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 January: 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:

DecemberNovemberOctoberSeptemberAugustJuly

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

A Duck Called Brian

Author: Al Murphy

Brian the duck encounters all kinds of extraordinary ducks as he looks for his best friend Gregory. Brilliantly funny and quirky with an unexpected hit of very convenient magic, this whimsical picture book has plenty to amuse adults and children alike.

Read more about A Duck Called Brian

Bright Brown Baby: A Treasury

Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

An empowering and tender collection of five different stories celebrating black and brown babies and families all over the world. 

Read more about Bright Brown Baby: A Treasury

Britannica’s 150 First Words

Author: Claire Laties Davis Illustrator: Kasia Dudziuk

With a useful and approachable foreword from Claire Laties Davis, a Speech and Language Therapist, this terrific large board book models early words and short phrases that are great to use with your child from waking to bedtime.

Read more about Britannica’s 150 First Words

Find Spot at Nursery

Author: Eric Hill

Who doesn't love Spot? Find Spot at Nursery sweet, fun and interactive, and also a very effective and gentle way to introduce the concept of nursery to children and to show that there is nothing to be frightened or wary about. 

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It’s Mine

Author: Emma Yarlett

A mystery thing has appeared. No one is quite sure what it is, but they each want to keep it for themselves. A funny read-aloud picture book with a surprise ending.

Read more about It’s Mine

Jack and the Beanstalk

Author: Stephen Tucker Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fun: children are in for a treat with another lift-the-flap fairy tale from the Stephen Tucker/Nick Sharratt duo, which is full of vivid illustration, funny rhyming text and brilliant pop-out surprises. 

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Time to Go to Bed

Author: Penny Tassoni Illustrator: Mel Four

Ideal to share with toddlers at bedtime as part of a positive sleep routine, this lovely little picture book uses simple language to explore why sleep is essential to help stay healthy and happy, and encourages interaction by asking gentle questions.

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What's In the Box?

Author: Isabel Otter Illustrator: Joaquin Camp

A pile of boxes has arrived... Can you guess what hides inside? Fun and lively reading, What's in the Box? is brilliantly interactive and eye-catchingly designed, combining lift-the-flaps and touch-and-feel to entice young children to open a series of special boxes. 

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For ages 4-5 and up

Inside the Suitcase

Author: Clothilde Perrin Translator: Daniel Hahn

Flap books are nothing new, but Perrin’s use of multiple flaps-inside-flaps makes this book a real immersive adventure. A perfect book for a 4 to 5 year old who will love the mystery and the magic of the illustration.

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Let’s Go For A Walk

Author: Text developed with Terri Langan based on CBeebies’ Ranger Hamza series Illustrator: Katy Kronreif

Wherever you live, in a town, by the sea or in the countryside, this vividly illustrated picture book by CBeebies favourite Ranger Hamza will make any walk more interesting and exciting. 

Read more about Let’s Go For A Walk

Moose’s Book Bus

Author: Inga Moore

This delightful picture book, which celebrates the pleasure of sharing books, reading aloud and the importance of libraries, is sure to inspire young children to embark on their own reading journey.

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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.

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Violet’s Tempest

Author: Ian Eagleton Illustrator: Clara Anganuzzi

Violet’s class are preparing for their school play – Shakespeare’s The Tempest. While her classmates buzz with excitement, she begins to worry. Recently, Violet’s world has changed. Her voice has gone from a giggle to a whisper. She’s not sure how she can play the role of the airy and mischievous sprite Ariel, when she feels so sad and heavy.

At home, her wo…

Read more about Violet’s Tempest

For ages 6-8 and up

Curious About Crocodiles

Author: Owen Davey

The latest in Owen Davey’s amazing nature series featuring individual species, Curious About Crocodiles gives facts and curious details alongside accessible and beautiful graphic design, making a fascinating read about these sometimes misunderstood ancient creatures.

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Dream to Change the World: The Story of John La Rose

Author: Ken Wilson-Max

This charming and beautiful book for young readers tells the story of John La Rose, the pioneering black activist who set up Britain’s first black publisher and bookshop, New Beacon Books, and was also one of the founders of the George Padmore Institute.

Read more about Dream to Change the World: The Story of John La Rose

Einstein the Penguin

Author: Iona Rangeley Illustrator: David Tazzyman

One day, Einstein the penguin turns up at the house of the Stewart family and they discover he is on a rescue mission. Funny, intriguing and utterly heart-warming, this wonderful chapter book will delight newly confident junior readers. 

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Frankenstiltskin

Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Freya Hartas

This funny, clever and very enjoyable verse retelling of Rumpelstiltskin takes the story back to its original darkly horrifying roots and adds a smart, likeable heroine who saves the day with a story. 

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Frindleswylde

Author: Natalia & Lauren O’Hara

With echoes of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale The Snow Queen, this perilous tale of icy magic is ideal for older readers who will appreciate its complexity. 

