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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.
July 2020 Book of the Month | With characteristic vision and grace Meg Rosoff has done it again in this exquisite novel that merits a place alongside I Capture the Castle, Bonjour Tristesse and The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) for its coming-of-age, loss-of-innocence excellence. Though contemporary, it feels timeless and elementally affecting, much like the Great Godden’s impact on the family whose story it tells. With an idyllic seaside summer stretching ahead, the tingling anticipation of The Great Godden’s unnamed teenage narrator is deliciously palpable: “This year is going to be the best ever: the best weather, the best food, the best fun. The actors assembled, the summer begins.” But there are still two more actors to take to the stage - enter the Godden brothers in a shiny black car. The narrator’s older sister Mattie is immediately smitten by magnetic, handsome, self-assured Kit: “She was desperate to lose her virginity, and what sort of person would say no to Mattie? Surely not some movie star’s kid, fresh off the plane?” Though Mattie is certainly attractive, it’s obvious that charmer Kit has the upper hand of any situation, but might he also be a trouble-maker, as his curt, less-of-a-looker brother warns? Such wonderings underpin some of this novel’s essence. With the stage fully set and summer speeding towards the climax of a wedding, it poses fundamental questions about motivation, and the nature of agency, of lust, of the desire to be seen for who you are. Quivering with unease, passion and paranoia, it also reveals how past experiences engrave themselves upon us, creating fault-lines that may crack and cause future ructions. Sophisticated, seductive and smoothly readable, this is a summer story par excellence, and a coming-of-age tale for all times.
July 2020 Book of the Month | Set in the author’s native Wales during the dark days of the fifth century, Ellen Caldecott’s The Short Knife is an energetic, edge-of-your-seat page-turner with present-day resonance as 21st-century Britain - island of migrants - faces the challenge of forging an identity independent of continental Europe. With the Romans compelled to leave Britain after 400 years, the island is on the brink of collapse. Amidst this uncertainty and the chaos of Saxon invasion, thirteen-year-old Mai is cared for by her dad and sister (she lost her mam when she was three), and wrestling with her “anger at the people free to flee into the hills. Anger at all the world and everyone in it. I want to open my mouth and let the fire out, burn it all into blackness.” When Saxon warriors turn up at their farm, the family is forced to flee to the dangerous hills themselves. Mai must cross the threshold from childhood to adulthood if she’s to survive in a hostile world in which speaking in her mother tongue might turn out to be fatal. The cinematic scene-setting, first person narrative, and succinct, magnetically lyrical style make for a thrilling experience that will hook the most reluctant of readers. Recommended for fans of Caroline Lawrence and Damian Dibben’s The History Keepers series, this offers enlightening insights into British history with fresh flair, and through the eyes of a compelling main character.
July 2020 Book of the Month | They may be a family of hyenas, but if we were all like the Bolds the world would be a much better place. In case you don’t know, the Bolds live disguised as humans in Teddington. Their two children attend the local primary, and both parents work: Mr Bold writes cracker jokes, Mrs Bold designs extravagant hats. In this story, Mr Bold’s mother arrives from Africa for a visit, and struggles rather with her son’s new lifestyle choice. It looks like the family will be exposed, but the story takes a different turn, and once again the Bolds come to the aid of someone who needs their help. The story is deliciously bonkers, the illustrations just as witty and full of quirky detail, and the Bolds’ live-and-let-live philosophy is a breath of fresh air in our quarrelsome times. If you want everyone to go to sleep smiling and happy, make this your bedtime reading.
July 2020 Book of the Month | A day in the park with his friends turns into a calamity for robot Bernard. A series of alarming squeaks and clangs points to problems with one thing - his bottom! Something’s clearly wrong with it and Bear has to take it away. That makes Bernard No-Bot again but not for long: his friends are determined to find him the perfect new bottom. This much-loved author-illustrator team specialise in the silly, and this is deliciously daft from start to finish (top to bottom!) and will have small children laughing uncontrollably.
