Genres

Lovereading focus on the following genres.

Costa Children's Book Award 2015

Costa Children's Book Award 2015 icon

James Heneage, chair of the final judges, said: “Part horror, part detective, part historical, this is a fantastic story with great central characters and narrative tension. It’s not only a fabulous children’s book but a book that readers of all ages will love.”

The Costa Books Awards is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way. You can find the four shortlisted children's books in this special sections - and click here to see the shortlists and winners for the other categories.

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. Since their launch in 1971, the awards have rewarded a wide range of excellent books and authors across all genres.

The four shortlisted titles in the Children's Book Category were -

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

Judges: “A dark, ingenious tale oozing gothic atmosphere.”

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (Hot Key Books)

Judges: “A pacy, exuberant story full of wit and charm.”

An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls (Scholastic)

Judges: “A very modern book which has the feel of a classic as well as heaps of heart.”

Jessica’s Ghost by Andrew Norriss (David Fickling Books)

Judges: “Funny, clever, beautifully written – it perfectly describes the transforming power of friendship.”

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The winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2014 was the brilliant Five Children on the Western Front written by Kate Saunders.

The judges said “This profoundly moving and magical story tackles the biggest themes – love, family and friendship – set against the horrors of WWI. Kate Saunders’ astounding achievement is to have created a modern masterpiece that captures the spirit of a much-loved classic.”

On the judging panel for the 2015 Costa Children's Book Awards was

Martyn Bedford Writer
Melissa Cox Head of Children’s Buying for Waterstones
and Andrea Reece Managing Editor, Books for Keeps; Children’s Books Reviewer and Specialist - and expert reviewer for Lovereading4kids!

These judges will select their favourite in the Children's Book category and this book will then be shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Book of the Year, along with the other category winners. The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in central London on Tuesday 26th January 2016. The overall winner receives a £30,000 prize.

For more information visit www.costa.co.uk/costa-book-awards and keep up with the latest news @CostaBookAwards

It is the tenth year of Costa sponsoring this prestigious award.

Roald Dahl 100

Roald Dahl 100 icon

To mark the centenary Puffin is relaunching their Roald Dahl collection with special covers and artwork from Quentin Blake. And look out for The BFG - it comes with DIY Giant Ears so you can even use it to make your World Book Day costume!

"'We must go higher!' said Mr Wonka. 'We must go tremendously high! Hold on to your stomach!'" Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"Her own small bedroom now became her reading-room and there she would sit and read most afternoons, often with a mug of hot chocolate beside her." Matilda

Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Wales, on 13th September 1916. He had an unhappy time at school which was to influence his writing greatly. He once said that what distinguished him from most other children’s writers was “this business of remembering what it was like to be young”. Roald’s childhood and schooldays are the subject of his autobiography Boy.

Since Roald Dahl’s death, 23 November 1990, at the age of 74, his books have more than maintained their popularity. His works continue to find fresh readers and a number have been made into films including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox and the upcoming BFG. Matilda the Musical has been hugely successful winning 7 Olivier Awards, playing to packed audiences in the West End and Broadway.

You can find out more about Roald Dahl at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden where the author lived and wrote for 36 years.

Throughout 2016 there will be numerous events to celebrate Roald Dahl's contribution to children's literature.



One of Roald Dahl's short stories, The Great Mouse Plot, has been chosen as a World Book Day book. It tells the story of the Boy who would grow up to be Roald Dahl and his first trick...‘You had the idea – so you can be the one to put the mouse in the jar.’

In July The BFG movie is released! Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Disney and inspired by Roald Dahl, it stars Mark Rylance as The BFG himself and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as young orphan Sophie. Keep up with the movie news on The BFG Movie facebook page!

The Summer Reading Challenge, the UK’s biggest annual reading promotion for children aged 4 – 11, will be themed The Big Friendly Read for 2016. Organised by The Reading Agency and the UK public library network, the Summer Reading Challenge will launch in July and support children in reading six or more library books of their choice over the summer holidays. Over 800,000 children take part each year in the UK alone.

September 13 is Roald Dahl Day – the biggest Roald Dahl Birthday party ever! Click here to get your Roald Dahl Day party pack and join in the celebratory events at schools, libraries and bookshops around the world!

Luke Kelly, MD of Roald Dahl’s Literary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson says: “We are looking forward to an extraordinary year celebrating Roald’s unique imagination, his beloved characters and unforgettable stories. It is an honour to be working with so many incredible partner organisations. As well as the things you now know about, be prepared for many surprises and treats along the way.”

Finally, but definitely not least, let Lovereading4kids introduce you to a unique Dictionary. This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn't expect an 'Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary' to be ordinary, would you? Lots of dictionaries tell you what an 'alligator' is, or how to spell 'balloon' but they won't explain the difference between a 'ringbeller' and a 'trogglehumper', or say why witches need 'gruntles' eggs' or suggest a word for the shape of a 'Knid'. This dictionary does all those things. All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like 'biffsquiggled' and 'whizzpopping' to remind you what means what. With real citations from Roald Dahl's children's books and illustrations by Quentin Blake, this is authoritative, engaging and accessible and will inspire and encourage young writers and readers.

Visit www.roalddahl.com for more special events, the Roald Dahl museum, new book editions and games and quizzes with all your favourite Roald Dahl creations.

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book icon

First published by Macmillan in 1894, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling is a much loved classic collection of short stories and poems of life in the Indian jungle.

The best known of the stories are the tales of Mowgli, the abandoned man-cub who is raised by wolves, makes an enemy of the tiger Shere Khan and is protected by Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther.

There are some fantastic new books released to coincide with the interest the two Jungle Book blockbuster movies are generating. Accompanying Rudyard Kipling's masterful writing is some beautiful artwork -

These two gorgeous graphics are from The Jungle Book, published by HarperCollins and illustrated by MinaLima, a hugely talented and imaginative design team.

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Migy Blanco's bold and colourful art brings Mowgli and his friends to life in this retelling of The Jungle Book by Laura Driscoll.

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The Jungle Book board book from Campbell Books is a great first introduction to the characters with Miriam Bos's lively illustrations.

Or use your own artistic skills in The Macmillan Jungle Book Colouring Book, full of drawings and decorative pieces many inspired by the original illustrations of John Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's father, who illustrated the very first edition of The Jungle Book.

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Also coming in October 2016, from the internationally renowned survival expert Bear Grylls a new Jungle Book adventure called Spirit of the Jungle. The novel for 10+ readers takes a new and exciting contemporary look at The Jungle Book with a central story woven through with real-life survival tips from the master of the outdoors.

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) India and lived there until he was sent to be educated in England aged 5. He left school at 16 and returned to India, working as a journalist and gaining material and experiences which would provide him with ideas for his future novels. He was the first Englishman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. Kipling's best known works include The Jungle Book, Just So Stories and Kim and poems 'If' and 'Mandalay'.
Rudyard Kipling is buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

You can find out more about Rudyard Kipling at www.kiplingsociety.co.uk

Many of us had our first taste of the Jungle Book in the brilliant 1967 Disney animation, with the unforgettable songs The Bare Necessities of Life and I Wanna Be Like You - www.disney.co.uk/the jungle book.

Jon Favreau's new film is based upon this Disney animation favourite but he has also woven more of the Rudyard Kipling originals into the story.

You can keep up with all the latest film news @TheJungleBook and on facebook at The Jungle Book.

Next year Warner Bros will release Andy Serkis's feature film, Jungle Book: Origins, with an equally starry line-up including Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale.

Dr. Seuss Books

Dr. Seuss icon

In 1954, Life Magazine published an article on illiteracy in school children, concluding that children weren’t learning to read because their books were boring. In response, Dr. Seuss’ editor challenged him to write a book using 250 of the words children use most. So was born The Cat in the Hat, which actually only uses 236!

Five Reasons to love Dr. Seuss books

1) they help develop reading skills

2) they are great to read aloud

3) they are perfect for reluctant readers

4) they teach life lessons

5) they appeal to every age!

Find out more.

Follow Dr. Seuss on Facebook

TM & © Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 2016

Beatrix Potter 150

Beatrix Potter 150 icon "Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were - Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter."

Beatrix Potter is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors, with her most famous creation The Tale of
Peter Rabbit having sold in excess of 45 million copies globally since its initial publication in 1902. She
personally oversaw the launch of subsequent products, making Peter Rabbit the oldest licensed character in
history.

Today over 2 million of her ‘little books’ are sold globally every year, and Peter Rabbit has appeared in books and products in more than 110 countries throughout the world.

To mark this special anniversary Penguin Random House Children’s is releasing a collection of five of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved books with covers designed by iconic fashion designers from Britain and Ireland.

• Henry Holland has designed The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck

• Orla Kiely has designed The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle

• Preen has designed The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

• Rodnik Band has designed The Tale of Tom Kitten

• Cats Brothers has designed The Tale of Peter Rabbit

photo credit: Xanthe Berkeley

And in September a brand new, original story from Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Kitty in Boots is published; a rediscovered manuscript which has been illustrated by Quentin Blake. The tale features many of Potter's most beloved, popular and feared characters - including Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, Mr. Tod and even, Peter Rabbit.

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Beatrix Potter was a visionary and a trailblazer. Single-mindedly determined and ambitious she overcame professional rejection, academic humiliation, and personal heartbreak, going on to earn her fortune and a formidable reputation. On her death she left an incredible legacy of land and property to the care of The National Trust to ensure that future generations would continue to enjoy the countryside that she was so passionate about as well as the much-loved characters and stories that were created over a lifetime.

Over the year there are lots of events to celebrate the work of Beatrix Potter.

*The Royal Mint has a limited edition commemorative collection - the first time that characters from children’s literature will appear on UK coinage!

