New children's books we love

Every month, we review dozens of books for children and teenagers. Here are the ones we liked best in November: guaranteed to get your child reading... 

Whether they're a teeny toddler or a very particular teen, this is where you can find your child's next amazing book: just scroll down to find books for a range of ages. 

You can also keep track of the latest titles by looking at our past reading recommendations in:

For ages 0-3 and up

Elmer’s Weather

Author: David McKee

Everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant is experiencing all kinds of weather in this chunky board book for the very youngest book lovers. A lovely way to introduce a classic character. 

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Little Boat

Author: Taro Gomi

Little Boat is navigating the big sea all by himself. Will he make it through the storm? A gentle and reassuring adventure that would make a nice first bedtime story.

Read more about Little Boat

For ages 3-5 and up

Dave the Lonely Monster

Author: Anna Kemp Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie

A monster called Dave is banished to a 'retirement cave' after he causes too much of a ruckus. But surely there's a time and place for a bit of monster fun? A joy of a picture book, with a warm and feel-good centre.

Read more about Dave the Lonely Monster

Giraffe Problems

Author: Jory John Illustrator: Lane Smith

Giraffe has decided he doesn’t like his neck. It’s too long, too bendy; it’s just too… necky. Lane Smith’s stunning illustrations are a perfect match for Jory John’s hilarious text, which also has an important and timeless message of self-worth and body positivity.

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Look

Author: Fiona Woodcock

Every single word in this story, about a brother and sister who go to the zoo, has a double "o" in it. Ooh! Cool! Showcasing stunning typography as well as fabulous illustrations, Look is playful, inventive and inspiring.

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Oi Duck-Billed Platypus

Author: Kes Gray Illustrator: Jim Field

The latest book in the Oi Frog! series sees the return of our favourite characters who are cheeky, adorable and ever so clever. More than a fantastically funny story, it’s a book that will encourage talk, play, rhyme and laughter for everyone in the family.

Read more about Oi Duck-Billed Platypus

Oscar the Hungry Unicorn

Author: Lou Carter Illustrator: Nikki Dyson

Oscar, a glum-looking unicorn, is so hungry he eats his own stable, and the trouble doesn't stop there. Turning classic fairy tales upside down, this hilarious book will brighten up any day. 

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The Lost Property Office

Author: Emily Rand

When a little girl leaves her teddy on the train, her Grandpa has a brainwave and takes the little girl to the Lost Property Office, which is full of all manner of amazing things. A reassuringly lovely and vivid story about where the lost things go – and are found. 

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For ages 5-8 and up

Corey’s Rock

Author: Sita Brahmachari Illustrator: Jane Ray

Isla and her family move to the Orkney Islands from Edinburgh after Isla’s five-year-old brother Corey passes away. Soon, she learns all about selkies and the myths behind them... Sensitive, sad and ultimately uplifting, with beautiful illustrations. 

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Everest

Author: Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng

Children will love this beautiful and fascinating introduction to Everest, and it’s a particularly useful resource for primary schools who are looking at international features such as mountains in Key Stage 1 and 2.

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Hubert Horatio: How to Raise Your Grown-Ups

Author: Lauren Child

This is the fabulous story of the millionaire family The Bobton-Trents, and how their only child Hubert becomes a responsible and sensible child due to his woefully irresponsible and senseless parents! A great first chapter book that's a fun and witty read.

Read more about Hubert Horatio: How to Raise Your Grown-Ups

Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli

Author: Katherine Rundell Illustrator: Kristjana S Williams

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, this splendid collection of five short stories focuses on a variety of characters from the original tale. Full of stylish illustrations and a hardback cover, it would make a stunning gift book.

Read more about Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli

Knights and Bikes

Author: Gabrielle Kent Illustrator: Rex Crowle and Luke Newell

Knights and Bikes is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure mixing together myth and magic, ghosts and curses, and starring two brilliant main characters. Let the treasure hunt commence! 

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Little People, Big Dreams: Josephine Baker

Author: Isabel Sanchez Vegara Illustrator: Agathe Sorlet

Looking back at the life of Josephine Baker, this book captures a bubbly personality but also shows another side to this public figure, away from the jazz and razzmatazz. As ever, the Little People, Big Dreams series both educates and inspires. 

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Monster School

Author: Kate Coombs Illustrator: Lee Gatlin

This richly illustrated collection of ghoulish poetry is set in a kindergarten full of young ghosts, goblins and zombies. Accompanied by macabre illustrations and plenty of gruesome humour, these spooky rhymes are great fun to read aloud to little monsters.

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Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets

Author: Alex T Smith

Alex T Smith’s second book in the hilarious Mr Penguin series is a plunging plane-ride of action and excitement with a very British sensibility that will delight fans of funny illustrated books. A cross between Poirot and Indiana Jones for younger ones!

