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LoveReading4Kids is the biggest and best recommendation site for children’s books. Our passion for children’s books ranges from toddlers to teens and ensures that whatever the age, whatever the interest, that you have a steady stream of brilliant book recommendations for your child.
This section of the site brings together a range of wonderful books that have been released by publishers enabling children to read or listen to them for free during this challenging time.
In addition to this, for most of the books there is an expert review and an opening extract so you can try before you buy and get a feel for whether the book will really engage the interest of the child.
We also have tons of book related activities children might be interested in our Kids Zone, including videos and activity pages, and we are regularly creating new content to help encourage a reading for pleasure culture at home and school and develop readers for life.
Further to this 'free books' offering, we have various features in response to the covid-19 crisis including:
And we have recently launched our annual Children’s Poetry Prize with a workshop from award-winning poet Joshua Seigal here. You can enjoy the workshop whatever the age, but if your child is between 7 and 11 they can also enter their poem into the award.
Photo by Aw Creative on Unsplash - with thanks.
May 2020 Debut of the Month | There have been many versions of the moral tale of the crow and the peacock and this one from debut picture-book artist Jo Fernihough is particularly attractive. The vibrant mixed media and collage images are full of movement and expression and immediately catch the reader’s attention. Crow is living happily and contentedly until he starts to compare his feathers and his song with other birds. From the dove to the nightingale, to the cockerel to the swan, each bird seems more magnificent than the last and crow is sure each one must be the happiest bird alive, but each in turn direct him to a bird they are envious of. But when he finally reaches the magnificent peacock he learns that he himself is the subject of envy. He is free to sing and fly free compared to the caged peacock. Crow and the reader learn the lesson about what is really important in life and that one must count your own blessings. A strong message for the current situation and beautifully conveyed in nicely repetitive text and imaginative use of typography as well glorious colour. A really worthwhile addition to the library.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2020 | Stylish and beautifully conceived, this entertaining new picture book by artist/ designer Marion Deuchars is a visual treat as well as a strong story about artistic competition - and collaboration. Bob loves making art and is very jealous when everyone starts talking about Roy, the amazing new artist in town. His work is apparently fantastic! Who is this new artist and what is so special about his work? Why is he the best in town? Bob does everything he can to compete with Roy until he realises that working together might be more fun!
Bestselling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Lydia Monks have teamed up for another brilliant picture book. Right in the farmyard among all the noisy animals with their MOOs! and QUACKS! and BAAs! and OINKs! lives a tiny silent ladybird. This beautiful glittery creature (little fingers will love to feel her sparkly shape) is so quiet that she hears two crafty robbers plotting to raid the farmyard. And she comes up with a very clever plan to stop them, helped by the very noisy animals all around her. A wonderful adventure with gorgeous stylised illustrations.
Satoshi Kitamura’s artwork is immediately recognisable and Hat Tricks is a typically joyful, bold, bright celebration of the imagination. The little rabbit on the cover is Hattie, a gifted magician. Waving her wand – abracadabra, katakurico – she conjures a procession of animals out of her hat – a cat, a squirrel, an octopus, each turn of the page bringing a new surprise until … well, you’ll have to read it for yourselves. Kitamura’s comic timing is impeccable, and there’s a wonderful sense of drama as it all builds to its truly unexpected conclusion. A magical reading experience!
Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since this first book was published in 1989. A modern classic, this picture book is known to millions, and continues to be one of the biggest selling picture books ever, having sold over 2 million copies around the world. The subtle message is that it is OK to be different, and combined with the vibrant colour and cheeky humour of the main character, it’s an essential bedtime story. To see other Elmer titles click here.
With expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | With consultant Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as the adviser on this book you can use it in confidence that the information is relevant and correct. The idea behind the book was the brainchild of the publisher Nosy Crow - to make something freely available to help children understand the current situation and to try to ease some of their concerns. No-one has received any fees for this book. Plus, using such a well-known illustrator as Axel Scheffler (recognised worldwide for the Gruffalo illustrations) makes the whole thing feel recognisable and familiar. The book takes us through explaining what a virus is and how you might catch it – and what happens if you do catch it. A fascinating fact gleaned on the way is that there are more different antibodies inside us now than the number of people in the world! Everything is explained in simple terms so that young children can understand the way antibodies react to virus incursions. The book goes on to explain why we need to take care, why a vaccine may take some considerable time to develop and why so many things are closed at the moment. It also tackles the issues of being at home all the time, lack of fun and activities – and how to share and how to talk to your grown up about worries. Talking about ways to help is a very useful way forward – and also being kind to those you live with. The book finishes on the very positive statement that ‘one day this strange time will be over – we did it together’ a vital message of hope. There are also sections of information for children as well as for the parents, guardians and carers. It was a brilliant idea to create this – and a very generous act to make it available free of charge – excellent call Nosy Crow!
