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 April. 

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. 

For age 0-4+

Almost Anything

Author: Sophy Henn

Sophy Henn has the perfect touch when it comes to tapping into childhood emotions and readers both young and old will relate to George’s wobbly feelings about trying new things. A brilliant book for sharing, and for giving little ones a little extra self-belief.

Read more about Almost Anything

Ash Dresses her Friends

Author: Fu Wenzheng

Ash the Magpie is lonely. Everyone thinks she is shy but the truth is, she is just quiet. After meeting a sad elephant, Ash makes him a shirt to cheer him up. Beautiful illustrations, which display Chinese culture, with simple text for very young readers.

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Cake

Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Cake is delighted when he receives his first ever party invitation. But will being a cake at a birthday party really end well…? Lots of humour and vibrant illustrations will have children giggling in anticipation as they wait to discover Cake’s fate.

Read more about Cake

Little Truck

Author: Taro Gomi

Little Truck is eager to get ahead but he needs the help of his ever-watchful parent when he gets tired. A cute and concise story about little ones taking their first steps of independence: the illustrations are really effective and the text is lovely to read aloud.

Read more about Little Truck

Nimesh the Adventurer

Author: Ranjit Singh Illustrator: Mehrdokht Amini

This captivating picture book will delight young children, encouraging them to invent their own imaginative adventures. The striking collage illustrations contain vibrancy and depth, drawing the reader into Nimesh’s exciting fantasy world.

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Poor Little Rabbit

Author: Jörg Mühle

This is a simple and clever idea to make reading a really interactive experience. Children can play along with making Bunny better as they wipe away his tears, brush off the dirt and stick a plaster on his elbow. 

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Sophie Johnson: Unicorn Expert

Author: Morag Hood Illustrator: Ella Okstad

Every toy or animal in Sophie's sight is given a horn, and because she is a unicorn expert, she teaches them about magic, hunting and other important unicorn things. But Sophie is a little too busy teaching her “unicorns” to even notice a when a real one shows up...

Read more about Sophie Johnson: Unicorn Expert

Spyder

Author: Matt Carr

Spyder is a spunky secret agent who lives in Tom’s loft. The pace of this story is kept fast and exciting, and there are plenty of puns to keep families chuckling away.

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The Drum

Author: Ken Wilson-Max Illustrator: Catell Ronca

This little but lively book is part of Tiny Owl’s "Children. Music. Life" series, which focuses on musical instruments from around the world, created by award-winning picture book author and artist Ken Wilson-Max. In this book, we meet the drum.

Read more about The Drum

The Mouse Who Wasn’t Scared

Author: Petr Horáček

Little Mouse is fearless and one morning decides to go exploring in the deep, dark woods. One of a collection of Little Mouse tales, this light-hearted picture book demonstrates that fear can come in all shapes and sizes.

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The New Baby and Me!

Author: Christine Kidney Illustrator: Hoda Haddadi

This joyful picture book beautifully celebrates the birth of a child and highlights the importance of recognising everyone’s unique qualities and interests. The charming collage illustrations are full of detail, creating a warm, imaginative setting.

Read more about The New Baby and Me!

The Story of Tantrum O'Furrily

Author: Cressida Cowell Illustrator: Mark Nicholas

Set on a wild and windy night, a stray cat called Tantrum O'Furrily is out and about with her three hungry kittens. Soon, they discover the power of stories and the courage they can give you. Cressida Cowell's story reads like a heartwarming fairy tale.

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For age 5-12

A Good Day For Climbing Trees

Author: Jaco Jacobs Illustrator: Jim Tierney Translator: Kobus Geldenhuys from Afrikaans

Thirteen-year-old Marnus finds himself at the centre of a protest when he and a girl named Leila camp out in a tree to prevent it from being cut down by developers. This is the perfect feel-good book from one of South Africa’s top children’s authors.

Read more about A Good Day For Climbing Trees

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

Author: Dan Santat

You’ve heard the story of Humpty Dumpty – what we will now refer to as the Great Fall. But did you know what happened afterwards? 

Read more about After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords

Author: Laura Ellen Anderson

Anderson’s writing is as zany as ever in this third instalment of the Amelia Fang series. It's all presented completely accessibly and with tons of humour. The book reads well on its own even if children haven’t read the previous two. 

Read more about Amelia Fang and the Unicorn Lords

Boy 87

Author: Ele Fountain

This is a timely and important book which illuminates the realities of life as a refugee. The horrors that 14-year-old Shif is escaping are all too real, but this is ultimately a story about the power of kindness and the strength of the human spirit.

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Chicken on the Roof

Author: Matt Goodfellow Illustrator: Hannah Asen

If you need an excuse to stay in bed or had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong, Matt Goodfellow knows exactly how you feel! A lively, illustrated collection of entertaining poetry by a popular performance poet.

