Children's reading lists

The best new Puffin books out in 2022

From crime-busting adventures and retold classics to fascinating history books, we've put together a list of the Puffin stories to watch out for in 2022. 

Puffin team
A picture of a selection of Puffin books on a pink background with clouds surrounding white '2022' lettering
Image: Alex Francis & Victoria Ibbetson/Penguin


The Green Planet by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe & Kim Smith (6 Jan)

Our green planet is truly a thing of wonder and you’ll be surprised at everything that goes on in the world of plants. In The Green Planet, Leisa Stewart-Sharpe gives a glimpse into their hidden life and all the different ways plants smell, touch, taste, hear, and – that’s right – talk!

Greta and the Ghost Hunters by Sam Copeland & Sarah Horne (20 Jan)

Greta Woebegone has never been one to believe in ghosts. But after a bad accident that almost ends in tragedy, Greta can now see and talk to all the undead spirits that wander the land, including her grumpy Grandpa and Percy the plague victim! When it looks like Greta’s Grandma is going to be put in a home, Greta must call on her new ghoulish friends for help.

Leonora Bolt: Secret Inventor by Lucy Brandt & Gladys Jose (20 Jan)

Leonora Bolt may be young, but she is a brilliant inventor. She is also an orphan, and so lives alone on a remote island making wild and cool contraptions. One day, a strange boy called Jack washes ashore on an inflatable lobster. And he brings terrible news – Leonora’s evil Uncle Luther has been stealing her creations and selling them. It’s up to Leonora and Jack to thwart his dastardly plans.

The Green Planet
The Green Planet
Accompanying a brand-new BBC series presented by David Attenborough.

This is our Green Planet: a hidden world where plants care for other plants and can smell, taste, touch, hear and even . . . 'talk'.

In the world of plants, time passes more slowly, but if we speed months into minutes we can peer into this hidden world and realise: it's a battleground. Plants are working to thwart their enemies, and to trick animals into working for them.

Right under your feet, and all around you, is a secret world you've probably never noticed. Until now. Let's explore our Green Planet: a secret world of plants that might change how you see plants forever . . .

Discover all there is to love about our astonishing Green Planet, the stories of its inhabitants, and the challenges it faces.

In collaboration with BBC Earth, this illustrated non-fiction book is perfect for families, as it captures the intrigue, drama, and beauty of the groundbreaking new BBC TV series: The Green Planet, presented by David Attenborough.


Rockstar Detectives by Adam Hills & Luna Valentine (3 Feb) 

Charley, a 12-year-old viral singing sensation, and her best friend George, a camera whizz and up-and-coming comedian, are living their best lives. But then the two find themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons when they’re accused of stealing a priceless painting! The duo now has to uncover the mystery behind the high-profile heist, nail their European tour AND keep on top of their homework.

Hello, Star by Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic & Vashti Harrison (3 Feb)

Hello, Star is a touching picture book story that pays tribute to stars, space, and science. When a young girl realises that a particularly bright light in the sky is coming from a dying star, she vows to keep the star company until the light goes out.

The Secret of Haven Point by Lisette Auton (3 Feb)

Haven Point is a remote lighthouse and a home for anyone that needs a place to belong. Alpha Lux was the first foundling and after being raised by a mermaid, she looks out for the other lost children. They’re her family now. But when Alpha spots a strange light up on the headland, she worries that their safe haven is not so safe anymore…

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (3 Feb)

Can you believe it’s been 120 years since Beatrix Potter first introduced the world to Peter Rabbit? This is a cause for celebration, so grab a copy of this extra special birthday edition. Featuring Potter’s original illustrations, new and old fans will love reading the iconic tale of Peter as he gets up to mischief in Mr McGregor’s Garden.

Rocket Rules by Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola (17 Feb)

For World Book Day 2022, Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola have teamed up again to create this new picture book. Our favourite hero Rocket, from Look Up!, is back and this time she’s sharing her ten rules for living life the best way possible.

The Mapmakers by Tamzin Merchant & Paola Escobar (17 Feb)

We loved Tamzin Merchant’s debut last year, and her characters and the magical world of the Maker families are back in The Mapmakers. Cordelia Hatmaker is still trying to find her father following his mysterious disappearance at sea, and the map she found hidden in his telescope might be the key…

Rockstar Detectives
Rockstar Detectives
'A delightfully funny book with a big, big heart' - David O'Doherty

The debut novel from comedian and presenter of The Last Leg, Adam Hills, featuring a young detective dream team.