*Realism & Romance; an exhibition at the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead, exploring Beatrix's love of the natural world with some original illustrations on display.

*Find out about the origins of the tale of Peter Rabbit at Allan Bank in Grasmere.

*Where is Peter Rabbit? A magical, musical adventure based upon the tales of Beatrix Potter, at the The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere. There is lots more to see at The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction - wonderful exhibitions which bring the characters to life, art activities for children, film footage and an exhibition about Beatrix Potter's life.

*Beatrix Potter's London; an exhibition at the V&A, London, which explores the role of London in her work.

And there are lots more events throughout the country, and the world, here.

To find out more about Beatrix Potter and her books visit www.peterrabbit.com

Books of the Month - July

Books of the Month icon At Lovereading4kids we’re passionate about all the books we feature.

All the books we feature on Lovereading4kids are selected because we think they deserve to stand out from the crowd of the many thousands of other titles published each month. However, sometimes in a month, we wish to give that little bit more emphasis to a title or titles and to make it a 'Book of the Month' within its age range.

You’ll find those titles here in our Books of the Month page.

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UK Top 10 Children's books

UK Top 10 Children's books icon

We know you love our recommendations - but sometimes you also want to see what the general British book Buyer is reading. So, we have created this category to show you the current Top 10 best selling books in the general book trade in the UK. All great books to read as demonstrated by their 'top books' status.

The data comes from, and is copyrighted to Nielsen BookScan.

This category of top books will be updated weekly (normally on a Wednesday) when the previous weeks figures have been published.

Books Reviewed by the Kids Reader Review Panel

Books Reviewed by Children icon

"Ed loves reviewing the books and it definitely encourages his reading, both solo and with me (which I love)." Tracey Parker (parent)

"Daniel has seen his review on the website for The Dark – he is so excited!" Cat Bisland (parent)

Since its inception Lovereading4kids and its sister site Lovereading have taken a different approach to book reviews, relying uniquely on the selection and review of books by editorial experts. On Lovereading4kids it is Julia Eccleshare who is also the Children's Books Editor at The Guardian. She knows what makes a good read whatever the genre and actually reads the books before telling you what she thinks - radical we know, but sometimes old fashioned ways are the best.

In 2012 however, to complement our expert reviews we decided to invite children of Lovereading4kids members to join the newly created Kids Reader Review Panel.

We've now attracted over 500 children aged from 4 right up to late teen and 100's of books have now been read and reviewed by them. Many of them even have their own book blogs and help us to spread the word of mouth still further on a book they've enjoyed.

Panel members reviews are loaded onto the site and complement those of our own Lovereading editorial experts. We're even now receiving feedback from visitors to Lovereading4kids that the 'Kids Reader Review Panel' reviews are as valued as those of our own Lovereading book experts! With that in mind we thought it would be very helpful to everyone if we created a category and put all the books that have also been reviewed by some of our Kids Reader Review Panel members, in one easy to find place.

Here are a few testimonials from parents, teachers and importantly direct from some of our 'Kids Reader Review Panel'

The whole class are desperate to get copies of your books and are disappointed if their name doesn't come out of the hat. The more books the better! I've gone from having a class of boys who won't read to a class who get upset if they don't get chosen to read. It's brilliant! Jane Edwards, Little Sutton Primary School, Ellesmere Port (Teacher)

Matilda Greenacre, one of our Reader Reviewers next to all the books she has reviewed for us.

I just wanted to say thanks for the opportunity to do this for your site.

Ed loves reviewing the books and it definitely encourages his reading, both solo and with me (which I love).

Tracey Parker (parent)

Just wanted to say thanks so much for uploading Cara's book review - she had the biggest smile ever when I showed it to her! It will have given her and her family a real boost. Great site too! Jill Rooney (parent)

The book reviewing has been a real treat for us, thank you for a wonderful experience. Tracey Upchurch (parent)

Thank you for sending me the published book of TIMMY FAILURE: MISTAKES WERE MADE. I loved Timmy Failure and have told all my friends about it. I’m glad you liked my review, I was really excited to see a quote inside the book. Charlie Upchurch (age 9)

Sometimes even publishers use the reviews that are written...

"Evie was thrilled to find the Monster and Chips review she wrote for you printed inside the sequel she bought last week"

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UKLA Book Awards - 2016

UKLA 2016 icon

Lovereading4kids is pleased to support and co-sponsor the UKLA Book Awards this year. Run by the UK Literacy Association, what makes these awards so unique is that they are the only awards judged entirely by active classroom teachers, who are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers.

“A great opportunity to read an exciting range of new literature and then to share ideas with other teachers” Kaye Wilson, teacher judge.

This year, teachers have been selected from schools in the Bristol and South West area to read the longlisted books, share them with pupils and discuss them with their group leaders. Then they had the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of six books in each category!


All the longlisted and shortlisted books are shown in this special category and we have exclusive extracts available right here for many of the titles.

For more information on the UKLA Awards visit www.ukla.org/awards

Click here to view the winners and shortlisted titles for 2015 and 2014.

Children's Book Award 2016

Children's Book Award 2016 icon

The Children's Book Award is now in its 36th year and is owned and run by the Federation of Children's Book Groups, a charity set up by Anne Wood. The Awards were founded by author and librarian Pat Thompson to celebrate the books that children themselves were reading. (They were known as the Red House Children’s Book Award during the 14 years of The Book People’s sponsorship). This years titles were chosen by children from across the country who read and voted for the books at events organised by the FCBG.

It has brought acclaim and strong sales to past winners such as J.K. Rowling, Patrick Ness, Andy Stanton, Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz and Michael Morpurgo, who has won a record three times. The award has often been the first to recognise the future stars of children’s fiction and has the ability to turn popular authors into bestsellers.

Wendy Gilham, Children’s Book Award coordinator says ‘It is always fascinating to see what the children from the Federation of Children’s Book Groups have enjoyed reading and this year they have chosen a truly great shortlist. It is an exciting combination of favourite authors, characters and the latest debut novels.’

The overall winner for 2015 was the brilliant and original picture book The Days the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers and Drew Daywalt’s.

The winners will be announced on Saturday 28th May 2016. The overall winner is awarded the Children's Book Award Silver Tree.

For more information visit www.fcbg.org.uk and @FCBGNews

Debut books from New Authors

Debuts of the Month icon

The best from first time authors.

Lovereading's debuts are titles that have struck a real chord with us here by a debut author who we believe has a real future as a children's writer.

We can't guarantee to find authors of this calibre every month but our scouts are out sourcing the best as often as we can.

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Children's Book Awards - Shortlists and Winners

All Shortlists and Winners icon

The Book Awards category on Lovereading4kids will help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards. By their very presence on this page, you can be sure that each of the books featured here is the 'crème-de-la-crème' of today's children's literature.

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For each of the awards included in this Book Award category, Lovereading4kids will feature the shortlist of books and authors before the individual winner is announced. As with all our Featured Books, you and your child will be able to download and print off free Opening Extracts of each book. In this way, you can choose your own winner and see if the judges agree with you!

And remember, even if the judges don't pick your favourite, all our Children's Book Award books are available to order online at 25% off the RRP.

As Lovereading4kids grows we'll be featuring as many awards as we can manage, including:

Kate Greenaway Medal

Carnegie Medal

Costa Children's Award

Marsh Award in Translation

Blue Peter Book Award

The Guardian Children's Fiction Award

Early Years Book Award

The Red House Children's Book Award

The Booktrust Teenage Prize

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Readers' Choice - Top 10 most popular books

Lovereading4kids Top 10 Books icon

Do you want to know what other people are reading?

Then have a look at the books here - they are the ones whose extracts have been the most viewed in the last 7 days.

Guest Editor - Anthony McGowan

Guest Editor icon

My favourite short novels by Anthony McGowan

"I love losing myself in a great, sprawling epic novel, one that might take months or years, even, to work my way through. But there’s also a delight in reading something that you can finish in one or two sittings, something short and perfect, which you can hold in your mind like a poem or a song. There are challenges, of course, for a writer of short-form fiction. There’s no scope for waste: characterization and scene setting must be done with minimal deft strokes. Every word has to earn its keep.

I’ve picked short novels that have meant a lot to me at different times in my life. These are books that have moved me as a reader and influenced me as a writer. I’ve not tried to define what a ‘short novel’ or novella’ actually is, beyond books that could slip easily in to a jacket pocket, and be consumed in a couple of intense reading session.

Barrington Stoke is our foremost publisher of short fiction for young people. They have tempted some incredible writers into writing wonderfully compressed narratives that easily match the impact of their longer works. Tom Palmer’s WW1 football story, Over the Line, Meg Rosoff’s brilliant and hysterical fable Moose Baby, and Kevin Brooks’ characteristically dark and intense The Devil’s Angel, all hit the sweet spot."

Read a special Q&A with Anthony McGowan on his novels Pike and Brock.

My choices...

A Kestrel for A Knave, Barry Hines. At 200 pages, this is rather long for a short novel, but I just couldn’t leave it out, as almost no other work of fiction has had such an impact on me. It’s the story of a day in the life of a working class kid, Billy Casper, whose only respite from a loveless home and a brutal school comes from caring for a Kestrel he has reared and trained. It’s a depressing book, full of violence and a grinding poverty, but it also has moments of quiet beauty. Dense with drama and incident, above all, it’s a book that just feels so utterly true.

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck – I can almost hear the groans now, from millions of teenagers forced to read this for their GCSE! However, despite being ‘institutionalised’ Of Mice and Men remains an incredibly powerful and heartrending story. It centres on the friendship of George (small but clever) and Lenny (strong, but simple-minded), and their struggles in the rural California of the Great Depression. It’s end is tragic, but what persists is the memory of the love between the friends. It’s something I shamelessly ripped off for my brothers, Nicky and Kenny, in Pike and Brock.

