Books we love this month

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

Little Faces: Happy Halloween!


When Spider says Boo! to his Halloween friends, they transform: Ghost fades away to become really ghostly, Witch turns into a black cat and Pumpkin lights up into a Jack-o-Lantern! When they’re all ready, it’s time for Trick or Treating!

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Storm Whale

Sarah Brennan, Illustrated by Jane Tanner

Three sisters walk to the beach on a windy day to find a huge whale beached on the shore. The girls try everything to help the poor whale, throwing endless buckets of water over its giant body to keep it alive. An encroaching storm sends the girls home where they spend a restless night worrying about the whale. The storm washes up all sorts of litter onto th…

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Perfectly Norman

Tom Percival

Norman has always been normal, perfectly normal… So he is very surprised to have wings suddenly one day! This is a sweet and truly uplifting story that celebrates diversity in a subtle but unique way.

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Grandad’s Secret Giant

David Litchfield

Although the Secret Giant is rarely seen, grandad is convinced he exists. Maybe he's lonely, and just needs a friend? There's a mysterious luminosity to the illustrations of this magical story about accepting people who are different.

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Starring Carmen!

Anika Denise, Illustrated by Lorenza Alvarez Gomez

Carmen is a one-girl theatre company. She sings, acts, dances and makes the costumes! Her little brother Eduardo is desperate to be part of her shows, and she gives him a non-speaking role in her latest production. When her parents decide they need a little break from her relentless performances, Carmen has a very dramatic sulk – how can she be the star of t…

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There’s a Bug on my Arm That Won’t Let Go

David Mackintosh

What do you do when you a bug lands on your arm and won’t buzz off? Similar to his previous work, this David Mackintosh book is witty and sharp with a distinctive style, and a heart-warming story. 

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Hugo Makes a Change

Scott Emmons and Mauro Gatti

A simple and accessible book with rhyming text and lovely, bright illustrations, all about the importance of healthy eating, having a balanced diet and trying new foods.

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Come All You Little Persons

John Agard, illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

Captivating and vibrant illustrations complement the lyrical text in this joyous, inclusive story by celebrated poet John Agard. Perfect for reading aloud at bedtime, this book celebrates childhood and the natural world in all its rich diversity.

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Bathroom Boogie

Clare Foges, illustrated by Al Murphy

Bathtime gets boisterous when no-one’s at home: flannels, toothbrushes, loofahs and even the power shower boogie the day away to DJ shampoo’s groovy beat! A cracking comical story for young children, for whom bathtime will never be the same again…

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Still Stuck

Shinsuke Yoshitake

A little boy wants to get ready for his bath on his own, but he gets his top stuck over his head. What will happen if he gets stuck forever? Maybe it will be okay. But having a top stuck over your head means he won’t be able to eat or drink that easily, and what happens if the cat tickles his exposed tummy? Will Mum have to step in, or has he got this under …

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For ages 5-12

Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures

Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland

Millions of years ago, the world was very different than it is now – even in terms of how a map of the world looked. In the Triassic period, the world was one large supercontinent called Pangaea, which, over millions of years, separated into Laurasia and Gondwana in the Jurassic period, and then into the more recognisable continents we know today.

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The Ghost in Annie’s Room

Philippa Pearce, illustrated by Cate James

When the Brown family visit Great Aunt Win in her quaint seaside cottage, Emma sleeps in the little attic bedroom that used to belong to Win’s daughter, Annie. Emma tries to ignore her brother’s claims that the attic is haunted. All the same, she ensures the door is left ajar before settling down to sleep. Each night, she hears strange noises, sees spooky sh…

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Attack of the Not-So-Virtual Monsters

Kim Harrington

This fun novel taps into the recent Pokemon Go craze, and will appeal to gamers and sci-fi fans equally. It is a fast-paced, heart-warming story that may even charm tech-fiends away from their screens.

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Dirty Bertie: My Burptastic Body Book

Alan MacDonald, illustrated by David Roberts and Dan Cher...

Explored within the ten hilarious chapters are fascinating topics, including superhero skin, disgusting digestion and, of course, poo and wee. The book answers the questions children really want to ask, such as ‘why do we burp?’, ‘is it ok to eat earwax?’ and ‘what’s the point of hair?’

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Dan Metcalf, Illustrator: Gary Cherrington

This pacey illustrated chapter book for confident young readers highlights the importance of friendship and remaining true to yourself. With brainteasers to solve throughout, it will particularly appeal to those with an interest in maths, puzzles and codes.

