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 September. 

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

You can also take a look at our past book recommendations for:

For ages 0-3 and up

Follow Me

Author: Lucie Sheridan

This simple and effective board book is great fun for little fingers to explore. Each page shows a different touchy-feely track for hands to follow around the page. 

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Hungry Bunny

Author: Claudia Rueda

Bunny’s tummy is rumbling as he stretches to reach a juicy red apple in a tree. But it’s too high! Can you, the reader, help? This playful, interactive adventure places the child at the heart of the fun.

Read more about Hungry Bunny

Time for a Nap

Author: Phillis Gershator Illustrator: David Walker

This sweet rhyming book about the tricky business of napping keeps the tone light, with cute and colourful illustrations. It could easily become part of the routine at home: ‘What time is it? Time for a nap!’

Read more about Time for a Nap

Vehicles ABC

Author: Jannie Ho

This alphabet board book is a surefire hit for any little people who love things that go. The sturdy card pages mean even overenthusiastic readers can’t damage the book and it will stand up to being flipped through time and time again.

Read more about Vehicles ABC

For ages 3-5 and up

Angry Cookie

Author: Laura Dockrill Illustrator: Maria Karipidou

Cookie is very angry, and she’d prefer it is you just went away! Laura Dockrill’s text is brilliantly quirky and friendly, and little ones will definitely identify with Angry Cookie. It’s a perfect book for talking about emotions.

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Business Pig

Author: Andrea Zuill

Jasper isn’t like other little pigs: he was born in a suit and would rather work on spreadsheets than dig for acorns. An entertaining picture book with a rare business-oriented role model – one that may give children an idea of what adults do at work, too! 

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Lily and the Polar Bears

Author: Jion Sheibani

This charming, funny, sweet picture book combines concerns about arctic erosion, animal conservation and immigration in a lovely story about polar bears. It’s sure to be a favourite with little ones, who will love Sheibani's illustration.

Read more about Lily and the Polar Bears

Millie’s Missing Yawn

Author: You Jung Byun

Millie has brushed her teeth and slipped into her pyjamas but cannot find her yawn! The repetition in this night-time adventure will be comforting to children and help them wind down after a busy day.

Read more about Millie’s Missing Yawn

Once Upon a Wild Wood

Author: Chris Riddell

A brand-new fairytale character, Little Green Rain Cape, sets off through the wild woods on her way to Rapunzel’s birthday party. On the way, she meets and helps a host of beloved fairytale characters. A delightful picture book that children of all ages will love.

Read more about Once Upon a Wild Wood

Supertato: Veggies in the Valley of Doom

Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

The latest book in the Supertato series brings another fast-paced and colourful story, full of exciting twists and turns. But as well as being an adventure story full of fun and laughter, it’s also a sweet tale about friends who always look out for each other. 

Read more about Supertato: Veggies in the Valley of Doom

The Dog that Ate the World

Author: Sandra Dieckmann

The valley was a picture of harmony until the dog appeared and ate everything up. This reads like a myth from an ancient culture and could be seen as a warning against greed and rising extinction rates – though the tone is gentle and the illustration sublime.

Read more about The Dog that Ate the World

Why the Face?

Author: Jean Jullien

Why does one girl have swirly, hypnotised eyes, and another have her fingers in her ears with her eyes scrunched shut? This is a great book to help children explore emotions and facial expression, with plenty of laughs and original, bold ideas and illustrations.

Read more about Why the Face?

For ages 5-8 and up

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A Puzzle Adventure

Author: Aleksandra Artymowska

Though this book is mostly a mix of search-and-find and maze activities, the combination of Artymowska’s amazing art and the factual questions make it feel like non-fiction. An illustrative homage to a science fiction adventure classic.

Read more about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A Puzzle Adventure

A Chase in Time

Author: Sally Nicholls Illustrator: Brett Helquist

Alex and Ruby hurtle back in time to 1912 when they topple through the ornate mirror of their great-aunt's house. This rip-roaring time-slip novel has a fast-paced plot and entertaining characters.

Read more about A Chase in Time

Grandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers

Author: Malorie Blackman Illustrator: Melanie Demmer

When Grandma Gertie visits Anna and Kasper from Barbados, they discover that the ghost of Grandpa Bert is in her handbag! Meanwhile, some ghost snatchers are determined to capture him. Fast-paced and funny.

Read more about Grandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers

Hilda and the Hidden People

Author: Stephen Davies and Luke Pearson

An illustrated chapter book based on Luke Pearson’s brilliant Hilda graphic novels, Hilda and the Hidden People is a fun and pacey adventure combining a contemporary heroine with a gentle mythological element. 

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The Dam

Author: David Almond Illustrator: Levi Pinfold

This stunning, wild and atmospheric picture book by two giants of children’s literature tells the true story of a musician father and his daughter who enter each house in the valley to play music and dance, so that they will always contain music – and magic.

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The Legend of Kevin

Author: Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Max longs for adventure in his life – then one day, a flying pony called Kevin crashes into his flat, blown in by a magical storm. Mayhem, friendship and a brilliant cast of characters combine in this fabulously funny tale.