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Myth Atlas: Maps and Monsters, Heroes and Gods from Twelve Mythological Worlds

Author: Thiago de Moraes

The mythological worlds of 12 cultures from Ireland to Japan, Polynesia to the mythos of the Hindu world are explored here in a beautiful collection, which helps children to celebrate and respect the wonderful differences in the way people see the world.

Read more about Myth Atlas: Maps and Monsters, Heroes and Gods from Twelve Mythological Worlds

Nice Work for the Cat and the King

Author: Nick Sharratt

The second book from Nick Sharratt about the long-suffering, loyal cat and the well-meaning but somewhat ineffectual King: perfect for younger ones that want something longer than a picture book but still love silly humour and a great, well-written concept.

Read more about Nice Work for the Cat and the King

Poppy Field

Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Michael Foreman

Inspired by John McCrae’s war poem In Flanders Fields, this touching story is ideal to share with young children to promote discussion about the impact of war and the nature of remembrance. 

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For ages 9-12 and up

A Dangerous Game

Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Mike Lowery

Sam’s sickle-cell anaemia means he has trouble keeping up with the other boys in his class, but a school trip into the wild gives him the chance to be a hero. A fast-paced adventure story with plenty of peril and heart. 

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A Good Night for Shooting Zombies

Author: Jaco Jacobs Translator: Kobus Geldenhuys Illustrator: Jim Tierney

When Martin and his neighbour bond over their love for horror films, he helps him realise his ambition to create a zombie movie. A wonderfully quirky, humorous and heartwarming read, with a compelling plot.

Read more about A Good Night for Shooting Zombies

Armistice Runner

Author: Tom Palmer Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

Lily, a keen fell-runner, is worried about her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. Her great-grandfather’s running diaries, which he kept during World War One, give her a way to connect with her grandmother. An emotive and refreshing story.

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Endling

Author: Katherine Applegate

Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes in this gripping animal quest full of curious creatures. Bending myth, fantasy and sci-fi into one, it's a page-turning adventure packed with brilliant characters.

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Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals

Author: David Long & Kerry Hyndman

For as long as there have been wars, animals have been saving lives. So begins the short preface to this fascinating and heartwarming book, featuring 33 true stories of heroic animals in wartime.

Read more about Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals

Picklewitch and Jack

Author: Claire Barker Illustrator: Teemu Juhani

A chuckle-filled story about the most unlikely of friendships between a mischievous witch who lives at the bottom of the garden and brainbox, Jack, who was voted Most Sensible Boy in School for three years running.

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Pizzasaurus Rex

Author: Justin Wagner and Coloured by Warren Wucinich

This American comic offers loud, unadulterated fun from start to finish. A page-turning, laugh-out-loud adventure for the over-10s.

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Shine Mountain

Author: Julie Hunt

When a young girl discovers that a magical artefact is malevolent, and could kill members of her family, she embarks on a dangerous and frightening quest to find the origin of the object and, ultimately, to destroy it.

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Snowglobe

Author: Amy Wilson

This fantasy adventure features some formidable female characters and illustrates the importance of being true to yourself. Love, loss, magic and friendship are all explored and readers will welcome Clem’s change from bullied loner into powerful magician.

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The Clockwork Crow

Author: Catherine Fisher

Orphan Seren Rhys has been sent to live with her mysterious Godfather after living for 12 years in an orphanage. The possibility of her first happy family Christmas seems like it might finally be within her reach.

On her solo journey to Wales, Seren is given a mysterious package to look after by a stranger and ends up feeling obliged to take it with her. But…

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The Skylarks' War

Author: Hilary McKay

Clarry and Peter love spending their summers in Cornwall with their cousin Rupert, but how will things change when he enlists for the First World War? A hugely evocative, powerful and impressive story.

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Wundersmith

Author: Jessica Townsend

The second book set in the magical world of Nevermoor, and Morrigan Crow is now officially a member of the much coveted Wundrous Society, or "Wunsoc". Ideal for Harry Potter fans, with masterful storytelling, twisty plotting and thrilling magic. 

Read more about Wundersmith

For teens (12+)

Kerb-Stain Boys: The Crongton Broadway Robbery

Author: Alex Wheatle

Briggsy, his best friend Terror and the love of Terror’s life, Caldonia, are 14 year olds living on the wrong side of the tracks. Soon, their vague fantasy of robbing a post office descends into farce. A hilarious, thrilling and uplifting read that's a breath of fresh air.

Read more about Kerb-Stain Boys: The Crongton Broadway Robbery

Rosie Loves Jack

Author: Mel Darbon

Sixteen-year-old Rosie (who has Down’s syndrome) is devastated when circumstances separate her from boyfriend Jack (who has some brain injury-related anger management issues). An absorbing read with a powerful and convincing affection at its centre.

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Shadow of the Fox

Author: Julie Kagawa

In a land faraway, they tell of a mythical Dragon-god who appears only once every thousand years and can grant any wish. First of a trilogy of absorbing fantasy thrillers that draws inspiration from Japanese culture, myth and folklore. 

Read more about Shadow of the Fox

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