Looking for some new ideas for children’s books to enjoy this summer? Esther takes a look at the best books for toddlers and children, with a couple of great additions for teens. Feel free to add your own recommendations too!
Books for Toddlers
The Giant’s Loo Roll, Nicholas Allan
This little gem follows the adventures of the giant’s loo roll as it makes its way through town, wreaking havoc and leaving the townsfolk pondering what they should do with the toilet paper. Make an aeroplane? New pants? But this doesn’t matter when the giant needs to go the toilet and is out of loo roll. What will he do? The Giant’s Loo Roll is witty, combining rudeness with classic children’s rhymes – “Fe fi fo fum, what shall I use to wipe my …?” to guarantee giggles from both kids and parents.
Jack and the Flumflum Tree, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
The genius behind the Gruffalo stories has a new treat in store for her young readers: Jack’s adventure to Blowyernose, where he must find the flumflum tree and bring back its delicious fruit for his granny, who is suffering from a bad case of the moozles. With a crew of three and a large patchwork sack containing numerous items – such as chewing gum and tent pegs – Jack courageously makes his way across the ocean, encountering hungry sharks and a mischievous monkey, whom he must outwit to get to the flumflum tree. A fun read, your children will doubtless hold onto Donaldson for another few years.
Goodnight Digger, Michelle Robinson and Nick East
This cute book is about a little boy who says goodnight to all of his toys, but he has to say an extra-special good night to his favourite toy, Digger. It’s a perfect bedtime story to send the kids to sleep.
Children’s Books for Ages 6-8
I am Not a Loser, Barry Loser
Before Darren Darrenofski joined Barry Loser’s class, Barry didn’t mind his surname … until now. Darren is totally ruining his life. Barry’s friends desert him, everyone makes fun of his name and Darren is so annoying! In the first of three notebooks, Barry must let go of his loserness, take revenge on Darren and finally become a winner. A brilliantly funny book with fabulous illustrations, the tale will be enjoyed by those who liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants.
The Legend of the Loch Ness Lilo: You, Me and Thing 3, Karen McCombie
In McCombie’s third book of the series, Ruby and Jackson are surprised to find a Thing living at the bottom of their gardens – a squirrelly thing with wings. At first, their fluffy little secret pet seems cute and funny but it can do magic, quite badly, and this inevitably leads to big, big trouble. Especially when Thing goes to a pool party and meets the Loch Ness Lilo, an enormous, inflatable monster…
The Great Dog Disaster, Katie Davies and Hannah Shaw
Kids love animals so this is a great book for your kids if they like dogs. When Great Great Aunt Deidra leaves Suzanne’s mum her dog Beatrice in her will, Suzanne is disappointed because Beatrice isn’t at all like a dog. She doesn’t fetch sticks and she doesn’t like walks, she’s old, miserable and boring. Suzanne’s old dog Barney was ‘sent away to a farm’ so unless she can turn Beatrice into a ‘proper dog’ her dad will be taking Beatrice to the farm too…
Children’s Books for Ages 9+
Gangsta Granny, David Walliams
It’s Friday, and as usual, Ben must stay with his boring, cabbage soup-eating, Scrabble-playing grandmother and he is bored to tears, until he finds out two facts about her he never knew. The first, she was once an international jewel thief. The second, her life-long dream is to steal the crown jewels and she needs Ben’s help. Will he be her sidekick and help her pull off this marvellously insane plan? Described as funny, tear-jerking and brilliant, kids everywhere will love Granny and her gangsta side.
Four Children and It, Jacqueline Wilson
Inspired by E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It comes Wilson’s own version of the story, only there’s four children instead of five. The children, forced to spend the summer together, are on a picnic and when one of them makes a wish, magical things happen and from that moment on, they try to make their wishes come true. Wilson’s story of the timeless classic is funny and moving – just like her previous bestsellers.
Hero on a Bicycle, Shirley Hughes
The first novel for older children from classic children’s author, Shirley Hughes, comes a story about war and courage. Florence in 1944 is under Nazi occupation and 13 year old Paolo and his sister, Constanza, want to fight against the army but how can they do that with only a bicycle to help them? The book is hardback, with a beautiful jacketed cover.
Books for Teens
New Girl, Paige Harbison
Loosely based on Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, an unnamed narrator – known only as New Girl – arrives at Manderley Academy to find the name on everybody’s lips are not hers, but Becca Normandy’s, a girl who disappeared at the end of the last school year. Perfect and beautiful, Becca has left behind her ex-boyfriend, Max, whom the narrator falls for but can’t help but feel that Becca is still out there, watching her, waiting to take back her place at Manderley…
Artemis Fowl and The Last Guardian, Eoin Colfer
In the last of the series, Artemis and Holly Short must prevent the world from coming to an
end, when Opal Koboi, power-crazed pixie, plots to exterminate mankind and become fairy queen. Should she succeed, the spirits of long dead fairy warriors will rise from the earth and possess the nearest available bodies, whether they’re deer or crows, or even Artemis’ little brothers. Can Artemis stop his brothers becoming part of the force attempting to destroy the human race, but most of all, is he able to save planet Earth?
Moonsong: Vampire Diaries, L.J. Smith
In the ninth instalment of the Vampire Diaries, Elena’s life is good and she can’t wait to attend Dalcrest College with her friends. Suddenly, students start disappearing from campus and everyone Elena has met so far has become a suspect. Worse, a darkness has followed her from Fell’s Church and she discovers a long-hidden secret that shocks her to her very core. But who will save her when she falls – Damon or Stefan?
Which other books would you recommend?
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