When You Join Our Family, Harriet Evans, illustrated by Nia Tudor, Little Tiger, £11.99
A tender picture book that explores the developing bonds between small children and adoptive parents, from the first meeting to the sweet transition of new traditions.
eco girl By Ken Wilson-Max, Otter-Barry, £12.99
Eve loves all the trees around her house, but the giant baobab tree is her favorite. On her birthday, grandma gave her a surprise by taking her deep into the forest – one that will keep her love for trees forever. This warm and colorful picture book perfectly evokes the connection between humans and the wild.
Sometimes I just won’t be drawn by Timothy Knapman, by Joe Berger at Macmillan, £12.99
Some days everything goes according to plan – but sometimes bathing sucks and petting the dog in the park is horrible, we hatred The taste of peas! An interesting look at strong toddler emotions and navigating “just won’t”.
dream dragon boy karyl lewisby Carmen Saldana, Puffin, £12.99
Albi dreams of dragons—fire dragons, water dragons, even book dragons. They were always with him, with him, but no one could see them…until he met someone very special. This adorable picture book about imaginary friends, inner life, and overcoming rejection is perfect for imaginative kids going to school.
The Great Zebra Run by Katherine Lendl, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, Bloomsbury, £14.99
When indomitable, routine-breaking little girl Mink encounters a baby zebra on the run, she knows it’s her responsibility to free his parents – and the captive zoo of the rest of the villainous Mr. Spit. This 5+ picture book is full of joy in both text and illustrations, full of imagination and color.
Everything will be great to see you selected by Ella Risbridger, illustrated by Anna Shepeta, Nosy Crow, £20
From Maya Angelo to Amanda Gorman, Elizabeth Jennings to Grace Nichols, this extensive anthology of poetry by women and girls is uplifting, moving and uplifting. Atmospheric illustrations and luxurious binding make a great gift for children 6+.
The Match Girl Strikes Back by Emma Carroll, by Lauren Child, Simon and Schuster, £12.99
A riveting, provocative retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl”, heroine Bridy watches while using the last three matches arrived at the vision of a better future and led the factory workers on strike in hopes of making it happen. Children’s vivid spot-color illustrations elegantly complement the intensity of the story.
Cressida Cowell, Hodder, Which Way To Anywhere, £12.99
The unusual O’Hero kids and the down-to-earth Smiths are a disturbed, unintegrated family (though they both love baby Annipeck). But K2 O’Hero has a gift — his drawings can transport people between worlds — and when Annipeck is kidnapped, all of the siblings must travel to a place of extreme danger to rescue her. Wild magic, Cowell’s signature wild humor, rich environmentalism, and the intricacies of family love are masterfully integrated into the first book in a fabulous new series for 8+.
Happy, Happy: Stories Celebrating Black Voices, selected by Dapo Adeola of Macmillan, £20
This hardcover colorful compilation of illustrated stories and poetry features 40 black writers and illustrators from around the world, from bigwigs like Malorie Blackman and Alex Wheatle to up-and-comers like Camryn Garrett and Denzell Dankwah. Filled with humor, defiance, and the joy of the title, it features mythical whales, young boxing champions, audiobooks, and a taste of Nan’s jollof rice. A great book for children 8+ to give as a gift or keep in the school library.
Elemental Detective by Patrice Lawrence, Academic, £7.99
In an ancient London filled with elemental spirits, Mary West and Robert are drawn into a battle with a deadly shepherdess, whose sleeping sickness threatens to kill all humans, allowing the elements to take control. An award-winning YA writer turned to writing for 9+ readers with amazing results – world-building in particular.
Puffin Robin Stevens’ Unlady Events Department, £12.99
A group of resourceful kids is at the helm of Stevens’ follow-up to the best-selling Murder Least Lady series. In war-torn 1940s Britain, young would-be spy May Wong manages to evacuate herself to a beautiful estate with her new friend Eric. Their mission is to investigate its owner – but they don’t expect to stumble upon a murder en route. Meticulous, understated research and keen character observations will please 9+ new and old fans alike.
Clara Hart’s Eternal Return at Louise Finch, Kojima £8.99
A Groundhog Day story like no other, this remarkable YA debut follows a grieving teenage boy, a riotous party — and a girl who dies over and over again until Spence figures out what he needs to change to save her life. A careful, thoughtful, mandatory readable examination of toxic masculinity and normalized sexual abuse.
Mindwalker by Kate Dylan, Hodder, £16.99
Although Captain Sil Sarrah is only 18 years old, her record is legendary – her time is running out. Sil is Syntex’s Mindwalker, capable of taking over the brains of field agents and guiding them to safety, but the supercomputer that allows her to do so will kill her in less than a year. When a rescue mission goes awry and is accused of being a traitor, Sil discovers some unwelcome truths about the company she’s dedicated to — and finds herself strangely drawn to the leader of Syntex’s enemy. This SF YA debut features sharp characterization and gripping fast-paced action.
As long as the lemon tree grows by Zoulfa Katouh of Bloomsbury
Despite only a year of pharmacy training, Salama, 18, is one of the few surgeons working in a war-torn hospital in Homs. Surrounded by memory trauma and current violence, she can’t bear the thought of leaving Syria, despite the hallucinating Khawf who visits her insists she must save her pregnant sister-in-law. But when Salama meets Kenan and begins to fall in love with him, she must decide what to do to be the best she can be. Although the writing is at times repetitive, this “Love Letter to Syria” is a unique novel for the 14+, blending beauty, horror and a provocative sense of hope.