Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

Mid-April eNewsletter

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

With Easter Eggs and chocolate excesses behind us for another year, why not browse our mid-month email for treats of the reading variety and indulge your kids with none of the guilt!

More exciting books to start reading… before they are published

This month we have a lovely selection of books you can start reading before they hit the bookshop shelves.

One of our favourites is the hilarious and beautifully presented King Coo by Adam Stower. A glorious romp of a story with a strong message about trusting yourself and standing up to bullies. Our editorial expert loved it but children on our reader review panel were completely bowled over… ‘An amazing and fun book! I can’t wait to read more!’ Eleanor 10… – ‘It is hilarious…I highly recommend this book.’ Erica, 11


What’s in a Library? Books! Books! Books! g (7+)

Explore inside the British Library the greatest library on Earth with this extraordinary, informative and inspiring book by Mick Manning, illustrated by Brita Granstrom. You’ll be amazed what you find.

Books! Books! Books! will show you a huge atlas that takes six people to lift it; a tiny prayer book carried by a queen to her execution; the original handwritten manuscript of Alice in Wonderland; books so rare and valuable they are kept in a bomb-proof store-room. Find out more.

Nursery Crimes! –  ‘Sky Private Eye’ series (5+) by Jane Clarke

We love this clever series for very young readers where baking, detection and fairy tales are all whisked together in this appealing story to make a tasty picture book. Follow the mystery-solving Sky as she is joined by some favourite fairytale and nursery rhyme characters to get to the bottom of some of the nursery world’s most dastardly crimes.

Will Grandma be found, or the missing biscuit for that matter? Find out, here!

Bring Picture Books to Life with the Hopster App

Reading for fun is a brilliant way to entertain and inspire your toddler – and we’ve found the perfect new app to help! Full of well-known books – along with TV episodes, nursery rhymes and games – Hopster provides a great interactive learning environment that pre-schoolers will love to use.

In the newly-launched Book Boat section of the Hopster app, kids can now find all their favourite HarperCollins stories, including Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Rachel Bright’s Love Monster and Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers.

Find out more about Hopster, and get a free picture book here.

WW1 through the eyes of the Heligan gardeners

A Song for Will and The Lost Gardeners of Heligan (7+) is a deeply moving story that perfectly conveys the devastating impact of the First World War both on those who took part and those they left behind.

Though the story is fiction, many of those who feature were real people, gardeners at what became known after their deaths as the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Beautifully told and illustrated, this is a book for children and adults to treasure.

Dormitory Detectives! – Murder Most Unladylike books. (9+)

Set in the 1930s in the dusty halls of an English girls’ boarding school, this exciting, fabulous and gripping series is awash with mystery, derring-do and friendship, elating highs and sorrowful lows. You’ll love the wonderful duo who must stay one step ahead of the clues in the labyrinthine halls of Deepdene.  The latest title, Cream Buns and Crime is an invitation to delve into the casebook of our plucky heroines and wrangle with a collection of short stories of as yet unsolved mysteries so it’s the perfect starting off point to someone new to the series.  Find out more.

April Mid-Month Highlights

A chance to see, all in one place, some of our highlights of the month that you may have missed.

Gaslight (9+) by Eloise Williams – Explore the rich darkness of Victorian Cardiff, the underworld of the theatre, the grief of a mother’s death and the desperate quest for answers. Beetle Queen (9+) by M.G. Leonard – Sequel to lively and original Beetle Boy loved by our Reader Reviewers. ‘A hilarious, thrilling adventure.‘ Liam 11. ‘What a fantastic story.’ Tomasz 10.
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A Magical Must! – Dragon’s Green: Worldquake Book One (11+)

Heralded as ‘the most exciting debut in children’s fiction since Harry Potter’ the first title in Scarlett Thomas’s new Worldquake adventure series, Dragon’s Green, is a book to get lost in, literally.

Brimming with shady foes and terrifying teachers, firm friends and other worlds, it’s an edge-of-your-seat saga that kids aged 11 and up will love to read. Prepare to be enchanted, bedazzled, mystified and more. Click here to get started.

Highlights from our Kids Reader Review Panel

It’s all well and good if one of our children’s book experts raves about a book. But when our kids reader reviewers do as well perhaps it’s time to find out more? This month two stand-out titles are:

The Giant Jumperee (3+) written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Asrah (5) said it was his new favourite book and Abigail’s mum said – ‘My girls all loved it (aged 6, 4 and 2) and it had great repeatability in our house! The Mummy’s Revenge (9+) by Andrew Beasley. Sam Harper (11) said ‘This unputdownable mystery is stuffed full of witty jokes and fast-paced action.‘ And Bella (10) – ‘The Mummy’s Revenge is funny, scary and creepy all at the same time.
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Like that? LOVE this! – If they liked, they’ll Love

This is where we get to suggest authors we think you’ll love based on the ones you already like. Nothing makes us happier!

If they liked Murder Most Unladylike they’ll love Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers’ Club by Robert J. Harris. If they liked picture books by Jon Klassen they’ll love I’m Going to Eat this Ant by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros. If they liked Holly Smale or Louise Rennison they’ll love Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan. If they liked books by Nicola Yoon they’ll love Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer.

#TotesAmaze! – Girls Can Vlog Series by Emma Moss (9+)

Emma Moss loves books, cats and Youtube. “In that order”. She’s also the author of the fantastic tales for teens of today; Girls Can Vlog. The trials, tribulations and triumphs of teen life with hints for fledgling vloggers amid the action!

The latest title, Hashtag Hermione: Wipeout is a handful of holiday hilarity. There are two others in the series, including Lucy Locket: Online Disaster, which Reader Reviewers called; “super fun” and “exciting, fun and unexpected [a] book that encourages people to express themselves by doing something they love.” Find out more.

Blade of Class! – Beast Quest is 10 years old

Growing up surrounded by paintings and living with history teachers, is it any wonder Adam Blade is a world class storyteller? His awesome Beast Quest series (7+) celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and to join in, we’re offering the chance to win copies of these magical adventures.

Brimming with courage in the face of evil, with wizards and deadly beasts at every turn and stakes higher than the sky, they are a rollercoaster flight of fantasy for young book fans.

Aliens have Loved Underpants for 10 Years now! (3+)

Aliens Love Underpants! With terrific illustrations and hilarious rhyme, Claire Freedman will make you fall in love with underpant-stealing aliens. After all, they can’t get them in space!

Turns out you really need to take care of your pants, because it seems that Dinosaurs may love them too!  Find out more.

Earning her Stripes! – Catherine Rayner’s Tiger Picture Books

Kate Greenaway Medal winner Catherine Rayner is famed for her large, bold pictures bursting with soul and character.

One Happy Tiger will help little ones learn to count while they enjoy a board-book journey through happiness, friendship and the natural world. Augustus and His Smile explores the opposite emotions of sadness and happiness and is a beautiful tiger-trail on the hunt for a lost smile.

Find out more.


Splattery Will get you Everywhere! – Splat! (3+) by Jon Burgerman

Splat! and just like that, you’re laughing!

This brilliantly original book which reinvents the physical books with a side-splitting splat on each page build and builds until your kids are in hysterics. Unique and deeply silly, this book is so much fun to share. See more.

