New children's books we love

Every month, we review dozens of books for children and teenagers. Here are the ones we like best in December: 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:

December NovemberOctoberSeptemberAugustJulyJune 

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. 

Fancy writing a book review yourself? Read our handy guide and have a go!

How to write a book review

For ages 0-3 and up

Bookmark Book of the Month

Listening to the Quiet

Author: Cassie Silva Illustrator: Frances Ives

A beautiful and thought-provoking picture book about a mum losing her hearing.

Read more about Listening to the Quiet

If It’s Christmas and You Know It...

Author: Katrina Charman Illustrator: Angie Rozelaar

Bright, inviting illustrations and catchy, rhyming text make this a super festive, super fun book to share with babies and toddlers. With sliders to push and pull! 

Read more about If It’s Christmas and You Know It...

How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney?

Author: Mac Barnett Illustrator: Jon Klassen

This absolutely brilliant Christmas picture book is just as deadpan and hilarious as you might expect, given this is the team that gave us Circle and Square, and The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse. New and old fans of Klassen’s will love his adorable, offbeat illustration, and the text is warm and quirky too. A real treat. 

Read more about How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney?

One Christmas in Our Building

Author: Johanna Lindemann Illustrator: Andrea Stegmaier

When Emma’s turkey goes missing, her neighbours join forces to ensure she has an extra special Christmas day. A heart-warming picture book, full of Christmas spirit.  

Read more about One Christmas in Our Building

Peace on Earth

Author: Smriti Halls Illustrator: David Litchfield

Peace on earth – what a wonderful idea that would be! The idea of a sparkling, joyful world is a beautiful one. Yet, sometimes, we can hurt each other, and feel the fires of rage burn deep within us. At times like that, it’s hard to find a sense of peace. 

Read more about Peace on Earth

Whose Dog is This?

Author: Andrew Sanders Illustrator: Aysha Awwad

It’sonly been ten minutes since Albert’s dad left the living room, but in that time, chaos has occurred! Dad comes in to find a flustered Albert lying amongst toppled-over furniturewith mud and macaroni cheese covering the walls. Albert blames the mess on the dog in the room. But wait a minute – Albert doesn’t have a dog...Whose dog is this? 

Read more about Whose Dog is This?

Where's Mr Penguin Buggy book edition

Author: Illustrator: Ingela P Arrhenius

With felt flaps to lift, and a mirror at the end, this small and sturdy book can be attached to a buggy or highchair and enjoyed wherever Baby is! An absolute treat. 

Read more about Where's Mr Penguin Buggy book edition

First Festivals: Hanukkah

Author: Rabbi Ruti Regan (Consultant) Illustrator: Kathryn Selbert

This sturdy lift-the-flap board book provides a first introduction for very young children to Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.  

Read more about First Festivals: Hanukkah


Author: Trish Cooke Illustrator: Ken Wilson-Max

Kiona and Mummy are playing catch, but Kiona is finding it tricky. Everything she tries to catch is either too big, too small or too hard or too soft. Luckily, Mummy knows there is a very special something Kiona can always catch...  

Read more about Catch!

Mama’s Sleeping Scarf

Author: Nwa Grace-James (AKA Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) Illustrator: Joelle Avelino

While waiting for her mama to return from work, Mama’s sleeping scarf becomes an object of magic and whimsy in Chino’s imaginative play. 

Read more about Mama’s Sleeping Scarf

Bunnies in a Sleigh: A Crazy Christmas Story!

Author: Philip Ardagh Illustrator: Ben Mantle

This absolutely brilliant Christmas romp of a picture book is a real delight. Ardagh’s rhyming text rolls off the tongue very satisfactorily and there are lots of nice repetitive moments that invite little ones to repeat along and even shout out – particularly when the sleigh appears to be headed straight for a clock tower! Ben Mantle’s lovely illustrations …

Read more about Bunnies in a Sleigh: A Crazy Christmas Story!

Heavy Metal Badger

Author: Duncan Beedie

Funny picture book about a Badger who is loud and wild and eventually finds his tribe in a heavy rock band. 

Read more about Heavy Metal Badger

Monsters Never Get Haircuts

Author: Marie-Hélène Versini Illustrator: Vincent Boudgourd

Let’s get to know monsters a little better.What do they like? What don’t they like? The simple text promotes conversations about what makes us different, using slightly scary – but thrilling! –monsters. 

Read more about Monsters Never Get Haircuts


Author: Anna Walker 

A delightful book about a small frog on a perilous journey, filled with fun actions and words to share and copy. Perfect for bedtime!  

Read more about Snap!

How the Grinch Lost Christmas

Author: Alastair Heim (based on prequel by Dr Seuss) Illustrator: Aristides Ruiz

In this joyful picture book follow-up to classic Christmas tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch has changed his ways.He is no longer the grouchy, mean-spiritedhermit who wants to ruin Christmas for the Whos, the residents of Who-ville. In fact, he now loves Christmas. 

Read more about How the Grinch Lost Christmas

For ages 4-5 and up

The Night Train

Author: Penny Neville-Lee Illustrator: Matilda Woods

The magical Night Train takes some very special passengers to Sleepy Town, where they will become the main characters in children’s dreams. An imaginative, wintery tale with short chapters and colourful, expressive illustrations. 

Read more about The Night Train

Nikhil and Jay: Off to India

Author: Chitra Soundar Illustrator: Soofiya

This delightful first chapter book is illustrated in black and white on every page and is a great way for newly independent readers to experience Christmas in India in the company of two excited young boys.  

Read more about Nikhil and Jay: Off to India

Princess Katie’s Kittens: Suki in the Snow

Author: Julie Sykes Illustrator: Sam Loman

A charming chapter book starring a curious kitty and a princess who loves her very much. Wintry, snowy fun! 