The Stone Book Quartet, Alan Garner. Garner has a good claim to be our finest living children’s writer (although he baulks at such restrictive definitions). His work has always interwoven fantasy and a grittily-rendered reality, but here realism comes to the fore. Four very short linked stories take us through four generations of one family in a Cheshire village. You could say that the stories are ‘about’ the nature of craftsmanship, the importance of geography in our psychic development, how wisdom is passed down through the generations, about how seemingly simple people lead lives of depth and resonance. Yet somehow it’s not really what its about that gives The Stone Book Quartet its power: it’s what it is: a self-contained, perfect work of art, as heavy in the hand as a granite rock.

Blindside, Aiden Chambers. Chambers is a writer of great depth and complexity, and his books are among the most challenging ever written for young adults. It’s a joy therefore to see him in simpler mode, allowing his gift for straightforward storytelling and brilliant dialogue to shine through. Blindside is the story of Nate, a promising athlete, terribly injured in a bike accident. Nate has to find a way to come to terms both with the physical pain, and the psychological harm done by the accident. It’s a book filled with rage, but also healing. Blindside shows another one of the advantages of a short book: it serves as an easily accessible portal in to the work of an author who can be a little forbidding …

The Postman Always Rings Twice James M Cain. This is a hard-boiled crime novel – adult in its themes and it characters – but one so fiercely compressed in its narrative drive, so searing in its pace, so true in its emotions, that anyone beginning it will race feverishly to the fatal conclusion. Cain’s writing is a masterclass on concision and power. The edition I read had only 90 pages, but it it’s like the matter at the heart of a black hole, so dense, it’s said, that if you brought a teaspoon of it back to earth, it would sink straight to the centre of the planet.

Recommended Children's eBooks

eBooks icon

Only on Lovereading and Lovereading4kids will you find ePubs, iBookstore, KOBO and Google eBook formats available.

Please check your own eReader to confirm which format eBook you need to download before you purchase.

At present the e-Pub format downloads offered on Lovereading cannot be read on an iPad / iPhone via the iBooks application.

eBooks have at last come of age and although you have been able to see if an eBook is available on a title by title basis on Lovereading4kids for a while now, we also wanted to create a special section which features our real ebook highlights each month.

To find out what e-formats we have available and the prices etc just click on a book cover. This will take you to the book page, which will show you ALL the formats we have available for that title including ePub, KOBO and books on the iBookstore.

Each format can only be read on specific reading devices.

The ePub format can be read on a lot of ereaders including models made by Sony. (Please note you may have to download additional software / apps to read ePubs on your mobile device). For the ePub and PDF downloads from Lovereading we strongly recommend you use the free software Adobe Digital Editions to read them.

To buy and read Kindle format books you will either need to purchase a Kindle device via the Amazon site - or you can download the free Kindle App for your device.

To read iBookstore format titles you will need to view the web page of the book you want as an iBook on a iPad, iPhone or iPod touch that has the iBook app loaded. The book will then be added automatically to your library.

At present the e-pub downloads offered on Lovereading cannot be read on an iPad / iPhone via the iBooks application.

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Children's Audio Books

Audio Books icon

Books are great for your children to read - but there are times, such as long car journeys, when reading isn't always as easy as it should be. So, more and more publishers are now producing audio CD versions of their books.

Click on any of the links below to listen to podcasts made about audio books on CD.

Podcast 1 Theme: Abridging

Panellists: Kerry Shale & Hugh Fraser, audio actors.

Panellists: Honor Wilson-Fletcher – National Year of Reading, Phil Viner – SmartPass, Ali Muirden – Macmillan / APA

Panellists: Robert Rankin – author, Peter Crawshaw – Lovereading.com, Rebecca Williams – GoSpoken

Panellists: Dirk Maggs, Barry Cryer

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Children's Summer Reading 2015

Summer Reading/Activity  icon

When they've been reading all year at school, it's not surprising kids want to run around frantically outside and have some fun when summer finally arrives. But the long holidays are also an ideal time to build on good reading habits, and foster a real life-long love of books away from the classroom...

Our summer reading selection this year has been "such fun to put together," says one of our Lovereading4kids 'expert voices' Julia Eccleshare. We're sure children of all ages will have a great deal of fun reading every one of them. Some are from well-known and well-loved children's authors, others are from exciting new authors. They are all fantastic reads.

There’s something to appeal to all. From baby to teenager you’ll find books broken down by age on this page and on other pages on the site. Why not take a look at books for reluctant readers, dyslexia friendly books and books we think are Great for Boys? If you're looking for something for babies and toddlers, check out the wonderful Picture Book Party from Walker or one of the Campbell Books range and the Pippi Longstocking stories are perfect for newly independent readers. For the Pony Mad, there's a section just for them and for those who love a good mystery? - the Alex Rider books are great holiday reads and have been reissued to mark the 15th Anniversary. For all things Alice see our special section celebrating 150 years of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Out and About is filled with clever ideas for activities over the holiday..and if you want a prize winner try our Carnegie Greenway section.

There are eBook formats available for most of the books in our Summer Reading selection, but each month further eBooks can be found here.

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month

Julia Eccleshare's Picks icon

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with Lovereading4kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian and Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right.

She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.

She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.

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Books for Babies and Toddlers

Baby and Toddler icon

Nothing beats sitting with a baby or toddler on the knee and reading a book together.

The words provide a language of communication long before conversation is possible and the joy in recognising them over many re-readings provides endless shared pleasure while the pictures can be enjoyed first jointly and then by the child alone as they pour over the images they love.

Included in our selection are a range of really sturdy and interactive books suitable books for babies and toddlers for the bedroom, the car, the bath, the buggy and the playroom. Books that even the tiniest baby will enjoy alone and with their parents.

Titles in this section will be refreshed each month with a range of new and older titles that we feel should not to be missed by any baby or toddler.

Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.

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150 years of Alice

Alice 150th icon

Here's a trailer of the new movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass....

The story of Alice was first told by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a young don at Christ Church in Oxford in 1862, to entertain a group of children on a boat trip. One of these children was Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean of Christ Church who, entranced by the tale, asked for it to be written down. Charles Dodgson duly did and gave it to Alice Liddell as a Christmas present, complete with his own illustrations.

It was originally entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground and took him two and a half years to complete. Charles Dodgson had met the publisher, Alexander Macmillan some years previously. Macmillan loved Alice and published the story, with Dodgson choosing to write under the pseudonym, Lewis Carroll.

‘You would have to be half mad to dream me up.’

‘Macmillan was instrumental in turning Alice into a literary and cultural phenomenon and it is through the artists we commissioned that Alice’s iconic look – her blue dress, blonde hair and “Alice band”– was established in the public mind. We are delighted to be able to put the heart back into the “The Macmillan Alice” for 2015 and beyond.’ Anthony Forbes Watson, Managing Director, Pan Macmillan

Lewis Carroll went on to write a sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which contains the poems 'The Walrus and The Carpenter' and the nonsense poem 'Jabberwocky', which are now as famous as the Alice stories themselves.

‘If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.’

The story of Alice was originally brought to life by Sir John Tenniel, first as black-and-white plates and then with coloured versions of these original drawings.

When his eyesight began to fail, Tenniel gave approval to Macmillan in 1911 to ask Harry G. Theaker to complete sixteen new colour plates, and it is Theaker’s colourings that established the iconic image of Alice that we know today, with her bright blonde hair, her blue dress and her Alice band (which first appeared in the illustrations in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There).

Macmillan owns the copyright in many of these colour illustrations and it is a Tenniel/Theaker image that is presented on the new ‘Macmillan Alice 150 Years’ anniversary logo.

Chris Riddell, Children's Laureate : "Before I knew a thing about him, John Tenniel was a hero of mine, or rather, I should say, his white rabbit was. As a child I copied Tenniel’s illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland obsessively, particularly his drawing of the White Rabbit in waistcoat and frock coat, umbrella tucked under one arm and a pocket watch in paw, a look of suppressed panic in his eye. I loved analysing the shading, intricate lines of cross-hatching, the folds of the sleeve, the tilt of the head, that wide-eyed rabbit stare. Tenniel was one of the reasons I became an illustrator."

The 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 2015 saw the publication of numerous editions and abridged versions of Alice titles - you can find our favourite titles here.

Featured Books for 3+ readers

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A message from Anthony Browne, one of the UK's most brilliant and respected Picture Book Illustrators, who was Children's Laureate 2009-11:

"Picture books are special – they're not like anything else. Sometimes I hear parents encouraging their children to read what they call proper books, books without pictures, at an earlier and earlier age. This makes me sad, as picture books are perfect for sharing, and not just with the youngest children. As a father, I understand the importance of the bond that develops through reading picture books with your child. We have in Britain some of the best picture book makers in the world, and I want to see their books appreciated for what they are – works of art." Picture books, he said, are "perfect for any age".

The books in this genre will have more story than those books featured in the Baby and Toddler genre but still with lots of stunning imagery to share with your child and for them to enjoy alone.

As children begin to communicate more readily and are a little more dextrous then you’ll find they want to occupy their mind with books that are a little more challenging, perhaps even with more pages and more of a storyline.

The picture books in this section with a greater range of text to accompany some absolutely stunning imagery provide a terrific next stage.

Titles in this section will be refreshed each month with a range of new and older titles that we feel should not to be missed by any young child.

Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.

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Summer Reading

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When they've been reading all year at school, it's not surprising kids want to run around frantically outside and have some fun when summer finally arrives. But the long holidays are also an ideal time to build on good reading habits, and foster a real life-long love of books away from the classroom...

