No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
How exciting it is, that moment when your child begins to read along with you and then discovers the joy of reading by themselves. In this special section you'll find a great selection of early reader books to introduce children to wonderful new authors, fantastic illustrations and then watch their love of reading grow.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | Kaye Umansky, the creator of the much-loved Pongwiffy stories follows up Witch for a Week with a new adventure about Magenta Sharp, a rather muddled local witch, and Elsie Pickles, the little girl she gets to help her. In this new adventure Elsie is invited back to the wandering tower that is Magenta’s home to help the witch to sort out the terrible chaos of her magic-selling business. Magenta has been ignoring the paperwork and she is now attracting so many complaints that she is threatened with the loss of her magical licence! Can Elsie save Magenta’s business? And can she also help her to keep an unruly genie under control while she is about it? as ever, Kaye Umansky’s magic is deliciously frothy and ridiculously good fun.
The irrepressible Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur climb onto their broomstick again for a new adventure. Flying over a castle Winnie decides to take a closer look and is disappointed to find it’s in rack and ruin. But it only takes a wave of her wand and - Abracadabra! – it’s full of ladies and knights again and mid-tournament. Wilbur makes quite an impression in a cat-size suit of armour especially with Winnie lending a magic helping hand. These are two of the most entertaining characters in children’s books and Valerie Thomas has the relationship between them down to a tee. As ever too Korky Paul works his own special magic, filling the pages with extravagant humorous detail and embellishing the straightforward text to a dazzling degree. ~ Andrea Reece
Witch Winnie and her long-suffering black cat Wilbur are two of the most appealing and endearing picture book characters, and their adventures, as told by Valerie Thomas and illustrator extraordinaire Korky Paul, a fabulous mix of magic and mishap, the relationship between the pair the rock on which it all stands. Thomas’s straight-as-a-die text finds the perfect foil in Korky Paul’s fabulous illustrations, each one packed with so much quirky, humorous detail that there’s something new to find on every read. Not only does this box set contain six of their liveliest adventures, it also includes two CDs featuring more than 90 minutes of stories and music. Unmissable fun. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: bumper fun with some of the best-loved characters in children’s books There are no less than twelve different Winnie and Wilbur stories to enjoy in this collection, each one just the right length for bedtime or storytime and guaranteed to leave everyone smiling. Winnie squeezes the most fun possible from any activity, whether she’s cheering up a giant, learning to play the bagpipes or tossing pancakes, and Wilbur is the perfect companion – calm (mostly), and always ready to be supportive or to help Winnie out. Winnie’s wonderful use of language is another of the many joys of these stories, and of course, each one of Korky Paul’s illustrations is a miniature story in itself. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2018 | Interest Age 5-8 | We Are Not Frogs is a joyful exploration of frog, toad and human nature! Toads are not at all like frogs. The frogs have set up a long-jump competition which the toads go along with, even though they know the frogs will win – anything for a quiet life. The game is interrupted by the arrival first of a dog, then a couple of children, who have a lot to learn about toads. Readers will stay one jump ahead of the protagonists throughout, and it’s a fun and very satisfying story. Sam Usher’s lively illustrations reveal just as much about the characters – amphibian and human – as the text, and feature a counting game too. ~ Julia Eccleshare High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all. 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. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for March 2018 The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue King Coo by Adam Stower Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins We Are Not Frogs! (Little Gems) by Michael Morpurgo The Sorry Tale of Fox and Bear by Margrete Lamond Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird What Do People Do All Day? (50th anniversary edition) by Richard Scarry Bird House by Libby Walden Bug Hotel by Libby Walden Alone Together by Clayton Junior The Lost Penguin by Claire Freedman
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective Damian Drooth, self-proclaimed boy detective, is off with his mum to Green Park Holiday Village. Mum is standing in for the chef, who’s ill, and Damian can have a holiday – or at least that’s what Mum suggests. Fat chance! As soon as he hears that kids’ bikes are going missing, Damian is on the case and determined to track down the culprit, no matter what. As ever, he causes complete chaos without even really trying, but manages too to apprehend the thief. It’s another funny, satisfying story in an excellent series and is absolutely perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
February 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | Charmingly produced, this is a beautifully illustrated and designed book which makes the very best use of its stylish illustrations and layout to tell an important story about friendship and its complications. Lula and Lenka enjoy and acknowledge their many differences while also remaining steadfastly good friends. It doesn’t matter that Lula loves talking and Lenka loves drawing. Or that Lenka loves cats and Lula loves dogs. But then they have an argument and words are said which hurt. Now they don’t want to play together or even speak to each other. But that feels all wrong too. How can the two girls make things better. Friends everywhere and of all ages will recognise the intensity of these two little girls’ friendship and will be willing them on to make it up!.