When a priceless painting goes missing, Charley - a 12-year-old viral singing sensation - and her best friend George - camera whizz and budding comedian - are shocked to discover they're the prime suspects.

Now Charley and George have to prove they're not international criminals - all while nailing a stellar European tour and keeping up with their homework! But as news of high-profile heists hits the headlines wherever they go, Charley and George keep finding themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Can they solve these baffling crimes and save themselves, or will their shot for stardom be over almost as soon as it's begun?

The perfect read for fans of Sharna Jackson, Robin Stevens, David Baddiel and David O'Doherty.

Featuring brilliant illustrations from Luna Valentine.


The Last Firefox by Lee Newbury & Laura Catalán (3 Mar) 

Charlie Challinor has been finding life a bit scary. Changes are happening at home and he’s facing bullies every day at school. But then Charlie is made guardian of Cadno – a firefox – and he’s going to have to be brave if he wants to protect his new furry friend from a dangerous, otherworldly hunter.

Ambrose Follows His Nose by Dick King-Smith & Josie Rogers (3 Mar)

Animal story extraordinaire Dick King-Smith passed just over a decade ago, but he left behind an unfinished story about an ordinary rabbit with an extraordinary sense of smell. Ambrose Follows His Nose has now been completed by King-Smith’s great-granddaughter to celebrate what would have been the centenary of his birth.

The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks by Katie Kirby (3 Mar)

Lottie Brooks is back for another tumultuous term at school but this time she’s got her best friends Jess and Molly at her side, so she’s prepared for anything. The spring musical is coming up and Lottie is determined to wow her crush Daniel whilst she plays a singing crustacean. But it appears three is a crowd in her friendship group and no matter what Lottie does, Jess and Molly seem to get pulled further and further away from her…

Orphans of the Tide: Eternity Engine by Struan Murray & Manuel Sumberac (17 Mar)

We’ve reached the final instalment in the Orphans of the Tide trilogy and it’s going to be a dramatic conclusion. The seas have parted revealing the remains of humanity’s lost empire. They have also uncovered the Eternity Engine – a powerful machine created before the drowning which has the ability to save the world and destroy it.

Frankie Best Hates Quests by Chris Smith (31 Mar)

Chris Smith, the co-author of the Kid Normal series and The Great Dream Robbery, has a brand-new fantasy adventure under his belt. Frankie Best is stuck at her Grandad’s house for the week whilst her parents head to the arctic. It wouldn’t be so bad but there’s no Wi-Fi and her annoying nerdy brother Joel is also there. Boring! But it turns out, that Frankie’s Grandad is the custodian of a secret fantasy realm called Parallelia, and when he’s kidnapped by a group of gnoblins it’s up to Frankie and Joel to work together to save him.

Ambrose Follows His Nose
Ambrose Follows His Nose
'Sparkling humour and wonderful characters are Dick King-Smith's trademarks' - Books for Your Children

An exciting new publication in celebration of the centenary of his birth, a recently discovered funny and poignant animal story by Dick King-Smith, completed by his great granddaughter, Josie Rogers.

Ambrose may seem like an ordinary rabbit but he has the most extraordinary sense of smell. He can detect any aroma from sweets to kittens - and even niffy foxes!

He lives with his family in a hutch and is visited every day by Biddy, who is desperate to take him home to be her pet - if only her mum and dad would let her. Biddy trains Ambrose to become a tracker rabbit - which comes in very handy when Ambrose's little sister Roly goes missing. But when Biddy's family find themselves in real danger, can Ambrose's sensitive nose save the day?


The Drama Llama by Rachel Morrisroe & Ella Okstad (14 Apr) 

Like everyone, Alex Allen worries about things. Usually very small things like dancing badly or getting an answer wrong in class. However, unlike everyone else, whenever Alex worries a llama appears! And this time the llama won’t go away. It starts to get him in all sorts of trouble – will Alex be able to stop worrying and lose this pesky llama?

The Wind In The Willows retold by Rashmi Sirdeshpande & Jojo Clinch (28 Apr)

In this beautiful picture book adaptation, Rashmi Siredeshpande retells the classic tale of The Wind in the Willows for younger readers. Friends Toad, Ratty, Moly, and Badger have had some wonderful riverside adventures. But when one of Toad’s escapades gets him thrown in prison leaving his beloved home Toad Hall to the mercy of a band of unsavoury stoats and weasels, is up to his friends to save the day.

