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

Goodnight Bear: A Magic Torch Book

Author: Joshua George

Bear is going to help us all get ready for bed, but first, she needs to say goodnight to all her friends. Can you help find them? A clever 'magic torch' slides behind an illustrated plastic screen, illuminating the images and enabling children to find certain animals and see what’s on the panel. So ingenious you’ll wonder why you haven’t seen it before.…

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I Can Do It! A Book of 5 Fastenings

Author: Patricia Hegarty. Illustrator: Hilli Kushnir

Buttons, shoelaces, velcro, poppers and zips:  they can all be tough to get used to, especially for little hands, but this book is here to help. Bright and zingy illustrations, straightforward instructions and a fun feel means that really little ones can enjoy playing with the interactive elements and slightly older ones can perfect their fastening…

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Egg!

Author: Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Six eggs are having a lovely time when a seventh egg appears – but this egg is totally the wrong way around! Containing only one word - 'egg' - this picture book is delightfully expressive and funny, as well as being a clever story about acceptance.

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For ages 4-5 and up

My Friend Earth

Author: Patricia McLachlan. Illustrator: Francesca Sanna

Francesca Sanna’s stunning illustrations are the star of this lovely picture book which (rather like Disney’s Moana) depicts Nature as a young girl deity, tending the landscape which is a part of her. A lovely book to inspire children to want to be a good friend to Earth, who will perhaps read this alongside some factual books about nature when they get…

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I Can Catch A Monster

Author: Bethan Woollvin

Bo is an adventurous, strong and smart girl, yet when her rather horrid brothers Ivar and Erik go monster hunting, they won’t let her come with them. So, Bo decides to go monster hunting on her own, but soon finds that the monsters she comes across – a Griffin and the Kraken – are actually quite friendly...

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Hugo

Author: Atinuke Illustrator: Birgitta Sif

Hugo the pigeon is a park warden. Every day he patrols the park, talking to the dog walkers, playing with the children, and keeping everything tidy and clean. Then, one day, he meets a new, shy friend, a little girl who who stays indoors to hide. This gentle picture book beautifully celebrates the power of friendship and acceptance.

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I Don't Like Books. Never. Ever. The End.

Author: Emma Perry Illustrator: Sharon Davey

Mabel is adamant that she doesn't like books, but people keep giving them to her! She stacks books to make ladders, piles them up as doorstops, and sledges down the stairs on them - but she won't read them. Until, one night, the books take her on a magical journey of their own... 

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A Fox Called Herbert

Author: Margaret Sturton

Herbert's mother cannot understand why he won’t be a good rabbit, but Herbert doesn’t want to be a rabbit – he wants to be a fox! This charming picture introduces themes of identity and acceptance to young children through bright, expressive illustrations and visual clues to help children predict what will happen next.

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Bear Shaped

Author: Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden

This beautiful picture book is based on the true story of a family’s public search for a missing toy. The Jack of the illustrations are utterly convincing, a testimony to the fact that the illustrator worked so closely with the ‘real’ Jack (who happens to be on the autistic spectrum). Delicate, timeless artwork also cleverly incorporates all sorts of satisfy…

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For ages 6-8 and up

Love Your Body

Author: Jessica Sanders Illustrator: Carol Rossetti

Written specifically for girls and full of lovely, diverse illustrations, this reassuring, inclusive book has a message for all about self-acceptance and body positivity - that building a loving bond with oneself is the most important relationship we will ever have, and, when we can be kind to ourselves, we can also be kind to others who are also learning to…

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Obsessive About Octopuses

Author: Owen Davey

Owen Davey’s sixth book in this brilliant nonfiction series is as insightful, fascinating and beautifully designed as the rest, with a perfect amount of stunning illustrations and well-selected information about octopuses for mid and upper primary school children.

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Why Do I Feel Like This?

Author: Shinsuke Yoshitake

Shinsuke Yoshitake’s quirky book has a cartoonish feel and a sweet, appealing way of working through a little girl’s fantastical yet meaningful ideas around sadness and anger. It’s visually appealing with lots to look at as well as recognising the importance of feeling our feelings.

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Supermouse and the Big Cheese Robbery

Author: M N Tahl. Illustrator: Mark Chambers

It's time for the grand unveiling of the Big Cheese in Mouseopolis - but a thief has stolen it and left a taunting note! Can Supermouse, local mouse superhero, identify the culprit? With innovative die-cuts on every page and plenty of sophisticated lift the flap features, children will enjoy caerphilly reading this delightfully silly, cheesy s…

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The Bat Book

Author: Charlotte Milner

This fabulous all-you-need-to-know book about bats is perfectly pitched for 7-9 year olds. It’s colourful and attractive, with a clear, simple font and an enthusiastic yet factual tone. There’s some lovely tips at the end too for making a bat-friendly garden, making seed balls and supporting bat charities.

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Mickey and the Animal Spies

Author: Anne Miller Illustrator: Becka Moor

Top codebreaker Mickey joins COBRA - a secret organisation protecting animals, currently investigating a spate of diamond robberies. Is Mickey up to the challenge? Anne Miller's debut story is full of sparky wit and colourful characters - plus, plenty of puzzles to crack.

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The Not Bad Animals

Author: Sophie Corrigan

For too long people have misrepresented, maligned and demonised animals like hyenas, vultures and rats. In this myth-busting fact book these creatures set the record straight and explain that they're actually a friendly bunch! Jaw-dropping facts and adorable illustrations make this a perfect book for animal-lovers.

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Thimble Wonga Bonkers

Author: Jon Blake

When Jams, Dad and Thimble the monkey are left alone for a week, with no money, things go swiftly and hilariously wrong.

