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: 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:

AugustJuly | June | May | April | March

For ages 0-3 and up

Baby Touch Animals

Author: N/A Illustrator: Lemon Ribbon Studio

The excellent Baby Touch series is a real feast for the senses for newborns, and is the perfect introduction to books for the tiniest fingers. Large tabs make turning the pages easier and the peekaboo animals are a nice touch.

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Let’s Find the Tiger

Author: Alex Willmore

This beautifully produced little board book is sure to capture the attention of even the youngest babies. A tiger is hiding in the book, and there are soft felt flaps to investigate behind.

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Nuts!

Author: Lou Peacock Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail

The squirrels are squabbling. He thinks the nuts are his and she thinks the nuts are hers. A really funny book to read aloud, which would be perfect for early years' classroom use, as well as an important lesson to share at home.

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This is a Dog

Author: Ross Collins

A mischievous dog has taken over this copy of ‘My First Animal Book’! Lots of fun and a real delight to read, this is a great book to share with little ones, full of beautiful simplicity. 

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Treacle Street: Marcel’s Parcels

Author: Kate Hindley

Marcel the postman is a busy elephant indeed. He has parcels for everyone in his trolley and yet there’s one parcel left. Surprise! It’s a treat for our postman. A joyful and brilliantly illustrated book that will excite children as they peep inside the post. 

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For ages 3-5 and up

Billy and the Dragon

Author: Nadia Shireen

Billy and her sidekick, the amusingly monobrowed Fatcat, are at a fancy dress party when a very large REAL dragon swoops down from nowhere and grabs Fatcat! As always, Shireen’s comic timing is first class.

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My Hair

Author: Hannah Lee Illustrator: Allen Fatimaharan

This joyful celebration of black hair demonstrates a range of styles and will inspire children to experiment with their own look.

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Nits!

Author: Stephanie Blake Translator: Linda Burgess

A funny, light-hearted picture book about a common childhood issue that will prompt plenty of chuckles and delight young fans of Simon, the little rabbit with lots of personality.

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The Pirate Tree

Author: Brigita Orel Illustrator: Jennie Poh

Sam and Agu play together in the tree in a make-believe world of desert islands and stormy seas. A gentle story that is atmospheric and sensitively told, and touches lightly on the theme of acceptance.

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The Smeds and the Smoos

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

On a far-off planet, a young red Smed called Janet falls in love with a young blue Smoo called Bill. The newest rhyming picture book from the stellar pairing of Donaldson and Scheffler provides all their usual invention, quirkiness and read-aloud expertise.

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The Woods

Author: Rob Hodgson

This book is an ingenious and hilarious hunter/prey story with a delightful twist. Highly recommended for fans of a funny picture book with an extra cheer for a clever underdog.

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For ages 5-8 and up

Encyclopedia of Grannies

Author: Eric Veille Translator: Daniel Hahn

This colourful guide to all elements of grandmotherly life reminds us that grannies, like everyone else, are full of wonderful variety. They might be hiking around Senegal in their slippers or chilling in their comfy, cauliflower-scented bed, but we love them all.

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Our Little Inventor

Author: Sher Rill Ng

Nell goes on a journey to the polluted Big City to reveal a machine that can clean the city's air. A beautiful picture book that demonstrates the power of the people against "the man", and will fill every child with big dreams to make the world a better place. 

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Rainbow Magic: Jae the Boy Band Fairy

Author: Daisy Meadows

Best friends Kirsty and Rachel are dismayed when Jack Frost steals a magical golden microphone, causing boy band Me-2-U to be struck by stage fright. This tale in the popular Rainbow Magic series of fairy adventures will delight young children. 

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Stretch Your Confidence

Author: Beth Cox and Natalie Costa Illustrator: Vicky Barker

With a lightness of touch, this book encourages children to record their feelings, as they consider how they interact with others. A perfect way to help any child develop confidence and support good mental health through fun activities.

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Wild Lives: 50 Extraordinary Animals that Made History

Author: Ben Lerwill Illustrator: Sarah Walsh

In this fascinating book, children can learn about 50 courageous creatures from around the world and throughout history. There is enough wonder here to inspire kids to consider the richness of animals, and why we should treat them with respect and care.

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For ages 9-12 and up

Bearmouth

Author: Liz Hyder

Newt has been living and working in the horrendous conditions of Bearmouth mine from an early age.  Any kind of way out isn’t even contemplated until Newt meets Devlin. This story is exciting, ambitious, unpredictable and breathtakingly brilliant. 

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Beast Quest: New Blood

Author: Adam Blade

Three children discover they are descendants of the Guardians of Avantia, courageous heroes who entered the human world through a portal. Full of monsters, dragons and magic, this fantasy adventure is enhanced by striking graphic novel-style illustrations.

