We have chosen our Top 20 titles from last year
We would love to hear from you which your favourites are. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on social media.
We will announce our overall winner in our Spring print issue at the end of February.
1. THE MISADVENTURES OF FREDERICK by Ben Manley and Emma Chichester Clark (Pan Macmillan £12.99) This is an utterly adorable book that everyone should read. It’s a brilliant story, beautifully illustrated about the importance of adventures, about not being too careful and just having fun. One to keep and love and read over and over again.
2. ANGEL ON THE ROOF by Shirley Hughes (Walker Books £12.99) A magical tale of great friendship. This is honestly one of the most lovely books we’ve read in a long time. Shirley Hughes' trademark London is depicted perfectly – and the message is exactly the message that we all want to share at Christmas. One to bring out year after year. A message of joy and that small acts of kindness can travel a long way. Perfection.
3. MADAME BADOBEDAH by Sophie Dahl, illustrated by Lauren O'Hara (Walker Books £12.99) Sophie Dahl's first children's book is about a little girl called Mabel who lives in a boarding house in a Southern seaside town and her unlikely friendship with the mysteriously exotic Madame Badobedah. A funny, kind story about first impressions and imagination, there is a joy in words that is resonant of her grandfather. A total delight. Beautifully illustrated throughout by the extraordinary talented Lauren O'Hara.
4. THE LAST TIGER by Petr Horacek (Otter Barry Books £11.99) With strong and bold illustrations, this is a wonderful story a strong and proud tiger - lord of the jungle. But when he's captured by human hunters he realises that what really matters is not strength or power but freedom.
5. SMALL IN THE CITY by Sydney Smith (Walker Books £12.99) Multiple award-winning illustrator and author Sydney Smith has produced a truly beautiful book. With powerful illustrations at the centre and sparse text, the story is both touching and intriguing. About being small in the city and the safety of home.
6. HELLO FRIEND by Rebecca Cobb (Macmillan £11.99) Very few illustrators capture the joy of childhood quite like Rebecca Cobb. This is an utterly adorable story about making friends and how people can do it in lots of different ways.
7. RED, RED, RED by Polly Dunbar (Walker Books £12.99) This is a perfect book at capturing exactly how those dreaded toddler tantrums happen and how we can all try to calm the waters. One, Two, Three, Breathe. A favourite.
8. SUPER DUPER YOU by Sophy Henn (Penguin £11.99) Sophy Henn hits the mark once again with her perfectly pitched illustrations and words about what makes you you. It's a book asking us to reach up and shout out about the marvellousness of each and every one of us.
9. THE WALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK (Scallywag Press £12.99) A book about the hot topic of walls and whether they keep things out or in. Makes you look at walls and things on the other side of them in a very different way. Gorgeous simple illustrations. A topical story but with a lasting message.
10. THE KISS by Linda Sunderland (Little Tiger £11.99) Lovely, gentle fairytale story about the transformative power of love. Catch a kiss, pass it on and see what happens when you do. The beautiful illustrations make is hugely appealing to pore over with a child. A treat.
1. THE GOOD THIVES by Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury £12.99) Another exceptional book from one of our favourite storytellers ever. It’s a showstopping heist glittering with New York City magic and wonder, blazing with danger and bravery. Her best book yet.
2. THE GIRL WHO SPEAKS BEAR by Sophie Andersen (Usborne £6.99) This is a story steeped in ancient fairy tales complete with wolves, bears and a snow forest. Yanka’s desire to find out where she truly belongs takes her on extraordinary adventures and find true friendships in many shapes and sizes. Exceptional.
3. THE SPACE WE’RE IN by Katya Balen, illustrated by Laura Carlin (Bloomsbury £10.99) This is a truly extraordinary book. It tells the story of Frank and his brother Max who has autism. It packs a pretty powerful punch but is a beautifully written and ultimately uplifting story with stunning artwork. Warning: you will need tissues.
4. EVIE AND THE ANIMALS by Matt Haig (Canongate £12.99) This wonderful little book was gobbled up in one sitting by our animal-loving 9 year old. This fabulous story takes the reader on a proper adventure with a brilliant baddie that calls for Evie to be herself and save the day.
5. DEEPLIGHT by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan £12.99) This is quite a sophisticated read and definitely one for the more ambitious reader, but it is a marvellous book set in a sub-aqua world filled with terrifying gods with razor-grille teeth and glass tentacles. Surreal and weird but utterly unputdownable. A big thumbs up from our 13 year old.
6. CALL ME ALASTAIR by Cory Leonardo (Scholastic £6.99) This is a brilliant story about a fierce parrot, a hypochondriac boy and a lonely old lady, all learning to live their lives to the full.
7. MIDNIGHT AT MOONSTONE by Lara Flecker & Trisha Krauss (OUP £6.99) Lots of bravery in this utterly delightful old-fashioned yarn with beautiful illustrations bringing the Moonstone Costume Museum to life and telling what happens on the stroke of midnight, thanks to the extraordinary courage of a girl called Kit. We couldn't put it down.
8. LENNY'S BOOK OF EVERYTHING by Karen Foxlee (Pushkin Press £7.99) This beautifully told story highlights the courage that is needed to love someone who is different and to stand up for who and what you love; it's certainly not always the easy road to take.
9. NO BALLET SHOES IN SYRIA by Catherine Bruton (Nosy Crow £6.99) Ballet Shoes meets When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit in this exquisitely-pitched story about a young girl fleeing from a war-torn Aleppo who loves to dance. Ballet could be a way out. A vital book to remind us all that each and every refugee, asylum seeker and immigrant is a person with a story to tell and a life that we should help them live.
10. ASHA & THE SPIRIT BIRD by Jasbinder Bilan (Chicken House £6.99) We were late to the party singing the praises of the Costa-winning children's title. But we have loved brave Asha's determination and sense of adventure to find her father and save her family's farm in rural Northern India. A magical story weaving ancient culture and beliefs into a totally relatable modern heroine.