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Girl Power: Indian Women Who Took on the World

Author: Neha J Hiranandani Illustrator: Aditi Kakade Beaufrand and Niloufer Wadia

Featuring 50 brilliant Indian women from history and the present day, Girl Power: Indian Women Who Took on the World is a truly inspirational read, with clearly laid out text and gorgeous painted portraits by Niloufer Wadia.

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Silas and the Marvellous Misfits

Author: Tom Percival

This is the third book in the Dream Defenders series and would benefit from being read in sequence. The imaginative Dreamscape setting, short chapters and lively black-and-white illustrations make it an engaging tale which celebrates individualism and promotes emotional wellbeing.

Read more about Silas and the Marvellous Misfits

Sunday Fun Day: A Nature Activity for Every Weekend of the Year

Author: Katherine Halligan Illustrator: Jesus Verona

Featuring 52 activities (one for every Sunday in the year), Sunday Fun Day is a compendium of craft, cooking, gardening and outdoor activities organised into Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Loads of useful ideas and lovely for families who love crafts. 

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The Queen in the Cave

Author: Julia Sarda

Julia Sarda’s remarkable and dream-like fable about growing up – and some of the discomfort we may feel when our friends or siblings want to explore more mature experiences – is full of resplendent illustration.

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Freddy and the New Kid

Author: Neill Cameron

When a new girl starts at Freddy the Robot's school, Freddy is a bit worried - Aoife is brilliant at EVERYTHING and she thinks humans are better than robots. Can Freddy outshine his rival?

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For ages 9-11 and up

Anisha, Accidental Detective: Show Stoppers

Author: Serena Patel Illustrator: Emma McCann

When disaster threatens to ruin the school musical, Anisha is on high alert for things that are ‘not quite right’. Her detective brain will have the mystery solved in no time… with just a few wrong turns along the way. Another entertaining addition to the Accidental Detective series.

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Barakah Beats

Author: Maleeha Siddiqui

Nimra battles to understand her interpretation of Islam and whether it allows her to sing in a band or not. It is refreshing to find a book written by an author who understands the complexity of relationships between three generations from a Muslim immigrant heritage. 

Read more about Barakah Beats

Breaking News

Author: Nick Sheridan Illustrator: David O’Connell

A perfect book for a budding news hound or any child who takes an interest in the world, this fun and stimulating read by a real-life news journalist is a great guide to what news actually is and how it works. 

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Death and Sparkles

Author: Rob Justus

This colourful graphic novel about the last unicorn on Earth and a character called Death, thrown together to save the planet from climate change, is filled with quirky humour, zany characters and off-the-wall plot, as well as touching on some complex ideas.

Read more about Death and Sparkles

Lightning Falls

Author: Amy Wilson

An intense build-up of mystery and jeopardy will keep readers gripped in this fantasy thriller that crosses two worlds.

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Not If I Can Help It

Author: Carolyn Mackler

There are certain things you cannot tell anyone, even your closest friends. At least that is the way 11-year-old Willa feels about the fact that she lives with a sensory processing disorder. An accessible, well-paced and engaging coming-of-age story with a casually inclusive cast and a perfectly loveable and perfectly flawed young protagonist.

Read more about Not If I Can Help It

The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens

Author: Isabel Roxas

Isabel Roxas’ super fun and readable comic about friendship, individuality and heroism is a brilliant read for 8-10 year olds looking for something highly visual and original. 

Read more about The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens

The Ice Whisperers

Author: Helenka Stachera Illustrator: Marco Guadalupi

When Bela finds a way to travel to an icy spirit world, she discovers she has a sister living there. But will the duo be able to save the world from a dangerous threat?

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The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy

Author: Richard Pickard

One night, Marina hopes to make her life as exciting as her imagination by exploring the abandoned pie where she lives. But even Marina couldn’t have dreamed up the miraculous creature she finds there... A funny, touching contemporary fairy tale about acceptance, betrayal, greed and love.

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The World of the Unknown: All About Monsters

Author: Carey Miller Illustrator: David Jefferis

First published in 1977, this new edition of a classic pictures book introduces a range of monster phenomena, from the Loch Ness monster to the Minotaur and Medusa of the Greek legends, and its delightfully ghoulish and vivid illustrations are just as likely to appeal to young readers now.

Read more about The World of the Unknown: All About Monsters

When the War Came Home

Author: Lesley Parr Illustrator: David Dean

There is a lot packed into this beautifully written historical mysery tale, which provides a fascinating insight into what life was like in the 1920s. It explores a range of topics, including the suffrage movement, workers’ rights, the education system, and the devastating after-effects of war.

Read more about When the War Came Home

For teens (12+)

The Art of Protest

Author: De Nichols

Explaining why art can be so powerful within social movements, and the different forms protest art can take, De Nichols introduces young readers to contemporary artists and young activists, with ideas for making your own protest art. A fascinating and brilliantly designed book. 

Read more about The Art of Protest

You Will Be Okay

Author: Julie Stokes Illustrator: Laurène Boglio

This gentle guide for children experiencing feelings of grief and loss is written by Julie Stokes, a clinical psychologist and founder of childhood bereavement charity Winston's Wish.

Read more about You Will Be Okay

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