New children's books we love

Every month, we review dozens of books for children and teenagers. Here are the ones we liked best in April: 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:

MarchFebruaryJanuaryDecemberNovemberOctober 

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

Peekaboo Bear

Author: Camilla Reid Illustrator: Ingela P Arrhenius

Add new elements to a game of peekaboo with this exciting board book that has 9 sliders and a mirror for hours of interactive enjoyment.

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Busy Grow

Author: N/A Illustrator: Diana Bendoya

A little girl and a little boy plant seeds in the earth and water them. Over time, the plants grow and start to produce flowers, and then fruit and vegetables! This excellent board book for toddlers is full of lovely, thick cardboard pull-outs and wheels to turn.

Read more about Busy Grow

Time For Bed, Panda

Author: Jo Lodge

It's time for this adorable googly-eyed panda to get ready for bed - that means having a bath, brushing her teeth and reading a story! A delightfully cuddly and sweet board book for little ones.

Read more about Time For Bed, Panda

Let's Go! On A Digger

Author: Rosalyn Albert Illustrator: Natalia Moore

This lovely rhyming board book for toddlers tells a little story about a girl experiencing the dream of many toddlers – getting to drive a big yellow digger! 

Read more about Let's Go! On A Digger

Mini Monsters: Can I Be The Best?

Author: Caryl Hart Illustrator: Tony Neal

The second in Hart and Neal’s Mini Monsters series is a perfect read for toddlers and pre-schoolers, with, a simple but effective storyline and sympathetic characters - as well as a strong message that thoughtfulness, kindness and being a good friend are things we can all try to do better.

Read more about Mini Monsters: Can I Be The Best?

Stupid Baby

Author: Stephanie Blake

Sam is NOT impressed with his new baby brother. All he's done is stop Simon playing with his blocks and ruin his fun - but when Simon thinks he hears wolves at the window, he leaps into action to protect him. An excellent picture book which understands the trials and tribulations of a new sibling from a child's point of view.

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No! said Rabbit

Author: Marjoke Henrichs

No matter whether it's time for breakfast, time to get dressed, or a lovely day to go and play - Rabbit's answer is NO! Ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as parents of little ones who have just discovered “no” and like to use it at every opportunity. 

Read more about No! said Rabbit

For ages 4-5 and up

Stop That Dinosaur!

Author: Alex English Illustrator: Ben Cort

A young girl must save her Granny from a runaway brontosaurus in this hilarious rhyming picture book.

Read more about Stop That Dinosaur!

Get Up, Elizabeth!

Author: Shirin Yim Bridges Illustrator: Alea Marley

Before she became Queen Elizabeth I, Bess was just a little girl who struggled to get out of bed in the morning - just like everyone else! This charming, gently humorous picture book makes an important historical figure relatable to young people.

Read more about Get Up, Elizabeth!

Alley Cat Rally

Author: Ricky Trickartt

When Asta the cat spots three alley cat racers speed past in their soapbox cars, she decides to give them a run for their money. When the racer is finished, can it drive Asta to glory in the Kibble Hill Rally?

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Not In That Dress, Princess!

Author: Wendy Meddour Illustrator: Cindy Wume

Princess Bess loves playing football and climbing trees with her brothers, but she's always told 'Not in that dress!' Frustrated at this inequality, she decides to show everyone all the amazing things you CAN do whilst wearing a dress.

Read more about Not In That Dress, Princess!

Books Make Good Pets

Author: John Agard Illustrator: Momoko Abe

In this delightful book about books, readers go on an imaginative journey through the amazing worlds of adventure that a good book can inspire - and learn that a book can sometimes be a perfect pet or best friend.

Read more about Books Make Good Pets

What Happened To You?

Author: James Catchpole Illustrator: Karen George

Joe just wants to play pirates, but the other children notice that he only has one leg and start asking him a barrage of questions. A stunningly clever book with a clear message that someone who happens to be disabled is not a teaching tool, with practical advice for parents on handling questions about this.

Read more about What Happened To You?

For ages 6-8 and up

No Buddy Like A Book

Author: Allan Wolf Illustrator: Brianne Farley

All aboard the Book Express! Young people are encouraged to develop a love of reading in this inspirational picture book, which celebrates books as sources of knowledge, entertainment and adventure. All you need is a sprinkle of imagination...

Read more about No Buddy Like A Book

Professor Wooford McPaw’s History of Cars

Author: Elliot Kruszynski

Professor Wooford McPaw is a cartoon dog who knows a LOT about cars. This marvellous exploration of the history, design, engineering, technology and innovation of car-making is essential reading for any child with an interest in cars.

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The Great Barrier Reef

Author: Helen Scales Illustrator: Lisk Feng

This lovely non-fiction book is filled with incredible facts about the Great Barrier Reef, from the weird and wonderful creatures that live there to the sheer scale of it - the size of 70 million football fields - and is stunningly illustrated by Lisk Feng. 

Read more about The Great Barrier Reef

Poppy Goes Wild

Author: Nick Powell Illustrator: Becca Hall

Poppy loves listening to her grandpa's stories of the wildlife that used to make his farm their home - but modern farming techniques and pesticides have made it impossible for them to survive there. Poppy learns all about rewilding and decides to bring nature back to the farm.