Wilder than Midnight by Cerrie Burnell (28 Apr)

Saffy, Aurelia, and Wild Rose are three very different girls, but they all have one thing in common. Silverthrone. Silverthrone is a place of secrets. A place where you must only stick to the forest paths. A place when some are hidden away in locked towers. A place with untold terrors lurking around every corner. But Saffy, Aurelia, and Wild Rose have the power to change everything…

Welcome to the World by Julia Donaldson & Helen Oxenbury (28 Apr)

Author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Helen Oxenbury have come together again to create a stunning new children’s picture book that celebrates babies’ first experiences. From meeting family and heading outdoors for the first time, this read-aloud story is the perfect gift for all new parents.

The Greatest Show on Earth by Mini Grey (28 Apr)

The insect troupe of the Shoebox Theatre are here to give you a whirlwind tour of the entire history of planet Earth! From the very beginning (that's 4.6 billion years ago) when Earth was full of lava, to the era of dinosaurs, followed by the ice age, and all the way to the moment when humans arrive.

The Drama Llama
The Drama Llama
One day a WORRY comes to stay and simply will not go away!

"Whenever he was worried or whenever there was drama,
Alex Allen's brain produced . . .

A living breathing Llama!"

Alex Allen, like lots of children, sometimes worried about things - like dancing badly or getting an answer wrong in class. But unlike lots of children, every time he worries a real-life llama appears! And the more Alex worries, the bigger Llama grows... which starts getting him into all sorts of trouble!

Will Alex ever learn how to control his worries and get rid of this pesky llama?

This hilarious yet heartwarming rhyming tale from incredible new picture book talent Rachel Morrisroe and bestselling illustrator Ella Okstad offers practical advice about dealing with worry whilst taking you along on the wonderfully riotous adventures of Alex and his mischievous llama.


The Good Turn by Sharna Jackson (12 May) 

11-year-old Josephine Williams is desperate to explore the world. There’s only so much you can discover from your internet browser! And when she learns about a woman who started the first Girl Scout troop for Black girls, Josephine becomes determined to start her own troop. So, she and her friends Margot and Wesley head out to earn their camping badges. But on the way, they find themselves in an abandoned factory and a curious old photograph… This is a must-read for fans of the Murder Most Unladylike series.

My Magic Family by Lotte Jeffs & Sharon Davey (26 May)

In this sweet rhyming story, a little girl shares how wonderful her two mummies are. ‘There are billions of families, a million ways to be. But in my magic family, it's Mummy, Mum and me!’ This touching story that celebrates different types of families is a wonderful picture book for every child.

The Dream Team: Charligh Green vs. The Spotlight by Priscilla Mante (26 May)

Charligh is a member of the Bramrock Stars – you remember, the super talented group of footballers in Jaz Santos vs. The World. And although Charligh loves football, she also loves being on stage. She’s got her dream part in the school play but for some reason, her lines just won’t stick in her head. Can her teammates help her out?

The Good Turn
The Good Turn
A thrilling, pacy adventure about friendship, bravery and real-life injustice from the award-winning author of High Rise Mystery

'For 9+ readers, this gripping, thoughtful update to the Blytonesque "secret society" genre engages squarely with racism and social injustice.' Guardian

'Brilliant; a joy to the very end' Katherine Rundell

Josephine Williams is definitely a leader - and her teachers know it! What other eleven-year-old is desperate for MORE schoolwork?

Looking for more challenging tasks, Josie enlists her friends Wesley and Margot into her very own Scout troop, the Copseys, named after the street they all live on. Together they start their quest for their camping badge by sleeping out near to the abandoned factory behind their houses.

But that night they stumble across something strange. Someone seems to be living in the derelict building! The Copseys have to solve the mystery... and perhaps earn their bravery and activism badges along the way...

Perfect for readers who love Robin Stevens and Katherine Woodfine, and full of fast-paced adventure, brilliant characters and snappy dialogue with themes of real-life activism and how to help others.