July 2020 Book of the Month | From the author of exceptional YA novels like What Momma Left Me and Piecing Me Together comes this beautiful bighearted story for 7+ year-olds – a true treasure about everyday family life, being yourself and making the best of things, with an unforgettable African American heroine at its luminous heart. Keen cook Ryan and her family live in Portland, Oregon, and she’s not best pleased when they have to move to a smaller house as a result of her dad’s new job paying less than the one he lost a while back. But Ryan’s not the kind of girl to complain for long, or to let anything get her down. She’s one of life’s thinkers and doers, whose loving parents have infused her with a life-affirming sense of self-worth and pride in her heritage: “I remember what Mom always tells me, how she named me Ryan because she wanted me to feel powerful, to remember that I am a leader every time someone calls my name. Dad is always telling me our people come from royalty, that my ancestors lived in Africa and were kings and queens and inventors and hard workers. Mom tells me their strength is running through my veins.” Told through manageable interlinked vignettes, this soulfully illustrated gem - the first in a series - sits in the tradition of Judy Blume’s young fiction and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series, but it’s also refreshingly unique. The pitch-perfect evocation of Ryan’s grace and warmth, and her positive perspective will entertain and inspire young readers, while helping them understand the world and handle change.
July 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | In this important new resource, author Cerrie Burnell has put together a fascinating collection of inspiring stories. As she says in her introduction when she was growing up as a child born with just one hand “there just weren’t enough books with a disabled protagonist” and “Everyone deserves to see someone like them in a story and achieving something great” Her own achievements are themselves inspirational and she has long been a disability rights campaigner as well as much loved CBeebies presenter and children’s author and so the whole book is infused with authenticity and passion. A double page spread for each of the 34 role models and two special sections on mental health and “invisible disabilities” are all evocatively illustrated by comic artist and graphic designer, Lauren Baldo capturing the time and spirit of the featured individual and giving real context to the highly readable and fascinating life stories. Starting in 1770 with Beethoven and finishing in 2001 with the birth of black, transgender disabled model superstar Aaron Philip, the life stories are commendably international and wide ranging, challenging our preconceived ideas of what is possible. From the familiar Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder to the less well known like break dancer Redouan Ait Chit, mountaineer Arunima Sinha, lawyer Catalina Devandas to celebrities like Lady Gaga,whose disability was a complete surprise to me, these stories will open eyes and minds. A comprehensive glossary and helpful discussion of language choices around disability and representation throughout add even more usefulness to this essential and attractive resource.
July 2020 Book of the Month | There’s never been a better time to encourage children to dream up adventures and then turn them into written stories. This lively how-to book will certainly inspire them and is packed with story-writing ideas to get them started, and a wealth of really good writing advice (whatever your age). Its author Joanne Owen is herself a successful writer for children and it shows. She shares real tips of the trade, from ways to spark ideas to techniques that will make your writing really effective. There are lots of practical exercises, all of them fun and stimulating. With space to write your stories down, young writers can get going straightaway and the lessons they learn will be useful throughout their lives. Get a copy in time for National Writing Day on 24th June, a chance for everyone to enjoy some creative writing. **** Read a Q&A with the author, Joanne Owen with tips for writing and recommendations for Summer Reading
August 2016 Book of the Month This book is definitely not for those of a nervous disposition! It features hundreds of different creatures from big cats and bears to the tiniest creatures. They all have one thing in common: they are deadly, and will sting, bite, poison or trample you should you get too close. Each bright, information-packed page features five different animals graded, Top Trumps like, according to degrees of scariness, a ‘Killer Fact’ distinguishing the most scary. It’s very readable, perfect for browsing, non-fiction at its jaw-dropping best. A word of warning – the photo of the Guinea worm on page 96 will put even those with the strongest stomachs off their tea! ~ Andrea Reece