Our summer reading selection this year has been "such fun to put together," says one of our Lovereading4kids 'expert voices' Julia Eccleshare. We're sure children of all ages will have a great deal of fun reading every one of them. Some are from well-known and well-loved children's authors, others are from exciting new authors. They are all fantastic reads.

2016 has been a great year for anniversaries - we have special sections on Shakespeare, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Wonderful World of Roald Dahl. All packed with great summer reads. And what could be better than a Michael Morpurgo novel to take on holiday, you'll find a selection of his books here, broken down into themes.

Why not take a look at books for reluctant readers, dyslexia friendly books and books we think are Great for Boys? For the Pony Mad, there's a section just for them and if your kids aren't so keen on fiction check out our Fascinating Facts section, packed full of interesting reads. And a classic makes a great summer read - we have spruced up our Children's Classics section which now includes the newly reissued Collins Modern Classics series.

If you're looking for something for babies and toddlers, take a look at the wonderful Picture Book Party from Walker or our Elmer the Elephant special category. Out and About is filled with clever ideas for activities over the holiday..and if you want a prize winner try our Carnegie Greenway section.

There’s something to appeal to all!

There are eBook formats available for most of the books in our Summer Reading selection, but each month further eBooks can be found here.

Action. Adrenaline. Adventure. Alex Rider!

Alex Rider Series icon

Since Stormbreaker was published in 2000 Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider has become a literary sensation.

Clever, resourceful and never one to give up on his exploits, the schoolboy turned superspy who is forcibly recruited into MI6 has found himself in many far flung places in the world and even in space armed only with his own special set of secret gadgets.

We asked our reader review panel to read all 10 books in the Alex Rider series and report back... here is a taster of what they thought... And excitingly each new Alex Rider book has a quote from one of our Kids Reader Reviewers on the inside back cover!

'This is a brilliant book that I couldn't put down. It's the perfect book for children who like mystery or adventure books. It is very gripping' Chloe Pickering age 10

‘James Bond’ fans will love this nail biting series very much. I always anticipate the part which introduces gadgets, it is as thrilling as opening your Christmas presents! A must try series, definitely.'Mukunth Kowsik age 13

'Boom! Bang! Wallop! It’s full of action, fights, and the most ridiculous, but equally brilliant plot ever!' Jake Fletcher age 14

‘Stormbreaker’ was a great start to the series and kept me gripped from beginning to end.' Rachel Galbraith age 10

The story of Alex Rider, reluctant teen spy in the order of his missions:

1. Stormbreaker
2. Point Blanc
3. Skeleton Key
4. Eagle Strike
5. Scorpia
6. Ark Angel
7. Snakehead
8. Crocodile Tears
9. Scorpia Rising

and Russian Roulette - The Alex Rider Prequel

Anthony brought his internationally bestselling Alex Rider sequence to a close in 2011 but had unfinished business with the world of Alex Rider and with one character in particular – Yassen Gregorovich, the assassin dispatched to execute Alex in the very first adventure, Stormbreaker. This highly anticipated prequel, Russian Roulette charts the journey of a young assassin.

The Alex Rider series has sold over 13 million copies in English and is published in over 28 languages.

For more news and chat visit the Alex Rider facebook page and find out more about the series and special Alex Rider events at www.alexrider.com

Toddler Bedtime with Campbell Books

Campbell Books icon

Introducing books early to young children is an enormous help in starting to learn how to read. Reading aloud while looking at a book makes the connection between the sounds of language and the written marks on the page, which is the start of the learning to read process. Also, babies and toddlers come to realise that there is a world inside the book to which they can return, and experience the same pleasure over and over again. And of course it can start a habit which will last a lifetime!

Campbell

Sharing and talking about books with babies and toddlers is an important step in their journey to becoming life-long readers. There is no better place to start on this journey than with Campbell Books.

Campbell is a specialist maker of books for babies and toddlers that parents, grandparents and friends can buy with confidence, knowing that children will love and want to read them again and again.

We believe that good books always start with the child. Our books have a child-centred sense of fun and are softly educational – they connect to a child’s world and the bustle and warmth of family life.

Innovative and contemporary, Campbell publishes an array of hard-wearing formats that are designed to be as much at home in the toy-box as they are on the bookshelf.

Campbell Baby

By 6 months your baby’s co-ordination is developing and he is really starting to explore the world. These books focus on touching and feeling and looking at things firmly connected with daily life. Soon your baby will be ready to really join in with the reading experience, turning the pages, lifting the flaps, guessing and more.

Playtime Stories and Bedtime Stories illustrated by Luana Rinaldo. There’s so much to do and see, finger trails to follow the story across the page and there are lots of flaps to lift. Each book contains five short stories with gently rhyming texts. In smaller print are comments, scraps of nursery rhymes, questions and more. Remember you don’t need to do everything with a book, start with just the stories and soon your child will be asking you questions about it.

• You can share a book anywhere and at any time of the day
• Be comfortable, curl up on a sofa, in a chair, on a large cushion, or maybe in the garden
• Sometimes five minutes is enough, never push it if your baby is not in the mood
• Point to the pictures to show how they connect with the words
• Let your child help to turn the page as soon as they try
• Go back and forth between the pages if this is what baby wants

Read more here!

For more information on Campbell books visit: www.campbell-books.co.uk

Pippi Longstocking 70th Anniversary

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To mark this anniversary Oxford University Press is re-issuing 4 classic Pippi stories translated from the original Swedish stories of Astrid Lindgren and with lively illustrations by Tony Ross; these stories are perfect for newly independent readers.

Each year Astrid is remembered through a global award named after her and for 2015 the winner is an innovative reading and storytelling program based in South Africa. This year Lovereading4kids' very own editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare attended; read Julia's article about Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize.

Why not hold your own Pippi Longstocking party? There's a fantastic party kit to download here with ideas for making party bunting, fancy dress and games to play!

Five facts about Pippi Longstocking!

Pippi's father is a swashbuckling pirate captain!

Pippi has superhuman strength - she can pick up her horse with one hand!

Pippi lives by herself in Villekula Cottage.

Pippi loves to tell tales...sometimes they are are rather exaggerated...

Pippi LOVES her freckles!

Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) originally wrote Pippi Longstocking for her daughter Karin to cheer her when she was confined to bed with pnuemonia. Astrid collected these bedtime tales together into the first Pippi Longstocking book and it went on to win her the Raben & Sjogren's Best Children's Book Prize. Astrid published over 100 novels and is still the most popular children's author in Sweden with her books translated into over seventy languages and selling over 145 million copies world-wide. The books have also been adapted into numerous films and tv shows.

Astrid Lindgren said she wrote for children “to teach them how to be more human and understanding of people.”

Pippi fans will love this activity pack with colouring in, a Pippi quiz and puzzles - and guidance on how to help children get the most out of the Pippi books.

Publisher of the Month - Old Barn Books

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In spite of its name, Old Barn is a new, independent publisher of illustrated books for children, as well as gift books (if you happened to be looking for ‘gifts’ for any reason in the near future!) for adults. Mixing new and established artists, an experienced passionate team of publishing gurus have collected a wonderful collection of beautifully illustrated stories. Have a look at the books in this special category and share in the wonder of Old Barn’s new favourites!

The artwork in these books is exquisite. The Mad Hatters Tea party, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Alison Jay.

The fine, soft illustrations of this wordless picture book, Dog On a Train by Kate Prendergast.

Leslie Sadleir’s beautiful illustrations of the wild Hare.

Find out more at www.oldbarnbooks.com

And follow on twitter @oldbarnbooks

Featured Books for 5+ readers

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Learning to read provides the best opportunity for children to take off privately into worlds of their own.

Picture books and easy readers allow children to go solo while being read to gives a background of richer stories to further stimulate the imagination.

Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.

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Books vs Films

Books vs Films icon

Feed your kids' imagination by giving them the books behind the films.

Films are a wonderful way of piquing children's interest in stories, but sometimes it's good for them to read the book before they see the movie.

When you read you can imagine how landscapes, characters and adventures look - it's brilliant creative brain training.

In this category you'll find information about exciting upcoming films and the original books they're based on, which are often even better!

Big films for 2014 included Paddington, the final Hobbit movie The Battle of the Five Armies and Boxtrolls. In 2015 we are looking forward to Trash, Big Game and Insurgent, the second in the Divergent series.

All are based on fantastic writing, and we'd really recommend encouraging your kids to discover the books as well as the big screen adaptations.

Featured Books for 7+ readers

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Getting lost in a book is one of the great delights of childhood.

All children aspire to read chapter books in order to experience the full range of characters and situations. But some help is also appreciated hence the particular role of novels with pictures.

Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.

You could also check out our latest highlights such as our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards. Or some wonderful graphic novel adaptations of literary classics from 'Classical Comics' and finally, a brilliant range of titles that are sure to get even the most reluctant reader wanting to read more. Just take a look at 'Ology World'.

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Featured Books for 9+ readers

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Fact and fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire.

Whether it’s taking off on a high fantasy where new worlds open up endless possibilities or giving serious consideration of important ecological issues in a light hearted perspective, reading at this stage grows opinions and ideas.

Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.

You could also check out our latest highlights such as 'new voices', which showcases some of the brightest new talent from Walker Books, or our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards.

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CBBC Blue Peter Book Awards

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The Blue Peter Book Awards 2016

The Winners are

For Best Story....

The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie

Best Story winner, Ross MacKenzie, who grew up watching Blue Peter, said: “It's always a great moment to receive any sort of award, but to win The Blue Peter Book Awards for Best Story is extra special. Firstly, because it's an award chosen by the readers. It's fantastic and important that children have a voice, and I'm so glad they liked The Nowhere Emporium enough to give it their vote. And secondly, it's special because Blue Peter was such a huge part of my childhood. I'm delighted and stunned to become a tiny part of the show's history and I shall be humming that famous theme tune for the foreseeable future! And of course I always wanted a badge.”

