Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

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 and in the blink of an eye, the bonfire night firecrackers have been replaced by shop fronts full of sparkly lights.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).

Mid-September email update

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Mid-September already and with Summer holidays a fading memory why not choose a new exciting book or author for your child to get into this autumn? We can, hand on heart, say we have something for every age and taste, selected and reviewed by our editorial experts and for some, also reviewed by kids too. Click here to start exploring..


September Highlights

This is where we slide in a few cheeky must-reads that may have slipped under your radar. A one stop shop to some hidden delights! This month, try:

Fire Witch by Matt Ralphs (9+) – Sequel to highly acclaimed Fire Girl (Read the Reader Reviews!). A blend of history and fantasy and a tense and thrilling journey into bravery, fear, love and the supernatural.

Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain (6+) – Bringing the family together in the kitchen. 15 stories and recipes by inspirational bake-off winner Nadiya Hussain. Love the stories, bake the food! Delicious!

Tom’s Midnight Garden (9+) is a Graphic Novel! – We just have to tell you about this stunning reworking by renowned graphic artist Edith Pearce. Faithful to the original, accessible, and stunningly illustrated. A perfect gift for all the family.

A Modern-Day Alice in Wonderland – Magic and colour abound in Tahereh Mafi’s enchanting tale, Furthermore (9+). Just as confounding and beguiling as Wonderland, our heroine is even called Alice! But our Alice is on a quest to prove her worth in a world that has ostracised her for being different.

Oh My Goth! The Isadora Moon Books are just perfect for newly independent readers, the adventures of half vampire, half fairy, Isadora Moon and her friend Pink Rabbit are amaze-wing, fang-tastic stories with a wonderful truth beneath them.

Do you dream of that curtain call to perform on the big stage? Are you born to dance, sing and act? Or do you know someone who is? Because this fantastic new series Star Club by Natasha Mac a’Bháird is for anyone who dreams of life on the boards! The first title is Hannah in the Spotlight.

Oh Boy! – Great Books for Boys Refresh

Boys can be reluctant readers, but we know what they like! These are the books that boys will be drawn to, sorted in age groups so you can find them in a trice! Check out:

The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery – A beautiful and touching picture book, with its foundations firmly in family relationships. I Saw Anaconda by Jane Clarke – A romping, rhyming, hungry, hilarious and wonderfully yukky lift-the-flap adventure. George Pearce and His Huge Massive Ears by Felix Massie – A brilliantly bonkers tale about finding the strength of your inner voice. Caged by Theresa Breslin – Fighting, surviving, treachery, trust. A powerful novel set in the shady world of cage-fighting.

Top-Notch Picture books from Top-Notch Authors and Artists

Say you only had room for THREE picture-books on the shelf (chance would be a fine thing, right?), we reckon these are the three we’d just have to have. The Tale of the Castle Mice by Michael Bond, a warm, humourous and nostalgic tale from the creator of Paddington Bear; Motor Miles by John Burningham (who celebrates his 80th this year!), an enigmatic tale of joy and the power of freedom. And Plenty of Love to Go Round by Emma Chichester Clark, whose loveable Plumdog must overcome jealousy when a new cat moves in next door! What do you think?


Chapter book perfection! – Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Stories with pictures throughout take a magical combination, an aligning of the stars, the perfect partnering of pen and paint. Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre are a shining light in the story-telling nebula, with favourites like Pugs of the Frozen North, (with talking snow), Jinks O’Hare, Funfair Repair and, scarily delicious, Cakes in Space. Inspiring adventure stories in a strange, yet recognisable setting are their trademark and will be devoured by kids from seven up. And we mean ALL the way up!

Barmy, Brilliant Books by Richard Byrne

You’re reading a story about a girl and a dog and suddenly the book you’re reading swallows the dog! Keep your head together; you have to save that mutt! Richard Byrne has cleverly turned the reading experience around a bit. In a most satisfying way.

In his second book, We’re in the Wrong Book! (5+), you’ll travel through loads of different books until you and the main characters find the right one.

Awesomely imaginative, unique and fun, you can find them here.

Rhyme Time with Gavin Puckett

You’d think that a man called Gavin ‘Puckett’ would shy away from rhymes altogether! But not Gavin. This welsh comedian is a rhyming bard with a side-splitting knack for hilarious horsey happenings.

Dream big with the vivacious Hendrix, a guitar-wielding ‘rocking’ horse; shoot for the stars with the slowest racehorse in Surrey, Murray; and follow your nose to find the omnivorous and gaseous, Colin the Carthorse! The Hoof is in the pudding!

Superb Short Stories for Kids

Short stories can be perfect for some children and this month we strongly urge you to travel into the wonderful world of Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett – a collection of imagination explosions for young readers!

Also, don’t miss Counting Stars by David Almond –  a superb collection of stories about family, growing up, love, loss, and the resilience of the human heart.

Gripping Historical Fiction

Breathtaking yet at times brutal, Hill of the Angels is a story based on real historical events in the 17th Century seen through the eyes of two innocent young girls. In a country consumed by hate can their friendship survive?

Gillian Cross, author of the Demon Headmaster series said of the book ‘A dramatic and moving exploration of the gulf between faith and fanaticism.’

