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Ten books with words and pictures


Here are ten books in which words and pictures work really well together.

The list reflects the fact that books with pictures are not just for the very young; some will appeal to oler readers and even teenagers.

  • Handa's Surprise

    Author: Eileen Browne
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 5+

    Glorious images of an African village convey the sights, smells and colours of the landscape, its animals and its food in a story told as much through pictures as through words.

  • Wolves

    Author: Emily Gravett
    Publisher: Macmillan Children's books
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 4+

    This is a humorous, highly imaginative and original picture book and even comes with an alternative vegetarian ending! 

  • The Story of Tracy Beaker

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 8+

    Tracy lives in a children's home but constantly hopes that her absent, glamorous Mum will come and take her away.

  • Penguin

    Author: Polly Dunbar
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 5+

    Polly Dunbar's illustrations are gorgeous and her palette stylish - from the endearing Ben's rosy cheeks to the magnificent turquoise lion who eats him up.

  • Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear

    Author: Andy Stanton Illustrator: David Tazzyman
    Publisher: Egmont
    Interest age: 7+
    Reading age: 8+

    Mr Gum is a very nasty man. He is mean, cruel, smelly and ruthless and has a dastardly plan to make money out of Padlock the bear.

  • The Graveyard Book

    Author: Neil Gaiman Illustrator: Chris Riddell
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 11+

    After his family are killed, Bod is brought up in a graveyard by ghosts.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    Author: Jeff Kinney
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 8+

    Greg Heffley is a normal American kid, albeit one with a habit of getting into (and out of) trouble.

  • Box of Tricks

    Author: Katie Cleminson
    Publisher: Jonathan Cape
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 6+

    Every child loves an empty box and here, with the help of some magic, it contains a fantasy birthday party.

  • Tales From Outer Suburbia

    Author: Shaun Tan
    Publisher: Templar
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 10+

    These often thought-provoking stories look at the reactions ordinary people have to the unusual situations they find themselves in and feature a host of different illustrative styles ranging from collage to painterly Edward Hopper-esque scenes.

  • Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood

    Author: Tony Lee Illustrator: Sam Hart and Artur Fujita
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 9+

    This is a captivating retelling of the Robin Hood story with punchy dialogue and suitably dark and atmospheric images.