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Roundup of the top new picture books and novels for children and teens.

Roundup of the top new picture books and novels for children and teens.

One Sweet Song by Jyoti Rajan Gopal and Sonia Sánchez, Walker, £12.99

Through the use of a solitary flute note, an entire community gradually comes together, using either traditional or improvisational instruments, until their music fades away into quietness. This peaceful picture book, filled with vibrant and swirling illustrations, draws inspiration from musicians who shared their melodies with their neighbors during times of lockdown. It serves as a tribute to the strength of unity.

Quiet by Tom Percival and Richard Jones, Simon & Schuster, £12.99

A small bird struggles to speak up, but finds her voice when her home is in danger. The illustrations by Jones beautifully capture the rich details of the forest and its inhabitants, with the bold red bird standing out in this heartwarming tale about overcoming shyness and finding bravery.

 animal crackers

“Animal Crackers” by Ruby Wright and Rocket Bird is priced at £12.99.

Maisie is determined to have a pet despite her mother’s reluctance. However, when the animals on the kitchen items suddenly become alive, Maisie quickly realizes the responsibilities that come with owning a pet, including cleaning up after them. This book is visually captivating and marks a promising debut.

I’ll See You in Ijebu by Bunmi Emenanjo, illustrated by Diana Ejaita, Barefoot, £7.99

Olu, an 8-year-old, practices Catholicism while her relatives follow Islam. In this captivating and engaging picture book for children aged 4 or 5 and above, she embarks on a journey from Lagos to her grandparents’ home to celebrate Eid al-Adha. The vividly described events, from hot car rides and street food vendors to cooking pepper soup, will strike a chord with those who come from multicultural backgrounds or diverse family customs.

“Go on an adventure through the Rainforest with Magic Torch, a book by Stephanie Stansbie with illustrations by Fabrizio Di Baldo, published by Little Tiger for the price of £14.99.”

This engaging book about the Amazon rainforest is perfect for readers aged 5 and up. Follow Clara and her dog Sparks on a journey through the jungle with the special UV torch included, and uncover hidden creatures among the lush foliage. Detailed illustrations and interesting facts make this a great choice for young aspiring zoologists.

How to Build a Home by George Clarke

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George Clarke’s step-by-step guide to building a home, with illustrations by Robert Sae-Heng, is available for purchase from Red Shed for £9.99.

Suitable for readers ages 6 and up who have a fascination with design and building, this insightful book about architecture offers a concise background, evaluates the durability and eco-friendliness of various materials, and encourages kids to imagine their own ideal houses. From elaborate treehouses to towering skyscrapers, and traditional timber structures to futuristic technology, Clarke’s well-written prose is complemented by Sae-Heng’s lively and simplistic illustrations.

Finding Hope by Nicola Baker, illustrated by Rachel Dean, Simon & Schuster, £12.99

Ava, who is ten years old, is not pleased to be left at Whistledown Farm while her parents are away. Her cousin Tom is also not excited about her being there. However, as Ava becomes more familiar with farm life, her emotions start to shift, especially when she saves a lamb named Hope. Tom is angry at her mistakes, but when the flock is in danger, they must work together to protect them. This captivating story, suitable for readers ages 7 and up, captures the essence of rural life and is a charming modern take on the work of Dick King-Smith.

Lottie the Little Wonder by Katherine Woodfine, illustrated by Ella Okstad, Barrington Stoke, £6.99

When Lottie Dod is informed that girls are not as capable as boys in playing tennis, she proves them wrong by winning the 1887 Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles at the young age of 15. This is a motivating and spirited tale about the real-life tennis champion, suitable for readers aged 5 and up. Published by a dyslexia-friendly publisher.

“Secrets of the Snakestone” written by Piu DasGupta and published by Nosy Crow for £7.99.

During the end of the 19th century in Paris, a Bengali girl named Zélie was sent abroad to work as a maid and is constantly accused of witchcraft. Despite her disbelief in magic, her perspective changes when Jules, a young sewer worker, presents her with a golden locket containing a cursed ruby known as the Snakestone. Zélie embarks on a search for the stone in hopes of finding her father, but a secret society is also after it. This debut novel, recommended for ages 9 and up, showcases bold and relatable characters, thrilling action, and a captivating setting, establishing DasGupta as a promising author.