Fall down the rabbit hole, take flight into Neverland, or follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City; we all remember what it was like to disappear into the imaginary worlds of the most magical and fantastic type of literature, the children’s book. Now, with 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, be ready to be transported back to a time when magic was possible and share that love with your children. Compiled and edited by Lovereading4kids’ very own editorial expert Julia Eccleshare and with a Preface by Quentin Blake, this is a wonderful offline resource that provides a great introduction to the very best books of childhood. From wordless picture books and books introducing the first sounds of the alphabet through to hard-hitting and edgy teenage fiction, the titles featured reflect the best of children’s literature from the international classics to the most famous contemporary writers. So whatever the reading age or ability, there is something to suit every child. Reviews of the books are accompanied by evocative line drawings and colour artworks from the books themselves, together with reproductions of original jackets and photographs of the authors. In addition, some of our most famous, familiar and much loved children’s authors write about their favourite story by another author. Including great writers and illustrators such as: Philip Pullman, author of Northern Lights, Ruby in the Smoke; Michael Morpurgo, author of Private Peaceful, and Kensuke’s Kingdom; Jacqeline Wilson, author of the Tracey Beaker books; Lauren Child, author of the Clarice Bean books and Eric Carle, author of the much loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And the question on everyone’s lips is what is their favourite story of all time? Well, snuggle down with this book and you can discover it - and maybe you will read a story that you have never read before and will love it as much as they do. You’ll find many of the titles featured on Lovereading4kids, so check out an extract if you want more information on a title than you can get in this book.
May 2015 Book of the Month There’s a wide range of things to make in this fun book, from building your own toolbox – the first project, naturally – to making a wormery and a simple spinning motor. For each one there are step-by-step instructions, clearly explained and easy to follow, with bright symbols to indicate when grown-up help will be needed. The skills learned making these twenty-three projects can thereafter be successfully applied to hundreds more DIY projects too. A book to inspire kids and provide them with hours of fun, whether they are working independently or in association with their elders (parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles). ~ Andrea Reece
May 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month The planet is under threat, but there are things we can all do to change that says this attractive guide book. It’s full of suggestions for practical – and enjoyable – things children can do to make a difference in their home or local area. There are projects to encourage wildlife for example, ideas for keeping rubbish out of landfill by turning it into something pretty or useful, and some clever gadgets to make that will help your family use less energy. With its clear, attractive design and easy to follow instructions this successfully challenges children to be more eco-friendly while having fun. There’s a useful list of websites offering more ideas and information at the back too. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2018 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Graphic novel, information book, horticultural history, A Big Garden is beautiful to look at, totally original and rather remarkable. Beginning in May, it takes readers through the year in a garden, above and below ground, describing the extraordinary amount of activity that goes on, the actions not just of the gardeners but of the plants and insects too. Detailed passages of text are full of information, e.g. listing all a gardener must do to protect his crops in June, describing the amazing methods that plants have evolved to protect themselves against threats. At times it’s philosophical – ‘put simply, gardening is all about interpreting the future and overcoming the unforeseeable’ – at other times poetic – a gardener ‘always has his hands in the soil, and looks up to the sky’. The illustrations are equally inspiring and attention-grabbing, vividly naturalistic paintings of fruit and plants set against fantastic scenes in which miniature gardeners toil away. Beautiful and inspiring, it’s a book to treasure. ~ Andrea Reece
A Lovereading4kids 'Great read you may have missed 2011' selection. A Lovereading4Kids 'Debut of the Year 2011' selection. Winner of the top children's book award in Ireland in 2011 - the Bisto Award. Babies and Toddlers +. When Little Owl falls out of the nest he needs help to find his way home again. Luckily squirrel is keen to help but how does he know what Little Owl’s mummy will look like? Young readers will enjoy the entertaining confusion of mummies as squirrel misinterprets Little Owl’s description of his mummy. A touching story.
