New books we love this month

Every month, we review dozens of children's books. Here are the ones we liked best of all in August. 

Whether they're a teeny toddler or a particular teen, this is where you can find your child's next amazing read: just scroll down to find books for a range of ages. 

You can also take a look at our past book recommendations for:

For ages 0-3 and up

Alphabet Street

Author: Jonathan Emmett Illustrator: Ingela P Arrhenius

Eye-grabbing design gives this house-shaped board book some irresistible shelf appeal and it’d make an impressive gift (if a little challenging to wrap!) for the same reasons. The book folds out to make a street of shops or a bustling park scene.

Read more about Alphabet Street

If All the World Were

Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Allison Colpoys

This beautiful story tells the love that one little girl has for her ageing grandad. One day he isn’t there anymore, but the little girl finds evidence of their happy times together. A touching, sensitive text that doesn’t dwell on the sadness and could bring real comfort.

Read more about If All the World Were

Who?

Author: Robie H Harris Illustrator: Natascha Rosenberg

This board book will delight babies who love to look at pictures of other babies. Each page asks ‘Who?’ and then answers with a different member of a family. 

Read more about Who?

For ages 3-4 and up

Dinosaur Firefighters

Author: Sarah McIntyre

Dipsy the dinosaur is so excited when she passes her interview to become a firefighter. Another delightful romp from Sarah McIntyre sees the loveable Dipsy fulfil her potential in a story about finding what makes you, you.

Read more about Dinosaur Firefighters

How To Be A Lion

Author: Ed Vere

Leonard is a gentle lion: just because you’re a lion doesn’t mean that you have to roar. A book about ignoring the aggressive voices in our society and lending an ear to our quieter thoughts, this is a warm and reassuring story. 

Read more about How To Be A Lion

I Really Want That Unicorn

Author: Fabi Santiago

Chloe REALLY wants the Mellow Yellow unicorn in the toyshop window, and she's determined to win it! This story about competitive kids is full of expressive detail, fabulous cakes and towering castles – tons of fun and a great message for little ones.

Read more about I Really Want That Unicorn

Ruby's Worry

Author: Tom Percival

Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry – and it won't stop growing. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again? A very beautiful, sensitive look at anxiety and how a problem shared is a problem halved. 

Read more about Ruby's Worry

The Crocodile and the Dentist

Author: Taro Gomi

When it’s time for the Crocodile’s annual visit to the dentist, which of them is more afraid? Witty, colourful and delightful.

Read more about The Crocodile and the Dentist

The Night Dragon

Author: Naomi Howarth

Maud the multi-coloured dragon isn’t like the other night dragons, but that's perfectly all right. The artwork is the star of the show in this gorgeous picture book, especially the dragons, and its story of self-belief is an important one. 

Read more about The Night Dragon

The Princess and the Pit Stop

Author: Tom Angleberger Illustrator: Dan Santat

A celebration of girl power and horsepower as a Princess tries to overtake her fairy tale rivals on the final lap of a grand prix. With full-colour graphics, it’s the pictures that do much of the storytelling.

Read more about The Princess and the Pit Stop

For ages 5-8 and up

Ade’s Amazing Adventures: Battle of the Cyborg Cat

Author: Ade Adepitan

This first book by Paralympian and TV presenter Ade Adepitan offers a fascinating picture of his childhood. With a light touch and plenty of wit, he recalls the influences and events that helped to shape his life and career. Entertaining, accessible and inspiring.

Read more about Ade’s Amazing Adventures: Battle of the Cyborg Cat

Bad Nana: Older Not Wiser

Author: Sophy Henn

Bad Nana is quite unlike Jeanie’s other two grandmas. So when Jeanie and her class go on a school trip, it’s no surprise that Bad Nana manages to make it a lot more interesting than anyone expected. A riot of bright colour and laugh-out-loud moments.

Read more about Bad Nana: Older Not Wiser

Grandad Mandela

Author: Zazi Ziwelene & Zindzi Mandela Illustrator: Sean Qualls

This insightful and uplifting picture book recounts the life of Nelson Mandela through the eyes of his great-grandchildren, Zazi and Ziwelene, as they ask their grandmother (Mandela’s daughter) a series of questions about him.

Read more about Grandad Mandela

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

Author: Patricia Valdez Illustrator: Felicita Sala

This amazing and deeply inspiring story of a largely unknown scientist – and pioneer of the care of Komodo dragons – is a fascinating read, beautifully illustrated. 

Read more about Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

Just Jack

Author: Kate Scott Illustrator: Alex Gunn

Jack has moved around so much since his parents split up that he knows exactly how to  fit in. But will he be able to stick to his very strict rules when he meets his exuberant classmate Tyler? A joyful read about the importance of being true to yourself.

Read more about Just Jack

Just Plain Weird

Author: Kaye Umansky Illustrator: Chris Mould

Mrs Primm doesn’t like mess and expects her son Pinchton to wear his smart blazer to evening meals. Luckily, new neighbours bring adventure into 10-year old Pinchton’s life. A chapter book with great morals, lovable role models and loads of laughs.