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A Drop of Golden Sun by Kate Saunders,View image in fullscreen

“A Drop of Golden Sun” by Kate Saunders, published by Faber, is priced at £7.99.

Jenny, a practical and realistic person, experiences a significant transformation when she lands a role in a significant movie. This event not only alters Jenny’s life but also her mother’s. Written by the late Kate Saunders, this highly anticipated book takes place in 1973 at a charming French estate and is a skillfully fictionalized account of the production of The Sound of Music. Featuring well-crafted characters and poignant musings on the effects of war and loss, this heartwarming novel is perfect for fans of historical fiction aged 9 and up.

“Untameables” is a book written by Clare Pollard and illustrated by Reena Makwana, published by Emma Press and priced at 9.99 pounds.

In this unique retelling of the King Arthur legend, ruthless knights mercilessly kill enchanted creatures while the citizens of Camelot suffer without aid. Roan, a kind dog caretaker, simply wants to avoid conflict, but when his mother falls ill, he and his brave friend, Elva, embark on a quest to compete against the knights and retrieve the holy grail. Can this unlikely pair overcome the dangers that await them? And if they are successful, will the Grail have the power to heal Roan’s mother? Esteemed poet Pollard’s first fantasy novel, suitable for ages 9 and up, is amusing, thought-provoking, and highly satisfying.

The book called “The Secret of the Moonshard” was written by Struan Murray and illustrated by Vivienne To. It was published by Puffin and is priced at £7.99.
Domino has been imprisoned all her life in a floating laboratory, warned by the Science Barons that one drop of magic will kill her. Discovering that they have lied, she escapes to Abzalaymon, a city filled with undercover magic – but the Barons are in pursuit, for Domino possesses something that will turn the tide in the war between magic and science. This compelling new 9+ fantasy from the Branford Boase-winning Murray features assured world-building, meaty ethical questions and a thrilling arena battle between “thunder lizards”.

The Things We Leave Behind by Clare Furniss, S&S

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The Things We Leave Behind by Clare Furniss, Simon & Schuster, £8.99

In a frighteningly close future, the city of London is now a dangerous place under the rule of a potentially fascist prime minister and his “Community Guardians”. As tensions rise, 15-year-old Clem and her half-sister Billie flee the city in search of safety in Edinburgh, but there are no guarantees. In the midst of their journey, Clem tells her story to a stranger, combining elements of fairytales, memories, and partial truths. Through this, she learns to come to terms with the harsh reality of their world and finds a glimmer of hope in this captivating and poignant young adult dystopia.

The book “Where the Heart Should Be” by Sarah Crossan is available for purchase from Bloomsbury at a price of £14.99.

In 1846 Ireland, crops are decaying in the soil and clever Nell is forced to become a scullery maid for her family’s heartless English landlord, Lord Wicken. Despite her efforts to resist, Nell finds herself drawn to Johnny, Lord Wicken’s heir and nephew. As sickness spreads and families struggle to pay their rent, a tragic situation unfolds. Crossan’s newest young adult poetry novel is a poignant and gripping tale of love in the midst of oppression, desperation, and anger.

The No-Girlfriend Rule by Christen Randall, Pushkin

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“The No-Girlfriend Rule,” written by Christen Randall and published by Pushkin, is available for purchase at a price of £9.99.

Hollis desires to partake in her boyfriend’s love for tabletop gaming, but his usual group has a strict policy against allowing girlfriends to join. However, when Hollis becomes part of a feminist and LBGTQ-friendly group, she is unprepared for the revelations she will have about the game, her boyfriend, and her own identity. This wonderfully geeky YA story celebrates shared passion, self-exploration, and the importance of true friendship. It also includes a charming queer love story.

Nevin Holness’s book “King of Dead Things” is available from Penguin for £8.99.

In the past, Sunny and Max, two adolescents, discovered Eli and took him to Pam’s, a Caribbean restaurant and mystical safe haven in the northern part of London. Eli has no recollection of his past, but possesses abilities to heal and steal magic, which he uses to safeguard his new adoptive family. After stealing magic from Malcolm, a young boy, the two become linked and are compelled to prevent Death’s daughter from escaping the confinement set by Malcolm’s father many years ago. With a haunting and captivating storyline, this exceptional debut in the supernatural genre draws heavily from Caribbean folklore and customs.

Source: theguardian.com