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The Lost Magician

Author: Piers Torday

This beautiful homage to Narnia sees renowned children’s writer Torday explore what it is to be a reader and the power of books and libraries, as well as the imagination. Fantastical but with real heart, this immersive story is sure to become a firm favourite.

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The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

Author: Cressida Cowell

The sequel to the glorious The Wizards of Once picks up almost exactly where we left it – and it's just as thrilling, gorgeously written and illustrated. Prepare to get totally drawn into a magical world.

Read more about The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic

What's the Difference?

Author: Emma Strack Illustrator: Guillaume Plantevin

Ever wondered what makes a mandarin different from a clementine? A nectarine from a peach? A tornado from a cyclone? Then this is the book for you! It's a simple but glorious concept that is a lot of fun for both parents and children. 

Read more about What's the Difference?

For ages 9-12 and up

24 Hours in Nowhere

Author: Dusti Bowling

Featuring gold, dirt bikes and a vicious bully, this is a thrilling and witty teen adventure set amid the grinding poverty and relentless, spirit-sapping heat of a small town in Arizona.

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Amal Unbound

Author: Aisha Saeed

Amal lives in a small Pakistani village. When her family are unable to pay the debt their landowner says they owe, he takes Amal to work in his house as a servant. Inspired by Malala Yousafzai, this is a compelling tale of one girl’s determination to make the world a fairer place.

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Gita: The Battle of the Worlds

Author: Sonal Sachdev Patel and Jemma Wayne-Kattan Illustrator: Soumitra Ranade

A captivating story, based around the Hindu epic Mahabharata, which explores the inner battle raging within Dev when his father dies. Gita is a great text for discussing difficult emotions but also an adventurous romp, full of cartoon-like artwork. 

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Peril in Paris

Author: Katherine Woodfine Illustrator: Karl J Mountford

This first in a new detective series that delves into the world of spycraft in the early 1900s. Sophie and Lil are a great pair of well-drawn young women in a changing time, and the book is riveting from the start, with some delightful twists.

Read more about Peril in Paris

Rhythm and Poetry

Author: Karl Nova Illustrator: Joseph Witchall

The author’s passion for words and music leaps off the page in this stunning, relevant and accessible book from award-winning hip hop poet Karl Nova, which may well inspire readers to pick up a pen or a microphone and have a go at writing.

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Secrets of a Sun King

Author: Emma Carroll

This is a glorious historical adventure with a nimble, thrilling 1920s tale, as well as a wonderful subplot set back in Ancient Egyptian times. Somehow that all does work perfectly, due to artful weaving by Emma Carroll. A totally thrilling read.

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Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

Author: Jonathan Auxier

When Nan, a chimney sweep, survives a fire, she realises that the small piece of coal in her pocket is alive and has saved her life. Providing a fascinating insight into 19th-century Britain, this moving page-turner is also an uplifting tale, enhanced with magic.

Read more about Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

The Cradle of All Worlds

Author: Jeremy Lachlan

Jane Doe appeared on the steps of the mysterious Manor with her sick father as a baby, and ever since the residents of Bluehaven have considered her The Cursed One. But Jane's about to find out who she really is in a storming, funny and gripping adventure romp.

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The Elsewhere Emporium

Author: Ross MacKenzie

This cracking sequel to the Blue Peter Book Award-winning The Nowhere Emporium is chock full of magic and invention. Detailed and original, yet never sacrificing the human story for fantasy, this is a fabulous book that will enchant and inspire.

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The Raven’s Children

Author: Yulia Yakovleva Translator: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp from Russian

It’s 1938 and siblings Shura and Tanya are good Soviet citizens and comrades. But there are spies and enemies everywhere. Gripping and at times quite surreal, the book – which is popular in Russia – is inspired by true events from the author’s family past.

Read more about The Raven’s Children

Tiny Infinities

Author: J H Diehl

Thirteen-year-old Alice is trying to stop her family falling apart. A very beautiful and sensitively handled book that touches on themes of mental health, family relationships, friendships and love.

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For teens (12+)

Jinxed

Author: Amy McCulloch

An original and gripping sci-fi thriller set in the near future, where technology and Artificial Intelligence are coming perilously close to independent existence.

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My Messed-Up Life

Author: Susin Nielsen

Now Violet's dad has moved to Los Angeles with his new wife, her mum keeps going on dates with truly awful men - so she takes matters into her own hands and decides it's time to make George Clooney a new stepdad. A funny, well-observed story.

Read more about My Messed-Up Life

The Secret Deep

Author: Lindsay Galvin

If you thought you had found a potential cure for cancer, how far would you go to test your theory? A believable,  daring and unnerving sci-fi thriller for teens.

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The Wordsmith

Author: Patricia Forde

Letta is a Wordsmith: responsible for handing out words to people who need them, she has never questioned why language is rationed. This post-apocalyptic thriller is full of jeopardy, nail-biting tension and some profound themes.

Read more about The Wordsmith

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