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 for:

OctoberSeptemberAugustJuly | June | May

For ages 0-3 and up

On Sleepy Hill

Author: Patricia Hegarty Illustrator: Xuan Le

The animals of Sleepy Hill are saying goodnight, because it's time for bed! A beautiful, soothing story perfect for snuggling up with in the evening.

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For ages 3-5 and up

Be More Bernard

Author: Simon Philip Illustrator: Kate Hindley

Bernard has decided that he's not going to be like all the other bunnies any more. His dreams are altogether more... disco! This is a funny and fabulous picture book that will coax children out of their shells and encourage them to stand out from the crowd. 

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Binky's Time to Fly

Author: Sharmila Collins Illustrator: Carolina Rabei

When Binky the butterfly emerges from his cocoon, he discovers his wings aren't the same as those of his friends - will he be able to fly? A heart-warming book with a powerful message.

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Handa's Noisy Night

Author: Eileen Browne

This is a lovely addition to the classic Handa stories, which are beloved by so many.  In this, Handa is allowed spend the night with her friend Akeyo, when they hear some strange noises. Children will have great fun trying to mimic the animal sounds!

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It’s a No-Money Day

Author: Kate Milner

This moving picture book about a family’s visit to the food bank is a sensitive exploration of how it may feel to live below the poverty line. Perfect to share with young children to develop empathy and understanding (or to recognise their own situation).

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Izzy Gizmo and the Invention Convention

Author: Pip Jones Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie

Izzy Gizmo and her companion Fixer have been invited to compete for the Genius Guild Badge... but the other competitors have used up all the power! Another delightful story for little engineers.

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Mr Gumpy's Rhino

Author: John Burningham

Mr Gumpy is off on an another adventure, rescuing a rhino who has lost its parents. A gentle conversation starter about conservation and helping endangered and vulnerable animals, which is firstly a sweet story of kindness and animal-human friendship. 

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Nibbles: The Monster Hunt

Author: Emma Yarlett

A boy sits contentedly reading books when Nibbles the monster whizzes in and causes havoc by munching his way through the boy’s beloved books. With flaps to open, peep-holes to peek through and questions to answer, this is fun and interactive. 

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What is the Moon?

Author: Katie Daynes Illustrator: Marta Álvarez Miguéns

Budding astronauts can find out all about the moon in this interactive, lift-the-flap board book. The book is simple and playful for the very young but touches on more complex ideas like orbits too, so it’s perfect to share with siblings. 

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For ages 5-8 and up

A Sea of Stories

Author: Sylvia Bishop Illustrator: Paddy Donnelly

Roo loves staying with her grandfather in his cottage by the sea and enjoys listening to his wonderful stories. A touching tale about a girl’s relationship with her grandfather, which also evokes the wildness and beauty of the coast. 

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Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country

Author: Atinuke Illustrator: Mouni Feddag

A perfect book for young children interested in their cultural heritage or for those with a passion for travel and geography, this would also make a gorgeous gift for anyone interested in Africa.

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Cats React to Science Facts

Author: Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell's genius book combines genuinely astonishing scientific facts with hilarious and cute cat pictures: a perfect book for sparking conversations (and with "aww" appeal).

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Claire: Justice Ninja

Author: Joe Brady Illustrator: Kate Ashwin

This fun graphic novel has 12 relatable short stories for young readers to enjoy, with a young hero who intends to right the world of wrongs: whether it's litter in the street or your mum eating all the pepperoni off a pizza. 

Read more about Claire: Justice Ninja

Freddie’s Amazing Bakery: The Great Raspberry Mix-Up

Author: Harriet Whitehorn Illustrator: Alex G Griffiths

An illustrated first chapter book, featuring a baking competition that seems strangely familiar but has one particularly desperate and ruthless contestant who will stop at nothing to win first prize.

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Here Comes Lolo

Author: Niki Daly

Set in South Africa, this charming collection of four short stories about the everyday adventures of a young girl has broad appeal. Each tale focuses on small but significant events in the life of Lolo, who is a fun-loving, likeable character. 

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High Five to the Hero

Author: Vita Murrow Illustrator: Julia Bereciartu

What if heroes weren't always the strong and silent type? Vita Murrow brings the stars from some of our favourite stories into the modern day with this thought-provoking collection.

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Hilda and the Mountain King

Author: Luke Pearson

Hilda is turned into a troll child and must venture into the Hall of the Mountain King on a quest to become human again in the sixth instalment of Luke Pearson's brilliant graphic novel series.

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How the Stars Came to Be

Author: Poonam Mistry

This enchanting contemporary folk tale about how the stars were made is exquisitely illustrated, beautifully combining colour, shape and pattern. Influenced by traditional Indian textiles, paintings and ornaments, it will make a treasured gift.

