Book Reviews

See our latest book reviews and search for all previous reviews. We’ll be adding more over the coming months, so check back to see if your favourite book has been reviewed by us.

Moonstruck! Poems About Our Moon

Roger Stevens (ed), illus. Ed Boxall

This anthology is another ‘stuff in your schoolbag’ poetry book from the Otter-Barry series that encourages children to read and share poetry.

A Kid in my Class

Rachel Rooney, illus. Chris Riddell

The variety of poems is past imagining – the thoughts of a hamster; wondering what present to give a leaving teacher; haikus to describe pop-up ideas, including a ‘her-ku’, twins; school sports day; advice (with a twist) to a new boy; playground life; feeling shy; every aspect of the school day.

Sock Story

C K Smouha, illus. Eleonora Marton

Phil and Dave are a pair. They spend time together, making jokes, chatting and playing games. Suddenly, they get separated. Without having each other, life seems scary. But why is their adventure unique? I can give you at least two reasons.

Alfred and the Blue Whale

Mina Lystad, illus. Ashild Irgens

Alfred is scared about lots of things but speaking in front of the class in four days’ time about the blue whale is going to be the worst thing ever.

The Adventures of Anatole

Nancy Willard, illus. David McPhail

Nancy Willard’s trilogy which narrates the adventures of a boy and his orange cat Plumpet, now in one volume.

My storee

Paul Russell, illus. Aska

A young boy, possibly dyslexic, loves writing stories. However, his work is always heavily critiqued and covered in red slashes. How does everything change when a new teacher arrives?

Mira’s curly hair

Maryam Al Serkal and Rebeca Luciani

Mira’s hair is a riot of curls. Not what she wants at all. She would like straight hair just like her mother. But appearances are not always as they seem. When the rain comes down, Mira has a real surprise.

Tiger Lily

Gwen Millward

When things get spilt or broken, or even eaten, it is clear that naughty Tiger did it. Lily declares it is so, and also tells us that Tiger is not sorry. But some things do require punishment. So they run away to be wild. At first, it is exciting, but what happens when it is dark and cold? Sometimes you can be too wild.

Emmett and Caleb

Karen Hottois and Delphine Renon

Emmett and Caleb are friends. This does not mean they always like the same things, and sometimes this can cause a bit of friction. But for friends, there is always a way through difficulties - an invisible poem perhaps, with all the right words.

Me and Mrs Moon

Helen Bate

Mrs Moon looks after Maise and Dylan after school while both sets of parents are still at work. But what happens when Mrs Moon's behaviour becomes unusual?

Veronica Twitch the Fabulous Witch

Erica-Jane Waters

The three witches who run Twitch magazine are highly excited, as Double Bubble, the most popular of girl bands, will play at their festival. However, these plans all collapse when the girl band is kidnapped...

Invisible Jerry

Adam Wallace, illus. Giuseppe Poli

Jerry feels left out at school and is befriended by Molly. What he learns from their relationship encourages him to befriend Paul.

The Secret Life of a Tiger

Przemystaw Wechterowicz, Illus. Emilia Dziubak

In this tale, Tiger seeks to convince us that what we may know of his behaviour is not the whole truth.

The perfect sofa

Fifi Kuo

The Perfect Sofa tells the heart-warming tale of two friends, Panda and Penguin, who decide that their old sofa is no longer good enough and that a new one is due along with the adventure they go on to find it.


Elizabeth Laird, illus. Jenny Lucande

The story starts with Amir not wanting to go to bed because he is working himself up into a state: ‘there might be a monster’. His imagination runs riot: ‘he might have huge teeth and growl like a lion. He might try to eat me.’

The wall in the middle of the book

Jon Agee

The little knight is essentially happy mending a hole on his side of the wall, but when danger overcomes him he sees things in a different light and finds the other side of the wall has much to offer after all.

In blossom

Yooju Cheon

A beautiful tale told in the simplest of forms with limited palette illustrations, and where the reader becomes intoxicated through the scent of the story.

The flight of Mr Finch

Thomas Baas

Mr Finch lives a quiet life in the middle of the city. He has always lived in this neighbourhood but keeps himself to himself. His only friend and companion is his little bird Pip. However, once day Pip stops singing. He seems to be unhappy. Will the plant from the deepest jungle help?

There’s room for everyone

Anahita Teymorian

How to explain the social world we live in to children? Anahita Teymorian takes her young audience on a journey – a metaphorical journey from birth to growing up to become an adult.

You’re snug with me

Chitra Soundar, illus. Poonam Mistry

“You’re snug with me” whispers mother polar to her two little cubs as outside the Arctic winter reigns. The seasons move, and the little cubs have questions as they gradually move out of their den to explore and mother bear answers but always ends with the reassuring words ”You’re snug with me”.

The elephant in the room

James Thorp, illus. Angus Mackinnon

Oh dear someone has broken the china elephant in the room – Father Giant is not happy. Who is the culprit?


Julia Jones, illus. Claudia Myatt

Liam is rising ten and feeling increasingly isolated from family life, like "a single pebble on a shingle beach".


Nadine Kaadan

This picture book focuses on the isolating impact of war on Syrian children, who are forced to always stay at home because the once safe and fun world outside has changed to a place of danger.

The King of Nothing

Raúl Nieto Guridi, transl. Saul Endor

The King of Nothing is about abstract concepts: stubbornness, imagination and the very nature of existence. With its witty text and beguiling illustrations, this picture book honours the absurd in a way that marks it as a true one-off.

Grandad Mandela

Zazi Ziwelene and Zindzi Mandela, illus. Sean Qualls

A story told in sounds and pictures from a versatile Italian illustrator. The mellow colours of the crayon illustrations bring reassurance and comfort as little croc goes to playgroup for the first time.

What does the crocodile say?

Eva Montanari

A story told in sounds and pictures from a versatile Italian illustrator. The mellow colours of the crayon illustrations bring reassurance and comfort as little croc goes to playgroup for the first time.

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