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Real-Life Mysteries

Susan Martineau, Illustrator: Vicky Barker

An ideal book for anyone who’s been intrigued by stories about sightings of Bigfoot, UFOs, crop circles, ghosts etc. A chance to examine the evidence and maybe solve a mystery.

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The Story of Tutankhamun

Patricia Cleveland-Peck, Illustrator: Isabel Greenberg

Everything you ever wanted to know about the famous boy-Pharaoh whose amazing tomb has taught the world so much about ancient Egypt and its people.

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The Story of the Car

Giles Chapman, illustrated by Us Now

Starting from the invention of the car and journeying through its development as a mode of transport (and a thing of beauty in itself) to electric cars and the future of motoring, this fascinating book about the history of cars feels well overdue. It’s not a subject that has received much attention in children’s nonfiction, despite a great interest among you…

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Beyond the Sky: You and the Universe

Dara Ó’Briain

Beginning with the question, 'So you want to go into space?', this book takes readers on a hilarious journey through the solar system and beyond. It's packed with fascinating facts covering fundamental scientific questions such as 'What might be in a black hole?' and 'What happens to poo on the International Space Station?'.

Ó'Briain's genuine love for scien…

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Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony

Chris Riddell

It's a musical time of year at Ghastly-Gorm Hall, which of course means another eerie mystery for Ada Goth to solve. Lord Goth is throwing a festival, with performances from the most renowned composers in the land. Ada can't wait, but is also preoccupied with the worrying fact that grandmother is trying to find her father a brand new wife, also there's a fau…

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The Awesome Book of Animals

Adam Frost

If you have ever wondered which animal moves slowest, is the most deadly, or even poos the most – then this is the book for you! Sure to be a hit with fact lovers and animal lovers alike.


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Worry Angels

Sita Brahmachari, Illustrator: Jane Ray

A super-readable ‘chapters’ book looking at family break-up, school anxiety and how a caring and supportive environment can help to heal and inspire.

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The Land of Neverendings

Kate Saunders

Emily’s sister Holly has died, and nothing will ever be the same at home: Holly’s bedroom is an empty cave that Emily is scared to walk past at night. Emily’s also just started at secondary school, and she doesn’t understand why her best friend Maze is ignoring her, just when she needs her the most.

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You Can't Make Me Go To Witch School

Em Lynas, illustrated by Jamie Littler

Dairy Wart must escape Toadspit Towers to perform her Bottom. But will Toadspit Towers let her go? A hilarious, magical story about making new friends and finding out who you really are.

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Sky Dancer

Gill Lewis

The moorland where Joe lives has been traditionally managed for generations as a grouse moor. It's Joe's whole world and he loves it. But a storm is brewing and Joe's stuck in the middle: his brother and tradition are on one side, while much of the local community, including his school friends, are on the other. The problem? The hen harrier – or 'Sky Dancer'…

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Suee and the Shadow

Ginger Ly, illustrated by Molly Park

When her dad gets demoted at work, Suee has to transfer school from the cosmopolitan Bustle Elementary to lame Outskirtsville, which is darker, duller and in all ways unwelcoming – not least the other kids, who make fun of Suee’s black clothes and strange sense of humour.

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Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Scientists

Adam and Lisa Murphy

A fun and funky graphic exploration of some of the greatest scientists you’ve ever heard of – and maybe a few you haven’t!

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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow

Jessica Townsend

Born on Eventide, Morrigan Crow is a 'cursed child', blamed for every misfortune and destined to die on her eleventh birthday. But just before midnight strikes, the mysterious Jupiter North appears, offering Morrigan another choice: journey with him to Nevermore. In this magical world, she moves into Jupiter's awesome, ever-changing hotel and enters the tria…

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For ages 12+

The Dollmaker of Krakow

R. M. Romero, illustrated by Lisa Perrin

Doll Karolina is saved from war in her native Land of the Dolls and transported to Poland to live with a man known as the Dollmaker - only for their lives to be turned upside down by World War II. An unusual novel blending reality with folklore and fantasy that will have a lasting impact on readers.

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Rhian Ivory

Hope has only ever wanted to be an actress, so what will she do now she has failed to get into drama school? Tension in her family life and terrifying mood changes all add to her feelings of desperation. Hope is a contemporary coming-of-age story.

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The Impossible

Mark Illis, Illustrated by Bimpe Alliu

Hector Coleman, your average teenager living a normal boring life in a dull town with, let's face it, a rubbish name. Until he and his mates start genetically mutating ... and everything changes. Everything that is, other than his rubbish name and his girl troubles, oh and his embarrassingly low number of social media followers. All those things, unfortunate…

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