Children's reading lists

The best new Ladybird books out in 2021

It's a new year and that means new books to inspire, educate and entertain! So, we've put together a list of the Ladybird books to watch out for in 2021. 

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Ladybird team
A picture of the best Ladybird books out in 2021 on a teal background
Image: Alicia Fernandes/Penguin


Peppa Pig and friends are channelling their inner mermaid – they know that it’s better down where it’s wetter! Little readers can join in the fun by lifting up the flaps on every page and discovering all the magical underwater surprises.

It’s the day of the Great Garden Hamster Race and hamsters have come from all over the world to take part. Ned has been training long and hard for this and is determined to win. But on the route, he comes across some fellow critters in need of his help…

Uncover the secrets of the seasons. Spring, summer, autumn and winter – whichever season we’re in, the UK is filled with all kinds of life. You and your little one can take a walk through the different months with the new What to Look For series and learn which plants come out, how animals survive and the general wonders to be found. 


Peppa loves reading, and we can’t say we blame her. She loves it so much she’s decided to start a book club. So, Mummy and Daddy Pig ask Peppa and George’s friends to come round so they can all discuss their favourite book.

Introduce your baby to the seasons with this bright, interactive book from the Baby Touch series. Featuring touch-and-feel patches, grabbable tabs and high contrast colours, this is a great book to encourage first words and a love of books.

Natural world illustrator Ben Rothery is back, and this time he’s focusing on our ocean ecosystems. From the warm coral seas of the tropics to the frozen oceans around the poles, mini nature lovers will meet a host of creatures big and small, learn about their habitats and discover how global warming is affecting them.

Madame Gazelle has organised a special Easter eggstravaganza for Peppa and her friends at playgroup. There are cakes to eat, eggs to decorate and cards to make. And there’s also a very large Easter egg – but who’s inside it? This sweet story makes the perfect Easter gift for Peppa fans. 


As we all know, firefighters have very busy and important jobs. And now little readers can join in and help with this lift-the-flap book. From sliding down the pole at the station to unrolling the hose ready to put out a fire, tots can learn about the typical day of a firefighter whilst developing their fine motor skills.

This new non-fiction series is ideal for curious tots. In Magic Windows: Weather, with each sliding tab will teach children how rain, wind, snow and other types of weather are formed. A great one to read on a rainy day (pardon the pun)!

Based on the hit TV series and written by writers on the autism spectrum, Pablo and his friends are off to the supermarket aka the super place! There are so many different super things to see, but Wren finds the supermarket too bright and too loud. So, it’s up to Pablo and the others to help Wren find different ways to enjoy their visit.

There’s no one better to earn your potty badge with than the Squirrels! Duggly, Duggee’s little nephew has come to visit the clubhouse and he’s no longer wearing his nappy. When Duggly needs to use the potty, the Squirrels help him by teaching Duggly a special song. This gentle tale is perfect for helping encourage little ones learning how to use the potty. 


Eid is an important celebration as it marks the end of Ramadan. And this adorable touch-and-feel book is great for introducing really little ones to the holiday, as well as some of their first words.

What’s Peppa Pig’s most favourite thing in the world? Muddy puddles of course! And it's Muddy Puddle Walk Day at Peppa’s playgroup. Everyone has to jump in as many muddy puddles as possible to raise money for a good cause. And Peppa and her family are up for the challenge! You can also help raise money too – 10% of the sales of this book will go to Save the Children.

Little readers can discover the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and learn all about opposites with this pop-up book. Based on the classic fairy tale, every page features a central pop-up that will delight tots.

It’s bedtime, but Peppa isn’t quite ready to go to sleep just yet. So, her family count down all the things Peppa loves to help her drift off. This story is perfect for cheeky little piggies who need help settling down in the evening. 


Help them begin to build their own encyclopaedia with this collection of educational books. Filled with interesting facts about the world, including how baby animals survive in the wild and how trees are essential for life on Earth, it’s time to start making space on that bookshelf.

The events of 2020 mean that children are now growing up in a world where adults wear face masks whenever they leave the house. But even though you can’t see their mouths, it doesn’t mean they’re not smiling. In Smiley Eyes, Smiley Faces, little ones will take a journey through town where they’ll meet lots of different face mask wearers. And each time they meet a new person, they can lift their face mask flap to reveal a smiley face.