Slumber Stories – Bedtime Reads category

A book before bed is a childhood joy as old as stories themselves and a habit that can stay with them all their lives. Our brilliant Bedtime Reads category, celebrates and showcases the best books to share with your little ones before the Sandman comes.

Creative Frighting! – Write Your Own Mystery & Ghost Stories (9+)

What a brilliant idea this is! A fabulously spooky study in skullduggery! Learn to build characters and stories and set them in haunted houses, cursed tombs, curdling crimes and more.

This is a whole load of frightening fun! Perfect for budding writers and story-tellers – and maybe even you!

Kipling & Grylls – Bear Necessities of Life!

Loved the world over, the writing of Rudyard Kipling has captured imaginations for generations with stories such as Kim, Puck of Pook’s Hill and of course The Jungle Book (recently made into a major new film).

Now the franchise has been given a reboot by TV survival guru, Bear Grylls. Spirit of the Jungle (9+) is a thrilling adventure story in the footsteps of Mowgli, but with details that only a Bear like Grylls can provide! Amazing and unique, it’s a must for adventurous young minds! Find out more.

Reluctant Readers Inspired!

Many kids struggle to engage with reading. It can be a vicious circle, undermining confidence and making reading an undiscovered joy. We are here to help! Our Reluctant Readers category is dedicated to finding accessible and enjoyable books that just might fit the bill. It’s brimming with brilliant books for boys and girls and could help them to start a lifetime of loving reading! Start their journey here.


Mountainous Magic for the Modern Teen

Sarah Mussi’s Snowdonia Chronicles series combines Merlin-esque magic with enticing romance in a stunning setting to create an adventure that feels Arthurian and intensely modern all at the same time.

The latest title and sequel to Here be Dragons, is Here be Witches. Heroine Ellie is caught in a classic clash between good and evil in her quest to be reunited with her true love. Shimmering with adventure and atmosphere, it’s a tale of heart, courage and legendary love. Find out more.

Win an Award Winning Author! Seriously!

Actually, what you win is the chance to have Guardian Fiction Prize winner Alex Wheatle (Liccle Bit, Crongton Knights and Straight Outta Crongton) visit your school. You can ask him lots of questions about his books and how he creates his characters. He could even help you create a story of your own. All you have to do is tell your teachers and get them to enter the competition. As well as the visit, you will get copies of all of his brilliant books for your library! Click here to find out how to enter and then FORCE your teachers to do it by 30 April! Good luck.

So, that’s April all wrapped up in a yellow ribbon and popped into the book basket! See you in May with a whole new bloom of brilliant books!

April eNewsletter

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

April brings a glorious shower of great reads for kids. We’ve more spring in our step than a jack-in-the-box as we bring you the best of the best for your brood of blossoming readers. Whatever their tastes, ages or abilities we have a truly exciting array of books for boys and girls to enjoy anywhere from the bus to school to bedtime! Read on for more.

No Fooling! – April Books of the Month

Top titles to tantalise every taste jostle jubilantly on our BOM bookshelf this month. Books like:

The Giant Jumperee (3+) – The first collaboration by picture book royalty Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury- Our MEGA Picture Book of the Month. Read-a-long repeatable loveliness, perfect for sharing with pictures. The Barefoot Book of Children (5+) – A stunningly illustrated, jubilant celebration of what makes us different and what unites us all. – ‘A wonderful book.’ Mrs Dewsbury… – ‘Wonderful… very informative Sam Briggs (and mum).
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Books! Books! Books! (7+) by Mick Manning – A unique book that lets the reader discover some of the amazing treasures Inside the British Library the greatest on Earth. Good Dog McTavish (9+) by Meg Rosoff – This characteristically sharp and witty comedy of modern life about a dog who saves his new family, not from fire or external threat, but from themselves.
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Back to Blackman! – Malorie Blackman, Author of the Month

With her heart-rending story of love and space exploration Chasing the Stars out in paperback this month, there’s no better time to dive into the wondrous world of Malorie Blackman. She is also the author of the groundbreaking and award-winning Noughts and Crosses series which has had a brilliant makeover with some new jackets. Her unique blend of wit, thrill and emotional realism have won her acclaim and young fans the world over. We heard that one avid reader even spent her lunch money on Malorie’s books rather than eat! We don’t suggest you do this. Instead, check out the special category and choose your next favourite ever read!

April the Firsts! – Debuts of the Month

Here they are, this month’s fabulous first-timers just in time for Spring! We particularly love:

Old Macdonald Heard a Parp (3+) by Olaf Falafel – A side-splitting sing-a-long tribute to a very noisy famous farm!

The Hate u Give (YA) by Angie Thomas – ‘A novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time… even if you don’t love books you are going to love this.’ John Green.


What an Egg-cellent selection

Chocolate aside there is still time to pick up some Easter themed reading choices… see the shelf below.


Some Awesome April Highlights

Such a busy month this month but below are a few books we think are unmissable.

The Ravenmaster’s Boy (11+) Mary Hoffman – Bring Tudor history to life with this novel described by Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall) ‘as a dark but charming Tudor tale.’ The Snowdonia Chronicles (13+) by Sara Mussi – Merlin-esque mythology in the modern world full of adventure and a love story of legendary proportions. The Pavee and the Buffer Girl (11+) by Siobhan Dowd – Vivid, affecting and, though it has more than its share of sadness, ultimately uplifting. This is a book to treasure.
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Shortlist Superstars! The Carnegie and Greenaway Book Awards

One of the hottest awards for children’s literature, the Carnegie and the Greenaway Medals honour the very best of the best in books for kids. We’re delighted to feature the sparkling shortlist of story-telling hopefuls who have satisfied the judges’ strict criteria. Take a look between the covers of our special category and choose your own medal-winners!

A Class of their Own! – UKLA Awards

The UK Literary Literacy Association (UKLA) book awards are the only awards judged exclusively by active classroom teachers. Covering age groups from 3+ to YA, these awards honour the books that teachers believe to be the best at every stage in a young reader’s life. And it’s not just the teachers; the pupils have their say too! We’re delighted to sponsor these awards and very excited for you to see the shortlists. Just click here to get started.

So they Sent Me a Dear Zoo 35th Anniversary Edition!

Delightful and fun, Rod Campbell’s interactive story of one child’s search for the perfect pet is 35 this year!

To celebrate this landmark, in the life of one of the most popular lift-the-flap adventures for little fingers, there is a wonderfully special 35th Anniversary Edition which would be a much-loved addition to any bedroom bookshelf and something they’ll love to read with their own kids when the time comes! Find out more.

Tomorrow’s Number Ones Today! – April Pre-Pubs

Get ahead of the game with free extracts of a superlative selection of brilliant books before they hit the shops! Don’t miss:

Timmy Failure the Cat Stole My Pants (7+) by Stephan Pastis – Dastardly dealings for the world’s best worst detective to solve in the 6th book of this mega-selling series. The Girl in Between (11+) by Sarah Carroll – A deeply moving story of family, homelessness, loneliness and grief and the ghosts that won’t let us go.
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Putting the ‘cool’ in ‘School’ – The School of Series (7+)

School has never been so much fun with this awesome series. With two books so far, taking readers on a journey of learning in the worlds of Art and Music. In 40 fun lessons, you’ll discover how to write, listen to and love music; or how to create and understand more about wonderful pieces of art.