Read more about Just Plain Weird

Mariella, Queen of the Skies

Author: Eoin Colfer Illustrator: Katy Halford

A funny first "chapters" book with lively illustrations, in which a budding young scientist tries to find a way to slow down time so she doesn’t have to go to bed...

Read more about Mariella, Queen of the Skies

My First Book of Quantum Physics

Author: Sheddad Kaid-Salah Ferron and Eduard Altarriba

This is an absolutely fascinating, head-scratching look at quantum physics for older children, which may have parents secretly consulting their dummies' guide in case of further questions.

Read more about My First Book of Quantum Physics

Run Wild

Author: Gill Lewis

Izzy and Asha need somewhere to practice their skateboarding skills, so they sneak into derelict gasworks, where they discover an injured wolf who is at threat from developers. A poignant tale of friendship, freedom and the value of connecting with nature. 

Read more about Run Wild

The Book of Clouds

Author: Juris Kronbergs Illustrator: Anete Melece Translator: Mara Rozīte and Richard O’Brien

This wonderful book about the magic of clouds is full of surprising and original poems, perfect for upper key stage two children either at school or at home. 

Read more about The Book of Clouds

The Girl Who Thought Her Mother Was a Mermaid

Author: Tania Unsworth Illustrator: Helen Crawford-White

Stella sets out to discover if her mother really was a mermaid. A beautifully written story with some tense, nailbiting moments and giddy splashes of magical realism. 

Read more about The Girl Who Thought Her Mother Was a Mermaid

The Girls

Author: Lauren Ace Illustrator: Jenny Lovlie

Four friends find a tree that becomes their Secret Meeting Place. As they grow into four very different young women, their friendship stays as strong as the tree. This touching picture book perfectly encapsulates the value and joy of female friendship. 

Read more about The Girls

Unicorn Academy: Isabel and Cloud

Author: Author Julie Sykes Illustrator: Lucy Truman

Magic, sparkle and unicorns are sprinkled throughout this book, but it’s essentially about what many primary school children struggle with: jealousy, bullying and friendships. A bite-sized chapter book that's ideal for a quick read. 

Read more about Unicorn Academy: Isabel and Cloud

For ages 9-12 and up

Athena: The Story of a Goddess

Author: Isabel and Imogen Greenberg

The story of Athena may be lesser known than some other Greek myths, but hers is one of wisdom, war and courage. A brilliant and stylish book that offers an empowering experience for those unfamiliar with these commanding goddesses and heroines.

Read more about Athena: The Story of a Goddess

Lou Out of Luck

Author: Nat Luurtsema

Lou’s life is not going to plan, but maybe she can rescue the situation with a little help from her performance club and a second-best friend who is into stuffed stoats. A great choice for anyone looking for light reading that will make them laugh out loud.

Read more about Lou Out of Luck

Natboff: One Million Years of Stupidity

Author: Andy Stanton Illustrator: David Tazzyman

The story of the inhabitants of the village of Lamonic Bibber, a place Mr Gum (also by Andy Stanton) fans are already very familiar with, from 20,000 years ago until 1 million years in the future. Probably the most ridiculous and funny book you will ever read.

Read more about Natboff: One Million Years of Stupidity

Splash

Author: Charli Howard

Molly is passionate about swimming but is having to deal with a domineering friend and a difficult home life. A sensitive novel that touches on several issues that may concern pre-adolescents, from anxieties about secondary school to pressures around body image.

Read more about Splash

The Last Chance Hotel

Author: Nicki Thornton

A magical murder mystery tale set in a crumbling hotel at the heart of a remote and sinister forest. A fabulous cast of weird and wonderful characters and a plot that reveals its secrets very gradually will draw readers in and keep them hooked. 

Read more about The Last Chance Hotel

The Mapmakers' Race

Author: Eirlys Hunter Illustrator: Kirsten Slade

When their mother gets left behind at a train station, the Santander siblings decide to take part in the Great Race to create a new route for a railway without her. A timeless, thrilling adventure full of derring-do and heart.

Read more about The Mapmakers' Race

For teens (12+)

Bone Talk

Author: Candy Gourlay

Samkad is a boy from a remote Filipino "headhunter" tribe called Bontok in the highlands of the Philippines, back in around 1899 – on the brink of invasion by American invaders. A brilliant, exciting and fascinating adventure story.

Read more about Bone Talk

It’s a Wrap

Author: Perdita and Honor Cargill

Elektra James is back in the third installment of the Waiting for Callback series for more romance, school issues and insights from the acting world. This fun and funny series will give a bit of light relief to younger teens.

Read more about It’s a Wrap

The Goat

Author: Anne Fleming

A mountain goat, a girl called Kid and a boy who speaks in spoonerisms are the main characters in this quirky novel about love, fears and friendship. Surprising, tender and engaging.

Read more about The Goat

You Are Awesome

Author: Matthew Syed Illustrator: Toby Triumph

An accessible, funny self-help manual for pre-teens and teenagers, based on Carol Dweck’s growth mindset theory: how to train your mind and take a more positive, proactive attitude to life. 

Read more about You Are Awesome

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