Duggee has his football badge, so he’s teaching the Squirrels how to play the much-loved game. But they’re a way off from being Lionel Messis anytime soon. Will they ever get the ball to go in the right direction so they can score a goal? 


Do you have a budding mini athlete who wants to win a gold medal one day? Well, they can start warming up with this interactive book from the Busy Day series. On each page, little ones can use the action flaps to see what an athlete does in a day. Ready, set, go!

Introduce tots to their first colours, numbers, shapes and words with this mini-library. Great for reading on the move or at home, all four books have bright and fun illustrations and simple text that will keep little readers engaged. Plus, the backs of the books form a jigsaw when brought together! 


Get ready to learn phonics and get active with this brand new series. Perfect for children learning to read, there are over 70 books that will teach little readers all 70 letter sounds. And each book has a special code to help you unlock a collection of online resources. The Actiphons series will help all little ones become lifelong and confident readers!

Brother and sister, Flicker and Flash, will do anything to avoid going to bed. These cheeky dragons are too busy having fun soaring high in the skies. But then they spot a lost egg that needs to be returned to its mum. Will they get it back AND get to bed in time? This new addition to the Ten Minutes to Bed series will help calm restless children before bedtime. 


If you need help encouraging your little one to use the toilet confidently, this is the book. The amusing rhymes and bright illustrations go through all the stages of using the loo, from wiping to handwashing.

Fans of the Bluey animated series will love this sticker activity book! Filled with over 60 stickers, little hands can join Bluey, Bingo, Chilli, and Bandit on a series of adventures, solving mazes, spot the differences, and colouring in.

Doug isn’t a fan of hugs. They’re too squeezy and smooshy. He does, however, like high fives, low fives, and even side fives! It’s so important to teach children about consent and boundaries, and this new book by Carrie Finison and Daniel Wiseman is a great starting point for those conversations.

We all love and know the classic tune ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, and this time it’s a class of young dinosaurs who are singing along. Little readers can roar, stomp and clap along as the dinos travel up, down, and round and round. A fun one to enjoy together at storytime. 


It’s Halloween and Duggee and the Squirrels are excited about the spooky celebration. However, at the Squirrel Club, they hear a ghostly sound. And then they find some white footprints. Who’s here, creepy around the clubhouse? Will the Squirrels be able to solve the mystery?

Fans of the prehistoric world will love this book. Adventurer Mia is on a journey to learn about the world 300 million years ago. Back then ancient (and often very large) reptiles roamed the Earth living in vast jungles and during a time of great volcanic activity. Budding palaeontologists will learn all sorts of facts and can complete some interactive dino activities.  

Based on the award-winning podcast by original QI Elf, Molly Oldfield, Everything Under the Sun answers 366 questions that have been asked by children from all over the world. Do aliens exist? What we would do if we didn't have a prime minister? Accompanied with gorgeous illustrations, this is a book for both grown-ups and kids!

More than anything, Twinkle the unicorn wants to be a big sister. And imagine her joy when waiting at the end of the rainbow is her new baby brother Fizz! She’s so excited and can’t wait to get him home. But the forest is so tempting with its magic and adventure – will the siblings get home in time for bed?

A new story in the Little World series, In the Forest, will take little readers on a journey through lush woodland as they follow the rangers. With each novelty slide that you push or pull, children will see new wildlife and how trees grow. 


Make bath time extra fun for your baby with this colour changing book. Completely waterproof, little ones can watch as each page and character, including the octopus, shark, and mermaid, turn a different colour when wet. Once bath time is over, simply wipe clean and leave to dry, all ready for next time!

We can all agree that Father Christmas is probably the busiest out of everyone, especially on Christmas Eve! And now children can help him out. In this book from the Busy Day series, little hands can lift the flaps to help Father Christmas wrap gifts, fly in his sleigh, and slide down the chimney.  

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore & Zeynep Özatalay (28 Oct)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.’ A perfect gift for Christmas, this modern version of the classic festive poem tells the story of how one little boy meets a very special guest in his lounge.

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