Both are a must for every home and a great aid to independent learning or something to share! Find out more.

Series of the Month! – Mango & Bambang (7+)

One Reader Reviewer said about Mango and Bambang: The Not-a-Pig; “I couldn’t get my nose out of it!”. And neither could we. One of our staff picks of 2015 it is a wonderful, witty and original tale of friendship and adventure with characters so loveable, you’ll consider them friends.

Since then, the series has gone from strength to strength and is set to become a modern classic. If you haven’t discovered it yet, you’re in for a treat! Click here to start.

Top Drawer! – The Picture Books of David Litchfield

Avid Indiana Jones and Star Wars fan, the young David Litchfield spent hours drawing and drawing. Time well spent! His debut picture book The Bear and the Piano won the Waterstones Prize and was one of our Books of the Year 2016. It’s a big-hearted tale of the power of friends and family over fame and fortune.

New for April is Grandad’s Secret Giant, a book about believing, belonging and big secrets! Find out more.

Julia Eccleshare April selections

Sharing is caring! Especially when it’s top recommendations from our very own Editor-at-large Julia Eccleshare. Check out her April top tips for great reads below.

Actual, Factual and Fantastic! – Fascinating Facts category

In a world with so much to know, from the small to the very large, is it any wonder we seem to be refreshing our ‘fact-abulous’ Fascinating Facts Category every month? April is no exception with even more factual forays into fascination to blow your mind. And perfect timing for the Easter holidays particularly if you have a reluctant reader as factual books can often provide the stimulus to get kids reading.

Don’t miss: Lesser Spotted Animals (7+) by Martin Brown, a colourful, clever, funny and informative introduction to all the animals you’ve never heard of! Find it and more, here.

Get Out of Here! – Out and About Category

With the Easter holidays here or soon to start and the promise of brighter weather ahead, what better time to take a peek at our Out and About category? It’s awash with great ideas to get kids outdoors and having fun! This month, check out Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty (7+) and enter a draw to win copies (and other goodies) of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Michael Rosen’s wonderful tale of an adventurous, fearless family day out.


This is a Must! – Essential Reading for Kids Category

We love recommending the best books for children of all ages. Often, these include the latest fantastic reads to hit the shelves. However, there are some books that stand the test of time and speak to kids, generation after generation. This is our category dedicated to the must-reads for children, whatever their age. Books like: Each Peach Pear Plum (3+) Janet & Allan Ahlberg, a fun, interactive, read-aloud ‘I-Spy’ search for famous fairytale folk from the creators of Peepo! (3+). Find out more.

A Man for all Seasons – Walter de la Mare
One of the greatest poets of the 20th Century and author of the children’s classic Peacock Pie, Walter de la Mare’s work has been turned into wonderful picture books by illustrator Carolina Rabei. In a series follows the seasons of the year, Carolina has painted the words to Summer Evening, Snow, Silver and The Ride-by-Nights. Truly transportative and a great way to introduce children to the power of poetry. Find out more.

Scroll down for our hand-picked selections of April books in the age ranges you have said you would like to be kept up to date with. To change them just Log in to your account. Log in to your account.

March eNewsletter

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

World Book Day and March is ‘hare’! And a Wonderland of ‘wordery’ awaits you this month. A top-notch tea party of jabber-rocking reads to send you on a whole new world of adventures, as we look forward to Spring. From tots to teens and everything in between, we’ve just the thing to keep your children loving reading.  We hope your children had a great WBD. Why not share your experiences at @lovereadingkids?

March’s Must-Reads – Books of the Month

A bookshelf burgeoning with bookie brilliance this month. We especially recommend:

Sunk! By Rob Biddulph (3+) – Characterful, swashbuckling, High-seas adventure for Penguin Blue and friends.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers who Changed the World (8+) – Our non-fiction B.O.M: inspiring, informative and gloriously illustrated celebration of female role models for the next generation.

My Name is Victoria (9+) by Lucy Worsley – Unique childhood friendship tale in the grand setting of the British monarchy, by one of TV’s favourite experts!

Following Ophelia by Sophia Bennett (11+) – Poverty, paint and heady romance. Glamour and excitement among the dirt and distress of the Pre-Raphaelite world.

Every Hidden Thing (13+) by Kenneth Oppel – Dusty adventure, danger and romance abound in this energetic, elegant and engrossing period piece. And look out for the paperback edition of remarkably original The Nest coming in April.

Optimists Die First (13+) by Susin Nielsen – ‘A wonderful novel. There is tragedy, but it’s sweetened it with laugh-out-loud moments and a great understanding of what it is to be a teenager.’ (Rosa, Reader Reviewer).


First Things First – Debuts of the Month

A first novel is a magical thing. These are the first-timers lining up to be your new favourite authors this month. Don’t miss:

The Silver Unicorn (7+) by Jessica Ennis-Hill – Inspirational, magical adventure tale, another first in a planned series, of ordinary people doing extraordinary things: from someone who should know!

Black Cats and Butlers (9+) by Janine Beacham – Darkly different, hugely enjoyable, witty mystery, the first in a planned series called Rose Raventhorpe Investigates.

See You in the Cosmos (9+) by Jack Cheng –  An unforgettable, poignant and inspiring story of a boy’s brave journey for the truth.


Well, I Never! – Fascinating Facts category

It’s always good to learn something mind-blowing. That’s why we’ve revamped our Fascinating Facts category! It’s more crammed than Dhaka (the world’s most populated city, don’t ya know?) with noggin-expanding nuggets for kids of all ages. We’ve split them into handy age-appropriate sections, so you can get straight to the right sort of ‘OMG!’. Try 101 Brilliant Things for Kids to do with Science by Dawn Isaac: creative and occasionally outrageous ideas for the scientifically curious. Click here to find it and all the new finds in our facts family.

ExperiMENTAL! Geek Chic for Science Week!

Everyone who’s anyone knows it’s SCIENCE that makes the world go around! Time to celebrate that.  10 – 17 March is British Science Week. How do I get involved you ask? – Clicking here. That’s how.  Become a ‘Citizen Scientist’, join activities, or even run your own event!  You’ll need a good book in your lab-coat though. Try George’s Marvellous Experiment by Roald Dahl: a must-have book for budding scientists, it features (completely safe) do-at-home experiments with simple, easy-to-follow, illustrated instructions to fire your passion! Find out more. Also check out our Fascinating Facts category where you will find some other fun and relevant reads too


Up For Grabs! – Free Prize Draw

This month we’re positively showing off with the calibre of prizes up for grabs. Sorry about that. Ignore our smugness and try and win a copy of Worst Years of my Life, part of the Middle School series by James Patterson and shortly to be a major film.  Or a copy of The Pavee and the Buffer Girl by Siobhan Dowd signed by the illustrator, Emma Shoard. Finally, you could be skipping away with copies and beautiful prints from Mac Barnett’s Triangle (3+) – a perfectly paced, picture perfect book for pre-schoolers. Click here for more!