And for Best Book with Facts....

The Epic Book of Epicness by Adam Frost

Best Book with Facts winner, Adam Frost, who believes illustrations in books are just as important as words, said: “I'm absolutely delighted to have won. I tried to fill my book with as many bizarre facts and funny pictures as possible. I loved writing it and am over the moon that kids are enjoying it.”

Judge Jim Sells said "I know from my work that there are lots of children who feel that reading doesn't have any relevance to their lives. We need to change that, and need the right tools to do so. I am hoping to find these among this fantastic selection of books."

You can keep up to date with the Awards @Booktrust

The six shortlisted titles were chosen by the judges, which this year included

Ewan Vinnicombe - Editor, Blue Peter (non-voting chair)

Angelica Bell - TV presenter and blogger

Pamela Butchart - author and winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards Best Story 2015

Jim Sells - National Literacy Trust Programme Manager

The books were judged by more than 200 young Blue Peter viewers drawn from 10 schools across the UK, who decided the winners of the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2016 in each of the two categories: Best Story and Best Book with Facts.

To be eligible authors and illustrators must either be British nationals or residents at the time of entering. Books must be first published in the UK between 1 November 2014 and 31 October 2015.

The two winning books were announced on the Blue Peter show on World Book Day - 3 March 2016.

If you'd like more information on the Awards visit www.booktrust.org

Featured Books for 11+ readers

11+ readers icon

The reading world now lies wide open.

Individual choices of genre become more significant as readers become more discriminating. Readers develop their critical faculties as they weave their way towards the kind of readers they are growing into.

You could also check out our latest highlights such as 'new voices', which showcases some of the brightest new talent from Walker Books, or our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards.

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Children's Classic Books

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A message from Julia Eccleshare:

'Each of the carefully selected titles has earned its place on each publisher’s list because it has inspired previous generations to become passionate readers. The stories have already been passed down from one generation to another and been the starting point for many other stories. All these classics selected by Lovereading4kids are the perfect way of reading the old and the new - and loving both. More titles will be added over time so you can come back again and again and indulge yourself and your children in whichever format suits you best at the time.’

Macmillan Classics:

The Macmillan Classics are beautifully produced hardback editions of some of the best-loved stories from the past. Each has a introduction by another author who, in their turn, have been influenced by the great writers of these books.

Adventures in Imagination with Puffin Classics:

A Puffin Book will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime.

Frances Lincoln The Classics:

The Frances Lincoln Classic range, all in hardback format, are each exquisitely illustrated by notable artists including Jane Ray and Emma Chichester Clark.

Faber Classics:

Faber and Faber are one of the last great independent publishing houses in London. This is a new collection of Faber Classics, beautifully presented and illustrated by some of our best loved, award winning illustrators. Perfect to complete any child's bookshelf.

Usborne Illustrated Originals:

This series of classic books from Usborne Publishing are all fully illustrated padded hardbacks, with a ribbon marker, perfect gifts for any special occasion. Usborne is the biggest and most successful independent children's book publisher in the UK.

Featured Books for 13+ readers

13+ readers icon

There comes a point in a young life when the time is right to move on from the books and children’s authors they enjoyed as a child to reading books and authors that offer greater challenges as they grow up into adulthood. The books in this 13+ category are exactly that. They bridge that gap to introduce you and your teenager to authors who write for that early teen reader but also adult authors who also write for a teenage / young adult audience.

You could also check out our latest highlights such as the 'prizewinners' section where we can help you to discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards, such as the Teenage Book Prize that we feel your teenagers will love.

And finally, if your teens prefer to choose their own books then our special teen category on our sister site Lovereading called 'new gen' is the perfect place for them to start.

Click here to read some helpful tips from top children's publisher Egmont.

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Bedtime Stories for Children

Bedtime Reading icon

Bedtime is a special time and we all have our favourite books that we love to read over and over....but sometimes we need new recommendations, and that is where we come in!

All bedtime routines are different. Some have a bath, others a warm drink but the best routines end with a cuddle and a good book.

Featured Books for Young Adults

YA readers icon

The teenage years are such a vibrant and vivid time in your life. Adventure, friendships, self-discovery are all there in spades, but there’s frustration too, impatience and a strong desire to be understood.

This section of fantastic books for teens and young adult readers is filled with stories that reflect all of these feelings in settings that will give flight to your imagination. Be inspired by tales of self-discovery, run the rocky road of first romance, battle big issues in mysterious worlds, beat the bleak future of dystopian regimes, or laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. There’s something here for all tastes and moods from half-god heroes to horseback holidays and literally everything in between.

You can download a free Opening Extract of each book, usually about the first chapter. Read it on your screen, or print it off and enjoy anywhere. We give you enough of a book to see whether it’s your sort of thing.

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Branford Boase Children's Debut Prize

Branford Boase Award icon

Branford Boase Chair and Lovereading expert reviewer, Julia Eccleshare with the winning author from 2015 Rosie Rowell.

Henrietta Branford was a gifted novelist for young people. During her short career she won the Smarties Prize in 1994 for Dimanche Diller (Harper Collins) and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1998 for Fire, Bed and Bone (Walker Books); she was twice shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, in 1994 and 1997. Her progress and development as a writer was watched with interest by publishers, critics and fellow writers alike.

Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books, and one of its founders, was a passionate children's book editor wholly committed to developing new writers and nursing them through their early writing careers. She is credited with bringing on many new talents. She and Henrietta worked together on a number of her books, a partnership that was warmly appreciated by Henrietta.

Both Henrietta and Wendy died of cancer in early 1999. The Branford Boase Award wishes to celebrate and encourage, in their names and in their memories, the crucial early development of new writing talent.

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Julia Eccleshare says: “UK children’s publishers are more eager than ever to find and nurture talented new authors and this is an extremely exciting shortlist. ...They are all distinguished by the quality of the writing, the author’s ability to control plot and create character, and by an originality of approach.”

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For more information on the Branford Boase Award visit www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk

Great Books for Boys

Books for Boys icon

LOOK NO FURTHER FOR GUIDANCE ON THE BEST BOOKS FOR BOYS

There's no shortage of research that suggests that boys don't read as much as girls and if our email requests from members and browsers is anything to go by a list of books that are 'Great for Boys', is long overdue. So right here on Lovereading4kids our aim is to redress that balance.

We’ve created a special category of books, broken down by age range, which our experts think will be enjoyed enormously by boys.

It might be purely because there’s plenty of exciting action and fast-moving plots in the story and that the book will grab the reader’s attention before they’ve even finished the first page or perhaps the characters in the story are mostly boys.

Please don’t think however, that we’re excluding girls from having an interest in these books. We know there are plenty of girls who also enjoy books that are more aimed at boys.

We hope parents will find it a useful resource. As always you can download free Opening Extracts of each book and buy with a 25% discount, and do come back often as we will be refreshing the list regularly.

Finally, if you as a parent would like more guidance on getting boys to read more then why not take a look at our top tips to get your kid reading.

Children's Book 'Must Reads'

Bookshelf Essentials icon New is not necessarily better

At Lovereading4kids we are constantly asked to recommend great books for children and so far we have focused on mainly new books.

However there are some books that we think will grow old gracefully and will affect a new generation as powerfully as the generation before. Simply Essential reading.

Just click on the age range you are interested above the books.

To create this list Lovereading4kids has worked closely with Julia Eccleshare to create a list of ‘essential reads in childhood’ – those titles which we think should be read as part of growing up.

So now, in addition to being guided on the best of the new children’s titles, we're delighted to be able to guide you through those titles we feel have a timeless quality about them and should appear in every child's life at some point.

To view a range of classic literature from Alice (Alice in Wonderland) to Zeus (Tales of the Greek Heroes), then click here.

Art and Artists

Art and Artists icon

With the holidays looming on the horizon, why not plan some time for some art and some artists and perhaps include a trip to a local art gallery? It’s a great way to fire their imagination for painting and drawing. To help them get the most out of it we have range of practical books suitable for a variety of ages, and other lovely books that will ‘help the whole family get into art’ …

Don't miss the superb How to Draw and How to Draw and Colour series from Book House covering a range of subjects from Steampunk to London to Horses...all with easy to follow step-by-step guides, tips and techniques - great for your novice artist but plenty to help and inspire your more experienced artist too!

CILIP Carnegie & Greenaway Children's Book Awards

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Included within the shortlists are four previous winners who have a chance of taking home a Medal for the third time: Anthony Browne, Patrick Ness, Helen Oxenbury and Chris Riddell.

Sioned Jacques, Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel for 2016, said: “These exceptionally strong shortlists reflect the huge range of writing and illustrating talent in children’s publishing at the moment. The lists are a true celebration of the longevity of these wonderful talents, with Helen Oxenbury and Anthony Browne showing that they are still delivering incredible work decades after first winning a Medal. Questions of secrecy, lies, who we really are and how we identify ourselves are all explored in different, surprising and innovative ways. Our shortlisted writers and illustrators don’t shy away from difficult or big ideas but skilfully introduce them to young readers in ways that are gripping, moving, entertaining but always, without exception, page-turning.”

Dawn Finch, President of CILIP, said: “We are without doubt in a golden age of children’s books. From stories set in Victorian times and World War One to a modern day library, from fantasy worlds to the future, these shortlists showcase the enormous talent and unlimited imagination currently to be found in children’s storytelling. There are characters to fall in love and go on adventures with and journeys and discoveries to be made. Each and every one of the books on the shortlists could be a worthy winner and all of them are truly deserving of a global audience.”

