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Ladybird

For younger readers

Reading list

10 books to make epic explorers

These fantastical tales of treacherous voyages and heroic journeys into the unknown will make every reader a fearless, epic explorer.

 

Books for under 5s

 

 

The Tale of Kitty In Boots by Beatrix Potter, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Miss Kitty is no ordinary cat. She’s a serious feline with a love of fur-lined boots and gentlemen’s hunting jackets! At night, naughty Kitty – or Miss Catherine St. Quintin as she refers to herself – sneaks out to go hunting. But the bold little puss gets into some nocturnal trouble: escaping ferrets and encountering a conniving fox. This is a recently discovered tale by the wonderful Beatrix Potter, full of lively drawings by Quentin Blake and cameos from best-loved characters including Miss Tiggy-Winkle and Peter Rabbit.  

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Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

A fantastic children’s classic, Funnybones follows the hilarious escapades of three silly skeletons: a big skeleton, a little skeleton and even a dog skeleton. One night, the brave skeletal squad leave their dark dark cellar and step out into the dark dark street with the intention of scaring someone. However, the streets are empty so the spooky crew must resort to ridiculous capers and to frightening each other instead. BOO!

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Books for 6+

 

 

Billy and the Minpins by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Billy is forbidden from entering the treacherous forest near his house. But, like all determined explorers, Billy doesn’t listen to his mother and sets out on a risky journey into the deep, dark woods. Stumbling across a miniature city of little tree-dwelling people, the Minpins, who live in fear of a fire-breathing beast called the Gruncher, Brave Billy makes it his mission to defeat the terrifying menace so that the tiny tree folk can live in peace. A brand new edition of Roald Dahl’s wonderful last story now available with characteristic illustrations by Quentin Blake. 

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The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

If there is one book that will inspire readers to explore the world around them, it will be Rudyard Kipling’s cherished classic. As a baby, the orphan Mowgli, the ‘man-cub’, is adopted by a wolf pack, and as he grows up, he learns the ways of the majestic jungle from Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther and Kaa the rock python. With tales of tigers, cobras and elephants, readers of all ages will be transported to the dangerous wilds of the magnificent jungle. An unforgettable and timeless tale. 

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Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

There are few characters more fearless than J.M. Barrie’s free-spirited Peter Pan – the boy who just wouldn’t grow up! In this adored children’s story, Peter Pan leads the Darling children on a night time adventure to Neverland, where they meet a memorable cast of characters: fairies, Native Americans, mermaids pirates and of course, Captain Hook! Once read, this magical fairy tale will live on in imaginations forever. 

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The Creakers by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries

From the bestselling author of The Christmasaurus comes the tale of a curious little girl called Lucy who awakes to find that all the grown-ups have disappeared. As chaos descends on the town of Whiffington, clever Lucy takes charge and bravely sets out to reveal the truth, and discover the meddlesome creatures at the heart of the mystery. This tale is perfect for courageous kids who are bold enough to discover what lurks in the shadows.

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Tilly and the Time Machine by Adrian Edmonson, illustrated by Danny Noble

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in the past? Well, daredevil Tilly is about to find out! Tilly’s father builds an extraordinary time machine in the garden shed but soon disappears. In order to save him, Tilly time-travels into the past and finds herself in some sticky historical situations along the way! This is a heart-warming, poignant and humorous story for inquisitive young readers by TV star Adrian Edmondson. 

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Books for 9+

 

Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

In the third instalment of Rick Riordan’s bestselling series, Magnus Chase -  who just so happens to be the son of a Norse god - faces his biggest challenge yet. The malicious trickster Loki is free and rallying up an army of ghouls aboard the Ship of the Dead to go into battle. Magnus and his friends must try and stop Loki’s plans, but in order to do so they will have to set sail on a deadly voyage across the oceans. Packed full of dangerous dragons, furious sea gods and perilous escapades, this will make a perfect gift for brave, budding adventurers. 

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The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens and Siobhan Dowd

Ted Spark is a clever 12-year-old with a very unique mind. Ted and his sister Kat are in New York, where their cousin Salim’s mum, Gloria, is a curator at the Guggenheim Museum. When a priceless painting is stolen, Aunt Gloria is wrongly accused of theft and our young intrepid investigator is determined to get to the bottom of the case. Taking in all the spectacular sights of the city that never sleeps, this is a heart-stopping mystery that will have burgeoning detectives on the edge of their seats. 

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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is just an ordinary 12-year-old until his teacher turns into a Greek monster on a class trip. Soon after, Percy learns the truth: he is the son of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. Now, Percy must go on a ferocious quest into the Underworld in order to retrieve Zeus’ lightning bolt and prevent a brutal war from breaking out. Follow their epic journey to keep the Gods’ fury at bay in this gripping adventure filled with demons, monsters and heroic escapades, ideal for all heroes in the making. 

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