Still Munching After All These Years – Very Hungry Caterpillar 20 March

What is it about the permanently peckish wriggly little chap that has captured our imagination for so long? Maybe it’s his voracious and varied appetite (who wouldn’t admire the eating of a lollypop and salami in one sitting?). Or perhaps we admire and envy the cocoon he gets to sleep the binge off in. Or the beautiful butterfly he leaves it as? Whatever the reason, it’s VHC Day on 20 March and you can celebrate with us, here!

Booked up for Mother’s Day?

Mum’s the word in our book! That’s why we believe that all Mums deserve to be shown just how much we love and appreciate them. And what better way than a well-chosen book? We’ve done a lot of the work for you to be honest. All you have to do is browse our top ideas and see which one suits her best!

The Latest Children’s Book Award News

Just announced are two prestigious children’s book awards. The Blue Peter Book Awards, uniquely voted for by children, went to Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood and the winner of the Best Book with Facts was Survivors by David Long.

Also, the winner of The Scottish Teenage Book Prize was announced 1 March and the deserved winner was Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall.

P.S. Top Drawer!  Illustrator of the Month – Sophy Henn

Brighton-based illustrator Sophy Henn escaped an accidental career in advertising to indulge her loves of tea and drawing. She now attends to both in her home where she happily writes wonderful stories for young children. Books like award-winning Where Bear? (3+) and the hilarious take on toddler tantrums: Pom Pom Gets the Grumps. Find out more.

P.P.S. Do you know a child who loves writing stories? Then click here to find out more about the 2017 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition. But don’t delay entries close 22 April 2017.

P.P.P.S How well do you know your children’s stories? Could you identify books and authors from just the opening line? Take our World Book Day Quiz and find out.

Mid-February eNewsletter

Monday, February 20th, 2017

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.


Bring Non-Fiction to life

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.

One. Step. Ahead, Baby!

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.


A Love Story Like No Other

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.


Julia’s Jubilations! – Julia Eccleshare Recommends

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.


Talent to Draw On

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.

Great Scot! – Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist

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.

What Now? – “If they Like, They’ll Love”.

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.

If they like The Fault in our Stars by John Green they’ll love The Memory Book by Lara Avery. If they like Geek Girl by Holly Smale they’ll love Waiting for Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill. If they like books by Jacqueline Wilson they’ll love Born to Dance by Jean Ure.
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New vivid other-world YA series

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.

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.

A Fantastical feast of espionage, revenge, rebellion and romance

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.’

Take a Gobb Stop! Michael Rosen’s Uncle Gobb is BACK!

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!

More Delightful Picture Books from Rob Biddulph

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.

Out of the Mouth of Babes. Reader Reviews

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.
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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).
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Page Boys! – Great Books for Boys Category

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!


Flip Flap to create hilarious combinations

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.


Where’s Wally? He’s Here! And He’s 30!!

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!

Book it in the Diary! – World Book Day 2017

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!

February 2017 eNewsletter

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Frosty February is a book-filled festival of fun for the young. We’ve got plenty of ‘Thaw’tful recommendations to warm the hearts of burgeoning book-fans everywhere! Read on for what else is hot this month.

A Shelf Above! – February Books of the Month

Every month, we identify the top titles for kids from tots to teens. A great read, guaranteed! This month, don’t miss:

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 featuring two very damaged young people who blossom when they find one another. A gem.‘ (Rosa 17)

Flip Flap Dogs by Nikki Dyson (0-3) – Crazy canine combinations will have you all giggling in this flip-flap fun board book for babies and toddlers.

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A. L. Kennedy (7+) – hilarious and heartwarming animal rescue adventure by a Costa award-winning author and the start of a brilliant new series.

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson (13+) – Another insightful and unputdownable teen drama from the author of The Art of Being Normal.


Learning the power of Love

With Valentine’s Day looming, we’ve got some sweet suggestions to share the lurve.

Like the wonderful Bing: Bing Loves Flop, a charming list of reasons to love someone and a perfect way to celebrate the important people in your life. Or, I Love You by Clemency Pearce, a super celebration of the power of love.

Fab. Feb. Firsts! – Debuts of the Month

Yet again, we have scoured the shelves to bring you the very best of first time authors for children and teenagers to fall in love with!

Radio Boy (9+) – From leading breakfast radio star Christian O’Connell comes a brilliant and laugh-out-loud story of an ordinary boy with an extraordinary secret radio show. It is a hugely entertaining shoot-for-the-stars tale of friendship, ambition and standing up for what’s right.

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans (11+) – A rollicking, super funny, first. A supernatural series to savour – well past bedtime!

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (YA) – ‘I loved this book …This book has it all; fantasy, contemporary, romance, action, darkness, family. If you only read one book this year, let it be this one.’ (Talia 15)

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (13+) – A powerful and deeply moving WW2 story, highly recommended for mature, resilient readers.


The Best Things Are Free! – Prize Draw Round-Up

Some smashing freebies to get your mits on this month. Not least of all: signed copies of the amazing, absurd and anarchic Tree House series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton; PLUS, 5 copies of the hilarious Bolds by Julian Clary and many others. Click here to try your luck!

Top Drawer! Illustrator of the Month – Sophy Henn

Brighton-based illustrator Sophy Henn escaped an accidental career in advertising to indulge her loves of tea and drawing. She now attends to both in her home where she happily writes and illustrates wonderful stories for young children.

Her two latest Pom Pom Gets the Grumps and Edie are both delightful, hilarious and heartwarming and if you haven’t discovered her we recommend you do now.

Who would have thought worms would be so funny!

I Can Only Draw Worms is an hilariously surreal and superbly silly new picture book that will have children (and adults!) laughing out loud, holding their sides, and snorting in public.

Visually striking, enticingly simple and genuinely funny; Will Mabbitt has, without a doubt, created something curiously unique and extraordinarily bizarre.

Let’s Hear it for the Boyce! Frank Cottrell Boyce

A former Author of the Month (April 2016) and famed for his wit, warmth and superb sense of story, Frank Cottrell Boyce is a writer whose experience spans many formats. He even wrote the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony! Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, we love all of his imaginative stories for kids. Launched in paperback this month is:

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth (9+) – Inventive, insightful and original story about the meaning of ‘home’.

Coming Soon… Start reading them now

Extract your digits and download an extract! Get free extracts of super stories BEFORE they’re even published! Why not try:

Following Ophelia by Sophia Bennett (13+) – A dazzling, vibrant and colourful journey into the scandalous world of Pre-Raphaelite art. Waking in Time by Angie Stanton (YA) – Grief, secrets, promises and a handful of time travel twists. What’s not to love? A favourite of our Reader Review Panel. Pigeon P.I. by Meg Mclaren (3+) – A lighthearted detective story featuring a pigeon who solves crimes with the help of his feathered friends.

Scroll down for our hand-picked selections of January books in the age ranges you have said you would like to be kept up to date with. To change them just Log in to your account.Log in to your account.

P.S. Grown-ups might like to have a look at the winner of the Costa Book of the Year, Days without End by Sebastian Barry, but our favourite remains the entertaining and highly original winner of the Costa Children’s Book of the Year The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan.

Mid January e-Newsletter

Friday, January 20th, 2017

If you made ‘getting your kids to read more’ one of your 2017 resolutions we are here to help with virtual shelf loads of expert recommendations for children of all ages. Read on…


Follow the Lights! – January’s Highlights

Excellent and all in one easy-to-find place, these are the highlights of this month’s recommendations to find your next great read!

Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves (5+) by Sophie Thompson – Hilarious and delightful animal adventures for our loveable zoo-bound boy and his friends! Lyttle Lies: The Pudding Problem (5+) Joe Berger – Cheekily funny tale about honesty and the webs that lies can weave. But do we ever learn? Jake Atlas & the Tomb of the Emerald Snake Rob (9+) Lloyd Jones – ‘This daring adventure  brought my imagination alive. I can’t wait to read more of Jake’s adventures!’ (Alex 10)
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Who Stole the Hamster? (7+) N. Griffin; Kate Hindley – super sleuthing in school corridors, perfect for pet lovers and those fond of a good laugh! The White Tower (9+) Cathryn Constable – Alchemy meets dreamy reality in an atmospheric adventure from the author of the bestselling, The Wolf Princess. Wed Wabbit (9+) by Lissa Evans – A tour de force! Lissa Evans’s hilarious, madcap adventure is both effervescent and tautly plotted making it impossible to put down.
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A Debut YA novel you shouldn’t miss and you won’t forget

An accident aged ten has left Flora with no short term memory. Then a secret kiss on the beach – with her only friend’s boyfriend – lodges in her mind. Inspired, she sets off alone to follow him, a heart-stopping journey that takes her deep into the Arctic landscapes of Norway, scribbled messages she writes to herself on her arms her only reassurance or guide.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is a unique mix, part coming-of-age, part psychological thriller, with an almost fairy-tale setting that we think will be one of the books of 2017.

That is SO Last Year! – 2016 Books of the Year

Why not start 2017 catching up with the best books that your kids may have missed in 2016?

We’ve painstakingly compiled (actually we loved every minute of it) the cream of the crop of last year’s releases for kids of all ages, so your New Year can begin with a bang! Click here for more.

What Next? … “If they Like, they’ll Love”

We want to make finding truly enjoyable books for your kids as easy as possible. What happens when a beloved series comes to an end? Our If They Like, They’ll Love section is designed to help you put your finger on fantastic new titles for kids that will be right up their street.

For instance: Fans of Murders Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens will love:

Nancy Parker’s Spooky Speculations (9+) by Julia Lee – A diary of detection and ghostly goings on from our favourite 1920s housemaid. St Grizzles School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys (9+) by Karen McCombie – A lively book that puts a 21st century spin on the boarding school story. What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible (9+) by Ross Welford – An unforgettable, surprising, beautiful, funny and loveably inventive invisibility tale.
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AND, Kids who loved Wonder (film release scheduled April 17) by R. J. Palacio or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime will love:

The Goldfish Boy (9+) by Lisa Thompson – Heartbreaking, mysterious and life-affirming story of finding hope in fear and friendship in loneliness.

Supernatural Struggles from Joseph Delaney

Oh, this is something else! Exquisitely chilling and brimming with beasts, the Spooks’ Starblade Chronicles series (11+) is an utterly enthralling, spine-tingling treat. Walk shoulder to shoulder with characters so real you’ll know them like siblings, as they face dangers and trials in the wildest of worlds.

The latest title, The Dark Assassin, is out now and the stakes for the future of humanity are higher than ever! Find out more.

Hilo There!

If laugh-out-loud school adventures are your thing, you’ll LOVE the hilarious Hilo series (7+) by Judd Winick, the first two of which have just been released.

The first, Hilo: The Boy who Crashed to Earth is a fantastical tale of friendship and identity. Hilo: Saving the Whole World sees our hero settling into life on earth when all of a sudden, a galactic situation needs handling!

And coming in February is Hilo: The Great Big Boom which is packed with humour, danger and a warrior cat! Click here for more.

Bookbug Picture book Prize 2017

An excellent picture book is an enjoyable, shared experience that can stay in the heart from nursery to dotage! The Scottish Book Trust award celebrates the best of the new heroes on the nursery shelf. Check out the shortlist which are waiting for your love and Author Nick Sharratt who has been announced as the winner of the very first Bookbug Picture Book Prize for his picture book Shark in the Park on a Windy Day.


Best by a Whisker! – the books of Sam Gayton

Sam Gayton is a big kid. He’s in 7 different rock bands, loves a board game and most importantly, has a very, very good sense of fun. His latest title, His Royal Whiskers follows hot on the paws of his other acclaimed works: Hercufleas, Lilliput and The Snow Merchant. One of our kids reviewers described His Royal Whiskers as: ‘pure adventure, it’s very exciting, a story that will stay with you a lifetime.’ Praise indeed, and well deserved. Find out more about these 9+ reads.


Dystopian Delights!

Searingly real, the writing of bestselling Veronica Roth has earned her myriad fans and followers.

So, we are delighted to announce this celebrated author of the heart-pounding Divergent series has now come up with a world equally dark and treacherous in a new, stunning teen/YA sci-fi series called Carve the Mark. A galactic-scale imagining of the fight for survival and truth in a world where vengeance and violence rule. Terrific stuff! Click here for more.

From the Horse’s Mouth! – The Best Kids Reader Reviewer Recommendations for January

Do your kids like advice from a someone their age? Kids Reader Reviews can get right to the point. This is a section filled with the books that are read and reviewed by kids on our reader review panel! Books like:

Life in a Fishbowl (YA) Len Vlahos – A book that asks big questions! ’Fast paced and unexpected … an incredibly moving book.’ (Aimee 15) Spy Toys (7+) Mark Powers; Tim Wesson – James Bond meets Toy Story! ‘This book is amazing from start to finish; I read it in one day’. (Stanley 9) Trouble Next Door (5+) Chris Higgins – An enduring and endearing friendship tale about real affection and being led astray.
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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard (13+) – ‘Never have I read a book as sweet as this! A perfect read for cold winter days, when the words can warm your soul.’ (Izzy 16) The Bone Sparrow by Zana Frallion (13+) – A heartfelt, harrowing insight into life as a Rohingya refugee, told through the unforgettable voice of an unforgettable boy. Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird (9+) – The lives of a Syrian family brought vividly and sympathetically to life. ‘Takes you on a journey, one that is impossible to forget.’ (Jasmine 12)
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Let’s Get Dotty!

Loved by Julia Eccleshare and a big favourite with many young readers, Dotty is a detective with a difference!

Bouncily witty stories give the reader the impression of having a ‘book-best-friend’ and the end of the adventure comes all too quickly! Fret not; there are now three books in the series! Third book Midnight Mystery (7+) is a funny puzzle you’ll love being mystified by! Click here for more.

13, 26, 39, 52, 65, 78 stories… Welcome to a Crazy Treehouse

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sleep in a room full of pillows, drink from a lemonade fountain or swing from vines? Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton bring this to life in the hilarious, incredibly popular and seemingly unstoppable large Treehouse series of books. See the six adventures so far on the shelf below. We also tracked Andy down to ask him a few questions. Find out more here.

Love is in the ‘Share’ – Gifts for Valentine’s Day from Little Loved-ones

You may be a Valentine’s enthusiast or staunch denier. Either way, we love any excuse to suggest gift ideas that brim with parental love to share with your kids! Here are some ideas to get you going but please don’t miss the joyfully warm and reassuring board book. I Love You by Clemency Pearce.

