Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic

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Reading For Pleasure: Books of the Year

Picturebook

A New York Times bestseller! A National Book Award finalist! This deeply moving story shares valuable lessons about fitting in, standing out, and the beauty of joyful acceptance, from a New York Times bestselling and award-winning creator.

The first picture book written and illustrated by award-winning creator Vashti Harrison traces a child’s journey to self-love and shows the power of words to both hurt and heal. With spare text and exquisite illustrations, this emotional exploration of being big in a world that prizes small is a tender portrayal of how you can stand out and feel invisible at the same time.

Chapter book

The first book in the ‘criminally good’ Crookhaven series, the secret school where students are taught to do wrong, so that one day, they can put the world to rights.

13-year-old Gabriel is a brilliant pickpocket, a skill which he uses to keep his often empty belly not quite so empty. And then one day, he’s caught.

But instead of being arrested, he is invited by the mysterious Caspian Crook to attend Crookhaven – a school for thieves. At Crookhaven, students are trained in lock-picking, forgery and ‘crim-nastics’, all with the intention of doing good out in the world, by conning the bad and giving back to the innocent.

But … can you ever really trust a thief?

With a school wide competition to be crowned Top Crook and many mysteries to uncover, Gabriel’s first year at Crookhaven will be one to remember…

Graphic Novel

Genius inventor Skunky has just designed a brand-new creation . . . a robot called Metal Eve! She needs to learn everything there is to know about life, so it’s probably not the best idea that she’s surrounded by Bunny, Monkey, Weenie, Pig and the gang. The only thing she’s going to learn from them is that life in the Woods is very, very silly indeed! Laughs will be aplenty in the hit comic book sensation!

Graphic Novel

Dog Man meets the Lord of the Rings in this epic laugh-out-loud graphic novel series about two aspiring monster slayers. In their second adventure, our heroes face a new threat to Meowminster  an army of ferocious sea monsters! This is the perfect new read for fans of Captain Underpants, Dog Man and The Simpsons!

The islands of Pawdor are in peril once again! Ferocious sea monsters have been spotted on shore, and the townsfolk are in a complete panic. Luckily, Kitty Quest are ready to protect the land. So what if Woolfrik and Perigold are the only guild members (besides their mentor who’s a ghost), and it’s just their second week on the job?

How are these two amateur heroes supposed to stop a whole army of tentacled beasts? It may just take some quick thinking, a whole lot of luck, and a little help from the most unexpected of places. In order to save all of kitty-kind, Woolfrik and Perigold are going to have to learn to work together and prove that two heads are better than one.

Chapter book

One puzzling mystery. Several slippery suspects. Endless possibilities!

Welcome to Haventry, a town where the ordinary and extraordinary collide! With ghosts, werewolves and zombies living side by side, trouble is always brewing. And when a fiendish crime is committed, YOU are the detective in charge of the case.

The Museum of Magical Objects and Precious Stones is putting on a special time-travelling showcase, but when the main exhibit is stolen, it’s up to YOUto find the thief. The Time Sponge has the ability to stop and start time for whoever squeezes it, so who has the strongest motive? The minotaur chief of police who has a lot on at work or the shoplifting band of mermaids? Should you trail the museum’s petrifying gorgon curator? Or could your very own yeti partner be responsible? YOU decide!

With hundreds of paths to choose from and no dead ends, you’ll solve the mystery every time!

A fantastically imaginative detective story for readers looking for an interactive adventure.

Picturebook

A joyful book that shows children how their wonderful features, traits and heritage can be lovingly passed down from biological and chosen family members. As a young girl explores the idea of her family tree, she notices all the beautiful physical features she has inherited from her black and south Asian family lines. Not only that, she realises how their love and nurture bring our shared interests, passions and personality traits. From Nanny’s nose for a good recipe, to Grandpa’s melanin skin, a sense of belonging and pride rings through in the most pure and joyful way.

Picturebook

Milo and Jay have always been best friends . . . until one day, a green-eyed monster appears! A book about dealing with jealousy, from the bestselling Big Bright Feelings series by Tom Percival.

Milo loves spending time with his best friend, Jay. But when a new girl called Suzi moves in next door, Milo starts to feel left out. The jealous feeling gets stronger and stronger – until suddenly, a GREEN-EYED MONSTER pops up beside him! Soon, the monster is poisoning Milo’s thoughts. It won’t leave him alone!
Can Milo find a way to free himself from the monster and repair his friendship?

Warm and uplifting, Milo’s Monster is an inspiring story about dealing with feelings of jealousy. It’s the ideal starting point for helping children to build strong friendships and say goodbye to jealous feelings.

Tom Percival’s Big Bright Feelings series is the perfect springboard for talking about mental and emotional health, positive self-image, building self-confidence and managing feelings. Every child’s bookshelf should contain his books.

Chapter book

Meet Grant the genie, and his best friend – the puppy, Teeny…

The third in a series of magical adventures from the renowned illustrator, Steven Lenton, winner of Waterstones Picture Book of the Month and the Times Children’s Book of the Week.

When Grant starts to miss his old life in Genie World, Teeny has a plan on how he can get the genie home for a flying visit. But as usual, where wishes are involved, nothing is quite that simple and they soon find out they’re in for a rollercoaster of a ride!

Chapter book

Hilarious, pitch-perfect stories where everyday school life becomes completely extraordinary! By a brilliant author/illustrator team with laughs on every page!

Izzy’s school is being merged with St Bartholomew’s Primary, their greatest rivals! What will happen when the new kids join, in their too-shiny shoes and with their too-loud singing? And what if they’ve got a secret mission and that mission is a BAD mission? Only Izzy and her friends can discover the truth, even if they must go SO DEEP UNDERCOVER that they might not come back…

Chapter book

An unforgettable friend returns in this warm and fantastically funny sequel to the bestselling debut Einstein the Penguin.

Imogen and Arthur have been missing their friend, the penguin, Einstein, since he went back to Australia. So when an opportunity for him to return arises, they jump at the chance.

But then Einstein and his friend Isaac are kidnapped. It’s time to turn detective again . . .

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Stone Girl Bone Girl

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