Rabbit and Bear: Book 4 | Rabbit is worried: trees in their forest are disappearing and, worse still, the stream has moved – even unflappable Bear declares herself ‘close to being slightly worried’ at that. The cause is the arrival of Castor Canadensis, a beaver, who is delighted with engineering as a means of building ‘New, Bigger and Better things’ in the name of ‘Progress’. It suits some of the animals, but definitely not all. Fortunately, Bear finds a way to get the animals working together, so that Castor’s hard work benefits them all, himself included. As ever, there’s as much insight as humour, and it’s a superb read aloud story. Gough and Field make creating books this good look simple, because they’re both masters at what they do. Treat yourself, and buy all four books.
An evocative and thrilling tale, set in a richly colourful Dickensian world, featuring a small boy, Mouse, whose parents are lost at sea, and whose life is threatened by the claims of his money-grabbing and debt-ridden Uncle and he is sent by him to a school that lives by fear and terror. All the characters are truly memorable, some for good and some for evil but most though are warm-hearted and generous characters who see the plight of Mouse and each in their own way help him towards finding his family. But will they be able to help? It's a real jewel of classic storytelling in the making that will pull at the heartstrings. The author is well known for her younger fiction and this longer novel for an older age range is a thrilling departure.
April 2016 Book of the Month The characters may be bears, but the parent/child relationship depicted in this lovely picture book will be familiar to all readers. It’s hot so a little bear suggests to his dad that they should go to the river to cool down and dad agrees. Little Bear is determined to lead the way and show his dad just how brave and clever he is but, as all parents know, this kind of excitement leads to accidents. Sure enough, Little Bear slips but with Dad’s help they reach the river in the end and have a lovely time. The text perfectly catches some of those special interactions between parent and child, and illustrator Emily Hughes makes the bears particularly endearing. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month | February 2017 Book of the Month Best-selling Lucy Cousins‘s boldly drawn birds inspire the imagination as she illustrates the wonderful things that different kinds of birds can do. Lively, colourful birds fill each page beautifully as she illustrates them flying, hopping, pecking, swooping, singing and running in a charming book that leads perfectly to bedtime. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2017 Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac by Nick Mohammed A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Mind the Gap by Phil Earle The Bolds on Holiday by Julian Clary The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
One of our 2018 Books of the Year | August 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: classic time-slip adventure with some contemporary twists | Sally Nicholls is adept at balancing excitement with humour, creating original page-turning stories that are rich with insight. Well-versed in time travel plots Alex and Ruby quickly guess what’s happened when they fall through an old mirror into 1912. They make friends with the children of the house, Dora and Henry (one of whom could be a great-grandparent) before being caught up in adventure: someone has stolen a valuable antique cup from charming Uncle Atherton, on the eve of his wedding too. High drama ensues including a race after the thieves in a vintage car. It’s a thoroughly satisfying adventure, with a proper sense of what the past would actually be like (much grubbier and smellier than Alex and Ruby expect), and tinged with real sadness too: the children are all too aware of what is in Henry and Ruby’s future. ~ Andrea Reece For more engaging and surprising time-travel adventure try Evie’s Ghost by Helen Peters. The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “A fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable adventure from the always-entertaining Sally Nicholls. I couldn’t stop reading it!”
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month September 2016 Award-winning storyteller and artist Oliver Jeffers and typographic fine artist Sam Winston have created an extraordinarily adventurous and original picture book which, through words and pictures, takes children on a journey of discovery through some of the greatest literature of all time. The imaginative eponymous Child of Books floats across a sea of words made from words and lines from classic children’s book stories. It is a journey that recreates fairy tales, forests and monsters showing children the importance and power of their imagination in recreating them. A book to read again and again to glean all of its meaning. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for September 2016 A Poem for Every Night of the Year compliled by Allie Esiri Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes by Julia Donaldson A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff Tom's Midnight Garden Graphic Novel by Philippa Pearce and Edith Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntryre
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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