And that, book fans, is January at Lovereading4kids! See you next month with more recommendations to keep you buried in a book!

January eNewsletter

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Happy New Year to all our young book fans! There may be things you’d rather not look back on from 2016, so it’s onwards and upwards! BUT, it was such a fab-tastic year for children’s books that you’d be mad not to squidge a sneak peek at our Books of the Year round-up. Find the top titles that you may have missed, all recommended by our dedicated experts AND our ardent army of Reader Reviewers. For that and more, read on, MacDuff!

January Children’s Books of the Month

What better way to kick off a word-guzzling 2017 than with January’s tips for top titles. This month, we love:

The Monstrous Child (11+) by Francesca Simon – Extraordinary, dark, grim Gods-and-Giants tale and a singular heroine brimming with energy, vitality and wit.

Also Picken Mix and Match the Farm Animals! (Baby and Toddler) by Mary Murphy – brilliant split page board book of adorable creatures and an hilarious new series by Judd Winick for 7+ readers about Hilo an alien boy who lands on earth wearing just silver underpants!!


New Yearlings! – Debuts of the Month

The first month of a new year and the first chance to find your next favourite authors. Fantastic first-timers fighting for your fandom! We love:

MEGA Debut… The One Memory of Flora Banks (YA) from Emily Barr, bestselling adult author but her first YA novel A unique, unforgettable and wondrous tale. Part coming-of-age, part thriller and part fairytale. Brilliant!

Wing Jones (YA) by Katharine Webber & Luke Lucas – ‘expansive, heartfelt tale of loss, first love and self-discovery.’ And This is a Serious Book (Baby and Toddler) by Jodie Parachini – brilliantly silly and surprisingly sophisticated animal led picture book fun!


Costa Fame! – Children’s Winner

The wait is over! The winner of the Costa Award for children’s writing has just been announced and you can find it, as well as all the other great titles shortlisted, here. That should keep you going until the Spring!

The winner was The Bombs That Brought Us Together (11+) by Brian Conaghan and The Costa Judges said of it “Reflecting the disorder that conflict brings, Bombs shines a light in the darkest corners, finding humour in the most extraordinary circumstances.”

That was the Year, that was! – 2016 in Books

The only review of 2016 worth looking at! (apart from maybe the Olympics). This is a category brimming with the best books of last year in the humble opinion of our editorial experts and Reader Review panel.

Top titles, age ranged, for tots to teens that our dedicated experts reckon are the cream of the crop! Find out what you might have missed.

January Pre-Pubs

A chance to dip your toe in the warm waters of wonderful works of fiction before they’ve even appeared in the shops! There is an Exclusive extract for most of them right here on Lovereading4kids together with an honest review from one of our editorial experts and Reader Review panel.

And don’t miss: The Dark Days Pact (YA) by Alison Goodman. Sequel to the popular Dark Days Club and the 2nd in the compelling, regency with a touch of supernatural, Lady Helen series.

And the follow on to the ‘compelling, intriguing and magical’ The Witch’s Kiss, melding ancient witchery with modern-day dilemmas of the heart is The Witch’s Tears (13+) by Elizabeth and Katharine Corr.


Express Yourself… Dork style!

A brilliantly accessible, interactive, fun way to help youngsters explore their talents for creative writing. With Dork Diaries OMG: All About Me Diary! (9+) you can create your very own Dork Diary by following the leading questions that Dork Diarist Nikki Maxwell poses to you. You could be on your way to being the next teen writing sensation!

Also the first in the Dork Diary series has been reissued as a limited edition with a new cover and updated contents – a great one to get 9+ readers, especially girls, hooked.

Julia Eccleshare’s January Picks

Back for a first selection of 2017 unmissable Children’s books. See the shelf below.


And So to Bed! – Bedtime Reads Refresh

A book before bedtime happens in almost every small person’s room in almost every house in almost every country in the world. This section celebrates the best books to share with your young children and has just had a refresh!

Try This is the Kiss (Baby and Toddler) by Claire Harcup and Gabriel Alborozo, a delightful tale of the bond between parent and child where every experience of the day leads to a kiss before sleep.

Reluctant Resolutionaries? – Reluctant Readers Refresh

If your kids struggle to engage with reading, why not resolve to help them this new year by browsing our category dedicated to finding accessible and enjoyable books for kids who for whatever reason find it hard to read? It’s brimming with brilliant books for boys and girls of all abilities and could help make 2017 the year they started to Lovereading!


Scroll down for our hand-picked selections of September books in the age ranges you have said you would like to be kept up to date with. To change them just Log in to your account.

P.S. Don’t miss The Big Spell a spectacular new family entertainment series that will uncover the nation’s best young speller. Supported by Oxford Childen’s Dictionary and hosted by Sue Perkins, Joe Lycett and Moira Stuart. The Big Spell, which has been a smash hit in Australia, will see twenty children aged nine to thirteen go word to word in the ultimate spelling showdown. It started on 8 Jan, 5pm, Sky 1 and runs for eight weeks.

P.P.S. Fans of The Worst Witch should tune into CBBC this Wednesday (11 January) at 4.30pm when the new TV show starts. And, of course, we have all the books on our website.

Christmas Books

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

It’s Mid-November (already!) and in the blink of an eye, the bonfire night firecrackers have been replaced by shop fronts full of sparkly lights. So, as Christmas looms large over a frosty horizon, let us warm your cockles and please your budget with some great value gift ideas for little Christmas Elves of all ages! And free 2nd class postage on all UK orders over £20!

Fizz, Bang! – November Highlights

With all the great new books this month here are a couple of the literary rockets and roman candles that may have whooshed over your heads and we think it would be a huge shame for your kids to miss. Books like:

Double Down by Jeff Kinney (7+) – The Wimpy Kid is back for an 11th time! Sharp as ever and full of scenes that will have children doubled-up with laughter.

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (11+) – The 3rd instalment in super-realistic teen tribulations from visionary vlogger, Zoella.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (YA) – Demon hunting, courage, friendships and a massive dollop of self-discovery!

Fool-proof Festive Finds for Kids!

Christmas is coming! Let us help you turn your festive Fear to festive Cheer and give kids you know gifts that last forever!

A good book is a flight of fancy, a fantastic personal journey and can spark the imagination. And it’s pretty good value too! Win, win! See some highlights below or click here to see all our seasonal recommendations broken down by age range.

“Books for Book Lovers” – New ‘Walker Studio’ Imprint

A good book engages all the senses. This new imprint from leading independent children’s publisher, Walker Books, is focused on design, high-quality illustration and superlative content. Books that will entice readers from a distance and fill them with the urge to hold, open and devour them (metaphorically speaking!). It brings one-of-a-kind books together in one place and celebrates a love for the printed book.


2016’s Final Fruits – Julia Eccleshare’s Last Selection of the Year

This is it, the last list of stellar must-reads for kids from Guardian Children’s Book Editor Julia Eccleshare. Don’t panic, though, it’s only the last list of 2016! Click here to find out what’s hot this side of Christmas.

