10 of the best new children’s books
When you hear the words “children’s author”, what names spring to mind? Perhaps it’s Arthur Ransome or James Herriot. Maybe Roald Dahl. Or Jacqueline Wilson, or Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Anthony Horowitz, or David Walliams.
The UK produces some of the finest children’s authors in the world, and continues to do so. We spoke to members of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to find out what new releases they would recommend. Here’s the BrainBox top ten:
The Astounding Broccoli Boy – Frank Cottrell Boyce
Rory Rooney turns green during a year 7 school trip, and is whisked away to a London hospital where he discovers that he is not the only one. Frank Cottrell Boyce, one of the writers behind the amazing Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012, picks up the story…
The Bomber Dog – Megan Rix
Grey is just a puppy when he arrives at War Dog Training School and meets his trainer, brave young paratrooper Nathan. Join the bomber dog as his adventures take him behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France.
The River Singers – Tom Moorhouse
Tom Moorhouse is an ecologist at Oxford University’s Zoology Department and part of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. He finished a thesis on water vole conservation ecology in 2003, and here puts his extensive knowledge to a different use. The River Singers follows a family of young water voles as they make their way in a world fraught with danger.
The Yes – Sarah Bee
Written by Sarah Bee and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, The Yes was published in 2014 to rave reviews. “A brilliant, simple book of affirmation” (Observer). “Wise, empowering and uniquely illustrated, The Yes will have both adult and child shouting joyful, positive affirmations throughout the book.” (Huffington Post).
Shackleton’s Journey – William Grill
You’re leading an expedition across Antarctica, with a band of men and a ship called the Endurance. It’s a cold, hostile, unexplored land – but it’s about to get even tougher. Your ship becomes trapped in ice. What do you do? In Shackleton’s Journey, William Grill tells the story of Ernest Shackleton’s epic battle for survival.
Puppy Academy: Scout and the Sausage Thief – Gill Lewis
Puppy Academy is a new series of books from animal expert Gill Lewis which introduces readers to the lives of would-be working dogs. First up is Scout, training to be a police dog. Can she pass her Care in the Community badge? And what about the mysterious sausage thief?
Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman
With illustrations by some-time author and political cartoonist Chris Riddell, Fortunately, the Milk is a fantastical tale involving green aliens, plastic flamingos, vampires, and a dinosaur galactic police force riding space bikes. Why? Because Dad went out to pick up some milk, that’s why.
The Accidental Prime Minister – Tom McLaughlin
How often have you watched the nightly news, seen the latest political posturing, and muttered to yourself, “Honestly, I could do it better than that!”? Be careful what you wish for! In The Accidental Prime Minister one boy’s video manifesto goes viral – and before he knows what has happened, Joe Perkins is in Downing Street!
The Shark-Headed Bear Thing – Barry Hutchison
We’ll let author Barry Hutchison himself explain this one: “In an alternate 15th century, where dragons roam, sailing ships transform into submarines, and blacksmiths build steampunk robots, ten-year-old orphan Benjamin Blank battles monsters, rescues maidens and discovers fantastic new lands, but never quite manages to get his homework handed in on time.”
The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine
It’s early twentieth-century London, and a new department store has opened up: Sinclairs. Step inside and discover a world of bonbons, hats, perfumes – and, when the priceless clockwork sparrow is stolen – mysteries. Can Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lilian Rose bring the villians to justice?