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 May: 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 for:

AprilMarchFebruaryJanuaryDecemberNovember

We've sorted our favourite new books into rough age ranges, but this is just a guide and readers might find something they'll love in a different category. 

For ages 0-3 and up

Baby Young, Gifted and Black

Author: Jamia Wilson Illustrator: Andrea Pippins

This beautiful and aspirational board book presents babies and toddlers with 17 portraits of black icons, leaders and visionaries from history and the present day, combined with positive affirmation-type statements to instil a sense of confidence in little ones. 

Read more about Baby Young, Gifted and Black

Look After Us: A lift-the-flap book

Author: Rod Campbell

If anyone can talk simply and clearly to little ones about endangered animals and conservation, it’s Rod Campbell, the famed author of Dear Zoo. This lovely flap book is a great one to read together.

Read more about Look After Us: A lift-the-flap book

Noisy Tractor: I Can Learn My First Sounds

Author: Lauren Crisp Illustrator: Thomas Elliott

This brilliant board book is full of realistic tractor noises, short, rhyming text, and simply labelled animals for toddlers to enjoy.

Read more about Noisy Tractor: I Can Learn My First Sounds

When Mummy Goes to Work

Author: Paul Schofield Illustrator: Anna Terreros-Martin

A warm and wonderful story, perfect for toddlers whose mum has just gone back to work, When Mummy Goes to Work reassures its readers that the new routine will be OK, and that even when she’s away, Mum is always thinking of her little one.

Read more about When Mummy Goes to Work

Zeki Loves Mummy

Author: Anna McQuinn Illustrator: Ruth Hearson

Somewhere between a board book and a picture book, this is ideal for two to three year olds who will enjoy the rhyming text and sweet story about daily life with Mummy and Zeki. Sure to prompt plenty of hugs and snuggles with mummies everywhere. 

Read more about Zeki Loves Mummy

For ages 4-5 and up

Can You Keep a Secret?

Author: Melissa Castrillon

Melissa Castrillon’s magical tale of hidden gryphons, dragons and tree men will delight any reader that loves a fairy tale with a feisty heroine.

Read more about Can You Keep a Secret?

Loud!

Author: Rose Robbins

Abigail is always fidgeting and giggling at school until Miss Butler discovers her love of singing and songwriting. It’s implied that Abigail has ADHD but this beautifully delivered book will resonate with any child who's ever found it tricky to do what is expected of them.

Read more about Loud!

Grandad’s Camper

Author: Harry Woodgate

A little girl helps her grandfather move on from his grief and look forward to fresh adventures. A poignant tale that acknowledges the sadness of losing a loved one but celebrates the pleasure of remembering those who have touched our lives.

Read more about Grandad’s Camper

My Daddies!

Author: Gareth Peter Illustrator: Garry Parsons

This rhyming picture book celebrating same sex parents is a gentle and sweet read, with the added bonus of including mention of a gay couple adopting their daughter.

Read more about My Daddies!

Omar, the Bees and Me

Author: Helen Mortimer Illustrator: Katie Cottle

With a perfect balance of fact and narrative, this heartwarming picture book will engage and delight young children, and inspire them to encourage bees into their own outdoor spaces.

Read more about Omar, the Bees and Me

The Rock from the Sky

Author: Jon Klassen

The Rock From The Sky will definitely not disappoint. Like the best children’s picture books, the story is very simple, the artwork is remarkable and the hilarious story has a kind of sophistication that adults and kids both love.

Read more about The Rock from the Sky

What About the Tooth Fairy?

Author: Elys Dolan

Elys Dolan brings us another delightfully imagined story with hilarious characters and a heartwarming message of inclusion in this homage to the Tooth Fairy. 

Read more about What About the Tooth Fairy?

For ages 6-8 and up

Do Something for Someone Else

Author: Loll Kirby with foreword by Michael Platt Illustrator: Yas Imamura

Emphasising that every small act of kindness can make a genuine difference, this thought-provoking picture book is sure to motivate young people to take action and make the world a fairer place.

Read more about Do Something for Someone Else

How to Talk to a Tiger and Other Animals

Author: Jason Bittel Illustrator: Kelsey Buzzel

This entertaining non-fiction picture book presents many ingenious methods of communication used by a variety of wild animals: from farting fish to sneezing dogs.

