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 February: 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

Hat Tricks

Author: Satoshi Kitamura

This super simple picture book is ideal for very young readers who like to learn their animals. Kitamura’s fun illustrations are big and bold and children will enjoy shouting ‘Abracadabra, katakurico! What’s in the hat?’

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Lulu Gets A Cat

Author: Anna McQuinn Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw

Lulu gets some information about looking after cats and practises with her toys. Mummy agrees that Lulu can look after a cat and they adopt a kitten from the cat shelter. A gentle story about anyone who is thinking of getting a pet. 

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For ages 3-5 and up

All the Ways to be Smart

Author: Davina Bell Illustrator: Allison Colpoys

All The Ways to be Smart is an earnest and charming book celebrating the joys of all the wonderful qualities that make children who they are, with a subtle and unique message that getting excellent grades is not what makes you smart.

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Author: Steve Antony

A delightful story about a little boy and his amazing pet dragon. It's a rare and perfect example of completely incidental inclusion when it comes to disability – and the themes of friendship and being yourself will appeal to every child.

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Bear Moves

Author: Ben Bailey Smith Illustrator: Sav Akyüz

Ben Bailey Smith (aka “Doc Brown”) and Sav Akyüz team up again to deliver this hilariously funny sequel to I Am Bear. Its energetic and colourful illustrations and superb rhythmic text will keep readers in stitches from start to finish.

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Dinosaur Farm!

Author: Penny Dale

A glorious mash-up of dinosaurs and farm life, this picture book is pitched perfectly at children who obsess over both. Who doesn't want to see a Tyrannosaurus rex in a combine harvester? It's an absolute winner: fun, daft and educational. 

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Happy to Be Me

Author: Emma Dodd

With simple rhyme and colourful artwork, this picture book celebrates every bit of the human body and reminds us that each and every body is different. Another success from the bestselling author-illustrator.

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Look Inside A Hospital

Author: Dr Zoe Fritz and Katie Daynes Illustrator: Stefano Tognetti

This fantastic board book series from Usborne lets us explore a hospital and some of its busy departments. This could provide a reassuring guide to young people before their first visit to a hospital and is great fun to explore for any budding doctors and nurses.

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What Does The Crocodile Say?

Author: Eva Montanari

First days at nursery can be really hard for little ones and grown-ups. What Does The Crocodile Say? is a wonderful and emotive picture book that manages to express all the anxieties, along with a happy reassurance that nursery is actually quite fun.

Read more about What Does The Crocodile Say?

When I Was a Child

Author: Andy Stanton & David Litchfield

A Grandma talks to her granddaughter about all the magic she has seen in the world, in this picture book that brings the soft, bright nostalgia of childhood alive and captures those "when I was your age" conversations beautifully.

Read more about When I Was a Child

For ages 5-8 and up

Attack of the Necron

Author: Cavan Scott Illustrator: Magnus Noren and Cole Marchetti

A rollicking, fast-paced space adventure awaits Zelia Lor when terrifying robot warriors attack her planet and force her to flee, alongside unlikely companions. This exciting, action-packed adventure is a great read for children who love the Star Wars universe.

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Captain Cat and the Treasure Map

Author: Sue Mongredien Illustrator: Kate Pankhurst

Captain Cat and the Treasure Map is perfect for children starting to read their own books, but also tons of fun to read together at bedtime. There are lots of laughs, and the pace is nice and quick, meaning young readers will power this great new pirate series.

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Charlie Changes into a Chicken

Author: Sam Copeland Illustrator: Sarah Horne

Something strange happens to Charlie at random times for no apparent reason: he changes into animals. This book cleverly portrays ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, and provides some sound advice throughout. Brilliant and positive. 

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Flights of Fancy: Stories, Pictures and Inspiration from Ten Children’s Laureates

Author: Quentin Blake Anne Fine Michael Morpurgo Jacqueline Wilson Michael Rosen Julia Donaldson Anthony Browne Malorie Blackman Chris Riddell and Lauren Child

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate, the incredible authors and illustrators who have held the title have come together to make one magical anthology, full of inspiration to help children’s imaginations soar.

Read more about Flights of Fancy: Stories, Pictures and Inspiration from Ten Children’s Laureates

Harold Snipperpot’s Best Disaster Ever

Author: Beatrice Alemagna

When Mr Ponzio arrives, bringing a whole zoo’s worth of animals, they fill Harold Snipperpot’s house with chaos. Disaster! Yet Harold soon starts to find the chaos quite exhilarating. Tremendously touching, well-judged and just a little bit different.

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Mega Robo Bros 3: Mega Robo Revenge

Author: Neill Cameron

Third instalment of the graphic novel series about sentient robot brothers Alex and Freddy, in which we learn more about the boys’ origins and a monster from the past returns to get revenge on their mother. Funny and full of fabulous artwork. 

