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 June. 

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+

Baby on Board

Author: Allan Ahlberg Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark

A trip to the beach with his sisters and friends develops into an epic adventure for a baby and his three toys. Written by a master storyteller, the drama builds with each turn of the page. Charming watercolours, reminiscent of a bygone era, bring the characters to life.

Read more about Baby on Board

Bigger! Bigger!

Author: Leslie Patricelli

A clever concept, imaginatively shown in bright and chunky illustrations with minimal text. This could inspire some creative play at home, and it's lovely to see a little girl shown in a construction role.

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Cannonball Coralie and the Lion

Author: Grace Easton

When Coralie meets Lion, she is determined to stay in his circus troupe – but none of her talents are enough to impress the Ringmaster. An accomplished and beautiful tale about why sometimes it’s OK to live by your own rules, and always best to follow your heart.

Read more about Cannonball Coralie and the Lion

Count with Little Fish

Author: Lucy Cousins

Lucy Cousins brings her bold and bright illustrations to a set of books for babies featuring fish. This sturdy board book counts from one to ten with brightly coloured fish on each page.

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Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets

Author: Hena Khan Illustrator: Mehrdokht Amini

This beautifully designed picture book with exquisite illustrations explores a variety of shapes relating to Islamic objects and practices. It is perfect to share with children at home or in the classroom.

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Hello Zoo

Author: Nicola Slater

Ludo the cat has come to the zoo in this cute and colourful board book. He peeks behind the giant fold-out flaps to find some other animals to play with... The lovely illustrations here have lots of little details to enjoy.

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How to Train the Perfect Parents

Author: Rebecca Ashdown

Meet Mimi Lee, an expert parent trainer. She knows that parents don’t understand what kids want and need, but you can’t blame them, as they’ve never been trained. So just follow her three simple steps to help train your parents, too! Funny and heartwarming.

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Daddy Do My Hair: Kechi’s Hair Goes Every Which Way

Author: Tola Okogwu Illustrator: Naomi Wright

Kechi’s Mum knows lots of different ways to style her big beautiful curly hair. But when it’s Kechi’s Daddy who has to take her to school, we see him trying, and failing, to do her hair just like Mummy does. Fun and hilarity follows... 

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Square

Author: Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Square spends his days piling square blocks. One day, Circle comes along and asks him to make a sculpture of her. Barnett and Klassen are the perfect team to deliver this smart and funny book, which reassures children about their own artistic development.

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When the Bees Buzzed Off!

Author: Lula Bell Illustrator: Stephen Bennett

This fabulous lift-the-flap book subtly encourages everyone to plant lots of bee-friendly flowers and is a fun-filled introduction to conservation for young children.

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For age 5-12+

Ariki and the Giant Shark

Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Nicola Kinnear

When a huge shark threatens a fishing boat, the island's queen believes that the creature means them harm. However, young Ariki discovers the truth about the shark – it needs their help. An exciting adventure story about friendship, families and being different.

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Child I

Author: Steve Tasane

This heartbreaking tale of a group of children living in a refugee camp is based on real events, and will make readers both young and old reflect on those less fortunate than them.

Read more about Child I

Dream Team

Author: Alan Gibbons Illustrator: Chris Chalik

Football action in a super-readable format. Can soccer ace Cairo forget his ego and lead his team to victory? Packed with fascinating facts about the greatest footballers in the world, the book also includes dynamic black-and-white illustrations.

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Gloria’s Voice

Author: Aura Lewis

An inspirational picture book biography of an amazing woman: the feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem. Aura Lewis’ dreamy, girly 70s-style watercolour illustration makes for a beautiful read for all children with a passion for justice.

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How the Borks Became

Author: Jonathan Emmett Illustrator: Elys Dolan

Evolution can be a difficult concept to explain to children, but this amusing picture book presents it beautifully. Reminiscent of Dr Seuss books, it's a fantastically funny tale with wonderfully vibrant illustrations.

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In The Mouth of the Wolf

Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Barroux

An elderly man remembers a life full of loss and bravery as a member of the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France. This is a deeply moving book that packs a lot of emotion, and a vivid cast of characters, into very few chapters.

Read more about In The Mouth of the Wolf

Looshkin

Author: Jamie Smart

Looshkin is named ‘the maddest cat in the world’ for good reason – anything that could possibly go wrong all comes down to this kitty. An outrageously fun graphic novel in a class of its own for silliness.

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The Big Book of the Blue

Author: Yuval Zommer

This wonderful, beautifully illustrated book about all things fishy (and ocean-y) has a gentle sense of humour: presenting digestible facts, ideal for lower primary children, with a light-hearted twist. 

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The Buried Crown

Author: Ally Sherrick

It's World War Two and Britain is on the brink of invasion. George has been sent to live in the countryside  – but he's far from safe. A fast-paced adventure that zips along and mixes up the facts with tantalising mythical and magical elements.

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The Funny Life of Pets

Author: Author James Campbell Illustrator: Rob Jones

This outlandish encyclopaedia covers everything a child could ever need to know about pets. Children will get lost in its mix of hilarious pet-related misinformation, trivia and educational facts.

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The Trilogy of Two

Author: Juman Malouf

Fans of Philip Pullman’s sophisticated fantasy will love Juman Malouf’s intricate, strange world of urchin children in a shadowy world full of evil cats, mysterious spheres, circus performers and a remarkable cast of ragtag characters.

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The Uncracked Code

Author: Tamara Macfarlane Illustrator: Eugene Ramirez Mapondera

A missing comic sparks a superhero-inspired hunt to catch the criminal before a much-loved comic shop is taken over by developers. With its multicultural London setting and very current theme of gentrification, this is an interesting addition to bookshelves.

Read more about The Uncracked Code

The Waggiest Tails

Author: Brian Moses and Roger Stevens Illustrator: Ed Boxall

This slim book manages to pack in a lot of poems and they’re all about dogs. Covering every canine topic, from smells to snacks and sticks, there are short silly rhymes and longer poems and verse to enjoy.

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The Wild Folk

Author: Sylvia V Linsteadt

When the City's stargold starts running out, the leaders are set on destroying everything to find more – including the countryside and the reclusive Wild Folk. Magic and mythology combine in this breathtaking adventure story with an environmental theme. 

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What a Wonderful Word

Author: Nicola Edwards Illustrator: Luisa Uribe

A beautifully illustrated book that celebrates the magic of language by showcasing a small collection of untranslatable words from around the world. With its stunning illustrations and fun facts about different cultures, this is a book to savour. 

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For teens (12+)

How to Write a Love Story

Author: Katy Cannon

Tilly loves to write, but she has no experience with falling in love – so how can she write a love story? She soon finds out that research is not as easy as it sounds. This clever romance is likely to appeal to any reader with an interest in writing, reading and love.

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Sunny and the Mysteries of Osisi

Author: Nnedi Okorafor

The second book of a fantasy adventure series set in contemporary Nigeria. Can Sunny and her friends use juju and natural abilities to save the Niger delta from destruction?Great for those looking for some magical escapism.

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The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara, a teenage girl of Dominican heritage, is starting to notice boys, but her strict Catholic parents have decided on no contact with the opposite sex until marriage. A verse novel that sings with the rhythms of slam poetry, this is powerful and affecting.

Read more about The Poet X

Truly Wildly Deeply

Author: Jenny McLachlan

Although a love story, this book is also about peer pressure, family, cultural identity, and having the courage to make one’s own way. Main character Annie is forthright and witty, and has cerebral palsy (although that's not central to the plot). An upbeat story with heart.

Read more about Truly Wildly Deeply

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