Books we love this month

Every month, we review dozens of children's books. Here are the ones we liked best of all for August 2017. 

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

A Bear Hug at Bedtime

Jana Novotny Hunter, illustrated by Kay Widdowson

This is a delightful picture book with appealing illustrations and a gentle story about the power of the imagination and the fun of play, featuring a highly inclusive cast of characters.

Read more about A Bear Hug at Bedtime

Almost Everybody Farts

Marty Kelley

Part of the joy of this book, featuring the eternally amusing subject of farting, is the skilful depiction of a variety of farting faces belonging to all the different characters. Plenty of laughs guaranteed.

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Dance Is For Everyone

Andrea Zuill

When a large, green alligator turns up to ballet class one day, Miss Iraina and the students are very surprised but, as the alligator doesn’t seem too keen on eating any of them, they decide to let her stay.

Read more about Dance Is For Everyone

Dinosaur Discovery

Salina Yoon

Follow your field guide as you take a walk through the past, learning all about dinosaurs. A great starting point for young readers interested in prehistory.

Read more about Dinosaur Discovery

Doodle Cat is Bored

Kat Patrick and Lauren Marriott

A quirky and original take on alleviating boredom, Doodle Cat is Bored’s design and humour has adult and kid appeal. 

Read more about Doodle Cat is Bored

Everybody’s Welcome

Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Greg Abbott

A little mouse, and a medley of animals, create a home where everybody is welcome, no matter who they are. With beautiful illustrations and rhyming text, the poignant message of tolerance and inclusivity is integral to this heart-warming tale of love, friendship and hope. 

Read more about Everybody’s Welcome

Hip and Hop: You Can Do Anything

Akala, illustrated by Sav Akyuz

Inspired by Hip’s helpful rap about working hard for your dreams, Hop tries and tries, and finally wheels his way into first place at the local bike race.

Read more about Hip and Hop: You Can Do Anything

I Can’t Sleep!

Stephanie Blake, illustrated by Sarah Ardizzone

Bunny brothers Simon and Casper spend an exciting day building an amazing outdoor hut. This delightful sibling adventure, with wonderfully expressive illustrations, is full of warmth, love and humour.

Read more about I Can’t Sleep!

Look, there’s a Submarine!

Esther Aarts

The little yellow submarine is going for a ride under the sea. From tiny red crabs to giant blue whales, there is so much to see. An entertaining addition to any bookshelf.

Read more about Look, there’s a Submarine!

My First Mog ABC

Judith Kerr

You don’t have to be a Mog fan to appreciate this new Mog alphabet book, as the iconic illustrations are just as charming without a story, and indeed might prompt new readers to seek out the original stories. 

Read more about My First Mog ABC

My New Shoes

Leilani Sparrow, illustrated by Dan Taylor

Young bear’s feet are growing, so it is time for him to get some new shoes. Vibrant illustrations and rhyming text capture the excitement of this familiar experience, making this an ideal tale for toddlers who are embarking on their own visit to the shoe shop.

Read more about My New Shoes

The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show

Mini Grey

This is a wonderful, inventive and playful picture book about two naughty bunnies and their magic tricks, which will delight young readers and their parents alike.

Read more about The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show

Why Do We Need Bees?

Katie Daynes, illustrated by Christine Pym

A robust and attractive lift-the-flap book answering all the questions youngsters might have about bees: where they come from, how they live, and why they are important in our world.

Read more about Why Do We Need Bees?

For ages 5-12

Billy and the Mini Monsters – Monsters in the Dark

Zanna Davidson, illustrated by Melanie Williamson

An entertaining adventure about monsters who turn out to be much less scary than they sound. Overflowing with funny illustrations, this story will reassure anyone nervous at night-time!

Read more about Billy and the Mini Monsters – Monsters in the Dark

Boyband of the Apocalypse

Tom Nicoll, illustrated by David O’Connell

Pacey and page-turning, follow Sam on his quest for stardom – and saving the world (well, hopefully). Several twists and turns keep him, Lexi and his best friend Milo on their toes in a story that is both fun and funny, pulling out all the stops when it comes to boyband humour.

Read more about Boyband of the Apocalypse

Class Six and the Eel of Fortune

Sally Prue, illustrated by Loretta Schauer

Class Six and the Eel of Fortune keeps up the irreverent and fast-paced nature of the first book, while also ratcheting up the hilarity. 

Read more about Class Six and the Eel of Fortune

Coyote Summer

Mimi Thebo

Jules has been sent in disgrace from her privileged London life to live on her aunt and uncle’s farm in Kansas for the summer - where she ends up rediscovering her love for dance through the eyes of a coyote. Her experiences may be unique, but Jules’s confusion about her place in the world will ring true with most teenagers.