Irresistible Reading – James Patterson’s Middle School Series

Passionate about helping kids to enjoy reading and one of the biggest-selling writers of all time, James Patterson is a very good thing in our book! We just love his Middle School Series for kids aged 9+. Perfect for Wimpy Kid fans, these are fast-paced, funny, adventurous page-turners. The latest title is; Dog’s Best Friend, which is brilliant. Don’t just take our word for it, read the Reader Reviews! Oscar aged 8 said; “This is a laugh your socks off book with lots of wacky hijinks and cheeky puns”. Find out more.

Stockings are all booked up this year!

Ever heard of ‘big-sock shock’? It’s the anxiety caused by an empty stocking. Fear not fellow sufferers, we have just the thing to fit. Perfect pressies to light up their faces from Santa’s little helpers.

Prying Eyes, Eyeing the Prize! – Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

As prizes for children’s writing go, they don’t come bigger. The shortlist for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016 was announced this month.

Four fabulous novels vie for the top honours in an unenviable job for the judges. Why not check out the hopefuls here and judge for yourself?

Wizard World Spin-Offs!

JK Rowling’s Wizard World is filled with magical curiosities. Now fans can celebrate and explore with two spellbinding titles.

First, J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: A Pop-Up Gallery of Curiosities will provide a lasting, truly interactive and ornamental 3D showcase of some of the best-loved peculiarities from the Harry Potter movies. And talking of films, don’t miss the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, movie scrapbook! It’s an artifact-filled adventure through the latest Newt Scamander movie.

Happy Hamster Birthday Humphrey!

Can you believe it? Humphrey the Hamster (9+) is 10! What better time to catch up with the hilarious adventures of the classroom pet? It being November an’ all, a good place to start might be Christmas According to Humphrey, which you can find here!

100 Years of Wow! – Chronologica (9+)

From the makers of Whitaker’s Almanack, an addictive, informative and unrivalled journey through time, from the foundation of Rome to the creation of the internet. Chronologica The Incredible Years That Defined History (9+) is an entertaining and beautifully illustrated glimpse into where we are and what’s gone before us. Find out more here.

Next Steps! – If They Like, They’ll Love

The final page has turned on the last in a series by a favourite author. Where do you turn now? Well, here actually!

If they like Patrick Ness they’ll Love The Light that Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew. An unforgettable novel about revenge, abuses of authority and the redemptive power of friendship.

And if they are fans of The Hunger Games series they’ll Love the dark fantasy that is Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith, part of the Tantalize Series.

Boy Zone!

Nope, not the 90s Irish ‘take-home-to-meet-your-mum’ – boy band. This is about our brilliant Great Books for Boys category, which has been injected with new blood this month. New yet classic blood like; The Tigerboy by Ted Hughes (9+), a tale of difference and self-realisation from a former Poet Laureate.

Can’t Read, Won’t Read? – Think Again!

One of our missions is to help reluctant readers to gain the confidence to love reading and discover wonderful stories. That’s why we’ve dedicated a whole category to the fantastic books that are designed to help with exactly that! Books like:

Diary of a Trainee Rock God by Jonathan Meres (9+) and Jake McDonald – First-class, fact-filled story of ambition and aiming high.


The Sticky Witch by Hilary McKay (7+) – A gooey ‘let’s get out of here!’ tale of witchy hospitality and reluctant guests.

Book Week Scotland!

Nov 21-27 sees a week-long celebration of books and reading! People will be coming together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy. They’ll be joined by many of Scotland’s leading authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life. Don’t miss the ‘Authors Live’ broadcast with Charlie and Lola and Ruby Redfort creator Lauren Child. This and much, much more! Find out how you can get involved, here.

November email update

Friday, November 4th, 2016

November, with its crisp dark nights and the afterglow of fireworks scattering magic in the air just long enough for hearts to fill with wonder and excitement in the lead up to Christmas, is one of our favourite months! One of our other favourite things is helping you find the perfect fodder for your book hungry youngsters! So, here are our top tips for some cracking reads this winter and maybe a few little things to fill your stockings too! Read on for more.

A November to Remember! – Books of the Month

The fireworks may have fizzled, but our bookshelf is still bursting with colour. Here are the sparklers:

There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday (9+) – Beautifully written allegory about courage, love and the unbeatable power of imagination.

The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon (13+) – Timely and breathtakingly smart story about love, identity, displacement and the changing relationships between young adults and their parents.

Reckless III The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke (11+) – Imaginative. Mesmerizing adventure through dark fairy tale worlds that will ‘make you breathless’ (Reader Review


First Words

It’s a fine duo of fledgling fablers this month as we celebrate the best of the best in debut titles.

Dear Charlie (YA) by N. D. Gomes – A big-hearted book that doesn’t shirk from tackling big issues, emotions and questions – how do we survive and recover a sense of hope through the most destructive personal tragedies?

The Liszts (5+) written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julia Sarda. Wonderfully dark, even gothic, completely original, wonderful to look at, funny and intriguing, this is one to add to your list of must-haves.

Fancy Winning Limited Edition Signed Books?

Don’t miss your chance to win exclusive signed copies of brilliant books. We’ve already brightened cloudy days with signed editions of books like Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, Chris Riddell’s eccentrically charming, Ottoline and the Purple Fox, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop by Clare Balding and Young Bond: Strike Lightning. There will be more and more chances to win more and more great titles, so: “if at first … ” and all that. Just keep coming back for more!

Out of the Mouths! – Reader Review Highlights

Here they are, the best book about right now as chosen by our highly discerning group of young reviewers. Books like:

The Road to Ever After by Moira Young (9+) – ‘Step into a world of adventure, magic and friendship. I loved this book, once you have read it you will remember it forever.’ (Anya Fuller, aged 9).

Christmas! – Have you Booked?

It’s the same every year. The mad rush to find the right gifts for the kids. Whatever you get them, you run the risk that once the paper is ripped off and what’s inside is not the next big thing anymore, it’s gathering dust under the bed with the Connect 4, a mini skateboard, some Lego and the discarded clothes of a mermaid doll. You know what you need? You need the peace of mind that you get from giving a jolly good book! Click here for inspiration.


Seasonal Delights from Matt Haig

Last year Matt Haig brought us a brand new Christmas story, A Boy Called Christmas, his tale of how a weedy little boy called Nikolas became the jolly bearded figure we know as Father Christmas.

This year he follows it up with another festive treat, The Girl Who Saved Christmas, a magical story of hope, faith and Father Christmas with an evergreen message for one and all.

These are wonderful seasonal adventures, exciting, often very funny though not without its darker moments, and never sentimental.

Treat time for Toddlers

November sees a plethora of beautiful new picture books – see below for three highlights…

Bedtime Reads Refresh

Books at bedtime are such a vital part of growing up. A treat for parents and children alike. This colourful category celebrates the best in books to share and this month; there are even MORE to choose from.

Like; Goodnight World (3+) by Debi Gliori, a lovely lullaby to bid the day ‘goodnight’ and cuddle up with Mum or Dad.

Stories Without Words

Wordless picture books can create an incredible story experience, leaving the nuances of interpretation to the reader. The drawings inspiring children and parents to find their own narrative. Have a look at Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Baby & Toddler), a witty, warm friendship tale.

