CEO, will she be able to make a difference?

  • The Threads of Magic

    Author: Alison Croggon
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    When Pip picks a wealthy pocket and gets hold of a valuable silver box, he is both fascinated and horrified by what he finds inside. 

  • Where the Wilderness Lives

    Author: Jess Butterworth
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    When Cara and her siblings find a mysterious safe, they're desperate to find out what's inside - but their plans are waylaid when a fire destroys their houseboat and their mum is hospitalised. Together they must face down foster carers, brave the wilderness, and escape a thief, all the while looking after the safe - which might just contain something to chan…

  • The Faraway Truth

    Author: Janae Marks
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Zoe has never met her father, who is in prison for life. But what if he was innocent? When a letter arrives, she sets out on a quest to clear his name.

  • A Kind of Spark

    Author: Elle McNicoll
    Publisher: Knights Of
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    When 11 year old Addie, who is autistic, learns about the 16th century women who were persecuted for witchcraft, she starts to lobby for a local memorial in her small Scottish village. With the help of a new girl at school, she fights valiantly against injustice and oppression.

  • Bluebeard

    Author: Metaphrog
    Publisher: Papercutz
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    This graphic novel is a beautifully realised retelling of the dark Bluebeard fairytale with a satisfying feminist twist. A wonderful book for reluctant readers and suited to children aged 8+ due to the slighly 'horror' elements of its content.

  • The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour

    Author: Ally Carter
    Publisher: Orchard
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    April and her new friends find themselves in the Winterborne Home for orphans - but there's more to the Winterborne history than meets the eye.  A thrilling mystery for whodunnit fans looking for their next Nancy Drew.

  • Storm

    Author: Nicola Skinner
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Frankie Frida Ripley was born during a storm, and her mum has always said that a little piece of it must have stayed inside her. When Frankie's entire village is wiped out in a natural disaster, she finds herself alone, an angry poltergeist stuck spooking tourists. But maybe that little piece of storm has its uses...

  • Doctor Who: The Maze of Doom

    Author: David Solomons Illustrator: Beatriz Castro and George Ermos
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The Doctor embarks on another thrilling adventure to save the universe, accompanied by her brave companions Yaz, Graham and Ryan. When a mysterious artefact explodes on board the TARDIS, it emits the force of a nuclear weapon. The Doctor traces another object made from the same material - but she's not the only one who is searching for the explosive rel…

  • Fig Swims the World

    Author: Lou Abercrombie
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Reading age: 12+

    Fig is tired of her mother making New Year's resolutions for her, so this year she's come up with her own - to swim around the world (she just has to learn how to swim first). A wonderful coming-of-age adventure that will leave young people feeling inspired.

  • Pretty Funny

    Author: Rebecca Elliott
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 12+

    Haylah Swinton wants to be a stand-up comic, but her lack of confidence stands in her way. Can she find the self-esteem to love her body and reject the boy who’s using her?