Read more about Coyote Summer

Free Lance and the Lake of Skulls

Paul Stewart

The dream team of Stewart and Riddell are on fantastic form for this outing: full of Stewart’s trademark fantasy wit and grandeur, and Riddell’s detailed and capturing illustrations.

Read more about Free Lance and the Lake of Skulls

My Book of Birds

Geraldo Valerio

A gorgeous palette of colours and some clever design makes each page a joy. A great gift for any bird or design enthusiast.

Read more about My Book of Birds

Overheard in a Tower Block

Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Kate Milner

Recounting the childhood of a child living in a city tower block, many of these poems are sad or angry and bristle with an edginess that young teens may find refreshing when compared to other poetry aimed at them.

Read more about Overheard in a Tower Block

Piggy Handsome

Pip Jones, illustrated by Adam Stower

Piggy Handsome is distraught to discover he is the only one in the Handsome family tree to have failed to become famous. Pacey, silly and brilliant. 

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Stunt Double

Tamsin Cooke

Free-running champ Finn is recruited to work on a new blockbuster movie as the stunt double for superstar Blake Saunders. A cleverly written, fast-paced read with each chapter leaving you on the edge of your seat.

Read more about Stunt Double

The Adventures of John Blake

Philip Pullman, illustrated by Fred Fordham

Like the Bourne films with time travel and a ghost ship, Pullman’s story rockets along at thrilling speed, full of secrets, mysterious baddies and emotional drama. Adventure on the high seas meets spy thriller: a fantastically executed, exciting must-read.

Read more about The Adventures of John Blake

The Guggenheim Mystery

Robin Stevens, based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd

When Ted Spark's Aunt Gloria is framed for the theft of a painting from the Guggenheim Museum, he must race through the streets of New York to find the real culprit. An exciting and heartwarming tale from Robin Stevens, continuing the legacy of late author Siobhan Dowd.

Read more about The Guggenheim Mystery

The House in the Tree

Bianca Pitzorno, illustrated by Quentin Blake and transla...

A totally surreal story that puts a new spin on a magical faraway tree – Pitzorno’s story is full of surprises and delightfully silly scenes.

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The Prehistoric Times: The Newspaper for Discerning Dinosaurs

Stella Gurney, artwork by Naeve Parker and Matthew Hodson

The Prehistoric Times is out! Presented in a style between vintage tabloid newspaper and puzzle book, The Prehistoric Times is huge fun for kids looking for something different to satisfy their dino appetites. It’s a dip-in, dip-out kind of book, perfect for fans of non-fiction.

Read more about The Prehistoric Times: The Newspaper for Discerning Dinosaurs

The World’s Worst Children 2

David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross

A wicked selection of Walliams’ Dahl-esque stories with wonderful illustrations from the multi-award-winning Tony Ross. Reading about these beastly brats, parents may decide their kids are quite angelic, after all…

Read more about The World’s Worst Children 2

Titania and Oberon: A Fairy Tale

illustrated by Phyllis Bray, told by Jo Manton

Originally published in 1945, this version of a section of Shakespeare’s famous play features original illustrations by renowned British artist Phyllis Bray. Bray’s wonderful pastel colours enchant the reader with soft pinks and blues, weaving fairy magic of the most beautiful kind.

Read more about Titania and Oberon: A Fairy Tale

Wigglesbottom Primary: Super Dog

Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Becka Moor

From the winner of the Blue Peter Best Story Award come three new tales in one rip-roaring book. Comical illustrations complement this selection of funny school stories.

Read more about Wigglesbottom Primary: Super Dog

Zinnia and the Bees

Danielle Davis

A funny, moving story about loss, love, loyalty and misunderstanding, all featuring a quirky young heroine, a hilarious swarm of bees, a fitness freak and an environmentally conscientious dentist.

Read more about Zinnia and the Bees

For ages 12+

I Have No Secrets

Penny Joelson

Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy and is non-verbal. She lives with her foster family and has a cherished friend in her carer Sarah. But with Dan, Sarah's boyfriend, things aren't what they seem. A fast-paced and accessible thriller.

Read more about I Have No Secrets

Moonrise

Sarah Crossan

Moonrise is the story of teenager Joe and his brother Ed on death row. Written in Sarah Crossan’s pioneering (and now trademark) free verse, it’s a stirring and thought-provoking book about poverty, injustice and love.

Read more about Moonrise

Ryan Higa’s How to Write Good

Ryan Higa and ghostwriter Sarah Tomlinson, illustrated by...

Those unfamiliar with internet sensation Higa may be surprised to find themselves completely won over by him. This book is funny, sad and filled with hope.

Read more about Ryan Higa’s How to Write Good

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

F C Yee

It’s a joy that this pacy, funny Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets kung-fu novel is out there: readers will identify with the difficulties of school and family, and love the realistic teen voices and hilarious dialogue.

Read more about The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

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