The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal will be announced on Monday 20 June. The winners will each receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library. The winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is also awarded the £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

To view the full list of previous winners of the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal click here and we have a selection of our favourite past winners, just click on the Previous Winners tab.

Last year William Grill became the youngest winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal with Shackleton's Journey, an atmospheric depiction of the last days of Shackleton's Antarctic expedition. The Judges said "We are also stunned by how William Grill used such a retro medium – coloured pencils – to bring to life the vastness of the Antarctic environment. Every image, hue, every piece of negative space had a purpose. William may be our youngest winner in half a century but his talent is absolutely fully formed.”

The 2015 Carnegie Medal was won by Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman. The Judges said “We were particularly impressed with how Buffalo Soldier explored what it means to be truly free: the evolving idea of freedom is an essential part of this gripping, often traumatic book"

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book for children and young people. The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded by children's librarians for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people. To find out more click here to visit the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards special website.

More about The CILIP Carnegie Medal:

It was established by The Library Association in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that "if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries."

It was first awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post. The medal is now awarded by CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.

More about CILIP The Kate Greenaway Medal:

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal was established by The Library Association in 1955 and it is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children's illustrations and designs.

It was first awarded to Edward Ardizzone for Tim All Alone. The winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.

Father's Day, 19 June 2016

Father's Day icon

Apparently, the national figure for families who remember Mother’s Day but fail to register Father’s Day is quite high!

At Lovereading4kids we want to change all that and have pulled together a number of special titles celebrating Dads.

They're also great to read with Dad...

So have a look at our selection, with free extracts to whet your appetite, and let Dads know what they mean to you.

Dyslexia-friendly Books

Dyslexia-friendly icon

THE BEST IN

SUPER READABLE

DYSLEXIA FRIENDLY BOOKS

STOP PRESS - Have you heard about the new iPad eReading App from Barrington Stoke called Tints. Click here to find how it can help dyslexic and struggling readers.

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Helping parents and their children crack the reading code with great stories that are short and with absolutely no boring bits! ___________________________________

"Thank you so much for providing such a fantastic website - it has been a great help and a wonderful inspiration."
Emily Fisher, Parent ___________________________________

About the Little Gems series: The Little Gems are in a gorgeous chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for children aged 5-8's with a reading age of 6+, and are great next step for all newly independent readers. These quality stories are also well suited to children aged 7-10, reading below this level, and to dyslexic or reluctant readers.

**See our special Little Gems category for a full range of the titles available.

Click here to download a free guide from Barrington Stoke to help you help your child to love reading.

The term dyslexia literally means 'difficulty with words'. In reality, it covers a whole spectrum of problems, not just with reading, writing and spelling, but also with comprehension, memory and organisational skills. With some 10% of people in the UK with dyslexia, here at lovereading we feel the time has come to provide some guidance on dyslexia-friendly books for children and teenagers alongside the leading publisher Barrington Stoke of dyslexia-friendly books and the charity Dyslexia Action.

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Dyslexic individuals function rather differently from the norm and they need alternative teaching methods and materials if they are to crack the code. It may take longer than their classmates but most of them get there in the end. These emergent readers will finally crack the code, often aged 9 or 10, but often they are not ready to tackle the longer more challenging books their contemporaries enjoy. They need much shorter books, but still by first class authors, with inspiring content, real characters and a gripping plot.

It used to be thought that boys were three times more likely to be dyslexic than girls but evidence now shows that this is not the case. Both sexes are affected. However, studies by Dyslexia Action show that three times as many boys as girls received additional teaching because of their dyslexia. One theory is that boys are more disruptive when they are trying to deal with dyslexia so they are more likely to be noticed by teachers and given the right help. Girls have been shown to be better at developing coping mechanisms so their symptoms may go unnoticed for years before they receive the proper specialist tuition.

15 years ago, Patience Thomson had a chance to be involved in founding Barrington Stoke, to produce quality books for dyslexic readers. Their unique approach would be that dyslexic children and teenagers would be asked to act as consultant editors.

Patience Thomson says, "The quality of the story was very important to Barrington Stoke but so too was the presentation. These consultant editors chose the font, (our own special one), the size of print, (point 14), the off white paper, (kinder on the eyes), and the extra spacing between letters, words and paragraphs that made the text “settle” – their description not mine. They insisted there should be no right hand justification as this meant they did not lose their place. The consultants marked up words they could not read and ones they could not understand. They had an active and positive role when the company founded and still do today and as a consequence dyslexics can not only learn to read ‘real books’, but to enjoy them too."

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About Barrington Stoke:
Award-winning Barrington Stoke publish accessible, enjoyable and unpatronising short books for children who are dyslexic, struggling to read, or simply reluctant to sit down with a book. Each book is read before publication by struggling readers of the right age, to ensure the final book is both accessible and a terrific read. In 2007 the company was named IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year.

Did you know:

that careful spacing between letters and lines can help new and struggling readers?

that many young readers, parents and carers feel more confident about opening a book if it has clear, manageable chapters to give natural 'rest' breaks?

Barrington Stoke books help emergent, reluctant and dyslexic readers unlock the love of reading. Our books are crammed with ingenious design and editorial tricks to ensure an accessible read. Best of all, books are brilliant stories by the best authors in the business, and so also offer a great quick read for more confident kids.

Testimonials on Barrington Stoke Dyslexia-Friendly titles:

"....my daughter Lucy who is ten and has never been able to complete a book on her own, immediately picked up Living with Vampires and read it from cover to cover without any problems, It was her New Years resolution to read a book on her own and you made it possible for her to do that. I am eternally grateful" Parent.

“Barrington Stoke's books are ideal for young people with dyslexia because they look good, like ‘real’ books, neither babyish nor a colour-stickered graded reader. The visual aspects have been considered with font size and type and background colour, and the illustrations are complementary rather than too intrusive and are appropriately placed in the text. These books really work.” Bernadette McLean, Academic Director of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre.

For further information on Barrington Stoke click here.

About Dyslexia Action:
Dyslexia Action is a national educational charity, which improves lives through education. Their vision is to ensure individuals with dyslexia and literacy difficulties are able to reach their potential. Dyslexia should not be a barrier to learning, employment or personal fulfilment. Dyslexia Action is the UK’s leading provider of services and support for people with such difficulties, specialising in assessment, teaching and training throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

If you suspect your child might have dyslexia or would like any more information about Dyslexia Action please click here.

Dyslexia Action is a Registered Charity – Number: England & Wales 268502, Scotland SCO 39177

Dyslexia Action on Lovereading4kids:
"The prevalence of dyslexia is significant and we think it’s great that Lovereading4Kids are acknowledging this on their site."

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Finally, did you know the actor Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame is also the co-creator of Hank Zipzer, the central character in a series of books who is dyslexic. The stories are based on Henry’s own experiences at school even though as a child at school he had no idea he was dyslexic. That was only discovered much later as an adult.

Fascinating Facts

Fascinating Facts icon

Our Fascinating Facts category includes titles that children of all ages can really get their teeth into and enjoy whilst also filling up their brain with useful facts to help them better understand our amazing world.

This category will be refreshed regularly as we find what we think are the best of breed books across age ranges and interests but all of them in their own way will bring factual information vividly to life. So whether you have a keen reader or a reluctant one, a toddler or a teenager there's something here for them to get their teeth into. Highlights for youngsters include a brilliant lift-the-flap Atlas, a series called Henry's House, which is absolutely not to be missed, The Good Green Footprint and a wonderful non-fiction picture story book about Charles Darwin; for slightly older readers there are a range of titles supported by The Science Museum alongside two titles in the '100 Most' series featuring the most dangerous and most disgusting things on our planet and for late tween and teen titles there's a plethory of titles too including Al Gore's must read Young Adult version of his mega bestseller Our Choice.

Win extra goodies in free to enter prize draws!

Free Prize Draws icon

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All the books listed here have extra goodies that can be won in free to enter prize draws.

To find out more and to enter just click a book cover.

Good Luck!

Maisy

Maisy icon

The first two Maisy stories Maisy Goes to Bed and Maisy Goes Swimming, were instant hits with children and adults around the world.

Since then, Lucy Cousins, the multi-award winning creator of Maisy, has written and illustrated many, many more books about Maisy!

Lucy had only recently left art college when she created Maisy. She was sitting doodling when "Maisy just sort of appeared on the page … I just saw her character straight away. She doesn't really have a proper age but I guess she's about three. She likes doing all the sorts of things that toddlers like to do. She has friends and she looks after them. She's a good mouse."

And the secret of Lucy’s success? "I've always felt in tune with the pre-school age group and their love of bright pictures and colours."

You can visit Maisy's amazing website for activities, newsletters, games and more at www.maisyfun.com

Maisy™ © Lucy Cousins 2013. Lucy Cousins Font ©2013 Lucy Cousins.

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2015

Guardian Fiction Prize icon Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2015

“It’s a real honour to win it at last,” said Almond after hearing of his victory. “It’s made very special by the fact that it’s judged by my fellow authors.”

This year’s prize was judged by author and winner of the 2014 prize, Piers Torday, and authors Jenny Valentine and Natasha Farrant, and chaired by Guardian children’s books editor and Lovereading4kids editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare.

Judge and author Jenny Valentine described the book as “an absolute masterclass in the transformative power of language. It is fearless, free and full of wonder and I am changed by reading it.” Fellow judge Natasha Farrant said that reading the story of Ella Grey “hasn’t just changed the way I look at Orpheus. It has changed the way I look at the world.”