Up to Date! – Favourite Fairy Tales Retold (14+)

Favourite fairy tales get the Zoe Marriott treatment in two stunning re-workings. Taking the latent messages of the timeless tales Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, setting them in enigmatic Japan and reworking them from a feminist perspective, Marriott combines powerful storytelling and lucid writing that will beguile and empower young readers.

Find Barefoot on the Wind and Shadows on the Moon here.

Another Dimension! – Worldwalker Trilogy (YA)

Josephine Angelini’s spellbinding Worldwalker Trilogy is a wonderfully unique story of difference and magic with a captivating cast of characters and alluring plot turns. The first book in the series Trial by Fire was loved by our Reader Reviewers and anyone wanting a journey into a darkly magical reality with important resonances to our own, will burn to read all three. Find them here!

Kids Book Festival Autumn Round Up

Book festival treats galore for kids and teens this month with a chance to win David Walliams and Michael Morpurgo box sets from the Get Creative Family Arts Festival (throughout October) and just for teenagers there’s YA Shot in Uxbridge (22 October).

Time to ‘Scoop’ a deal

New Children’s Book Magazine ‘Scoop’ has just launched and to get £5 reduction on the annual subscription just use the secret code word ‘Literacy Families Launch’. Find out more on their sparkly new website.

That’s all for now – see you in October.

P.S. Do you know a 14 – 18 year old who loves books? Maybe they would like to be a judge on a prestigious Book Award? Find out more before 28 October.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to have the chance of winning shelf loads of exclusive book goodies in our Free Prize Draws including a money can’t buy Twirlywoos Goody Bag!

September eNewsletter

Monday, September 5th, 2016

September is a month of new beginnings as children go Back to school with a bang. Plus, there are plenty of new books and two anniversaries to celebrate this month.

It’s ten years since Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief took its place in the illustrious shelf of modern classics but it is also 15 years since Eva Ibbotson charmed us with her magical classic, Journey to the River Sea. From tots to teens, there’s something for every young reading enthusiast (and reluctant readers for that matter!) this month. Read on for more…

Talking of Anniversaries – Roald Dahl Day, 13 September!

This month sees celebrations abound for the enduring children’s favourite fabler, Roald Dahl. He’d have been 100 years old on 13 September and we bet he’d still have the ‘gobblefunk’ to make children laugh. Celebrate with us by diving into our category filled with his terrific tales, pick up your very own Roald Dahl Day Party Pack and join in the fun on the day by visiting the Puffin Virtually Live website. It’s a GIANT whizz-pop of a party!

Wolves, Drama Queens and Funfairs – September’s Books of the Month

An eclectic shelf of excellence for readers of all ages awaits your little book-lovers this month. We particularly love:

Beck Mal Peet (16+) – Sometimes bleak and harrowing but a beautifully crafted tale of a struggle against injustice and the search for love. The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (9+) – Exciting, inspiring and unique historical fairy tale about courage, danger and learning to trust. Amazing Abby: Drama Queen by Emma Moss (11+) – Next hilarious title in the Girls Can Vlog series for lovers of friendship stories and youtube fanatics! Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair by Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (7+) – From the authors of Cakes in Space, a visual feast of fun and a fantabulously funny adventure!


New Intake – Debuts of the Month

A new school year and a host of first-time authors vying (successfully, we think) for popularity on our debutants bookshelf this month: We love:

Samson the Mighty Flea by Angela McAllister (3+) – The amazing feats of the world’s smallest and most ambitious circus strong-man. With zany pictures from Debut illustrator Nathan Reed.

The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery (5+) – Extraordinary debut picture book from a much-loved novelist (Perijee & Me, The Tornado Chasers). Beautiful, thrilling and extremely moving after-life adventure.

The Cat and the King (7+) – First novel from much-loved prince of picture books, Nick Sharratt. An hilarious tale of the ordinary and extraordinary.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (14+) – Sharp society story, where death, desire, decadence, destitution and seedy truths colour a wonderfully worrying vision of the far future.


Picture Prefect! – Guest Editor Rob Biddulph

We are more delighted than a toddler tasting ice-cream! Our Guest Editor this month is brilliant book-smith, Rob Biddulph! Observer Magazine art director by day; creator of silly stories and pictures for his daughters by night. Thankfully, he’s shared them with the rest of us too!

His first book Blown Away won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2015 and we are giving away 3 signed sets of Rob Biddulph books, Grrrrr! and Blown Away plus a signed print of Odd Dog Out, his new picture book!

Pre-Publication Previews!

As ever, we give you the chance to read extracts of hot-off-the-press titles before they hit the shelves! Books like:

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop (7+) by Clare Balding – Heart-warming horsiness with a strong girl-power message and the chance to win an exclusive limited edition hardback proof.

Ottoline and the Purple Fox by Chris Riddell (7+) – Long-awaited fourth quirky and delightfully elegant adventure for this plucky young explorer and her silently wise, hairy companion from current Children’s Laureate. Brilliant stuff!

Book Awards Round up!

More brilliant awards than you can shake a stick at this month. (Please don’t shake any actual sticks without the supervision of a responsible adult). Three to be precise:

Klaus Flugge Prize

The winner of the inaugural prize, in honour of the founder of Andersen Press, celebrating the best newcomer to children’s picture books, is announced this month. Find out who won and catch all the colourful runners-up, here.

