Inspire the big dreamers of tomorrow with this selection of stories, full of strong and unique characters that break the mould.
Books for under 5s
Hortense and the Shadow by Natalie O'Hara and Lauren O’Hara
Hortense is a kind and brave girl but she’s also sad and sometimes angry. Her shadow follows her everywhere she goes, but Hortense hates her shadow and thinks her shadow hates her. One night, after a journey through the dark and wolfish woods, she finally realises she needs her shadow more than anything else. This is a beautifully illustrated modern-day fairy tale to be treasured, which explores self-esteem and finding inner strength.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
When Mrs Rabbit tells Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-Tail and Peter Rabbit the one thing they mustn’t do is go next door, ever-curious Peter just can’t help but bound into Mr McGregor’s garden for a naughty adventure. This timeless classic by the wonderful Beatrix Potter has been passed down through the generations and continues to inspire young children to hop beyond the garden fence, just like Peter.
Books for 6+
The Fairytale Hairdresser and Aladdin by Abie Longstaff, illustrated by Lauren Beard
Aladdin has disappeared, the Princess is under a wicked spell and the Fairytale Hairdresser is taking a well-earned holiday. Can anyone save the day? The adventures of Kittie Lacey – a modern girl in a fairy tale world – continue with this exotic story of a mysterious jewel, a magic lamp and a very stylish genie. For girls and boys who like traditional stories with a modern twist.
George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
George’s Grandma is a miserable, grumpy old woman, so when George gets the chance to give his Grandma her daily medicine he decides to concoct his own recipe that will either cure her completely or blow the top off her head - KAPOW! From the world’s greatest storyteller, this is a ridiculously fun, mischievously-meddlesome, phizz-whizzing ferocious read, containing all the perfect ingredients of a well-loved story.
Lottie Dolls: Lottie Braves a Storm by Lucie Braveheart
Lottie loves her pet Biscuit, but when Biscuit goes missing at the vet’s surgery Lottie has got a cat-shaped mystery on her hands. Searching Branksea Island with the help of BFFs Mia and Finn, the three friends have to tackle island storms if they want to bring Biscuit home safely. This is an adventure story for young readers based on the award-winning doll brand Lottie Dolls, the dolls that are based on real children and break the mould.
The Audition by Maddie Ziegler
Twelve-year-old Harper has been dancing for most of her life and loves her dance school, but when her parents move her across the country, suddenly she’s the new girl again and Harper’s got a lot to prove. The first novel by bestselling international star Maddie Ziegler celebrates dance, friendship, self-belief and pursuing your dreams, even when the going gets tough.
Books for 9+
Father Christmas’s Fake Beard by Terry Pratchett
Christmas is coming and sometimes it feels all a bit ‘samey’. The same trees, the same decorations, the same last-minute rush to buy presents and even the same old turkey dinner! But what about if Christmas was just a little bit different? This festive collection of ten laugh-out-loud Christmas stories is an imaginative twist on Christmas time by the brilliant Terry Pratchett, proving Christmas doesn’t have to be predictable.
Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn
Lottie Pumpkin is fairy tale obsessed and when she starts at a new, rather unusual school, she decides to pretend to be a Princess so she can fit in. But secrets and lies have a way of tying Lottie in knots, as she realises the grass is not always greener, even when you’re a Princess. Written by YouTuber Connie Glynn (a.k.a Noodlerella), this is an intruiging read with an unexpected plot twist.
The Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac by Nick Mohammed
Alex, Zack, Sophie and Jonny are young magicians brought together with one aim - to get behind the closed blue door of the Magic Circle and convince the powers-that-be to admit them as members. This is a fast-paced, heist-style, mystery romp with an awesome-foursome of extraordinary wannabe magicians, for readers looking for something a little magical to disappear with.
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young Tiffany Aching - a witch in the making - is forced into Fairyland to rescue her kidnapped brother. Tiffany joins forces with the Wee Free Men to battle evil in the search for her lost sibling. Set in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, this is a story about a creative, capable heroine who will inspire and delight girls and boys alike.