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Our top 10 new books 2014-15

Many new books are published for children every year. It is often hard to know how to choose. Here is a selection of some of our current favourites. You and your child will meet a range of appealing characters in these beautifully illustrated picture books and discover amusing, intriguing and thought provoking stories. We hope you enjoy them.

bears dont read_thumbBears Don’t Read Emma Chichester Clark
Harper Collins (2014)
Age 5-7

George the bear has a very nice life but feels something is missing. When he finds a book he realises what it is, he wants to learn to read. Despite protests from his family he sets off for the town to seek help. George doesn’t understand why everyone panics when they see him approach! It would be fun to talk about the reasons for this with your child. Eventually George finds a kind mother and daughter who help him.

A beautifully illustrated and amusing story about determination and kindness which hints at the way reading can make life more interesting.

the dawn chorus_thumbThe Dawn Chorus Suzanne Barton
Bloomsbury (2014)
Age 3-5

This is a delightful story about Peep, a tiny nightingale who loves singing and is desperate to audition for the ‘Dawn Chorus’. Unsurprisingly, he finds he is not cut out for early rising!

As well as lots to find out about birds here there’s a chance to talk about wanting to belong, being different and having different skills.

Children might enjoy drawing and colouring beautifully patterned birds to represent the dawn chorus.

the-day-the-crayons-quit_thumbThe Day the Crayons Quit Drew Dywalt, Oliver Jeffers (illus)
Harper Collins (2014)
Age 5-7+

Duncan opens his box of crayons to find they have gone on strike and left him letters of complaint. Grey is fed up with colouring big elephant shaped things, blue is fed up with being over used. What can Duncan do? Time to be creative! An interesting story which might inspire some creative drawing using unconventional colours.

Watch the story read aloud here

goodnight already_thumbGoodnight Already! Jory John, Benji Davies (illus)
Harper Collins 2015
Age 0-5

Bear desperately wants to go to sleep, but Duck (his neighbour) desperately wants company. Goodnight Already is an amusing story with two appealing characters, poor sleep deprived Bear and irrepressible attention seeking Duck.

This book would be great fun to read together when children are familiar with the story taking turns being Duck or Bear.

Watch a trailer here

oi frog_thumbOi Frog! Kes Gray, Jim Field (illus)
Hodder Children’s Books 2014
Age 0-5

A funny rhyming book in which Frog learns very quickly that animals all have a special place to sit (cats on mats and gophers on sofas). Frog finds it’s not a good idea to ask where dogs sit though!

Children can have fun joining in with the rhymes and thinking up some more rhyming places for other animals to sit.

Watch a trailer here

pliease mr pandaPlease Mr Panda Steve Antony
Hodder Children’s Books (2015)
Age 0-3

Mr Panda has some doughnuts to share and offers them to a series of ungrateful and greedy animals. Eventually a racoon sets herself above the rest by being much more polite and is duly rewarded.

A simple story about sharing and politeness.

Watch a trailer here

smelly louie_thumbSmelly Louie Catherine Rayner
Macmillan 2014
Age 3-7

Following a rose and apple blossom scented bath Louie has lost his special smell. He goes off in search of it finding stinky bins, sticky sludge, pongy ponds and a host of helpful animal friends along the way.

A beautifully illustrated picture book with an appealing story. Discussing and describing favourite smells with your child might be fun after sharing this story.

the something_thumbThe Something Rebecca Cobb
Macmillan (2014)
Age 3-5

One day a little girl discovers a hole under a tree in her garden. What might live there? Her friends and family all have ideas; maybe a mouse or a fox, perhaps a troll or even a dragon!

A wonderfully imaginative story with great illustrations of all the possible inhabitants of the hole. Children would enjoy talking about what they think might live in the mysterious hole and drawing their own under-the-ground pictures.

where is rosies chick_thumbWhere oh where is Rosie’s Chick? Pat Hutchins
Hodder Children’s Books (2015)
Age 3-5

Rosie has lost her baby chick and starts searching everywhere under the hen house and behind the wheelbarrow. Children will enjoy helping her search and seeing what they can spot in the detailed illustrations, including who is following her! This is a very long awaited and amusing sequel to the picture book classic Rosie’s Walk. See our ideas for sharing Rosie’s Walk.

wheres the elephant_thumbWhere’s the Elephant? Barroux
Egmont (2015)
Age 5-7

Children will enjoy searching for the elephant, parrot and snake in the rainforest illustrations.

A story told almost entirely through pictures, as the pages turn the forest gradually disappears and the animals lose their homes. In a twist at the end the animals escape captivity and head off to find a new home.

There is a lot to talk about here, in particular about endangered animals and the world’s rainforests. When children know the book well they might enjoy imagining they are one of the animals and telling the story of their escape from the zoo and what might happen after the story ends.