Scottish Book Trust Bookbug Award

A Tapir, a Princess and a Robot! The Shortlist for this award for great new books for 3-7 year-olds is ready! Our favourite on a straw poll in the office is There’s a Bear on my Chair. Hear the authors reading from their books on the Scottish Book Trust website and choose your favourite!

Scottish Teen Fiction Award

The shortlist is ready for this stonking award voted for entirely by teens! Find out how you can get involved on the Scottish Book Trust website.

A Winner’s Tale! – Free Prize Draws

It’s all gone to our heads a bit this month as we’re literally giving away loads of brilliant books for boys and girls! Teens can vie for three sets of The Originals from Penguin, the must-read classics for young adults and toddlers will love a superlative selection of Twirly Woo titles. And to top it all we have four exclusive limited edition hardback proof of Clare Balding’s enticing equine adventure, The Racehorse who Wouldn’t Gallop. Phew! Good Luck!

Paranormal Private Investigators! – Lockwood and Co by Jonathan Stroud

These inventive, exciting adventures for 11+ readers must be the literary event of the last two years! A psychic detective agency (surely the only one!) face danger, terror, ghouls and spectres, as they investigate paranormal activity in London.

Latest case for Lockwood and his two companions sees the team facing their fears and rocking friendships in a story from an author who Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson titles) describes as ‘a genius’.

40 years at the Top! – Andersen Press

Forty years ago Klaus Flugge founded a publishing house based on a desire to bring together the best authors and illustrators and put good quality books into the hands of children across the world. Today Andersen Press remains at the forefront of picture book publishing so we thought we would help celebrate by bringing together the picture books which helped launch the publishing house all those years ago. You will recognise the names of the authors and illustrators; none other than Tony Ross and David McKee.

Calling all Peculiars! – Two books by Ransom Riggs

You don’t have to search far to find a super-fan of Ransom Riggs’ delightfully bizarre Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (12+). Tim Burton for a start! His film adaptation of Riggs’ magical blend of supernatural fantasy and vintage photography is out soon.

Now fans can dive into the peculiar world of Tales of the Peculiar, a stunningly illustrated collection of fairy-tales featuring the legends of this mind-bending world. Find out more here.

Julia Eccleshare Shares – September Picks

Guardian Children’s Editor and Lovereading guru, Julia Eccleshare knows a thing or two about good books for kids and teenagers! Her top tips for happy kids this month are on the shelf below.

Upstairs Downstairs puppies at the court of Charles II
Megan Rix takes young readers to the London of 1666 in a typically exciting and heart-warming novel, and in The Great Fire Dogs gives readers a puppies’ eye-view of life at the court of Charles II and the effect of the Great Fire of London that raged 2 – 5 September 350 years ago.

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. Bedtime Reads Refresh – Don’t forget that our brilliant Bedtime Reads category has some new pals for the sleepover this month. The best of the best in bedtime reading to share with your little dreamers with an absolute favourite being Talulla Bear’s Bedtime Book.

July email newsletter

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Welcome to a jumping, joyful, jamboree July for junior readers! We love nothing more than to help you find great books fast with reviews from book experts, for you and great kids reviews for you to share with your kids. Here’s our guide to the best titles around this month, bright new talent and much more.

Stop Press… Branford Boase Award Just Announced

The most important debut prize in children’s fiction has just announced its 2016 winner. Chaired by our very own Julia Eccleshare the prize honours not just the author but also the encouraging and supportive editor. This year’s honour has gone to the very special and highly original Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot  written by Horatio Clare, edited by Penny Thomas and published by the small but perfectly formed Firefly Press.

The story describes how Aubrey, a ‘rambunctious’ boy, receives help from the wild animals in the woods around his home to break the depression that is weighing down his father. Julia Eccleshare said, ‘Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is beautifully written and highly original, proof indeed that children’s books is a very exciting place in which to write.’ Find out more.

Tips for the Top – July’s Books of the Month

As always, we’ve scoured the colourful world of children’s publishing to bring you the top reads for the month for all ages. We love:

My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord (7+) by David Solomons – a fitting sequel to the hilarious and award-winning My Brother is a Superhero.

Blame by Simon Mayo (13+) – Inspired by a conversation with Michael Morpurgo, a taut, nail-biting futuristic thriller about skewed justice and the sins of the past.

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith (YA) – Mythological, dystopian adventure for fans of Hunger Games.


Feeling Firsty? – Refreshing Debuts of the Month!

Yet again we have some fabulous first-time novelists to float even the flimsiest of boats! Look no further than:

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy (7+) – Love warriors? Love cats? You’ll love this! ‘Exciting, touching and thrilling’ (Reader Reviewer).

Ned’s Circus of Marvels by Justin Fisher (9+) – A must for Harry Potter fans.  ‘A thrilling, magical adventure full of terrifying, fantastical creatures and secret worlds.’ (Reader Review).


The Somme Remembered

Marking the Centenary of the beginning (1st July) of The Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in British history, we’ve added an exclusive selection of books to our World Wars category, which aim to educate kids about a vitally important time in our recent past that should not be forgotten.  

Flo of the Somme by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey (5+) has just won the Historical Association’s ‘Young Quill’s Award for Historical Fiction’ (primary school category) and follows Flo’s incredibly brave missions as a ‘mercy dog’ to help wounded soldiers.

Wave by Paul Dowswell is particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+ and through Charlie’s moving and vivid story explores how war can having an effect years after the conflict is over.