In a nutshell: stoat-ally wonderful story; friendship, fun, upsets Young readers will love Ermine, star of this new series by Atticus Claw author Jennifer Gray. Ermine is a stoat which, in fictional terms, gives her carte blanche to behave as both adult and child: she’s independent enough to travel around solo but, like a child, ignorant of how the adult world works. As guest of Michael S Megabucks and his young son, Ermine is looking forward to exploring New York but a mix up at the airport means that she accidentally leaves with a priceless stolen diamond. Crooks Harry and Barry Spudd are no match for Ermine and the lively, fast-moving adventure that follows is full of slapstick humour, while giving readers a real sense of New York too. At the end Ermine is packing her bags for Sydney and it will be well worth tagging along for more fun and adventure. Highly illustrated by Elisa Paganelli this is great for newly independent readers, who will also enjoy the equally cosmopolitan Violet stories by Harriet Whitehorn and Alex T. Smith’s new series Mr Penguin. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective A sign in his local library catches the eye of schoolboy detective Damian Drooth: it offers a weekend at Disneyland Paris for the winners of a ‘mega quiz’. Damian rounds up his gang and sets them to work, first of all to raise the £10 entrance fee, and then to swot up in readiness. He’s understandably furious when the quiz turns out to be a scam, but quickly cheers up at the prospect of tracking down the conman. With echoes of Horrid Henry and Just William, Damian is a terrific character, determined, confident, and totally unfazed by adult disapproval. This series will have children and adults alike chuckling and is perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: action-packed, slime-filled fun early reader Set inside the world of a computer game, the Goozillas series offers non-stop action, fun characters, and jokes galore (the more cringe-worthy the better as far as fans are concerned), all of it liberally drenched with goo and snot: irresistible stuff therefore for a large swathe of young readers. Bright, lively, cartoon-style illustrations add to its appeal. The plot pitches Max and his friends the Goozillas against various enemies led by the thoroughly wicked Bubble Kitten of the Sicklies and this episode features a kung-fu fighting hamster to add to the frenetic fun. The chapter titles - Tanks A Lot, Towers of Terror, Angry Blobs – say it all and guarantee an unbeatable reading experience for those who like their books fast, funny, and friendly. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth’s life changes when he comes across a book called A Hundred Ways to Catch a Criminal. Overnight he is transformed from – in his words – ‘bored brat’ and ‘droopy drop-out’ to school boy super-sleuth. His first attempts at crime solving are not entirely successful to put it mildly, but then he gets the chance to lend the police a hand in a real life kidnapping. The mix of perfectly observed ordinary boy behaviour (a la Horrid Henry) and zany far-fetched adventure make these stories hugely satisfying and enjoyable. Packed full of illustrations by Tony Ross they’re great for children happy to read on their own, but read aloud wonderfully too: adults will find much to amuse them in Damian’s wry comments and moments of self-awareness. Great fun! ~ Andrea Reece
Interest Age 5-8 In a nutshell: granny always knows best Priya and her grandma swap jokes, stories and memories over ice-cream at the market café. Priya’s parents have a stall at the market and she loves it there, roaming round on her own or with her friends, checking out the displays on the other stalls and sharing the news with her Nana-ji. Her parents are despondent when a new pet stall opens, it’s competition for their own, and they’re even more worried when they hear of a new retail park, but Nana-ji has seen it all before and is totally relaxed: everything will be fine. This funny, gentle, reassuring story is a lovely tribute to age and experience, and to the special relationship between child and grandparent. Lovely to read it’s lovely to look at too, filled with Hannah Coulson’s warm, lively illustrations. Andrea Reece High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all. 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. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
By moving children gently away from picture books and gradually increasing the amount of text on the page your child will naturally become comfortable taking the next step towards independent reading.
This selection of carefully chosen titles are perfect for sharing and reading together.
With short accessible chapters they are ideal for newly confident readers and are a perfect next step on your child's reading journey.
In addition to this selection of fantastic early reader titles, do have a look at the Little Gems collection too. Little Gems, published by Barrington Stoke, are gorgeous early reader chapter books, written by the cream of children’s talent, with super-readable layouts and design, and a chunky friendly format.
Click here to download a free guide from Barrington Stoke to help you help your child to love reading.