A story of kindness during the 2020 Coronavirus crisis | This illustrated children story has been created during the first three/four months of the global outbreak of the Coronavirus Covid-19 in 2020. This is a very strange and difficult time; it is a period full of anxiety, of isolation, of distance between families and between friends; it is a moment in time of pain, of fear and worries in terms of emotions, health, finances as well as what the future might bring. But it also a moment where it is very important to try to keep hope and love at the centre of our thoughts and our days. This book is for everyone, everywhere in the world; it is a story of of kindness, hope and love.
We humans take our domination of the planet for granted, but sometimes nature reminds us that this is an illusion. Tectonics rip open the earth, vast waves sweep away coastal towns, magma spews from volcanoes and hurricanes lay waste to entire countries. This book explores nature at its most destructive. Clear, coherent explanations break down the science behind phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, alongside fascinating facts about the biggest and the worst. Informative, accessible illustrations by Sophie Williams make this so much more than your standard geography book.
Ben Miller cleverly mixes real science and observations of real life into a mind-expanding story, and gives it something of the feel of a fable too. Harrison is generally a good boy, but he does have trouble with his temper. He loses it spectacularly at another boy’s birthday and, to make a point, the party entertainer sends him home with – wait for it – a black hole. It’s useful for getting rid of things he doesn’t like, but when he accidentally loses things that matter, he needs science, determination and the help of his family to put things right. The science is real enough to make us think it could happen, and the storytelling more than good enough to make us wish it had. If The Boy Who Made the World Disappear sparks a desire for more science based adventure, look out for books by Christopher Edge and Ross Welford.
Merfolk of the World | We are all fascinated by mermaids – whether it’s the story of The Little Mermaid, or the idea of mysterious creatures luring sailors into danger. This beautifully illustrated book introduces readers to mermaids from all around the world – not just the UK and Europe but across the Americas, Australia and Asia too; it seems that people everywhere have always been entranced by the idea of human creatures living in the sea or deep lakes. Many of these mermaids are beautiful, some are helpful and kind, others anything but. The stories will catch the imagination, and this is a book to pore over and return to again and again.
Written to be read aloud, The Ickabog is a fairy tale, set in an imaginary land, and is a complete stand-alone story unrelated to the author’s other work. It will appeal to children between the ages of 7 and 9 but can be enjoyed by the whole family. The story will be translated into a number of other languages, and made available on the website shortly after the English language version appears.
February 2019 Book of the Month | This is a delightful, newly-minted fairy tale (three sisters, a quest, a witch, a moral) and thoroughly satisfying. The Widdershins sisters – Fliss, Betty and Charlie – live with their granny on the island of Crowstone, a miserable, end of the line kind of place, all damp, and marsh and mist. It’s not somwehere you’d want to live but as the story unfolds, we discover that because of an age-old curse, the girls can never leave. When breaking the curse becomes a matter of life or death, the three girls will have to work together – despite their sometimes spiky relationships – and at least they have a pinch of magic to help. This is an ingenious and compelling story and like the age-old tales that are its inspiration, pitches love, generosity and forgiveness against human cruelty. Superb! There are some great fantasy adventures for young readers at the moment – look out too for The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle and The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson.
March 2018 Book of the Month | Any young reader who enjoys funny, surprising, brilliantly inventive stories should check into The Nothing to See Here Hotel IMMEDIATELY. They’ll be welcomed by Frankie Banister, son of the owners and great-great-great-grandson of troll legend Regurgita Glump, who still lives on the hotel’s top floor. Frankie does a great job introducing the hotel and its bizarre assortment of magical guests and staff, including chef Nancy, the giant Orkney Brittle-Back spider, and Ooof the ogre doorman. The story takes off with the arrival of goblin prince Grogbah and his enormous entourage. He’s a very difficult guest, and is Granny right when she decides he’s up to something sneakerish? The plot zips along like the best-oiled luggage trolley and Butler and Lenton make readers feel completely at home in the extraordinary world they’ve created. A 5* reading experience and the first in a new series to boot. Children of 7 to 9 are being really well-served by authors at the moment, and those who enjoy this book will also love the Amelia Fang series and Kaye Umansky’s Witch for a Week.