Read more about Poppy Goes Wild

Lizzie and Lucky: The Mystery of the Missing Puppies

Author: Megan Rix Illustrator: Tim Budgen

When Lizzie spots a suspicious man stealing a puppy from a garden, she's determined to investigate! An engaging illustrated early reader book, this is the first in the series to feature Lizzie (who is deaf) and Lucky the dog.

Read more about Lizzie and Lucky: The Mystery of the Missing Puppies

Milo Imagines The World

Author: Matt de la Peña Illustrator: Christian Robinson

Milo and his big sister are on their way to visit their mum in prison. On the way, Milo imagines all the different lives of the people on the subway - discovering that you can't always judge somebody by their appearance.

Read more about Milo Imagines The World

Two Terrible Vikings

Author: Francesca Simon Illustrator: Steve May

Hack and Whack are two terrible Viking twins who love stealing, raiding islands, and being generally horrible! Early readers will love this hysterical trio of stories from the creator of Horrid Henry.

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For ages 9-11 and up

The Day The Screens Went Blank

Author: Danny Wallace Illustrator: Gemma Correll

When all the screens in the world stop working overnight, Stella and her family embark on a hilarious rescue mission to save Grandma.

Read more about The Day The Screens Went Blank

Space Detectives

Author: Mark Powers Illustrator: Dapo Adeola

A summer holiday job selling ice cream aboard the exotic space station of Starville turns into a race against time to avoid a catastrophic collision with the moon. Bring on the Space Detectives!

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City of Rust

Author: Gemma Fowler

Engineer Railey and her bio-robotic gecko Atti dream of winning the big drone races - but when a bounty hunter comes looking for them, they're forced to flee into Earth's trash-filled atmosphere, finding themselves in a race against time to save the world...

Read more about City of Rust

Skin Taker

Author: Michelle Paver

Fall into a prehistoric world of myth, mage craft, demons and the fight for survival in this spectacular fantasy adventure set in the deep winter of ancient Scandinavia.

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Science and Me

Author: Ali Winter Illustrator: Mickaël El Fathi

This beautifully-designed, mixed media non-fiction book introduces young people to a selection of exceptional scientists, all of whom have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry or medicine.

Read more about Science and Me

Adventures on Trains: Murder on the Safari Star

Author: M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman Illustrator: Elisa Paganelli

When a passenger on the Safari Star is found dead in his locked compartment in strange circumstances, it's up to Harrison Beck to crack the case! Another fantastically fun, gripping mystery in the Adventures on Trains series.

Read more about Adventures on Trains: Murder on the Safari Star

Scoop McLaren: Waves of Mystery

Author: Helen Castles Illustrator: Beatriz Castro

When a surfing competition comes to town, Scoop McLaren is eager to cover the story - but what will happen when she uncovers some foul play? A page-turning mystery with a fantastic case for children to crack.

Read more about Scoop McLaren: Waves of Mystery

Amber Undercover

Author: Em Norry

Shy, cool-headed Amber has just been chosen to be a spy by a mysterious agency - and before long she's sent to foil an evil cybercrime plot! Can she juggle friendship, family, and going undercover?

Read more about Amber Undercover

The Soul Hunters

Author: Chris Bradford

Genna is a First Ascendant - a reincarnating soul from the dawn of humankind - being relentlessly pursued by Soul Hunters intent on destroying humanity. With a thrilling plot, exciting characters and moderate violence, this fast-paced fantasy adventure is the first instalment of a riveting trilogy.

Read more about The Soul Hunters

Swordswoman!

Author: Devika Rangachari Illustrator: Amerigo Pinelli

Truth really is more exciting than fiction in this dramatic, real-life adventure showcasing the bravery, compassion and military prowess of a young Rani during the Indian uprising of 1857.  

Read more about Swordswoman!

Show Us Who You Are

Author: Elle McNicoll

When 12 year old Cora meets Adrien, they become inseparable. But when Cora starts to visit Adrien's dad's company - which creates realistic holograms of people - she begins to realise that nothing about Adrien's life is quite what it seems.

Read more about Show Us Who You Are

Three Keys

Author: Kelly Yang

The sequel to Front Desk - Mia's best friend is from an undocumented migrant family, and it means she may be thrown out of school. Mia and the Calivista family band together to help her.

Read more about Three Keys

For teens (12+)

Future Girl

Author: Asphyxia

When 16 year old Piper, who is deaf, falls in love with Marley, she becomes captivated by the beauty and freedom of expression of sign language - she herself has used lip-reading and hearing aids all her life. However, this new world brings with it some challenging questions about identity.

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The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks

Author: Katie Kirby

Lottie Brooks is just starting secondary school and she's just about ready to die of embarrassment - she hasn't got a bra, her hair is totally wrong, and the whole class has started calling her Cucumber Girl. Just how cringe can one year be? A hilarious tween diary from Katie Kirby.

Read more about The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks

BookTrust HomeTime

Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.

Go to the HomeTime hub

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