Read more about Princess Katie’s Kittens: Suki in the Snow

The Littlest Yak – Home is Where the Herd Is

Author: Lu Fraser Illustrator: Kate Hindley

This beautiful rhyming picture book re-introduces Gertie the little yak and her yak family as they are about to embark on an epic journey to relocate to a new home for the herd. Will Little Gertie get to their new home without any disasters? Funny and heart-warming.  

Read more about The Littlest Yak – Home is Where the Herd Is

For ages 6-8 and up

Welsh Book of the Month

Illustrated Welsh Folk Tales for Young and Old

Author: Peter Stevenson

Lavishly illustrated in glorious colour, the stories in this stunning collection range from updates of ancient, traditional tales to charming snippets of entertaining nonsense but both text and pictures share a quirky edge and slightly anarchic humour with knowing winks and witty asides to the reader. 

Read more about Illustrated Welsh Folk Tales for Young and Old

Animal Tales from India: Ten Stories from the Panchatantra

Author: Nikita Gill Illustrator: Chaaya Prabhat

This engaging collection of ancient Indian animal fables is accompanied by stylish, vibrant illustrations. 

Read more about Animal Tales from India: Ten Stories from the Panchatantra

Copy That, Copy Cat: Inventions Inspired by Animals

Author: Katrina Tangen Illustrator: Giulia Orecchia

The rhyming text intentionally leads the child towards a wrong answer every time, and then the real answer is revealed under the large flap. With repeated reading, this might mean that children will learn the correct answer, remember it, and then get the pleasure of being right when they revisit the book. 

Read more about Copy That, Copy Cat: Inventions Inspired by Animals

The Girl Who Became a Fish

Author: Polly Ho-Yen Illustrator: Sojung Kim-McCarthy

Despite being terrified of water, Ita feels strangely drawn to the nearby river and, when she ventures to put her hands beneath the surface, discovers something unexpected and magical that gradually changes how she sees the world. 

Read more about The Girl Who Became a Fish

Cat on the Run: Episode 1: Cat of Death!

Author: Aaron Blabey

This hilarious, action-packed comic bookis both a funny story with the relatable set-up of internet celebrity, and an astute take on cancel culture and social media. Presented in black and white, with highlights of red for a pop of colour, and short chunks of text, it’s a more accessible book for struggling readers, and should have great appeal for reluctant…

Read more about Cat on the Run: Episode 1: Cat of Death!

Evolution: Join us on an exhilarating journey from the origins of life to the present day!

Author: Sarah Darwin & Eva-Maria Sadowski Illustrator: Olga Baumert

Evolution can be defined as the way that living things change over time to suit their environment. In this rather stunning and highly informative read, real-life scientists Sarah Darwin and Eva-Maria Sadowski introduce readers to some of the amazing animals, plants and fungi that have lived on our planet, from dinosaurs to early humans, mushrooms and bacteri…

Read more about Evolution: Join us on an exhilarating journey from the origins of life to the present day!

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’s Christmas Shenanigans

Author: Alex T. Smith

When the Mouse King steals all the sweets across the land, the Nutcracker embarks on a riotous journey to Marshmallow Mountain to save Christmas. This hilarious tale with vibrant, energetic illustrations is sure to become a festive favourite.  


Read more about The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’s Christmas Shenanigans

Kay’s Incredible Inventions

Author: Adam Kay Illustrator: Henry Paker

A funny, informative collection of inventions, both useful and failed, across the centuries from a best-selling author and illustrator pair. 

Read more about Kay’s Incredible Inventions

The Egg Incident

Author: Ziggy Hanaor Illustrator: Daisy Wynter

Humphrey the egg isn’t allowed to do anything energetic – especially not climb walls. But when he and his new friend are locked in the park, he has to escape somehow! A very funny graphic novel that will have children giggling out loud. 

Read more about The Egg Incident

Step Father Christmas

Author: L. D. Lapinski

Harper suspects Mum’s new boyfriend, Nick, is really Father Christmas. He works with reindeer and has a big white beard, for goodness sake! But can she prove it? A fun, festive read. 

Read more about Step Father Christmas

For ages 9-11 and up

Irish Book of the Month

The Silver Road

Author: Sinéad O’Hart

Dealing with contemporary concerns such as climate change, yet steeped in ancient Irish myth, history and folklore, this thrilling fantasy crackles and fizzes like the magic within its pages. 

Read more about The Silver Road

Calling the Whales

Author: Jasbinder Bilan Illustrator: Skylar White

A powerful and quick to read adventure story on saving a humpback whale in Scotland.  

Read more about Calling the Whales

Casander Darkbloom and the Threads of Power

Author: PA Staff

When Cas discovers hemust defeat a powerfully evil Master of All, as the Foretold, he goes to the Wayward School tolearn to control his magical powers. Packed with themes of friendship, courage and kindness, and with good disability representation.  

Read more about Casander Darkbloom and the Threads of Power


Use the Bookfinder to find the perfect book for you, your family and friends.

You can use our special tools to search hundreds of children's book reviews by age, category and theme.

Try the Bookfinder now

You might also like...

Themed booklists

Looking for a great book on a theme? Our booklists cover a large range of subjects, from everyday issues to genre, disability, diversity, sporty books, funny books and more.

Great Books Guide

Looking for new books to get kids hooked? The Great Books Guide gives you the lowdown on the ONE HUNDRED best children's books published in 2023.

100 best books over 100 years

This is our list of the 100 best books for children from the last 100 years. It is the ultimate booklist to read before you're 14, with books for children across a wide range of ages.