'I love it!' Elle McNicoll

'An intriguing mystery adventure . . . bold and brilliant' Sophie Anderson

'A joy to read.' Alex Wheatle

'A funny, warm and thought-provoking celebration of community of all kinds' Anna James


Black in Time by Alison Hammond (2 Jun) 

TV presenter Alison Hammond loves getting to know all different kinds of people. And in her new book Black in Time, she looks at some of the amazing Black people from history and the amazing things they’ve done that you’ve probably never heard about. From sportsmen and women to scientists and musicians, this compendium is an inspiring read.

The Underpants of Chaos by Sam Copeland & Jenny Pearson (9 Jun)

Super spy-detective Agatha Topps is determined to find out what’s going on at Little Strangehaven Primary School. Lately, peculiar shivers keep striking the school and bringing strangeness in their wake. There’s been uncontrollable ballroom dancing as well as an attack from military chickens! What’s strangest of all though is how no one remembers these events after they’ve happened, except Agatha and new boy Lenny Tuchus…

The Midnighters by Hana Tooke & Ayesha L. Rubio (23 Jun)

If you loved The Unadoptables, then you’ll really love this new story from Hana Tooke. Ema Vašková has been born into a family of famous scientists. There’s no room for superstition of any kind, however, Ema can’t help but feel that strange omens seem to follow her around. Plus, she can predict things before they even happen. Her only friend is a mysterious girl called Silvie, the only person she has ever felt truly comfortable around. And when Silvie goes missing, it’s time for Ema to cast aside her fears and find her best friend.

The Midnighters
The Midnighters
Find the courage to be extraordinary . . .

Ema Vašková has always felt different. In a family of famous scientists, there's not much room for superstition or omens - but they seem to follow Ema wherever she goes. It doesn't help that she appears to predict events before they happen, and has a peculiar fear of shadows . . .

When Ema is sent to stay with her eccentric uncle in Prague, she fears she'll lose the chance to ever fit in. But then she meets Silvie - a girl who finally sees Ema for the extraordinary person that she is. Soon the girls are meeting for secret midnight adventures, and facing Ema's fears together.

But then disaster strikes. Silvie goes missing - and it's up to Ema to find her. Now she must gather the courage to hunt the city, find her friend, and uncover the secrets of the one clue Silvie left as to where she might be - inside the mysterious Midnight Guild . . .


Trixie Pickle Art Avenger by Olaf Falafel (7 Jul)

Fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will love this new comic-book-style tale. Trixie Pickle hates the bullies at her school, and she is determined to take them down and teach them a lesson using her secret weapon – art!

Little Badman and the Attack of the Punjabi Zombies by Humza Arshad, Henry White & Aleksei Bitskoff (7 Jul)

It’s been too long, but finally, Little Badman is back! This time round he’s just started big school, and truth be told he’d rather face off against evil teacher geniuses and giant killer hamsters again. But as it turns out, there is a magical orb causing havoc, raising the dead and bringing about world destruction so maybe he won’t have to live with the shame of being out rap-battled by the school bully…

The Double Trouble Society by Carrie Hope Fletcher (7 Jul)

Twelve years ago, Ivy and Maggie were born at exactly the same time and have been best friends ever since. The besties love to have adventures together but sadly they live in Crowood Peak which is officially the most BORING town in the world. But when a mysterious stranger moves into the abandoned Hokum House that was once the home of a witch, Ivy and Maggie are about to get the adventure they wished for.

Little Badman and the Rise of the Punjabi Zombies
Little Badman and the Rise of the Punjabi Zombies
Time for another Little Badman adventure. This time, Humza, Umer and Wendy must face . . . THE UNDEAD.

Welcome to Big School.

Humza Khan - aka Little Badman, Eggington's greatest rapper - might have finally met his match.

Evil teacher geniuses and giant killer hamsters (see previous Little Badman adventures for details) are nothing compared to starting a new school.

He's already been out rap-battled by the school bully, laughed at by his classmates. Oh, and we haven't even mentioned the ancient magical orb causing havoc and very possibly leading to world destruction.

At least Humza has found someone to help with his homework. It's just a shame this friend isn't exactly . . . alive.

Praise for Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties, one of The Guardian's 100 best holiday books for 2019

'Wildly over the top and satisfying'
The Observer New Review Children's Book of the Month

'Microwaved pants and killer bees feature in this rib-aching comic caper, heightened with moments of real tenderness and heart.' The Guardian

"A perfect read for Tom Gates fans: prepare for big belly laughs and great advice on how to be yourself." BookTrust

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