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Elise and the Second-Hand Dog

Author: Bjarne Reuter Illustrator: Kirsten Raagaard Translator: Sian Mackie from Danish

Elise gets a secondhand mongrel to keep her company – and turns out, the dog's name is McAddudi and he’s from Scotland. Elise and McAddudi soon grow to become best friends. A quirky and original book that is full of laughs and heart.

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Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo

Author: Laura James Illustrator: Emily Fox

Fabio is the world’s greatest flamingo detective, and the new head judge of the local talent show. But then Julia – a fabulous singing hippo – disappears from the stage right in the middle of her audition. A bright and jazzy young reader’s chapter book. 

Read more about Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective: The Case of the Missing Hippo

HERSTORY: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook the World

Author: Katherine Halligan Illustrator: Sarah Walsh

Celebrated in this lavish hardback, the stories of 50 great women redefine their “herstory”, from disability activist Helen Keller to Indian poet, singer and saint Mira Bai and Aboriginal Australian Olympic athlete Cathy Freeman.

Read more about HERSTORY: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook the World

KidGlovz

Author: Julie Hunt and Dale Newman

This stunning pencil-drawn graphic novel of talent, music and friendship will readers young and old. You'll be rooting for KidGlovz, the nine-year-old musical prodigy: a poignant story to be remembered for a long time.

Read more about KidGlovz

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Author: Vashti Harrison

This beautiful and profound book chronicles the struggles and achievements of historic and contemporary black women. Not just for girls, this is an inspiring book for any child as it shows how determination, ambition and hard work can bring important change.

Read more about Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Planet Stan

Author: Elaine Wickson Illustrator: Chris Judge

Written from his own perspective, readers can follow 11-year-old space enthusiast Stan as he and his friends enter a competition to win a much-desired telescope. How fantastic to see a book packed with mathematical concepts and space facts and yet be so hilarious.

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Running on Empty

Author: S E Durrant Illustrator: Rob Biddulph (front cover)

Twelve-year-old AJ lives within a stone’s throw of the London Stadium, and his dream is to one day run there. However, his parents have learning difficulties, mounting bills, and are struggling to cope. A powerful book: convincing, uplifting and immensely readable.

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Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts

Author: Katie and Kevin Tsang Illustrator: Nathan Reed

Sam Wu is scared of many things but is determined not to let anyone find out. This funny, fast-paced chapter book is the first in a series of Sam Wu adventures. Full of humour, black-and-white illustrations and a wacky plot.

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The Book Case

Author: Dave Shelton

This sniggeringly funny, totally deadpan adventure is a joy to read. Loosely set in the 1930s, it’s a bit like reading a really well-written and funny Famous Five or Secret Seven by Enid Blyton.

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The Nothing to See Here Hotel

Author: Steven Butler Illustrator: Steven Lenton

Frankie Banister and his family run the Nothing to See Here Hotel, which is cunningly hidden from human view by magic and lots of really bad TripAdvisor reviews. The cast of characters in this laugh-out-loud book are full of sparkle, oddness and vitality.

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The Zoological Times

Author: Stella Gurney Illustrator: Matthew Hodson

The Zoological Times is laid out like a newspaper and jam-packed with news, fun facts and interactive features. It's all kept light and is very, very funny. It's s a brilliant way to keep kids entertained in the holidays – and they won't even realise they're learning. 

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To The Edge of the World

Author: Julia Green

A beautifully written, evocative tale with gorgeous descriptions of the Scottish Islands. It’s a story about learning to be brave and become your true and best self, with some real adventure along the way. Perfect for more grown-up Katie Morag fans.

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When the Mountains Roared

Author: Jess Butterworth

Ruby, mourning her dead mother, finds friendship, adventure and endangered animals in the Himalayas. Full of adventure, mystery, family drama and friendship, this will especially appeal to children who enjoyed Planet Earth and love the animal-rescue genre.

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For teens (12+)

Out of the Blue

Author: Sophie Cameron

Angels are falling from the sky, and it is 17-year-old Jaya who finds a live one. The urgent drama of saving the angel plays out against Jaya’s grief for her dead mother. Out of the Blue is a unique, charming novel by a powerful writer. 

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The Beast Player

Author: Nahoko Uehashi Translator: Cathy Hirano

Elin's mother has a very special job - caring for the magical Toda which protect their kingdom. But when something goes wrong, Elin must flee and discovers an astonishing talent for communicating with creatures. A sophisticated fantasy that will have teen readers gripped.

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The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

The Swan sisters have been dead for almost two centuries but their vengeful spirits return to the town of Sparrow every summer, and lure innocent young men to their deaths. A thrilling, threatening mix of ghost story and murder mystery.

Read more about The Wicked Deep

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