Picture Perfect Pet… It’s a Dog’s Life

Kate Prendergast’s incredible wordless picture-stories speak a thousand words, combining a loveable character with beautiful observations of the world around us. A delight to read again and again. Meet ‘Dog’, the eponymous hero! In Dog on a Train, he tries to reunite ‘Boy’ with his favourite hat. But will he find him in the midst of rush hour madness? Dog on a Digger and is another compelling comic adventure for our cunning canine, cleverly told with pictures. Books for 3+yrs readers to cherish!

Well, I did NOT know That!

Whatever age you are, it’s always great to find out something mind-blowing! That’s why we’ve compiled a Fascinating Facts category; jam packed with noggin expanding nuggets for kids of all ages.

Parents of kids aged 9+, for example, should look at The Survivors: And Other Incredible Stories of Extreme Survival by David Long (9+), an astonishing selection of real-life survival stories.
Book the Cinema! – Film Tie-Ins

Every now and then great books get made into great films. Some greater than others! This category is about the books that inspired some of your favourite films. And you know what they say! “The Books is (always) better!”. Books like, Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism (9+) by Georgia Byng, a rags to happiness tale of the power of dreams.

October eNewsletter

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

October is a great month for kids. There are muddy puddles to jump in, leaves to kick, conkers to conquer and Hallowe’en costumes to make. But that’s not all! It’s a bumper month for Children’s literature and we’ve been busy compiling the very best in recommended reads for kids of all ages, tastes and abilities. Read on for more.

The Hunt for Read October! – Books of the Month

Lovingly hand-picked and guaranteed to float a multitude of book-thirsty boats, these are the top titles for kids this month. We love:

Darkness Follows (YA) by L.A. Weatherly – The 2nd in The Broken Trilogy and even more gripping than the brilliant Broken Sky: an expertly-crafted blend of dystopian adventure and historical reflection, crammed with suspense, espionage, courage and romance.

Blink and You Die (11+) by Lauren Child – All good things come to an end in this series finale…Ruby Redfort is running scared, a whole bunch of people want her dead and worst of all one of them is on her team!

Clover Moon (9+) by Jacqueline Wilson – Sad, touching and exciting story… introducing the brilliant and brave new heroine from the wonderful world of the bestselling and award-winning author.


Feeling First-y? – October Debuts of the Month

Quench your longing for top new titles from fresh-faced talent with our top tips for the hottest debuts! Our MEGA Debut this month is:

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop (7+) – Join award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author Clare Balding with her debut children’s novel, a heart-warming horsey have-a-go adventure about following your dreams.

The Fox and the Star (5+) – This charming and gloriously delightful picture book, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious we think is one for your forever shelf.

The Royal Rabbits of London (7+) – Within a few paragraphs readers will be immersed in a world in which rabbits wear clothes, read stories of heroes and boldly take on rats that dare threaten her Majesty ‘the Queen.’ With shades of Watership Down, this is the first in a new series, from bestselling authors Santa and Sebag Montefiore.


Read the Best – Before the Rest!

Your monthly chance to take a sneak peak at brilliant books, via exclusive extracts, for boys and girls, before they hit the shelves! Books like:

Dear Charlie by N. D. Gomes (YA) – A thoroughly thought-provoking and beautifully honest story of survival after the most destructive of personal tragedies. Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens (9+) – Seasonal sleuthing amid the spires. Two heroines face dark danger, meddling grown-ups and rival detectives! The Road to Ever After by Moira Young (9+) – Death, life – and everything that happens in between. Beautifully written prose and unforgettable characters.

New Leaves on the Poetree!

There’s a landslide of new words joining the well-versed Poetry category this month to coincide with National Poetry Day on 6 October. Poetry is at the heart of everything, from the first picture books to literary greats. There’s something to inspire every child of every age.

Check them all out here and also don’t miss this stunning award-winning novel that’s told entirely in verse!: One by Sarah Crossan (13+) – Winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016, an astonishing and difficult story that is ultimately funny and uplifting.


The No.1 (Young) Ladies’ Detective Agency!

Alexander McCall Smith has created some of our favourite characters. One of them is, of course, the much-loved Precious, founder of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, solving crimes in her idiosyncratic way in the heat of Botswana.

But did you know that the agency began when Precious was but a young girl? Well, it did. And there’s a whole series of books including 2015 Book of the Year; Precious and the Zebra Necklace (9+) just out in paperback to prove it!

Ideas for Half-Term Outdoor Heroes!

Half term can loom like a shadow over you. What do we do to get the kids enjoying themselves that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Lonely Planet for Kids has the perfect answer! City Trails books, like City Trails: London take you off the tourist trail and blow your mind with fun facts: it’s a seriously street-wise way to get kids enthused. And, if you are going further afield to New York or Paris perhaps there’s a City Trail for those cities too.

Also, check out our newly refreshed Out and About section crammed with books that inspire children to have fun outside.

Food for Thought! Life-Stories for Teens

Multi-award winning pen-smith, Susin Nielsen writes engaging, character-led stories about young people in difficult situations. While catering on a TV show, she ended up writing it. Her food, apparently, was not as good as her writing! Nielsen’s first two novels, We are all Made of Molecules received critical acclaim and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award. Her latest release,Word Nerd is a gripping, funny and touching tale of family upheaval and daring to be different. Find them all here.

Join the Chase!

Rick Riordan’s unerring ability to reach readers, including those described as reluctant, is in full evidence in the Magnus Chase (11+) series. The second, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, is just out and once again, he takes ancient myths as inspiration and with its flawed gods, epic battles and larger than life stories, Norse mythology provides brilliant source material and Fans of Percy Jackson will recognise Riordan’s signature punchy, witty style and unbeatable adventure! Action-packed and bang up to date! Find them both here.

“If no-one notices you, are you there at all?”

The 2012 Carnegie Book Award-winning magical reality novel, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a beautifully imagined, searing tale of the haunting effect of a parent’s looming death on a young boy. An extraordinary book that is set to make the big screen this month in the U.S. and in January over here. The film is directed by J. A. Bayona (The Orphanage) and stars Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson. The collector’s edition, comprising the award-winning illustrated novel and the story behind the book and the film is out now as is the paperback movie tie-in.

Too Ghoul for School! – Hallowe’en Category

Not necessarily books for bedtime! October is a month to get spooky with our blood-curdling Hallowe’en section, dripping with frights and delights for all ages!

Out of the Mouths! – Books Reviewed by Kids

The Kids are all write in our book! That’s why we have invited young reviewers to give us the low down on current books for young people. Opinion from the horse’s mouth! For instance:

Podkin One-Ear (9+) by Kieran Larwood –  ‘Sublime, Splendid, Superb! It’s an adventure that keeps you wanting to read on and on into the night’ (Alex 10). The Christmasaurus (7+) by Tom Fletcher – ‘I love this book! It is Christmassy, amazing and crumpety, all at once! it’s a bit silly, and a lot funny.’ (Toby 8). Timmy Failure: The Book You’re not Supposed to Have (9+) by Stephan Pastis – ‘This book is 100% funny, makes you laugh out loud’ (Alice 11). The Secret Horses of Briar Hill (11+) by Megan Shepherd – ‘A stunningly illustrated and powerful story about imagination, adventure, bravery and hope.’ (Sidney 12). Privacy Policy Disclaimer