Granta Books £16.99
This is a wonderful non-fiction title which is half parenting book and half a celebration of everything that is glorious about the wild and nature in all its forms. Not necessarily limited to the countryside Patrick Barker insists that nature can be found in the most urban of settings and it takes simply a shift of perspective to appreciate what is out there for us all.
A book for our times without a doubt.
Little Toller Books £16
Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning.
David Fickling Books £10.99
This follow-up to the hugely imaginative The Dragon's Daughter sees Jowan yearning to have a dragon of his own, but all of a sudden the world has become a strange and dangerous place (sound familiar?) and Rowan needs to take a serious leap of faith and leap into the impossible. If only we could all have dragons to help us out right now! A hugely engaging voice in children's fiction at the moment.
Orion Children's Books £6.99
We could all do with gateways into new worlds and so this lovely book for 7+ is a welcome escape. Each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside.
Thames & Hudson £12.95
This is a joyous celebration of all this growing, in association with Kew Gardens, this is a delightful book made with love from illustrator and author Yuval Zommer. There is a golden bulb hidden throughout the pages of the book which is a perfect treasure hunt for tinies. It's big and beautiful and the perfect addition to May playrooms. Read our interview with Yuval here.
Princeton Press £21.99
Marvelous wonders await in this extraordinary garden book. From season to season, children follow the life of a garden as each page reveals new treasures hiding under lift-up flaps. Peek inside the curious tulip bulb and discover the peas inside a peapod. Watch a ladybug help with pesky aphids and search for ripe strawberries under the leaves.
Orchard Books £12.99
The existential angst of the Avocado is adorably depicted in this fabulous picture book. All is well as avocado accepts his place with the tomatoes in the supermarket shelves, until he asks himself that unanswerable question, 'Am I a fruit or a vegetable?' This is a properly funny story about being happy with who you are in your own skin whatever that may look like.
Simon & Schuster £6.99
We all absolutely adored this moving, beautifully illustrated story by Richard Jones of a little lost dog and his search for a place to call home. He journeys from the countryside to the big city in search of home. It seems like a big place for someone so small, but perhaps someone is actually wanting to find Perdu? This is Richard Jones' first book as illustrator and writer and it's utterly ENCHANTING. It looks set to become a classic.
Young Adult recommendations:
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a Hunger Game Novel by Suzanne Collins
This has been long awaited addition to The Hunger Games leviathan. Love them or hate them as a parent, they are being devoured by teens the world over. Here is the latest and it's filled with everything that it could possibly be filled with. Ambition, competition and a power struggle that comes at that ultimate price.
Burn, by Patrick Ness
Walker Books £12.99
This is definitely not for the younger reader as this story of redemption, revenge and dragons explores particularly dark depths. Sarah Dewhurst our protagonist, finds herself in the center of a struggle involving a prophecy about a coming war between humans and dragons. Is the world going to end? How does it end? Will there be fire? It is an extraordinary and intense page-turning read for 13+.