What Jackie Did! – Brilliant Books by Jacqueline Wilson

Firm favourite and former Children’s Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson has a gazillion fans the world over. So much to choose from, but we recommend diving into Katy (9+), a carefree, life-loving girl whose life is changed forever by a debilitating accident. Little Stars (9+), a Book of the Year 2015 and a danger-filled Victorian drama for Hetty Feather. Also, don’t miss Rent a Bridesmaid (9+), a fabulously funny, beautifully illustrated story about the power of friendship. Find out more here.

Calling all Human Beans! – It’s the BFG!

With the release, later this month, of Spielberg’s film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story the BFG, we think you should get your hands on a brand new release of the book! Complete with make-it-yourself giant ears to wiggle as you read, this tale of unlikely friendship and beating the bullies has never been more fun! Find out more in our special Roald Dahl Centenary category.

Summer Reading July Highlights

Click on any of the covers and you will be seamlessly taken to our not-to-be-missed jaw-droppingly good summer reading selections, of which these titles are just a taster.

25 Years Young! Farmer Duck (3+)

Simply written by (aptly named) Martin Waddell and illustrated by the Kate Greenaway medal winner, Helen Oxenbury (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), Farmer Duck (3+) has been a household favourite for 25 years. Now, a brand new large board edition promises to enthral children and parents alike with its charming tale of farmyard friendship and justice. “How goes the work?” is still a phrase that’s used daily in our office!

Let’s Go Fly a Kite! – Out and About Section Refresh!

Well worth a visit at this time of year is our attractively alfresco, omnifarious open-air, brilliantly blue-skied Out and About section! It’s crammed with so many different ways to inspire kids to get out and enjoying the great outdoors, using their imaginations and having a blast together. Check out our horizon-broadening book-fest, here.

P.S. Judith Kerr, author the classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea, has just been honoured with a lifetime achievement award from The BookTrust. Find out more about her amazing body of work.

Mid-June email newsletter

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

The long days of summer are the perfect companion to a good book. Dive head first into our Summer Reading section, a cool refreshing pool of the best of the best in books for all ages and this year we have added in some terrific super readable short fiction, to spend the holidays broadening minds and horizons. Here’s a tiny taster…


Sneak Peek! – Pre-Publication Extracts

Another chance this month to read fantabulous (FREE) excerpts of new titles before they hit the shelves. Cool, huh?

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith. The tension is high, the writing is taut, and this sharp, strident fantasy for fans of The Hunger Games. Ned’s Circus of Marvels by Justin Fisher. Adventures don’t come more action-packed than this… Harry Potter will find that it hits the spot. How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss. A beautiful, bittersweet story about family bonds, the cycle of life and love in all its forms.
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By Ecc! – Julia Eccleshare’s Top Tips for June

Guardian Children’s Editor and Lovereading4kids guru, Julia Eccleshare knows a thing or two about kids books. Here are her top tips for terrific titles this month.


Read Carpet! – Children’s Book Awards

STOP PRESS…Carnegie and Greenaway Awards Winners just announced

What do Arthur Ransome, CS Lewis, Quentin Blake and Raymond Briggs have in common? They’ve all won a Carnegie or Greenaway gong; that’s what! Arguably the most prestigious children’s book awards in the world, they celebrate the best tale-tellers in the land! and the winners of the 2016 prize were announced 1pm on 20 June.

The Greenaway Award for an illustrated title has gone to Chris Riddell for his work with Neil Gaiman to create the spellbindingly magical Sleeper and the Spindle. The Carnegie Award for outstanding writing went to the original and utterly gripping One by Sarah Crossan and it’s the first EVER verse novel to win. Congratulations to the winners and find out more about both books and the other titles that made the shortlist in our special category.

Different (brush) Strokes – The Klaus Flugge Prize

Brand new and a welcome addition to the Awards season, the Klaus Flugge Prize honours the most promising and exciting newcomers to children’s illustration. Named after one of the most influential voices in picture books, this is the place to find the next big thing in painted pages! See more.


Menagerie Mayhem! – The House on Hummingbird Island (9+)

Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager, managing an imaginary menagerie. Easier said than done, but horse-hoarding (she has five!) Sam Angus has! The House on Hummingbird Island, her second novel, is a colourful tale with a heroine reminiscent of a modern day Gerald Durrell. Bursting with character and full of secrets, it’s a thrilling read for anyone who loved Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea.

We Give Two Hoots the Thumbs Up!

Hell-bent on creating beautiful, characterful books that stand the test of time, Pan Macmillan has launched brand new imprint Two Hoots. Featuring some of the most gifted authors and illustrators, this is one to watch!

Books like Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea by Morag Hood a simple and engaging book that will actually help to get kids eating their veg! To celebrate the launch of the first four titles, we are giving you a chance to win a Two Hoots Goodie bag! Ta-wit-ta-WAHOO! Click here for more.

Get Out of Town! – National Trust Books for Kids

Calling all conservationists! The National Trust series of books for a broad range of ages are the perfect way to inspire a long-lasting love of the countryside and the confidence to explore and learn about the wonders outside their window. Books like:

National Trust: A Walk in the Countryside (3+) A wonderful outdoor adventure for toddlers. Elegant, educational and a great way to get close to nature.

National Trust: A Nature Sticker Book Hedgehogs, Hares and Other British Animals (5+). Sensational, sticker book fun. Put rabbits in their warren, fill the sea with dolphins and match babies with their mums. One to share and love!