Read more about How to Talk to a Tiger and Other Animals

Panda at the Door

Author: Sarah Horne and Anna Wilson

Pudding the panda at Edinburgh Zoo is an avid fan of Mary Poppins. She craves a family of her own – so when she receives an email from a sad little boy called Callum, she knows just what to do. A readable romp with a compassionate heart. 

Read more about Panda at the Door

The Accidental Diary of B.U.G

Author: Jen Carney

An illustrated diary-style novel in the mode of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates, with a sparky narrator who perfectly captures the voice of an upper primary age girl and her thoughts about life. A sensitive and funny story.

Read more about The Accidental Diary of B.U.G

For ages 9-11 and up

A Street Dog Named Pup

Author: Gill Lewis

This hard-hitting, compelling story of life on the streets for an abandoned dog and his search for the boy who loves him. 

Read more about A Street Dog Named Pup

Johnny Ball: Undercover Football Genius

Author: Matt Oldfield Illustrator: Tim Wesson

A wise, witty and very funny illustrated story of the youngest football coach ever and his race to finish at the top of the league.

Read more about Johnny Ball: Undercover Football Genius

Maggie Blue and the Dark World

Author: Anna Goodall Illustrator: Sandra Dieckmann

Twelve-year-old Maggie embarks on a dangerous journey into a sinister realm to rescue a schoolmate, and encounters bizarre creatures, moon witches and dark horrors. A compelling fantasy adventure that explores the nature of happiness, friendship and trust. 

Read more about Maggie Blue and the Dark World

Noah's Gold

Author: Frank Cottrell-Boyce Illustrator: Steven Lenton

Eleven-year-old Noah finds himself marooned on a deserted island that turns out to hold all kind of treasure. A book with a real sense of the absurd and a gentle message about the value we can find in things and people when we put our phones and laptops away.

Read more about Noah's Gold

Proud of Me

Author: Sarah Hagger-Holt

A beautifully written and everyday story of LGBTQ family life that’s perfect for any middle grade reader, especially for children who are just starting secondary school.

Read more about Proud of Me

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke

Author: Kirsty Applebaum

Lonny Quicke is a lifeling and has the power to prevent death – but he must keep this gift a secret at all costs. A stunning, unusual and very moving contemporary fairy tale which, like all the best fairy tales, is as scary as it is compelling.

Read more about The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke

The Lightning Catcher

Author: Clare Weze

When Alfie moves to the village of Folding Ford, he is baffled by a series of strange occurrences. This exciting, science-packed novel is a cracking read and bursts with action, warmth and humour.

Read more about The Lightning Catcher

The Magician’s Map

Author: Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai

A quest to find a miraculous artefact that can manipulate time is fraught with danger, filled with excitement, and threatened by treachery. The second Hoarder Hill House adventure will keep readers on the edge of their seats. 

Read more about The Magician’s Map

Two Sisters: A Story of Freedom

Author: Kereen Getten

Set in Jamaica and London in 1781, this insightful novel follows the fate of half-sisters Ruth and Anna, who are born to the same slave mother. As well as highlighting the appalling treatment of slaves, this moving tale celebrates the bond between sisters.

Read more about Two Sisters: A Story of Freedom

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: The Edge of the Ocean

Author: L. D. Lapinski

When Flick and her friend Jonathan are summoned to a watery world filled with pirates and mer-people, they find themselves in a race against time to save it.

Read more about The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: The Edge of the Ocean

For teens (12+)

Silence is Not An Option

Author: Stuart Lawrence

Teacher and motivational speaker Stuart Lawrence is the brother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack. This book is full of good advice and reflections on their relationship, with the aim of helping young people live successful, positive lives.

Read more about Silence is Not An Option

The Infinity Files

Author: S M Wilson

When Ash's dream of becoming a starfighter pilot is shattered, she's given a new job – the Guardian of the mysterious Library at the End of the Universe. A pacy and gripping sci-fi adventure.

Read more about The Infinity Files

We Were Wolves

Author: Jason Cockcroft

A nameless boy tells his version of the violent events that led to the downfall of his father, John. We Were Wolves is very much centred on male psychological drama, with illustrations revealing tiny figures overwhelmed by nature and masculinity. 

Read more about We Were Wolves

What's The T?

Author: Juno Dawson

Juno Dawson's no-nonsense guide to all things transgender and non-binary is an essential read for readers thinking about identity, gender politics and trans history.

Read more about What's The T?

BookTrust HomeTime

Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.

Go to the HomeTime hub

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