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Snow Sisters: The Silver Secret

Author: Astrid Foss Illustrator: Monique Dong

This exciting chapter book with black-and-white illustrations is the first in a series about the magical triplets. Encompassing magic, love, loyalty and bravery, it's a delightful adventure for confident young readers.

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The Neighbors

Author: Einat Tsarfati Translator: from Hebrew by Annette Appel

The Neighbors is cool, original and simple, presenting a character’s journey up the stairs of her building, imagining all the families and situations behind closed doors. It manages to express ideas about difference, tolerance and the sheer variety of lives lived.

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Ultimate Superstars: Ariana Grande

Author: Liz Gogerly

This accessible biography of actor and singer Ariana Grande charts her early life and rise to stardom. Written in a chatty style, it is an interesting read for fans and will help to inspire young people to follow their own dreams.

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For ages 9-12 and up

A Pinch of Magic

Author: Michelle Harrison

Desperate for an adventure, Betty plans an outing to neighbouring Marshfoot on her 13th birthday. But then Granny breaks the devasting news that she is trapped on her island by an ancient curse. A riveting tale of witchcraft, love and betrayal. 

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Asha and the Spirit Bird

Author: Jasbinder Bilan

Asha’s quest across India to find her father brings her into danger before love, faith and friendship finally provide a happy ending. A warm, comforting story that tackles some dark subjects with a constantly reassuring tone.  

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Author: Jason Reynolds

Ghost is a boy with anger management issues, which is fairly unsurprising after the trauma of his dad trying to shoot him and his mother. But life starts to change when he takes up running. A page-turning and beautifully written story.

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Storm Hound

Author: Claire Fayers

Fast-paced and funny, this otherworldly adventure is a heartwarming tale of friendship and loyalty. With entertaining characters and a clever plot, it explores big issues with humour, sensitivity and a touch of magic.

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Sweeties 1: Cherry/Skye

Author: Veronique Grisseaux Illustrator: Anna Merli Translator: Joe Johnson

When her dad moves in with his girlfriend, Cherry finds herself part of a whole new family. This comic-book adaptation of stories by Cathy Cassidy features some difficult family dynamics and a strikingly attractive ghost.

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The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm: Tales from Alagaësia

Author: Christopher Paolini with Angela Paolini

This volume comprises three new short stories set in the fictional world of Alagaësia, the setting for the Eragon books: EragonEldestBrisingr and Inheritance. Existing fans will adore the extra world- and character-building that this book lends.


Read more about The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm: Tales from Alagaësia

The People Awards

Author: Lily Murray Illustrator: Ana Albero

The People’s Awards is about to begin – make sure you grab your seat for this excellent celebration of inspiring activists, trailblazers, artists, musicians, athletes, scientists and politicians: here are 50 of the most important people from antiquity to the present day.

Read more about The People Awards

The Storm Runner

Author: J C Cervantes

The Storm Runner is a great introduction to Mayan mythology, but the adventure story is the main draw to this book, with a self-deprecating hero, modern humour, and excitement to the bitter end.

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The Whispers

Author: Greg Howard

The Whispers is one of those compelling, slippery books that shifts in tone and genre as you read along – moving from magic and mystery into a sensitive and compelling look at trauma, bereavement and pre-teen sexuality. 

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This Book is Not Rubbish: 50 Ways to Ditch Plastic, Reduce Rubbish and Save the World

Author: Isabel Thomas Illustrator: Alex Paterson

There are some worrying realities in the world at the moment when it comes to the environment. Luckily, this readable gem is full of ideas for kids to take charge of their home’s impact on the environment. 

Read more about This Book is Not Rubbish: 50 Ways to Ditch Plastic, Reduce Rubbish and Save the World

When Good Geeks Go Bad

Author: Catherine Wilkins

Everyone thinks Ella is such a goody two-shoes, but Ella's had enough of toeing the line. Yet will she really break the bigger rules, just to be in with the "in crowd"? A heartwarming and humorous story that deals wittily with everyday teenage angst. 

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When We Were Warriors

Author: Emma Carroll

A trio of connected stories, set during the Second World War, that feature feisty children, ghosts and a potential Nazi invasion. Compelling storytelling. 

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For teens (12+)

Happy Girl Lucky

Author: Holly Smale

Hope Valentine is about to find out that life isn't a movie - even when you're a member of an acting dynasty - in this light-hearted but satisfying new series from Geek Girl author Holly Smale.

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Oh My Gods

Author: Alexandra Sheppard

Life as a teenager can be challenging enough without the added stress of having to keep secret the fact that half your family are ancient Greek gods! A witty book that also deals with common teen challenges and celebrates diversity and individuality.

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On the Come Up

Author: Angie Thomas

On the Come Up is a classic in the making, an inspiring coming-of-age story that gets right to the heart of what it means to overcome life’s obstacles and the struggle not to become what everyone expects you to be.

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