The National Trust: 50 Things to Do Before You’re 11 ¾ (7+) #50things… Trending now and totally interactive, a pocket-sized companion with space for notes, doodles, leaves and pics. There’s even loads to do when it rains!

We think all of these are an absolute must for the summer holidays.

A Magical unmissable trilogy

Back in 2014 the first book in Philip Womack’s Darkening Path Trilogy, The Broken King (11+), was loved by our expert and kid reviewers. Sam Harper, age 10 said ‘This was an exhilarating, dark adventure which kept me hooked from the first page to the last word’. It was followed by The King’s Shadow and just out is the thrilling conclusion, The King’s Revenge.

Find out more about these magical stories full of powerful images and unexpected consequences that are perfect for those who love magical adventure and for fans of Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising.

Don’t miss these wondertabulous words

Dictionaries don’t come more fun than this celebration of Roald Dahl, his books and the joy he took in gobblefunking (i.e. playing with words, inventing new words and meanings).

Dahl had an extraordinary understanding of what children like and used onomatopoeia to create words full of sounds that children love to say: lickswishy, wondercrump, phizz-whizzing and of course scrumdiddlyumptious are all featured in this ‘extra-usual’ dictionary. In fact, there are almost 8,000 words, real and made-real-by-Dahl, mostly words featured in his books, some just there for fun. It will encourage children to invent words themselves and liven up their writing and with colour illustrations by Quentin Blake on every page, this is squiffling in every way. A perfect addition to Dahl’s centenary celebrations.

Out and About – Books that Move you. Literally!

We love books that inspire us to get out and enjoy the open air. There’s a whole host of them in our Out and About section which is well worth a visit at this time of year! Brilliant books for broadening horizons. Books like:

City Trail Books. London, Paris and New York (7+) – Off the beaten track trailblazers for the streetwise and inquisitive. See each city from a different perspective!

Ultimate Guide to Mapping (9+) – Adding skills to a sense of adventure, a fun-filled foray into finding your way around.

Little Collectors Animal Art (5+) – A one-stop guide to finding, observing, collecting and exhibiting your discoveries, from shells and feathers to animal tracks and trails.

Back to the Front. 100 Years since the Somme

Marking the Centenary of the beginning (1st July) of The Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in British history, we’ve added an exclusive selection of books to our World Wars category, which aim to educate kids about a vitally important time in our recent past that should not be forgotten.

Over the Line by Tom Palmer (11+) – (Reading Age 8+) – Camaraderie, sacrifice, heroism and a love of football. Unique and brilliant.

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo (11+) – Top title for secondary school transitioners. Compelling and incredibly relatable (many of the soldiers were teenagers after all), a vivid, atmospheric and moving account of the experience of war.

Make time for Pratchett

Most famous for his Discworld series for fantasy loving grown-ups alot of people don’t realise he was also a simply wonderful children’s author. We are big fans of his Bromeliad Trilogy for 9+ readers and The Shepherd’s Crown which is perfect for 13+ readers


The Kids Are Alright! – Superfoods for Super children

Okay. There are a lot of faddy books for people keen to ride the wave of nutritional must-dos in this modern world of ours. However, here’s one that just makes sense, to us anyway. Superfood for Superchildren combines peer-reviewed scientific evidence with straightforward, mouthwatering recipes to help you provide low-sugar meals, free from refined carbs, to help you and your kids stay healthy, energised and happy.

More Summertime Kids Book festivals

Looking for bookish treats for the family this summer? The NEW Evesham Festival of Words (1-3 July) and Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival (22-30 July) are brimming with kids’ authors, the Chalke Valley History Festival (27 June-3 July) is bulging with living history activities and Hebden Bridge Arts Festival (24 June-3 July) is teeming with stories and storytellers.

And that wraps up this month at Lovereading4kids. We’re back next month with more top tips and expert recommendations to keep your kids loving reading. Scroll down to see more Summer Reading selections.

P.S. The Zoella Summer Book club has hit the spot for many teens and YA readers – we have seen a big uplift in interest – why not check out what our editorial experts think of the titles she’s selected. What’s certain is they are all great summer reads

Mid-May email update

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Welcome to our mid-May update full of the latest, best and most exciting Children’s books. In addition to enjoying (we hope) our selections we would love you to help Lovereading4kids get to the next stage of the Virgin Media #VOOM 2016 competition by giving us your vote and do please share this competition link with friends and family too. Thank you v v much.

Sneak a Peek! – Pre-Publication Exclusives

Another chance to read bits of books before they’re even published. Cool. Have a look at: The King’s Revenge by Phillip Womack (11+) – 3rd in this dark, fast moving, magical reality, fantasy series about the quest to find a lost sibling. A great sequel to The Broken King and The King’s Shadow.


Daddy Cool! – Father’s Day 2016

Every Dad has his day. Give him a gift to remember. A book to share with the kids. It beats another pair of socks, or novelty tie! We have a whole category of great ideas to browse, bursting with smashing ideas to make his day. Books like: A Brave Bear by Sean Taylor (3+) – an April Book of the Month and a lovely picture book about parent-child relationships. And the chance to win some lovely prizes.

Carn-eagerrrly awaited!