July 2017 Debut of the Month | Imagine what it would be like if you were you, an ordinary kid, but by complete accident you enrolled in a school where everyone had an amazing superpower. That’s exactly what happens to Murph Cooper, and the resulting story is very funny indeed. This is the first children’s book by radio stars Greg James and Chris Smith, and it’s a zany mix of slapstick, colourful characters and superhero jokes. Beneath all of that too it slips in an important message about how ordinary can be special too. This is a great summer holidays read and if you’re looking for a book for bedtime it’s great fun to read aloud. Kid normals will also enjoy these books in the same vein: My Brother is a Superhero, Othergirl by Nicole Burstein and Shane Hegarty’s Darkmouth series.
Mabel Lucie Attwell was one of the best-loved children’s illustrators of the last century and her warm, gentle illustrations for Alice in Wonderland will have the same effect on readers today as when they were first published in 1911. Alice is a pretty little girl with untidy red hair and inquisitive look. Colour plates and line drawings are both full of life and expression, and there’s none of the sentimentality that characterises Attwell’s work for younger children. This is a very handsome edition and will make a lovely Christmas gift. ~ Andrea ReeceBoth this edition of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and Wendy are introduced by Webster Wickham, great-grandson of Mabel Lucie Attwell.
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 | Comedian, entertainer and ‘national trinket’ Julian Clary now turns out to be a talented children’s writer too. The Bolds, his first book for children, is a real treat – a funny story with a ludicrous but hugely enjoyable plotline, lots of jokes, some nail-biting moments and wonderful characters. The Bolds live happily in Teddington where Mrs Bold sells hats and Mr Bold writes the jokes for Christmas crackers, jobs for which they are perfectly suited. Hardly anyone knows they are actually hyenas! Their secret nearly comes out when they attract the attention of their grumpy next-door neighbour, but maybe he’s got things to hide too. David Roberts’ illustrations are a joy to behold and perfectly catch the stylishly dressed Bolds’ blithe, carefree happiness. A very special book.
September 2018 Book of the Month | Exciting news for all Harry Potter fans, Bloomsbury has published a paperback edition of the number one bestselling Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by by the awesomely talented Kate Greenaway Medal winner, Jim Kay. Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay's dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters. This is where the adventure begins, as Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy but a wizard of great reknown, as well as expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Moreover, at Hogwarts, he encounters "He Who Must Not Be Named", a master of magic whose ambition is more dark and terrifying than Harry can possibly imagine.
In addition to the famous 1911 novel Peter and Wendy, this volume contains the celebrated stage version on which Peter and Wendy is based, as well as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. This edition is illustrated by Joel Stewart. Alma Books is an independent publisher mainly in the field of contempory fiction and classics. Around 40% of their titles are from English-language originals while the rest are translations from French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese and other languages. Alma Books have just launched a series of children's and young-adult titles, and promise a selection of great international authors and new talent. Their launch titles include - Alistair Grim's Odditorium by Gregory FunaroGabriel-Ernest and Other Tales by Saki Madame Tussaud's Apprentice by Kathleen Benner Duble Stones for My Father by Trilby Kent The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui The Selfish Giant and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde The Complete Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie Did you ever wonder how Peter & the Lost Boys got to Neverland? In Oct 15 Warner Bros releases Pan, a movie imagining of Peter, spirited away from an orphanage to the magical Neverland. Visit www.panmovie.com for movie news, downloads and games.
Best-selling Australian author/ illustrator Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have created a fantastical treehouse which will tickle the imagination of all readers. It’s a house with everything – and if there is something it lacks, it can easily be created! The guys are full of crazy and inventive ideas some of which have very unexpected and disastrous results. When Andy and Terry aren’t having fun in their tree house doing terrible things like turning their neighbour’s cat into a canary they are meant to be writing a book! The jokes about the book being created within a book are good.
