A Songbird Dreams of Singing by Kate Hosford & Jennifer M. Potter

We know animals don’t sleep in beds like humans, but how do different species get their 40 winks? This stunning book of poems about sleeping animals is the perfect bedtime companion. Children will love learning about otters who hold hands while snoozing and birds who sleep while flying. A Songbird Dreams of Singing strikes a wonderful balance between inspiring children with its beautiful illustrations and educating them with facts.

Recommended reading age: 3-8-years-old

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has turned her talents to children’s fiction with this beautiful picture book about a young girl named Sulwe. Sulwe wishes her dark skin was lighter so she can fit in with her family and school friends, but a celestial journey with a shooting star helps her come to realise that she is just as beautiful as everyone else. Accompanied by Vashti Harrison’s twinkling illustrations, this is a wonderful book to teach children about individuality and inspire their imaginations.

Recommended reading age: 3-7-years-old

Tales of Amazing Animal Heroes by Mike Unwin

You’ll be left flabbergasted by the true stories about awesome animals in this book.  Meet drone-catching eagles, diving dolphins, loyal dogs and many more in this anthology, which features an introduction by Michael Morpurgo. Complemented by glorious illustrations, the 34 stories cover instances of incredible animal bravery, companionship and strength.

Recommended reading age: 7-9-years-old

On the Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva

Charles Darwin’s revolutionary 19th-century book has been brought to life in pictures for the very first time. Young biologists and nature enthusiasts will love poring over molecular biologist and illustrator Sabina Radeva’s beautiful interpretations of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin changed our understanding of how the world was created, and his discovery remains as important now as it did over 200 years ago.

Recommended reading age: 9-12-years-old

Northern Lights – The Graphic Novel Volume One  by Philip Pullman

It’s been 25 years since Philip Pullman published the first volume of the His Dark Materials trilogy, and now fans can enjoy this stunning graphic novel adaptation. Lyra Belacqua – along with her daemon familiar Pantalaimon – has been given shelter by the scholars at Jordan College, Oxford. But when her fierce and mysterious uncle arrives, she is drawn into a terrible struggle involving Gobblers, armoured bears and witches. And that’s all before she finds something even more shocking when she reaches the Far North. This spellbinding book really is a masterpiece that will thrill any child joining Lyra on her magical journey.

Recommended reading age: 9-11-years-old

Red Riding Hood by Beatrix Potter & Helen Oxenbury

One of the world’s most loved children’s storytellers has given this classic tale a dark and witty twist. Beatrix Potter’s retelling of the sly wolf’s hunt for Red Riding Hood will captivate young readers. Written decades ago, this version was only published for the first time in late 2019, and illustrator Helen Oxenbury has lent her talents to bring this rather sinister fairy tale to life. Potter fans will want this book on their shelves alongside her famous and timeless tales of Peter Rabbit and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.

Recommended reading age: 3-8-years-old

The Bandit Queen by Natalia & Lauren O'Hara

Children will love this deliciously dark story about an orphan girl adopted by an unruly bunch of bandits who then make her their queen. They give her everything she wants – even tigers – but soon she realises that it’s not material things she needs but a family to belong to. Written in rhyme with delightful illustrations, this is a story children will want to return to again and again.

Recommended reading age: 5-7-years-old

The Secret Garden by Claire Freedman & Shaw Davidson

This book is the perfect introduction for a new generation of young readers to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much-beloved story. This magical retelling follows orphan Mary Lennox after she arrives in Yorkshire from India and discovers the wondrous secret garden that belonged to the former lady of the house. As Mary tends to the plants inside the garden walls, a transformation begins – not just for the roses and vines, but also for Mary herself.

Recommended reading age: 5-7-years-old

Climate Rebels by Ben Lerwill

We must all do our bit to slow down the effects of climate change but may not know how we can make a difference. Meet the climate change heroes who are leading the fight to save our planet. Climate Rebels features 25 uplifting stories from recognisable figures such as Sir David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall, plus many others you might not be familiar with yet. Travel across the globe, from the poles to the rainforests, to see how the dedication and hard work of even just one individual can make a huge difference.

Recommended reading age: 8-11-years-old

The Puffin Book of Big Dreams

No matter how big or small, everyone has a dream. Find out what your favourite Puffin authors – including Jacqueline Wilson, Jeff Kinney, Malorie Blackman, Tom Fletcher and Humza Arshad – wish for in this wonderful collection of stories, poems and illustrations. Containing extracts from family classics and brand-new stories, this anthology is guaranteed to inspire young readers to make their biggest hopes come true. It also includes quotes and motivational pieces from well-known leaders, scientists and actors.

Recommended reading ages: 5-11-years-old

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