So the shortlists for the much coveted Carnegie and Greenaway Medals has been announced. The Carnegie features the best of the best in children’s fiction whilst the Greenaway covers books with pictures. These are our favourites:

Baby Beware! Cautionary Tales for Kids

So, we don’t necessarily have the same tales for kids that the Victorians thought were helpful. No axe men hiding under the bed or scissors chopping off sucked thumbs although some do very much remain in print even now as you will see from the bookshelf below! But there are a host of fun fables for youngsters with positive messages to choose from. Not least David Walliams’s The World’s Worst Children for instance which was a surprise arrival on the publisher’s desk not so very long ago!!! Ten cautionary tales and a delightfully dreadful cast of characters to tackle TV addicts, tale-tellers and more! See it and other life lessons for our little ones on the shelf below.


Summer Book Festival Fun for Children

Loads of festival fun for kids this summer at the Wealden Literary Festival (18-19 June) in Kent, Manchester Children’s Book Festival (16-25 June), Borders Book Festival (16-19 June) in Scotland, the Chalke Valley History Festival (27 June – 3 July) and Hebden Bridge Arts Festival (24 June- 3 July). For more information on all of these click here.


Ruby Redfort is Every Smart Kid’s Smart Kid!

Everyone loves a good spy adventure and as heroines go, 13-year old super sleuth Ruby Redfort is pretty unique. Lauren Child’s loveable eponymous secret agent is a genius code cracker and very adept at finding herself in extreme danger!

Latest title, in this “cool, punchy, stylish” (The Sun) series and a Book of the Month this month is Pick Your Poison, about which Lucy Evans (a Reader Reviewer aged 8) wrote: ‘My mum got so annoyed when I was reading it, because I never wanted to put it down, not even to go to bed!’.

Laura Martin is Upping the Scales!

Oh boy! There are few pacier, more chilling, extreme, dystopian adventures than The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin (9+). An end-of-days, human-race-versus-giant-lizard survival epic, with a very personal quest for a hugely likeable and spirited heroine. Gold dust.

Superfairies To the Rescue!

Peaseblossom Woods doesn’t seem to go two minutes without an animal getting itself into a right old fix. Luckily, the Superfairies (5+) are on hand with their unique super skills, petal power and oodles of love!

The Superfairies series is by the author of the multi-million selling Princess Poppy. The emphasis is very much on kindness and helping others and it will charm young readers. With colour illustrations on every spread and a quiz at the end so you can find out which Super fairy you are, this is perfect for 5 to 8 year olds to read alone or share with a parent or older sibling.


A Very Royal Holiday!

A brilliant voice in young person’s fiction, Clem Beauvais has a style that you can’t help falling in love with. Her Sesame Seade Mystery series won her huge acclaim and she is back with intergalactic whirlwind; The Very Royal Holiday (7+). It’s a wonderfully whacky follow up to The Royal Wedding Crashers and The Royal Bake Off and is a terrific flight of fancy and friendship, fun and frolics … oh, and hot chocolate on tap!

Jenny Chandler makes Cooking V Cool

Cool Kids Cook is the perfect book for budding Masterchefs. If you’re expecting kids’ food think again. Not a rice-krispie cake in sight in this fabulous, non-patronising book that aims to empower the growing number of youngsters interested in cooking. With skills and facts about food from the shop to the plate, they’ll learn how to eat healthily, shop cannily and table a complete meal for the whole family. Once they’re brimming with kitchen confidence, there are some more exotic dishes in there to show off with! A stylish, sophisticated book for pre-teens and beyond.

Making Space for Learning

Tim Peake, the British astronaut, who has reached out to almost every school kid in the country since he entered the Space Station last year, is on his way home soon. Why not get caught up in the ‘buzz’ (sorry, Mr. Aldrin) and take a look at our super selection for Space nuts? on the shelf below…


What a Wonderful World! – the 360 Series (5+)

We love this new book that offers young boys and girls who love nature a wider view of the world. Above and Below by Patricia Hegarty (5+) opens doors into the amazing world of extraordinary animals above and below the surface. Amazing illustrations on a clever split page design allows children to examine the creatures that live there both above and below ground or sea and it also deftly illustrates the way animals share their habitats with each other. See more here.

Hello, Bok, Ahoj

Hello World A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities by Jonathan Litton (5+) is a charming and engaging introduction to over 150 different languages. As much an atlas as a language learning book Hello World is a clever way to stimulate children’s interest in the world and the many different peoples who share it and if they read it from start to finish, children will be able to say hello to people in every country in the world! See more here.

If you Must! – Essential Reads Category

This month we’ve refreshed our hugely popular Essential Reads category. These are the must-read books for kids (in our humble opinion). Among the new joiners to the top table in May is: The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes (3+) – a refresh of an award winning 1966 classic with illustrations by Raymond Briggs. 250 rhymes! Well-known favourites and hidden gems! See the whole shooting match.

Great Books to get Boys hooked on reading

This month our knee scraping category dedicated to the books that boys will find irresistible has had a refresh and is now even more bursting with brilliant adventure. Click here for more.

What Next? If they Like They’ll Love

Check out our If They Like They’ll Love category. It’s where we turn that frown upside down by helping you find authors just like the ones that they love so they won’t wonder where to turn when their favourite book ends.