If you liked Marcus Sedgwick's The Raven Mysteries, you'll love this ! Gruesome and scarily witty, this is the spooky story of Stitch Head, a lonely almost-human creature made by a mad professor in the sinister Castle Grotesque. Almost lost and forgotten, Stitch Head’s life is turned upside down when Fulbert Freakfinder’s Travelling Circus rolls into his home town of Grubbers Nubbin. After that, nothing is ever quite the same again... Click here to visit the Stitch Head website.
Follow the yellow brick road with Dorothy and her dog Toto into a magical world that unfurls before you. A classic with more magic on every page than almost any other book and appropriately enough the contemporary author who comes closest to these magical qualities has written an Introduction to this classic – Cornelia Funke. She wasn’t lucky enough to read this timeless classic as a child but hopes that children today will be luckier than her and have the chance to follow the yellow brick road while still a child. She says, ‘a great story like this, changes all the time with the readers it finds’. How true. This terrific pocket size Puffin Classics edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in The Wizard of Oz plus many related activities to do beyond the book.
This is a book that fires the imagination with its bewitching and magical qualities and one that every young girl will absolutely love. There’s an Introduction by Sophie Dahl who at the age of nine (the same age as Mary, the heroine in the story) relished secret places just as Mary did. Sophie’s secret places were the airing cupboard and behind the compost heap in the garden. In this terrific pocket size Puffin edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in The Secret Garden plus many related activities to do beyond the book. From Michael Morpurgo: "I love this story of a girl's life being changed by nature."
As proved in her hugely popular Dreamsnatcher series, Abi Elphinstone understands exactly what young readers want in the way of magical adventure and Rumblestar, the first instalment of a new series, should make them very happy indeed. The new Unmapped Chronicles start with a ‘what if’ - specifically what if our climate was actually created magically in another world linked to ours? When Casper Tock finds himself in just such a world, all he wants is to escape but it’s his destiny to stand against the villainous Morg to safeguard his home. In this he has a wonderfully spiky companion, a girl called Utterly Thankless, and a whole host of dangers to confront. The adventures keep coming and Elphinstone’s imagination seems boundless while she’s clearly thinking too about the climate challenges we face in the real world. Great stuff, and a real treat for young readers.
Ash’s story is “probably the same as anyone else’s, more or less, just perhaps with more gas masks and a goat.” The goat is a Tennessee Fainting Goat named Socrates who lives with the isolated Canary community deep in the Arizona desert. The gas masks Ash mentions are needed by the Canaries on account of them suffering from debilitating environmental illnesses that doctors deny the existence of. And so begins a thoroughly thought-provoking novel that tackles huge health and environmental issues. Ash journeyed to the community in search of his missing stepbrother, Bly. The folk here cannot live in towns or cities due to all the chemicals and smells and electrical fields that trigger incapacitating Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. When Ash gets sick himself he discovers firsthand how it feels to have your symptoms rebuffed by medics who decide, “This is all in your head”, and pretty much declare, “I can’t cure you so you must be mad.” His frustration and pain is tangible. Indeed, Ash’s narrative is brilliantly compelling throughout. He’s a born storyteller whose voice chimes with authentic cadences and detours. Ash and Bly’s poignant family story is intertwined with much food for thought about a diverse spread of subjects - genetics, bacteria, antibiotics and human shortsightedness and greed. As former scientist Finch comments, “We are filling the world full of chemicals that we have precisely no idea about, and one not-so-fine day the chickens will come home to roost. With the canaries.” Ash comes to some sharp realisations too. Under the warm, wise tutelage of Mona, he furiously states that, “one day, doctors are gonna finally realize that there ain’t no god-dang difference between the body and the mind anyhow”. This remarkable novel is underpinned by its acute portrait of fractured folk forging an existence in a fractured world that seems on the brink of end times. But “maybe there’s time for one final chance,” Ash wonders, which will leave readers with a glint of hope and plenty to ponder.
Nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal | Humorous and heartbreaking debut novel with the fresh, funny, honest voice of a 14-year-old Geordie lad recounting the trials and tribulations of family life and finding first love. Danny's mam has a new boyfriend. Initially, all is good - Callum seems nice enough, and Danny can't deny he's got a cool set up; big house, fast car, massive TV, and Mam seems to really like him. But cracks begin to show, and they're not the sort that can be easily repaired. As Danny witnesses Mam suffer and Callum spiral out of control he goes in search of his dad. The Dad he's never met. Set in Newcastle and Edinburgh, this supremely readable coming-of-age drama tackles domestic violence head on, but finds humour and hope in the most unlikely of- places.
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