Last year’s winner of the prize and judge this year, Piers Torday, recognised both the power of the myth and Almond’s retelling: “He takes one of the oldest stories there is … and brings it to compelling contemporary life on Tyneside and the Bamburgh coast, without sacrificing any of the mystery, poetry and mythical resonance of the original. In fact, if anything, the magic is deepened by the modern-day setting. The transformative potential of art and the imagination radiates from every page.”

The Guardian children's fiction prize is shadowed by a Young Critics scheme in which children have their say on the longlisted books.

If you are aged 17 or under and love reading, you can enter The Young Critics competition by submitting your own review of one of the books in the longlist. Find more information here.

The Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2014 was The Dark Wild by Piers Torday.

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo icon

Michael Morpurgo - Storytelling Genius

Highlighting 20 Great Reads...

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2016 is the 40th anniversary of Farms for City Children, the charity founded by Clare and Michael Morpurgo in 1976, and there will be events up and down the country. To join in the start of these celebrations we are, each week during March celebrating a different theme of Michael's writing with these specially selected books:

WAR - Private Peaceful, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, War Horse, Little Manfred, Listen to the Moon.

JOURNEYS - Kensuke’s Kingdom, Dear Olly, Alone on a Wide Wide Sea, Kaspar Prince of Cats, The Wreck of the Zanzibar.

LEGENDS - Outlaw, Pinocchio, The Sleeping Sword, Beowulf, Sparrow.

ANIMALS - Born to Run, Butterfly Lion, Running Wild, An Elephant in the Garden, Why the Whales Came.

We have asked our readers to review many of the books to feature during Michael Morpurgo month - you can download all their reviews here.

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To find out more about Michael Morpurgo Month see his Facebook page or the Twitter hashtag #MorpurgoMonth. Or visit wwww.MichaelMorpurgo.com for exclusive videos and downloads and the chance to win signed copies of the books, an iPad and even a school visit from Michael himself!

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Michael Morpurgo is one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers.

He was appointed Children’s Laureate in May 2003, a post he helped to set up with his friend Ted Hughes in 1999.

He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007. He has written over 120 books. Michael travels all over the UK and abroad talking to children and telling his stories and encouraging them to tell theirs.

A message from Michael Morpurgo on the 40th anniversary:

"All those years ago Clare and I arrived in Devon and with the money left to her by her father Allen Lane we bought a farm and rather idealistically set up a charity. Working with the teachers and with the neighbouring farmers, we pioneered a programme of work designed to extend children in every way possible out on the farm – physically, mentally, emotionally and intellectually. It is hard work, real work, and the children know their work is essential and important, that it matters to the animals, to the farm, that it simply matters. They matter. Who knows what effect this has had long term? I hope some of these children will have treasured their time on the farm for the rest of their lives, that as parents themselves now they will remember and pass on the stories of their time in the countryside, on the farm.”

The anniversary year for Farms for City Children will include the launch in early April of Love Mud#LearnWild, a campaign in association with the outdoor children’s clothing company Muddy Puddles to make learning outdoors and interaction with nature an integral part of education.

During this 40th anniversary year, Farms for City Children is also asking former pupils and teachers who visited the farm with their schools to get in touch via the charity’s digital channels to pass on their stories of their time on the farm using the hashtag - #farmersforaweek.

If They Like...They'll Love

If They Like...They'll Love icon

If They Like...They'll Love

It's great when our children find an author or genre they love reading - but what to do when they've exhausted the series? In this category we will carefully match a selection of books or authors every month - not by a computer as they are on other online bookshops but in the traditional way by human hand and thought!

Books for Outdoor Activities: Gardening, Wildlife, Birdwatching and more...

Out and About icon

From exploring the great out-doors to exploring great cities let some of these books be your children's guide.

Join some experts in each of their fields and let them guide you through birds and wildlife in your garden and beyond, get your children growing their own vegetables, learn about survival and so much more.

So leave that computer or television behind and get out there and enjoy yourselves!

Poetry Books for Children

Poetry  icon

Michael Rosen, the Children's Laureate 2007 - 09, a poet and huge supporter of children's poetry has given us his views on poetry - written especially for Lovereading4kids.

FROM MICHAEL ROSEN:

"Poetry is a special way of talking and writing. Poems are often musical, playing with the sounds of language while they tell stories, reveal feelings, make pictures and give us ideas. We all find this pleasurable, but children especially so. I guess that's because for very young children, language often comes at them as something they hear without necessarily understanding it. Then poems come along and hit the same channel, sound, rhythm, rhyme, repetition and all the other tricks in the poet's bag.

Poems are also places where you don't have to say it all, they don't have to tie it up in a neat knot in the way that stories usually do. Poems can end with questions. Poems can end with no answers. Poems can pose problems. And that's fine, because life doesn't usually finish with neat little endings. Life itself is full of questions and problems. Particularly for children.

Poetry is great for what is almost the opposite of this: pretending we aren't who we say we are. Poets write poems where they pretend to be goddesses, houses, worms, graves, long dead ancestors, aliens. This allows poets to explore feelings they didn't know they had, and in so doing, they invite children to wonder about other lives, other states of existence, other possibilities.

Poems are often full of echoes, gathering together hints and memories of other poems, other stories, films, signs, speeches. They gather up and change words. It's as if poems like this point us at the very language we see and hear around us and invite us to stop, think and wonder if the words we are used to are right, honest or worthwhile. For children, this is especially important. If you think for a moment, very nearly all children enter school, using a language that is theirs, only to find that school is full of language that seems to belong to other people. If poetry plays with language and, through its music, invites children to remember and imitate it, this becomes a language that they can possess."

photograph - Graham Turner

... AND A WARNING TO GROWN-UPS FROM THE AUTHORS OF THE JUMBLE BOOK

Poetry is fun. Do not spoil it.

Do not make children read this book for homework. If you do you may be vaporized by a death ray.

Poems are allowed to have rude words because they are literature, so bum to you.

Do not ask children how these poems make them feel. It is a stupid question.

Do not try to analyse these poems: they may self-detonate.

If you can’t see the sense of it, that’s probably your fault.

Poems do not have to be written in grammatical sentences or have correct
punctuation, so nurch.

Do not tell people off for daydreaming. Poems come from daydreams.

Never make anyone copy out a poem. It spoils it.

Do not make children read these poems aloud in front of the whole class. If you do, you will be kidnapped by aliens and taken to Alpha Centauri and forced to mark Year Six homework for a thousand years.

Issued by the Galactic Authority and dictated by telepathy to Ken Follett, who wrote it all down with no crossings out.

Elmer the Elephant celebrates Elmer Day - 28 May

Elmer the Elephant icon

If your local bookshop or library is not yet signed to Elmer Day up then get them motivated. They can sign up to receive an Elmer Day Event Pack by registering at www.elmer.co.uk/elmerday. The pack will include a guide on how to hold an Elmer Day event plus stickers, posters and activity sheets.

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Elmer, the delightful and delightfully different elephant was an instant hit when he burst out of his first picture book in 1989. His amazing patchwork skin has taken him on some incredible adventures and taught children about tolerance and love and just being yourself.

Remember to share your photos on Twitter and Facebook using #ElmerDay. And you can follow Elmer on facebook here!

Just click on any title in this category to enter an Elmer competition to win an Elmer Lunch Bag, Elmer Apron and Elmer and the Rainbow Board Book.

Elmer the patchwork elephant was created by David McKee in 1989. Elmer’s iconic look and playful character has made him a firm favourite in millions of households across the globe with over 8 million books sold worldwide and 4.5 million in the UK alone. They have been translated into over 50 languages around the world, from Russian to Rumantsch, Luxembourgish to Indonesian.

Have you seen Elmer’s Photo Patchwork, an innovative activity-based app that encourages creativity and fun? Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is an elephant who stands out from the herd, and Elmer’s app is different too. It doesn’t keep children glued to the screen, it makes them look up, look around and get inspired by the world. The only limit is their imagination. By using an iPad or iPhone’s camera to take photos of interesting colours and textures, kids can add them to an elephant’s patchwork pattern. Aimed at children aged 3+. Elmer’s Photo Patchwork app is available for £1.99 from the App Store for iPad and iPhone. Find out more at www.elmersapps.com and view the app preview video here.

DAVID McKEE:

Elmer's creator, David McKee, is one of the UK’s leading contemporary children’s book illustrators. His books are published throughout the world, and many of them have been adapted for television. Apart from lots of Elmer stories other creations of his include Not Now, Bernard!, Isabel’s Noisy Tummy, The Conquerors, Tusk Tusk and Three Monsters. David Mckee now divides his time between London and the south of France.

Find out more, play games and downloads pictures and colouring sheets at www.andersenpress.co.uk/elmer

Parenting Books

For Parents icon

QUESTIONS ANSWERED AND CHALLENGES RESOLVED FOR PARENTS

There are no instant fixes for the challenges that arise when bringing up children, but here at Lovereading4kids we want them to grow up well-rounded and happy. Encouraging reading is just one part of child development and we hope our guidance helps you as a parent to encourage that.

However, bringing up children provides many, many more challenges for parents, so with the help of some experts we've put together a selection of books which have helped them to deal with some of the issues every parent faces as their baby grows up, right through to those challenging teenage years.

Our ethos has always been to provide guidance on the best books that parents can buy for children whatever their age, from baby board books through to teenage cool. Guidance has always been the key word and other than on Lovereading4kids, it’s increasingly hard to find. And, following recent feedback from members and browsers we’ve discovered that parents also want guidance on books that will help them steer their children through their formative years as that information is incredibly hard to find.

With great gusto we took this request on in true Lovereading style and with the help of a number of experts have succeeded we think in cutting through the huge glut of parenting books that are available, to provide you with guidance on which ones provide the best advice. But don’t just take our word for it; every single featured title has an extract for you to download, including the title’s Contents page, meaning you really can decide whether it’s right for you.

