At Lovereading4kids we’re passionate about all the books we feature.
"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.
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.
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.
Do you want to know what other people are reading?
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.
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.
Each year thousands of children's books are published and each month we feature around 80 of our favourites, all categorised by age range.
Below, after much debate in the office, are the ones we think are the best of the year.
We hope you enjoy the selection.
Many of them are available in a selection of formats including eBooks.
Nothing beats sitting with a baby or toddler on the knee and sharing a book.
Crazy, Colourful Characters
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST REAL MEMORY OF DRAWING?
At seven years of age. It was at a chess competition, I did not excel at chess but there was an art competition too. I entered a rather odd funny looking Loch Ness monster and it won first prize!
WHY DO YOU ENJOY ILLUSTRATING CHILDREN'S BOOKS?
I find them funny and you can add slight adult humour too and this hopefully appeals to the adult purchaser. There is nothing more warming than seeing people enjoying and laughing at a published book that you have illustrated.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST INFLUENCES?
Nature and people are the biggest influence in my work and try to get as much character and expression into each piece of work as possible. Characters are the main subject of my work as I believe these can make and break a project. I have been fortunate to win a few awards and have been shortlisted for a few as well.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO NEXT?
I would like to write and illustrate a book of my own and there are plenty of ideas in my brain waiting to be discovered.
‘You would have to be half mad to dream me up.’
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.
‘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.’
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.
"Compulsive...Impossible to put down"
photo copyright Sonia Sones
Gayle was born in 1970 in Los Angeles and now lives in New York. She enjoyed writing from an early age but her first book wasn't published until she was 34. Her first novel was Sister in Sanity, inspired by an article she wrote for Seventeen magazine and she has since gone on to write a number of YA books.
Shaun the Sheep hits the Silver Screen!
After the mischievous sheep of Mossy Bottom Farm hatch a plan for a day off, everything goes haywire. The Farmer goes missing, the pigs take over the farmhouse, and chaos descends. Shaun and the rest of the Flock head into the Big City for a manhunt. There they find lots of surprises – including an Animal Containment Officer who is hunting them! Can Shaun find the Farmer, and bring him back safe and sound?
One of our readers, Ben, was lucky enough to be invited to the premier of Shaun the Sheep The Movie. He said ‘It was funny, it was hilarious and it made the grown-ups laugh even louder than me! My favourite part was when Shaun whacked Timmy's teddy bear in the baddies face. It was so funny! Go and see it straight away! Now! Just go and if you want to see how movies are made there are some great Shaun the Sheep movie books with lots of fun-filled activities. Creating a storyboard was really fun.'
Learning to read provides the best opportunity for children to take off privately into worlds of their own.
Feed your kids' imagination by giving them the books behind the films.
Getting lost in a book is one of the great delights of childhood.
Fact and fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire.
The Blue Peter Book Awards aim to guide children towards quality literature, encouraging them to read and establish a love of reading for life.
The Blue Peter Book Awards 2015
The Shortlisted titles are
For Best Story....
Goth Girl and a Fete Worse Than Death by Chris Riddell
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen
The Spy Who Loved School Dinners by Pamela Butchart
And for Best Book with Facts....
Animalium by Jenny Broom
Corpse Talk by Adam Murphy
The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff by Andy Seed
Judge Liz Pichon said "We have a brilliant selection, something for everyone. There's beautifully illustrated fiction, gripping stories, funny books and the FIRST comic strip style book with facts which is fantastic. We keep hearing that kids don't read anymore, but if you get the right books in front of them they really will - I've seen it. The Blue Peter Awards are a fantastic way of showcasing even more great books."
You can keep up to date with the Awards @Booktrust
The reading world now lies wide open.
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.’
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.
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.
Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books
A distinguished independent panel of experts, which included our very own Julia Eccleshare, reviewed hundreds of books from toddlers to teens and picked their top 50. These 50 titles cover a wide range of books from favourite picture books to must-read novels to challenging books which are likely to provoke discussion.
Julia Eccleshare said “The images and stories that children hear from the very beginning of their lives are instrumental in expanding their view of the world and in shaping their later attitudes. Born without any sense of the artificial divisions between people or hierarchies in their status, which may later be imposed, pre-schoolers are open-minded. For that reason, making sure that everyone is represented in pictures and words is vital. Happily, there are some excellent examples of books that do this. This selection shows what can be done and why it matters. Let’s hope it encourages writers, illustrators and publishers to add to it.”
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.
New is not necessarily better
Barrington Stoke 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.
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: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new 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 5-8's and with a reading age of 6+, these quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers. They are also suited to children of 7-10, reading below this leve and to dyslexic or reluctant readers.
Click here to download a free guide from Barrington Stoke to help you help your child to love reading.
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.
‘Our Early Readers bridge the gap between picture books and reading alone; accessible stories, illustrated in full colour on every page, they are designed to entertain and encourage a love of reading.’ Fiona Kennedy, Publisher
With Early Reader books you can introduce them to wonderful new authors, fantastic illustrations and watch their love of reading grow. Moving them gently away from picture books and gradually increasing the amount of text.
A blue Early Reader is perfect for sharing and reading together.
A red Early Reader is the next step on your child's reading journey, short accessible chapters make them ideal for newly confident readers - but we also think they're great for sharing too.
Early Readers: Your stepping stones from picture books to reading books.
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All the books listed here have extra goodies that can be won in a free to enter prize draws.
To find out more and to enter just click a book cover
After the surprise that followed the choice of Carnegie winner in Kevin Brooks' hardhitting The Bunker Diary, The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize has announced a contrasting longlist.
One of the judges, author Frank Cottrell Boyce, himself a former winner of the prize, said that while many of the books on this year's longlist "tackle dark themes, they do so in bold, unexpected ways that take us way beyond the confines of the current fad for teenage misery lit".
On revealing the Guardian's longlist Julia Eccleshare said that judges had sidestepped the darkness of contemporary life, and "looked beyond childhood anxiety for stories that made make-believe seem real".
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!
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.
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.
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.
For the best children’s books, look for the bear!
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.
'Lest we forget'
In 2014 it will be 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.