Books we love this month

Every month, we review dozens of children's books. Here are the ones we liked best of all for January 2018. 

Whether they're a teeny toddler or a particular teen, here's where you can find your child's next amazing read from among the very latest books. 

For ages 0-4

123 with Goose

Laura Wall

Laura Wall’s brilliant Goose character goes back to basics in this gorgeous board book for babies. A simple 1 to 10 count is illustrated with the lovable goose, his little friend, some ducklings and some frogs. 

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All The Year Round

John Yeoman and Quentin Blake

With Quentin Blake's instantly recognisable illustrations, this picture book contains 12 funny poems by John Yeoman: one for each month of the year, with suggested activities. A lovely, funny book that captures the fizz and farce of close family life.

Read more about All The Year Round



A glossy board book with giant flaps for little hands to turn, which showcases a range of emergency vehicles at work. This book is part of the Child’s Play Wheels at Work series

Read more about Emergency

I Thought I Saw A... Lion!

Lydia Nichols

This cute board book follows a lion all around town as he hides around various places. The illustrations are cool and modern, and robust production means little hands can enjoy the sturdy sliding tabs without damage.

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La La La

Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Jaime Kim

This almost wordless picture book communicates its touching message through striking artwork. A poignant tale of how, with hope and perseverance, loneliness can be transformed into joy and companionship.



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One House for All

Inese Zandere, illustrated by Juris Petraškevičs, transla...

Crayfish, Horse and Raven are best friends and often spend time chatting together under a tall tree in a green meadow on a river bank. Now they are grown up, they decide to build a big house where they and their families can all live together.

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The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse

Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

With a resolution reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, this surreal and hilarious picture book could only come from the brilliant pairing of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

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Through the Eyes of Me

Jon Roberts, illustrated by Hannah Rounding

Told in the first person, the book delivers a simple but effective glimpse into Kyla’s life, with help from her father (the author). We see that one way she might differ from some children is that she has autism. Beautifully effective artwork and uncluttered layout complete this delightful portrait.

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Yoga Babies

Fearne Cotton, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey

For those that are new to yoga, TV celebrity Fearne Cotton’s charming picture book about the benefits of easy stretching for little ones might be just the inspiration needed for the start of a new family yoga practice, or just a cute story about everyday life.

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For ages 5-12

101 Video Games To Play Before You Grow Up

Ben Bertoli, illustrated by Spencer Wilson

Split into platform games, action and adventure, sports and fighting, role playing and strategy, puzzle and arcade and party and music games, this is a handy little guide for gaming enthusiasts which may also enthuse kids about reading.

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Duncan Tonatiuh

Danza! explores the life of one of the most celebrated dancers and choreographers in the 20th Century, Amalia Hernandez, and the formation of the world-famous dance company Folkloric Ballet.

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Andy Mulligan

This is the story of a dog. But, ultimately, it's a book about finding out who you are as you grow up. It’s funny, but also deadly serious. A great read.

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Dragon’s Green

Scarlett Thomas

When her grandfather dies, Effie vows to protect his magical books, and in doing so, journeys through a book into the magical Otherworld. A tremendous start to what promises to be an epic, intelligent and classic fantasy series.

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Girls Who Rocked the World

Michelle Roehm McCann and Amelie Welden

This fun and fascinating collection celebrates women who left their mark on history before the age of 20. Featuring a diverse range of women, and written in a chatty style, this book will inspire any girl (or boy) to go out there and rock the world themselves.

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I Swapped My Brother on the Internet!

Jo Simmons, iIllustrated by Nathan Reed

Every child with a sibling should read this book. This cautionary tale will make children yelp in agreement, roll around with laughter but ultimately leave them appreciating their brother or sister a little bit more. 

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Impossible Inventions

Matgorzata Mycielska, Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Miz...

In Impossible Inventions, the team behind the bestselling Maps detail a wealth of incredible inventions, from 1st-century automatic-opening temple doors, a sweet sorter and an 18th-century magnetic balloon to a 3D-printed space base on the moon.