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Kevin's Great Escape

Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: Sarah McIntyre

The second brilliant adventure featuring the exploits of Kevin the flying pony - this time, pop star Misty Twiglet wants to buy him, but will his friend Max be able to stop her?

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Skeleton Keys: The Unimaginary Friend

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Pete Williamson

Full of mystery and adventure, Skeleton Keys will stretch vocabularies and imaginations. Children will love the outlandish story with monster chases and ghoulish beheadings, which is ultimately about friendships, fitting in and being confident in yourself.

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The Golden Cage

Author: Anna Castagnoli Illustrator: Carll Cneut Translator: Laura Watkinson

A spoilt princess sends her servants far and wide to bring her the most beautiful, impossible birds - but what will happen when she decides she wants one that talks? A gothic tale with astonishing illustrations.

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The Misadventures of Frederick

Author: Ben Manley Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark

Emily is playing in the forest when she sees a boy watching her from a grand house. She invites him to play, but his mother refuses - will Emily be able to convince him to face his fears and come outside? A sophisticated, skilful picture book.

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The Secret of the Tattered Shoes

Author: Jackie Morris Illustrator: Ehsan Abdollahi

Jackie Morris' retelling of the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses is accompanied by Ehsan Abdollahi's transfixingly beautiful illustration, updating the story for a new generation.

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For ages 9-12 and up

Beyond Platform 13

Author: Sibeal Pounder (from an original idea by Eva Ibbotson) Illustrator: Beatriz Castro

This thrilling adventure is a sequel to Eva Ibbotson's The Secret of Platform 13, but the reading experience will not be hampered by not having read the original. It’s a rollicking, magical read that already feels like a modern classic. 

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Frostheart

Author: Jamie Littler

This inventive story is helped along by vivid illustrations that conjure up a world populated by yetis and monsters that live under the snow. Jamie Littler’s first novel is a frosty delight, depicting a fantasy world with brilliant characters and adventure. 

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The Cloud Horse Chronicles: Guardians of Magic

Author: Chris Riddell

The first in a wildly imaginative fantasy series, in which three brave youngsters join forces against those trying to destroy ancient magic. Packed with beautifully intricate illustrations full of character and passion, it’s absorbing and supremely entertaining. 

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Harriet Versus the Galaxy

Author: Samantha Baines Illustrator: Jessica Flores

When Harriet is hunting for her hearing aid under the bed, the last thing she expects to find is an alien. Soon, she is working alongside her gran to defend the human race. A highly accessible story, laced with lively illustrations and lots of laughs. 

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Plastic Sucks! You Can Make a Difference

Author: Dougie Poynter

Plastic is one of the problems of our age, but what can we do about reducing how much we use? There’s a great mix here, from advice to learning about eco-entrepreneurs and experts. An excellent guide for older primary kids that is useful and timely.

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Queer Heroes

Author: Arabelle Sicardi Illustrator: Sarah Tanat-Jones

This wonderful celebration of a wide range of LGBTQ+ heroes - both famous and less well-known - is a beautiful book and highlights the lives of some truly inspirational people.

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

A wild quest sends Bronte through a magical, whimsical world. Slowly, she discovers how high the stakes are. This book really has everything: skillfully-spun plot, humour and charm, unforgettable characters and poetry in its language.

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The Star Outside My Window

Author: Onjali Q Raúf

A heartbreaking but sensitively-told story of domestic abuse, loss and friendship from the author behind The Boy at the Back of the Class.

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The Time of Green Magic

Author: Hilary McKay

Moving house is the last thing Abi needs. She has enough stress with her two annoying stepbrothers. What's more, odd things start to happen in their new home. An unsettling, magical thriller that leaves you unsure where reality ends and the supernatural begins.

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The Train to Impossible Places: The Great Brain Robbery

Author: P G Bell Illustrator: Flavia Sorrentino

The second in a series of fun fantasy adventures, set in a troll world where the scientific rules that govern our universe do not apply! The plot is a riotous trip from one impossible place to another. 

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The Tzar’s Curious Runaways

Author: Robin Scott-Elliot

This is a magical tale that immediately scoops up the unsuspecting reader to propel them on a breath-catching journey across snow-capped Russia. A thrilling page-turner, fusing historical fact with magic, mystical maps, wizards and wood spirits.

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For teens (12+)

Pumpkin Heads

Author: Rainbow Rowell Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks

A story of friendship and romance told in a funny and inclusive graphic novel that celebrates the joy and diversity of Halloween traditions in the USA. 

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The Boy in the Black Suit

Author: Jason Reynolds

When Matt’s mum tragically dies from cancer, it feels like all the joy is sucked out of his life. Then he meets a girl called Love. This is a profoundly beautiful, open-hearted, funny, tear-jerking, readable and relatable story, which explores grief in the truest sense.

Read more about The Boy in the Black Suit

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