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Princess Kevin

Author: Michaël Escoffier Illustrator: Roland Garrigue

Kevin is immensely pleased with his princess outfit for the fancy dress show, but he can't find a knight to go with him! Instead he sticks with his friend Chloe the Dragon - even though her outfit looks like a sock. This marvellous picture book with its self-assured protagonist celebrates individuality and provides a light-hearted platform to discuss gender …

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Eco Rangers: Wildfire Rescue

Author: Candice Lemon-Scott

Young nature-lovers Ebony and Jay are Eco Rangers, protecting wildlife at their local conservation centre. After a terrible bushfire they rescue an injured possum - and when they discover evidence of people camping in the area, they're determined to uncover the truth about the bushfire. This thrilling adventure is perfect for budding conservation enthusiasts…

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Agents of the Wild: Operation Honeyhunt

Author: Jennifer Bell Illustrator: Alice Lickens

Orphan Agnes is flabbergasted to find a shrew in a safari suit sitting on her bed one afternoon. He informs Agnes that she has been selected as a field agent for the covert organisation SPEARS, the Society for the Protection of Endangered and Awesomely Rare Species Can she rise to the challenge? Fast-paced and funny, this entertaining eco-chapter book with a…

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Magnificent Mabel and the Rabbit Riot

Author: Ruth Quayle Illustrator: Julia Christians

Mabel is desperate for a pet rabbit, and absolutely furious when her big sister is given on for her birthday. Deciding Meg doesn't know how to care for a rabbit, Mabel takes matters into her own hands... Mabel's no nonsense approach to life is hilarious and her observation that "sometimes life isn't even fair" will resonate with young readers, who will love …

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Pests

Author: Emer Stamp

A little mouse loses his grandmother but finds hilarious friends at a school for pests. Hilarious and full of warmth and humour, this adventure will appeal to all kinds of readers.

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Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy

Author: Zanib Mian Illustrator: Nasaya Mafaridik

Omar's mosque is in danger of being closed down, so quick-thinking Omar holds a school talent show to raise the money needed for the emergency building repairs. When the money goes missing, it's up to Omar and his friends to become super spies to track down the culprit!

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For ages 9-11 and up

Sequin and Stitch

Author: Laura Dockrill Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie

Sequin's mum has been asked to make the Princess' wedding dress! It's top secret, but the princess herself is coming to their flat to try it on - Sequin is so excited. But when a terrible disaster threatens to ruin everything, Sequin realises that the most important thing is the love that stitches her and her mum together. 

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Viper's Daughter

Author: Michelle Paver

Torak and his mate Renn have been living happily with their wolf pack in the great Forest for two years. Yet one day, Torak discovers that Renn has taken a canoe and disappeared. Why has she left, and can Torak find her? The seventh book in Paver's multi-million selling Wolf Brother is an epic new adventure for fans of the franchise or those coming to i…

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Eating Chips with Monkey

Author: Mark Lowery

Daniel loves eating fish and chips, but after a shock accident, he retreats from his family. Will a nationwide jaunt to find the best chippie in the country help to bring them back together? A moving exploration of trauma.

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TrooFriend

Author: Kirsty Applebaum

When Sarah's mum buys her a TrooFriend android, she's not impressed at first - but could there be any truth to the rumours that the robots have feelings? A fascinating exploration of artificial intelligence and what makes us human.

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The Infinite

Author: Patience Agbabi

Only a very few Leaplings (born on 29th February) have ‘The Gift’: the ability to leap backwards or forwards through time. Elle Bibi-Imbelé Ifiè - who loves her name, white food, and her Nigerian heritage - is one of them. The first book in Patience Agbabi's Leap Cycle series is fresh, exciting, bold and witty, with a thoughtful character-driven plot an…

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The Strangeworlds Travel Agency

Author: L D Lapinski

When Flick moves to a rural village with her family, she finds herself drawn to a mysterious old shop and a strange young man with a magical piece of glass. So begins her adventures at the Strangeworlds travel agency - where, to find incredible new worlds, you need only step inside a suitcase. Original, fantastical, and with moments of real peril, the first …

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Bright Bursts of Colour

Author: Matt Goodfellow. Illustrator: Aleksei Bitskoff

Drawing on over 10 years’ experience of teaching in primary schools, Matt Goodfellow explores a vast range of topics in this fun and funky poetry collection, which features expressive black and white illustrations. 

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Crater Lake

Author: Jennifer Killick

Lance and his friends aren't looking forward to the school trip to Crater Lake - for one thing, school bully Trent hasn't forgiven Lance for the incident at the start of Year Six. For another, they've just seen a man covered in blood at the side of the road warning them to run. And there's definitely something weird about their teachers... Spooky, thrilling …

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The House on Hoarder Hill

Author: Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai

Hedy and Spencer are staying at their Grandpa's spooky house over Christmas, and nothing is quite what it seems... with the help of some very unusual new friends, they must unravel the mystery of Grandma Rose's disappearance.

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For teens (12+)

Alex Rider Mission 13: Nightshade

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider thought he'd finally left his spying days behind him; but when a dangerous band of 'terrorists for hire' emerges onto the world stage, he's dragged into another risky undercover operation. The 13th book in the Alex Rider series, this slick and sophisticated spy drama which will thrill existing fans and convert new ones.

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Love Frankie

Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt

14 year old Frankie is having to grow up quickly to help her mum with her developing MS - and now that one of her bullies is starting to strike up an actual friendship with her, Frankie's starting to think it might be something a little more. A delicate exploration of teen sexuality and the difficulties of growing up by the inimitable Jacqueline Wilson.

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Thank you!

A big thank you to everyone who donated to the BookTrust appeal. With your amazing support, we have sent surprise book gifts to over 12,250 vulnerable children to bring joy and brighten their Christmas.

Help support BookTrust in 2020 and get books to more children

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