If they Like Jacqueline Wilson they’ll love Raymie Nightingale by US author Kate Dicamillo. If they Like Percy Jackson they’ll love Curtis Jobling’s Max Helsing:Monster Hunter. If they Like The Gruffalo they’ll love Suzi Moore’s brilliantly funny and energetic Wolfish Stew.
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Julia Eccleshare’s Must Reads for May

Guardian Children’s Editor, Julia Eccleshare’s monthly top picks for May are here! This is the definitive list of the best books around for kids right now. Her favourite this month is: The Bubble Boy (9+) by Stewart Foster – a ‘Deeply moving … utterly gripping … stunning novel that makes you laugh and cry … an astonishing feat of storytelling’.


Finally, please can you help Lovereading4kids with a single click?

As we mentioned earlier, have recently entered Lovereading4kids into a Virgin Media Business #VOOM competition to try and get investment to grow the business further and make it even better. To get to the next stage of the competition we need the public vote and we thought (and hoped) that you would understand us best and know and value what we are trying to achieve. CLICK HERE to go to the voting site to find out more and just click the vote button and follow the instructions. Thank you v v v much.

And that, book fans, is May at Lovereading4kids. Keep up the good reading and we’ll be back in June with even more recommendations for the ravenous! You have our Word!

P.S. The British Book Industry Awards Children’s Book winner was My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons – watch out for his new book, My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord, next month.

P.P.S Don’t miss oddles of book goodies from Elmer, Dr. Seuess and more in our Free Prize Draw category.

May eNewsletter

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Welcome to May at Lovereading4kids, where there’s a sniff of summer in the air and a refreshing breeze in our book-ship sails! Let us be your guide through an ocean of top recommendations for righteous reads for kids of all ages. Read on for more.

‘May’ we Suggest? – Books of the Month

A bookshelf more bountiful than a cherry blossom this month, with great escapes for all ages from tots to teens and beyond! Don’t miss:

Captain Pug by Laura James (5+) – Glorious new series for those just picking up the reading bug and for adults to share too. Pug is ready for a sea adventure! Smart sailor suit? Tick. Jam tarts for breakfast? Tick. No fear of water? Erm.

Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman (YA) – Othello set in outer space, with Othello as a teenage girl… Like the play it is a heart-rending story of love jealousy with a special Maloroe twist. An adventure you just have to make space for!

The Broken Heart Club by Cathy Cassidy (9+) – Entrancing and incredibly relatable story of friendship and the turbulent motions of the pre-teen world.


Darling Buds! – May’s Debuts of the Month

More fantastic first timers vying to become firm favourites! This month, we love:

Lucy Locket: Online Disaster by Emma Moss (9+) – Innovative, fun, positive and affirming fiction. Pitch-perfect fiction for aspirational vloggers.

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight (YA) – 1st in a fantastic new trilogy. Imaginative, slightly supernatural thriller teeming with twists, turns, tension, and a tad of teen romance.

Little Bits of Sky by S. E. Durrant (9+) – A memorable, moving tale about growing up, making friends and finding a home. “I was astonished it was a debut. It feels extraordinarily authentic’ (MD of Nosy Crow publishing).


Brand New Branford! Branford Boase Shortlist

The holy grail of gongs for first time writers of children’s fiction and now in its 16th year, the Branford Boase Award was the brainchild of Lovereading editorial expert and Guardian Children’s Books Editor, Julia Eccleshare. It celebrates the legacy of Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, and honours the vital importance of fostering fantastic writing for young people. Check out the shortlist below and choose your own winner!


Pictures Win Prizes! The Klaus Flugge Prize for Illustration

Klaus Flugge is a hitherto unsung hero of picture books, launching the careers of Chris Riddell, David McKee, Tony Ross, Satoshi Kitamura and many others. Now, he continues to champion bold, original and creative talent with a brand new prize on the book block rewarding the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration. We are delighted that Lovereading gurus, Julia Eccleshare and Andrea Reece are involved in running this wonderful new award. Watch this space for more!

Patchwork Works! – Elmer the Elephant

First published a whopping 27 years ago, David McKee’s multicoloured and much-loved, Elmer the Elephant is still a deserved favourite among discerning 2-5 year olds and their mums and dads! There are so many wonderful, colourful and educational stories to choose from. Plus, all the stories come in a variety of formats; from buggy books and button pressing books, to touch and feel versions. And new this year Elmer Day on 28 May. Find out more and don’t miss the chance to win amazing Elmer prizes in our free prize draw.

Ye Gods! Rick Riordan’s at it Again!

Rick Riordan is a magician, majestically mixing the world of myth with the modern. He is a master wordsmith and a cloaked ninja of an educator! Demi-god teen hero, Percy Jackson took the world by storm, and now those crazy Olympians are at it again!

The Trials of Apollo (9+) series sees a disgraced Apollo stripped of his immortality and sent to Earth as a vulnerable teenage boy. How does a four-thousand-year old deity survive in New York? Well, you’ll just have to read it, won’t you! Find the first book Hidden Oracle here. The paperback of Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes is also just out.

Get Coding and Blog your Socks Off!

With the rise of YouTube superstars and the increasing tech-savvyness of our children, come two books that will be right up their street.

Super Skills: How to be a Blogger and Vlogger in 10 Easy Lessons (7+) by Shane Birley focuses on the skills needed to prepare and produce content as well as how to stay safe online.

Get Coding (9+) by Young Rewired State is a fun and accessible window into the world of coding, apps and website building. Perfect manuals for the modern mogul!

