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Show me a parent who doesn’t enjoy reading this to their child. It’s a classic for obvious reasons – a lovely text that scans perfectly, full of mystery and, like all domestic dramas, it turns out to be a storm in a teacup, with lots of reassuring cuddles.
This book is a joy for anyone aged 9 months to 99 years. As you turn each page the image dances/flies/runs across the page before your eyes. Toddlers may want to eat the pages, but they will also be transfixed by the images.
When Angelo is restoring an old church in Rome, he finds a small bird, barely breathing. Not being able to find somewhere safe to leave her, he has no choice but to take her home with him.
Lauren Child is best known for her hugely popular Charlie and Lola series, but it is well worth taking a closer look at her picture books for slightly older readers. They are deliciously quirky and full of her trademark ear for language.
Sea-Cat and his mother live an idyllic life at the bottom of the sea: they garden together (growing sea cucumbers, naturally), watch the twinkling starfish and decorate their elegant home with fishing-net curtains.
I’m a big fan of the Katie Morag books. That may be down childhood summers spent on the west coast of Scotland, but I don’t think it’s just nostalgia. They are full of every day family drama (lost post, jealous siblings and the local sheep show), but being set on the island of Struay, they have that little bit of magic and you can almost hear the lilting highland accent.
A stunning retelling of the classic fairytale with breathtaking illustration and design. The familiar story takes on new life and magic with this full length version. Viewing highly recommended.
Published several years ago, this remains one of my favourite books for this tricky age range. Is it a poem, a diary or a story... you decide, and watch the least likely boys become interested in poetry...
Utterly unique and devilishly witty, Larklight is a page-turningly brilliant (Victorian) space adventure, and truly original modern classic, told through the eyes of plucky Arthur Mumby.
Winner of the 2006 Carnegie Medal, Tamar is a beautifully written emotionally charged thriller, set partly in Holland during the resistance and partly in contemporary Britain.
Imagine a world where, aged 16, you must choose between living forever and having a child. Gemma Malley has created that place, where the cure for death has been invented and the world’s population must be controlled by the tyranny of the old.
There is a reason why this has won lots of prizes - it's incredibly good. Try as I might to limit the amount of teen fiction I read, I am very grateful for having discovered this remarkable writer.