Half term already! Read on for lots more kids’ book recommendations, from children’s book experts like Julia Eccleshare and catch up on the latest book related news. And parents with young children need to have a look at our charmingly brilliant Illustrator of the Month Sophy Henn.
February’s Children’s Highlights
Our highlights can point you on the path of perfect reads for kids of all ages that might have gone under your radar this month. Brilliant books like:
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley (YA) – Devastatingly honest, powerful and emotional coming of age tale of self-knowledge and the trials of sexual identity.
The Night Gardener by Terry & Eric Fan (3+) – In delicate images and compositions, this breathtaking book makes us see the beauty of the world around us. And more on the shelves below.
The What On Earth? Series from Christopher Lloyd bring facts to life! Each book contains a fold-out timeline, with intricate illustrations and bitesize pieces of information, which show the complete story of a range of popular non-fiction subjects including Science, History, Sport, Shakespeare and Nature.
Find out more about these books in our special category. And visit the whatonearthbooks website to download a FREE Activity Book which contains ten creative learning activities linked to the books in the Wallbook Collection. You can also buy the whole set in a brilliant slipcase edition – it’s stunning.
This is your chance to read a free, fantastic first few chapters of brilliant books BEFORE they hit the shelves.
The Fearless Travellers’ Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler (9+) – Beautiful, terrifying and in part comic magical fantasy about being true to who you are.
Black Moon by L.A. Weatherly (YA) – Thrilling, breathtaking conclusion to the Broken Trilogy. An expertly-crafted dystopian adventure, crammed with suspense, espionage, courage and romance.
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan (YA) – Our MEGA Book of the Month, a first collaboration between two major award-winning novelists. ‘A wonderful love story, told in prose, featuring two very damaged young people who blossom when they find one another. A gem.‘ (Rosa 17).
The authors first met at a dinner to celebrate their respective books being shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Soon after the two of them began sending chapters back and forth on WhatsApp.
Who better than the Guardian Children’s Books Editor who also happens to be our Editor-at-Large to suggest the books that are truly worth reading right now for kids of all ages? See what Julia Eccleshare has in store for us this month.
Relatively new kid on the block, the work of Morag Hood has already won her acclaim and the love of very young children and parents everywhere. Her first story; Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea is a brilliant tale of unlikely friendship and was one of our Books of the Year 2016. Her latest title is When Grandad was a Penguin, a charming, original and quirky swapping-places story that is hilarious and wonderfully surreal. Find them here.
Drawn from a sky-scraping pile of hopefuls, the shortlist for this highly coveted award is a mere three books long! With the winner announced on 1 March, you have just enough time to read them all and judge for yourself! Find out more here.
They’ve devoured a whole series by a favourite author and are hungry for more. But where can they turn to find their next great read? Our If They Like, They’ll Love section introduces them to other authors who are right up their street.
For instance; fans of Percy Jackson will love Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans (11+) – First in a four part series full of hilarious and addictive adventure bringing classical gods to the 21st Century! We can’t wait for more.
Josh Martin is an author dedicated to writing for young adults. He is fascinated by fantasy, environment, gender studies and strong heroines. His stunning new series for teens embodies all of these and more.
Ariadnis is a dystopian exploration of society and the trails of growing up. It’s perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and promises to be just as popular. Find the first in the series here.
What started with Rebel of the Sands (13+) continues with Traitor to the Throne. Steeped in magic and myth, this series tingles with tension and the potent appeal of a heroine whose wit and power never let up.
Lauren 16, one of our Reader Reviewers said ‘The plot twists are frequent and beyond anything I could have imagined, making for a wonderfully unpredictable and unforeseen story that will surely satisfy even the wildest of imaginations.’
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen’s uproarious series about the boy Malcolm and the un-get-rid-of-able and incredibly strange Uncle Gobb was described by one of our Reader Reviewers as ‘talking to me rather than me reading it’ (Amisha 13). That’s about as good as it gets, we reckon!
The latest title is: Uncle Gobb and the Green Heads which sees both Gobb and Malcolm going to extraordinary, hilarious and mega lengths to get rid of each other. Don’t miss it!
Observer Magazine art director by day, creator of silly stories and pictures by night, Rob Biddulph is a favourite presence on children’s bookshelves the world over. His first book Blown Away won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2015 and we loved his glorious self-discovery tale; Odd Dog Out.
Now he has a new adventure to thrill us with and we have an exclusive extract for you Sunk!, sees the return of Penguin Blue in a swashbuckling new adventure about pirates, treasure, and friendship. Find out more.
Who better than kids to recommend the books for kids? These are the honest opinions of children and if candidly shared with the kids will help you choose their next great read. Books like:
|Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth (9+) – ‘Exciting and full of adventure’, ‘… there’s no putting it down’, ‘… a funny, heartwarming tale’.
||Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles – ‘combines fantasy, romance, tragedy and teenage desire into one amazing read that I am still unable to forget.’ Rebekah 14.
||Broken Heart Club (9+) by Cathy Cassidy – the author has a gift for capturing the turbulent emotions of young adolescents… no longer children, yet not very adult.
|The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart (9+) by Stephanie Burgis – A delicious fantasy adventure with a fine mix of dragons, heroines and – chocolate!
||I Can Only Draw Worms (3+) by Will Mabbitt – A counting book and picture book like no other. ‘Brilliantly simple idea, fabulously executed’ (Parent Review).
This month is our Great Books for Boys category which now has even more boys’ own adventures and tales that might appeal to boys, especially those that struggle to find a way in too reading. Of course, girls may love them too! New this month:
House of Robots: Robots Revolution by James Patterson (9+) – Super readable secondary-school robot rumpus! And we have THREE fantastic goody bags filled with Middle School treats as prizes in a free to enter competition linked to the upcoming film The Worst Years of My Life.
And Radio Boy (9+) Award-winning broadcaster Christian O’Connell’s hugely entertaining debut novel is power charged!
The publisher Nosy Crow has created some very silly but compelling books that will charm the whole family and in particular young toddlers. Open a page to find one animal – but flip the top half or flap the bottom half and hilariously unique combinations are created such as the goreleon, half gorilla half chameleon, or the equally bright parrakog – half parakeet, half frog! New this month is Flip Flap Dogs.
Can you believe that the stripy topped lad that we love to look for is 30 this year? Well, it’s true. The worldwide phenomenon started 30 years ago with the classic picture book. Now there’s a celebratory, gold and shiny 30th-anniversary edition with even more fun features. Find out more and find Wally!
We LOVE World Book Day! More than 15 million £1 book tokens given to children to exchange for wonderful books to read from award-winning authors. You can find this year’s list of available books here, so all you need to do is go to your local bookseller (find your local bookshop here) and swap your token for one of the TEN exclusive, new and completely free World Book Day books! Lovereading? Love World Book Day!
And that is February at Lovereading4kids. We’ll be back in March, with a spring in our step, with even more hand-picked recommendations for kids of all ages!
P.S. Mother’s Day Recommendations Just a little heads-up as Mother’s Day is just around the corner in March that a book can be a thoughtful, affordable and lasting gift. For gifts from little ones, we would like to recommend:
Bing: Something for Mummy by Ted Dewan (3+) – It seems that making something nice for Mum is a Bing Thing too!