What Jackie Did! – 2 Brilliant Books by Jacqueline Wilson

Firm favourite and former Children’s Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson has a gazillion fans the world over. This month, why not try two top titles? In a reworking of Susan Coolidge’s classic What Katy Did, there’s the story of Katy (9+), a carefree, life-loving girl whose life is changed forever by a debilitating accident. PLUS! New book, Rent a Bridesmaid (9+) is a fabulously funny, beautifully illustrated story about the power of friendship. Find out more.

House of Secrets Finale! – Great Series by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

Blockbuster film director Chris Columbus knows how to tell a good story. With Ned Vizzini, he has created a breakneck, jam-packed, rollercoaster of an end-of-world adventure series in House of Secrets. Fans will be delighted and perhaps a little sad that the series now thunders to a heart-stopping close with the release of Clash of the Worlds, the 3rd and final saga in this epic adventure. But, all is not lost, a brand new series Ned’s Circus of Marvels by debut novelist Justin Fisher is coming this summer and we think fans of House of Secrets will love it.

Not Long Enough! – Julia Donaldson Month

Is there anyone more prolific than Julia Donaldson in the wonderful world of Children’s Books? This month, we are featuring all of her modern classics, loved by kids and adults up and down the country. But where to start? Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo? Stick Man? Maybe we should ask around. See what the ladybird heard!

Make Reading Fun with Dr. Seuss

There is no greater pleasure than sharing a love of learning to read with your kids. Where better to begin than the crazy madcap world of Dr. Seuss? More kids have found reading is fun because books like Cat in the Hat, Fox in socks and Green Eggs and Ham, and they have entered the hearts of generations since the first came out nearly 60 years ago. They are published in brand new editions this month alongside:What Pet Should I Get? (3+), a wonderfully rhyming, nonsensical trip to the pet shop; and Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories (3+), a brand new, freshly coloured collection of forgotten tales that you’ll want to read again and again. Also don’t miss the chance to win amazing prizes in our free prize draw.

Happy Birthday Ma’am!

As the Queen begins the celebrations for her 90th birthday this year, we are featuring the fabulous, hilarious books for 3 to 6 year olds by Steve Antony that tell of the frenzied search for the Queen’s lost possessions. Following the ‘wild swan’ chases for The Queen’s Hat and The Queen’s Handbag, the 3rd in the series The Queen’s Present is released soon. Find out more here.

Diamond Brothers from Anthony Horowitz… Priceless fun!

Meet the world’s most defective detectives! From Anthony Horowitz, the author of the world-storming Alex Rider books, this superlatively silly series for readers aged 9+. Adult readers will notice that all these fantastic romps featuring possibly the world’s most poxy private eyes are parodies of the stories of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. Kids will just roll about laughing at the relentless jokes and brilliantly absurd adventures! Start the adventure with The Diamond Brothers in the Falcon’s Malteser. Enjoy!

School Summer Update

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

With Easter now behind us and the Summer Term upon us we wanted to let you know about two exciting book-related events you can integrate into lessons and have the chance to win some seriously amazing prizes! Read on for more…

It’s time to get F with the BG

As the Steven Spielberg BFG film is coming out in July we think now would be a whizz-popping time to read Roald Dahl’s The BFG with your class. And this is made even easier with the help of some new Officially Phizz-Whizzing Free Lesson Plans you can download.

Whether pupils have read it before or are discovering the Big Friendly Giant’s story for the first time, the free resources, created by the experts at Penguin Schools and TeachIt Primary, follow the plot so it’s easy to read-along. With Literacy and PSHE objectives, they explore the themes of friendship, dreams and believing… and there’s a GIANT colour in too.

Download your free pack here and start celebrating 100 years of Roald Dahl by visiting RoaldDahl_com/Teach.

Also the wonderful people at Penguin have given us a class set of Roald Dahl goody-bags and a full set of the books for the classroom, along with some Wondercrump lolly pops. This prize draw is free to enter. just click here to enter.

More free Puffin resources

And for even more information and interaction with books for teachers and pupils check out Puffin Books Virtually Live where you will find a series of free interactive webcasts from Puffin’s bestselling authors. On this website you can find a selection of previous webcasts which you can watch on-demand, as well as details of forthcoming webcasts with authors. You can also register to receive regular updates from them.

Classics never go out of style

Win a beautiful set of Collins Modern Classics to share with a new generation of readers!

This year, HarperCollins under the banner of Collins Modern Classics, is republishing a whole host of timeless classics for a new generation of readers to enjoy! From the strict-but-fair Mary Poppins to the unforgettable story of Street Child that inspired Dr Bernardo to found his famous children’s homes, it is an esteemed list of beloved stories that we’d like to bring to a generation of younger readers to treasure and enjoy.

Why not be an ambassador for one or more of the launch titles and have a chance to win an entire set of the new books!

All you need to do is to send an email to by the 30 April with the subject line ‘Modern Classics’ containing your name and address, and saying why you love one of the classics they are republishing and why it needs to be read by a new generation. Click here for the list of titles and for more details of how to enter the free prize draw.

We hope all the activities you are planning for the Summer Term go swimmingly and do remember to log in to your Lovereading4schools account to create or brush up your reading lists so you, in turn, can let so parents know about some great book recommendations for the Summer Holidays.

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