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Dragons of the Prime: Poems About Dinosaurs

Author: Various Editor: Richard O’Brien Illustrator: Emma Dai’an Wright

Although budding palaeontologists will love this captivating poetry collection, no interest in prehistoric life is necessary to experience the joy, humour, poignancy and sheer wonderment contained in its pages.

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Get Me Out of Here!

Author: Andy McNab and Phil Earle Illustrator: Robin Boyden

This exhilarating story is written by Andy (SAS) McNab, together with Phil Earle. The adrenaline-pumping-pace and unashamed use of slang is a reminder that reading is ultimately about enjoyment and opening readers’ eyes to new experiences.

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Glitch

Author: Sarah Graley

Izzy and her friend Eric just can’t wait for Dungeon City to arrive – until Izzy find that she’s sucked into the game. Sarah Graley’s fantastic and fun games-themed new comic novel is perfect for 8-11s, gaming-mad or not.

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Lori and Max

Author: Catherine O’Flynn

Schoolgirl-turned-private investigator Lori must use all her prestigious detecting skills if she is to solve the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance. A fast-paced crime adventure that is funny, sad and challenging, and always a true page-turner.

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Max Kowalski Didn’t Mean It

Author: Susie Day

When Max meets Tal and his two dads, he learns that there are lots of different ways to be a man, and that his own dad’s expectations of him at such a young age aren't fair. An utterly remarkable book about families, being a boy and coping with loss. 

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Mythologica: An Encyclopedia of Gods, Monsters and Mortals from Ancient Greece

Author: Steve Kershaw Illustrator: Victoria Topping

This guide to Greek mythology combines accessible facts with amazing visuals for a truly amazing read. The artwork really is the star of the book. 

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Princess BMX

Author: Marie Basting Illustrator: Flavia Sorrentino

Princess Avariella is heir to the throne of the magical kingdom of Biscotti. Bored of behaving with grace and decorum, she gets a BMX bike. A fast-paced contemporary fairy tale with quirky characters, a hilarious plot and funny black-and-white illustrations.

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The Boy With the Butterfly Mind

Author: Victoria Williamson

The complexities of families divided by break-up and reformed as blended versions of themselves will have been experienced by many readers. Elin and Jamie’s story is a compelling and affecting book about acceptance, openness and family dynamics.

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The Girl Who Speaks Bear

Author: Sophie Anderson

Found in a bear cave when she was a baby and raised by her foster mother, Yanka has always wondered who she really is. Readers will be gripped by her quest to find out in this marvellous tale inspired by Russian folklore.

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The Iron Man

Author: Ted Hughes Illustrator: Chris Mould

Whether you’re already a fan of this classic children’s story or a new reader, this wonderful version is a real treat. Chris Mould’s mechanical Iron Man has a great deal of personality and this luxury hardback would be a delight to share at home or at school.

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The Poetical Institute’s Peculiar Powers of Vegetables & Fruits

Author: Sharada Keats Illustrator: JiaJia Hamner

The overarching theme that fruit and vegetables are essential to help you grow strong and smart is repeated through 48 poems that push the theme to places no one could expect, with super silly rhymes and poems. 

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The Space We’re In

Author: Katya Balen Illustrator: Laura Carlin

A heart-rending read about having a severely autistic brother, from the perspective of the older sibling, Frank. The addition of references to coding and powerful observations about life, the universe and everything, make this memorable and satisfying.

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The Wizards of Once: Knock Three Times

Author: Cressida Cowell

This is the third book in the Wizards of Once series, set 3,000 years ago in an ancient magical time. Knock Three Times is thrilling, fast-paced, funny, sad, scary and philosophical, and full of inspiration for children on how to find inner strength in crisis.

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Top Marks for Murder

Author: Robin Stevens

This teen murder-mystery, set in an exclusive girls’ school in 1936 is reminiscent of Enid Blyton’s boarding school novels, but with a hefty dose of Agatha Christie’s gruesome, puzzling plotlines. A glorious slice of fantastical escapism.

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What’s That in Dog Years?

Author: Ben Davis Illustrator: Julia Christians

This story is about leaving childhood and entering a world where, as George says, 'things are not simple anymore'. Children will love the adorable tale of friendship between boy and dog and Gizmo’s doggie memoirs, which are peppered throughout.

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For teens (12+)

Chinglish

Author: Sue Cheung

Jo’s terrified about bringing friend Tina home to meet her parents and revealing that she lives above a Chinese takeaway. In reading Jo’s diary, we understand the tension within her family, as well as the racism and homophobia in the world around her.

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Jemima Small Versus the Universe

Author: Tamsin Winter

Jemima Small is brilliant and the ideal candidate to go on her favourite TV quiz show, Brainiacs. But why on earth would anyone want to watch a girl as big as her on TV? A compelling, empowering tale about a big girl, small minds and self-discovery.

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