So, from raising confident girls and growing great boys, to making sense of your child’s friendships and having a contented baby or a bible of childcare that covers almost anything you might experience, take a peek, enjoy the reading and then put what you’ve learned into action. We’ll be refreshing the list from time to time as we discover a gem of a book or two, so do come back regularly to check us out.

And finally, if you’re a parent and have discovered a book that you rate highly that we haven’t selected then do tell us so we can spread the word.

Exclusive - Coming Soon Titles

Coming Soon icon

One of the real treats of working in the book world is being one of the few who get to read books before they are officially published.

Uncorrected proofs, as they are termed, are the editions of the books produced in small numbers and sent to book reviewers and the book buyers of large book chains.
Well through Lovereading4kids you can now get on the inside track with our ‘Exclusive Pre-publication’ genre.

Each month we will feature a small selection of books that are due to be published officially in the coming months.

You will be able to download and print off an opening extract of these 'not even on the presses' books and decide whether your children will like it enough to pre-order it and be sent it the minute it’s published.

There will also be opportunities to win uncorrected proof copies signed by the author - for any reader this really is something to treasure.

Picture Book Party from Walker Books

Picture Book Party icon

For the best children’s books, look for the bear!


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As parents we know there is no joy more complete than watching the rapt faces of your children when you read a picture book together. Picture books have lots of other benefits as well such as stimulating language because children have a natural responsiveness to pictures. They are also perfect for settling children at bedtime.

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‘As publishers Walker has made a hugely creative contribution to helping children to learn how to look, not only as an adjunct to learning to read but as a lifelong pleasure in itself, a springboard into all kinds of future delights.' – Shirley Hughes ________________________

This special section is full of all our favourite Walker picture books, both new this year and published previously. No childhood should be without many of these beautifully crafted titles and they will stay with your children (and hopefully their children’s children) for the rest of their lives!

Visit www.picturebookparty.co.uk to go behind-the-scenes in the world of picture books.

Pony Mad

Pony Mad icon

We know some of our members have children who dream about having a pony whilst others live and breathe ponies because they have one, but they want more! This special category should help satisfy their demand by providing warm and engaging stories featuring four legged heroes or heroines of the equine variety.

You’ll find favourite classics and contemporary greats to satisfy their demand. Classics include, Black Beauty, The Silver Brumby, National Velvet, My Friend Flicka and of course War Horse.

Whilst some contemporary greats featured include, The One Dollar Horse, Katy’s Foal, Tilly’s Pony Tails and Princess Evie.

Great books for all reluctant readers

Reluctant Readers icon

TURN RELUCTANT READERS INTO BOOK-LOVERS, AND STRUGGLING READERS INTO CONFIDENT ONES.

Click here to download a free guide to help you help your child to love reading.

Here at Lovereading4kids we want to ensure that every child, however reluctant or struggling a reader he or she is, is given the chance to become a voracious reader.

So with this in mind, our Editorial guru Julia Eccleshare, working closely with the Literacy Trust, asked parents and teachers to recommend books that they had found useful for less confident or unenthusiastic readers. From this initial list Julia has selected a range of titles and put them into age categories. From time to time, we’ll refresh the books so that ongoing you’ll always find something to enthuse your reluctant or struggling reader.

The list includes titles from both mainstream and specialist publishers but all from authors you are likely to recognise. Specialist publishers tend to focus on titles for readers whose reading age is lower than the interest age so if you have a child who finds reading difficult, or who aren’t yet ready to cope with long books, or who simply don’t enjoy books then try one of these titles - each will be clearly marked with its reading age and interest age. The specialist publisher Barrington Stoke is a past master at convincing reluctant readers that books are cool and is at the forefront of this specialist publishing. Their books are short, sharp and sound, skilfully written by some of the top children’s authors around and edited with real flair. So, if your child is really reluctant or struggling we would suggest starting off on the titles published by specialist publishers and then move on to the mainstream titles we’ve also selected.

When a reader is hooked on a story, his or her reading ability is proven to improve. He reads more fluently – because he wants to read on! That’s why books for reluctant readers have to have fabulous stories. We’ve thought long and hard about the selection and we feel every one of the books selected provides a powerful and unputdownable story, even for the most reluctant reader.

Here at Lovereading4kids, with the launch of this genre, our aim is to get every reluctant or struggling reader to take that first step into enjoying the reading experience.

So why not scroll down our list of titles, which is first and foremost broken down by age of child and within that where a title’s reading age is different from the age of the child, it is clearly marked.

Other areas of the site that contain details of books that might be of interest to reluctant readers include Ology World, Real Reads and Essential Reads.

Finally, if you’re looking for some tips to nurture your child’s reading then click here.

William Shakespeare 400 Anniversary

Shakespeare 400 Anniversary icon Willliam Shakespeare A 400 Year Legacy

We know little about the early life of William Shakespeare, but do know that at 18 he married Anne Hathaway and had three children, Susanna and then twins Hamnet and Judith. His son, Hamnet died in childhood.

By 1592 he had moved to London and was working as an actor and playwright, and part of an acting company which later became known as the King's Men. This company had interests in the Globe Theatre on the Southbank and the Blackfriars indoor theatre, and by 1594 Shakespeare's playwrighting began in earnest. He was a prolific writer, producing around two plays a year, he prospered and his reputation grew.

His early plays were mostly histories and comedies - Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry VI, The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III amongst others. By early 1600 he was writing some of his greatest tragedies such as Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life living in New Place in Stratford and died on 23 April 1616 at the age of 52. He was buried two days later in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford and is also commemorated in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

Known as the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare is widely accepted to have been the greatest playwright of all time and his poems and plays are studied and performed all over the world.

To mark the anniversary there are numerous events including :

The Complete Walk with The Globe Theatre : A walk along the Thames celebrating scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare400 : A rich variety of exhibitions and talks on theatre, manuscripts, archaeology and artifacts from Shakespeare's world.

And performances across the capital and beyond at The Globe, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall - find out more here.

The World Wars

The World Wars icon

'Lest we forget'

This year sees the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme (1st July - 18 November 1916). This was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, as the British and French armies engaged the Germans in a devasting battle of attrition, leaving over one million dead and wounded on all sides.
In commemoration there are a number of newly published books which bring the true human cost of this terrible event to life, and you will find them at the top of this selection of World War Literature.

In 2014 it was 100 years since WW1 began and even though there are now no people alive today who experienced it first-hand, its impact on the world is still apparent today.

Over the next 4 years a lot of books will be published for children, and WW1 will appear more prominently in the school curriculum, so we will be selecting our favourites, both fiction and non-fiction. We hope it will inspire children never to forget the sacrifices made by their forbears.

Last year was the 70th Anniversary of the end of WW2 and we are still living with its consequences.

World War One, WW1, The Great War, 1914-1918, was on a scale previously unknown. Millions of lives were lost and vast areas of land destroyed. It was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, on 28th June 1914, in Sarajevo.


Described as the First World War, because it involved countries from every inhabited continent in the World although the vast majority of the fighting took place on what became known as the Western and Eastern fronts, on either side of Germany.

The first World War paved the way for major economic, political and social change and the map of Europe was redrawn. In Britain the labour and suffrage movements grew in strength and support. Our Royal family cut ties with their German ancestry and took the new name of the House of Windsor.


After the armistice on 11 November 1918 The League of Nations was formed with the aim of ensuring such a terrible conflict would never again occur. But with battle-weakened countries unable to defend themselves and rise of fascism, the world was at war once again in 1939.

World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War (after the recent Great War), was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's nations eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.

The Second World War began when Hitler, the leader of the German Nazi party, invaded Poland. Britain and France declared War on Germany two days later.
In 1940 Winston Churchill, generally recognised as our greatest wartime leader, had become Prime Minister. Following the German invasion of France large numbers of Allied soldiers were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk across the English Channel, and the German Blitzkrieg began against northern Europe and by 1941 British cities were being targeted by the German Luftwaffe. British success in the Battle of Britain prevented Germany from gaining air superiority and forced Hitler to postpone plans to invade Britain but the Blitz bombing continued. Civilians built bomb-shelters, Anderson Shelters, in their gardens or communal areas and in London the people sheltered in Underground stations. Many children were evacuated from cities to the country to keep them safe.

By 1942 the US had entered the War following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The Germans had invaded Russia but their surrender at Stalingrad marked the first major defeat for the Germans. D Day in 1944 marked the start of the Allied offensive against German troops in Europe as thousands of soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy with support from the air from over 1300 RAF planes. Russian troops continued their advancement in Eastern Europe and began liberating prisoners in camps including Auschwitz. When the Russians reached Berlin Hitler committed suicide and Germany surrendered on the 7th May 1945. After atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan's surrender followed.

World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations (UN) was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts.

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Barrington Stoke, the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers, has launched a special new website dedicated to literacy and World War One. Reading War is packed with rich content relating to the themes of two Barrington Stoke titles, Over the Line and Tilly’s Promise, with videos, teachers’ guides and stories, diaries and other reading materials created specially for the site. See www.readingwar.co.uk for more.

UKLA Book Awards

UKLA Book Awards icon

Lovereading4kids is pleased to feature the UKLA Book Awards this year. Run by the UK Literacy Association, what makes these awards so unique is that they are the only awards judged entirely by active classroom teachers, who are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers.

“A great opportunity to read an exciting range of new literature and then to share ideas with other teachers” Kaye Wilson, teacher judge.

This year, seventy-seven teachers have been selected from schools in Nottingham, Derbyshire, Leicester, Coventry and Birmingham to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils.

Then they had the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of six books in each category! Which you can see here along with the 2014 shortlisted books.

For more information on the UKLA Awards visit www.ukla.org/awards