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Little Eli: Egg, Cards, Pencil

Laura Bellini

This unusual and beautiful set of three tall, thin hardbacks in their slipcase chronicle Eli the dragonfly's simple story of perseverance without any words.

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Andrew Norriss

Mike is a smart and humorous take on mental health and figuring out how to follow your own path in life. But it’s also so much more: a brilliant, pacey and engaging story packed with highly relatable characters and an enormously uplifting coming-of-age story.

Read more about Mike

Nellie Choc-Ice Penguin Explorer

Jeremy Strong, illustrated by Jamie Smith

Nellie Choc-Ice, an adventurous little penguin, finds herself in a spot of bother when a submarine causes her iceberg to break off and drift away from her home and family. This pocket-sized chapter book packs a punch full of energy and wit. 

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Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood

Joshua Davidson, illustrated by Buzz Burman

Will is certain that, no matter what his teacher says, he’s right to paint a purple elephant. And he is proved right, when the elephant turns out to be the gateway to a magical world. A delightfully original and amusing adventure about imagination.

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Pigsticks and Harold: Lost in Time!

Alex Milway

Fast-paced and funny, this chapter book with full-page graphic-novel style artwork is a hilarious romp through history. This is the fourth book in the fabulously funny Pigsticks and Harold series, which would particularly appeal to reluctant readers.

Read more about Pigsticks and Harold: Lost in Time!


Yann and Gwendal Le Bec

Colourful, clever and witty, Raymond offers something to readers of all ages. While essentially a story about a dog having a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, adults and older readers will pick up a meaningful message about the work/life balance.

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Tales from the Caribbean

Trish Cooke

Here’s a brilliant collection of tales from all over the Caribbean, perfect for children to read to themselves, but best of all to read together out loud. Some of the stories are famous but each one in this book feels fresh with Trish’s brilliant retelling.

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The Elephant in the Room

James Thorp, illustrated by Angus Mackinnon

Someone has smashed Father Giant’s favourite china elephant. Who is the culprit? This is a magnificent magical mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end about who the culprit might be.

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The Knights of the Drop-Leaf Table

Kaye Umansky, illustrated by Ben Whitehouse

To celebrate their new round drop-leaf table, the Knights decide to hold a party, and the French Knight, who has a hankering for yucky snails, volunteers to do the food. What could go wrong? A perfect, Monty Python-esque introduction to Camelot for kids.

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The Senses

Matteo Farinella

Diane starts to explore her five senses with the help of a virtual reality headset. It’s extremely unusual to see scientific knowledge presented in this kind of fiction/nonfiction mash-up, and this top-quality graphic novel works incredibly well to draw in readers.

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The Variety of Life

Nicola Davies, illustrated by Lorna Scobie

Did you know there are 400,000 species of beetle but only eight species of bear? Jam-packed with fun facts and figures, this is a glorious celebration of our world by non-fiction specialist Nicola Davies.

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The Ways of the Wolf

Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by Jonathan Woodward

A big, stunning hardback that pays tribute to misunderstood animal: the wolf. There's a nice middle-ground, conservational message here that the wolf is just looking to survive, like everything else – and just like us.

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For ages 12+


N D Gomes

Alex McCarthy has lost her older sister, Olivia: she’s gone missing, on New Year’s Eve. At the same time, a flock of dead blackbirds fall mysteriously from the sky... This is a gripping mystery, full of brooding melancholy, red herrings and clues.

Read more about Blackbird

Love, Hate & Other Filters

Samira Ahmed

This book is a brilliant insight into one experience of growing up Muslim in modern-day America, which translates very easily for readers in the UK. 

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The Extinction Trials

S M Wilson

In Storm and Lincoln’s world, there are two continents... And one is inhabited by vicious, predatory dinosaurs. A tense, brutal fantasy adventure: The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park.

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The Wild Book

Juan Villoro, translated by Lawrence Schimel

When Juan goes to spend the summer with his strange uncle Tito, the last thing he expects is to be sent on a quest in his labyrinthine library. This quirky, magical adventure is a must for book-lovers everywhere.

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