Information about our use of cookies

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users and enhance your user experience. They also help us improve our site. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Learn more OK, I agree

Summer reads for 5-8

« Back

[Summer reads for 0-5, 8-12 and 12+]

A First Book of the Sea, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton, published by Walker Books

From Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton, the multi award-winning team behind Tiny and Lots, comes a spellbinding collection of poems about the oceans of the world and their shores. With this book, children can swim alongside dolphins and flying fish, pore over rockpools and sail from pole to pole and back, learning about everything from phosphorescence and plankton to manta rays and puffins – all in the comfort of their bedroom. Emily Sutton’s exquisite watercolours capture the breathless excitement of a child’s first glimpse of the sea, the majesty of ancient trading ships and the sheer, staggering wonder of the humpback whale.

The perfect companion to international bestsellers A First Book of Nature and A First Book of Animals, this book is sure to enthral and inspire readers of all ages.

The Cook and the King by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts, published by Macmillan (available from 12th July)

There once was a very hungry king
Who needed a cook like anything…

…but the king is very fussy, and none of the cooks he tries can make a dish that tastes just right. Then the most unlikely of chefs comes along: the shuffling, shaking Wobbly Bob. He’s scared of everything, from catching fish to digging for potatoes, but can he convince the hungry king to give him the job?

The Cook and the King is a brilliantly funny story from the fantastic picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and David Roberts, creators of Tyrannosaurus Drip. With clever rhyming verse and richly detailed illustrations, this is sure to become a firm favourite with children and adults alike.

The Battle of the Blighty Bling, by Ruth Quayle, illustrated by Eric Heyman, published by Andersen Press

The Parrot McScurvys are a family of pirates, but unfortunately their ship sank and now they live in a landlubber caravan. When Vic and her younger siblings are left home alone, it’s no surprise that they get into serious mischief, accidentally losing the family treasure – they legendary Blighty Bling.

Now it’s up to them to take to the high seas in a leaky rowing boat and getit back, with their annoying know-it-all neighbours in tow. But their swashbuckling adventure runs into a few problems when they meet their arch enemy, Captain Guillemot, and discover a few home truths along the way…

Lunch on a Pirate Ship, by Caryl Hart and illustrated by Kristina Stephenson, published by Simon & Schuster

Come with Jack on a quest for the perfect lunch – you never know who you might meet!

Jack doesn’t want to eat his boring old lunch. He’d rather have lunch on a pirate ship! But what do pirates actually eat?? Rotten fish stew – eeuuuwwww!  And so begins a rollicking, imaginative adventure over sea, through caves and into the lair of a troll before Jack decides that actually Mum’s cooking is pretty good after all.

Crisp, characterful illustrations from Kristina Stephenson, creator of the best-selling Sir Charlie Stinky Socks series, complement this energetic, rhyming text by Caryl Hart.

Perfect for fussy eaters, people who are too busy playing to come in for tea, and anyone who’s ever eyed their dinner with suspicion.

Enter our competition to win a copy (closes 31st July 2018)

George, the Dragon and the Princess, by Chris Wormell, published by Penguin

Far, far away over the high, high mountains in an old castle wall, in a tiny, tiny hole there lives a little mouse called George. He’s very small and rather timid and he can be a bit clumsy too. In fact, poor George is so hopeless that he can’t even make lunch without burning his cheese on toast! But when a huge and terrifying dragon attacks the castle, George springs into action! Because as fans of George and the Dragon know only too well, George has a very special talent . . . This stunning new edition is perfect for new readers, as well as fans of George and the Dragon. This is a charming children’s tale from the exceptional storyteller and illustrator, Chris Wormell.

Great Dog, by David Cali, illustrated by Miguel Tanco, published by Thames Hudson

The age-old question of ‘what will I be when I grow up?’ gets a hilarious twist in this stylish and clever story. For ages 3+

A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all? No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

Davide Cali’s tongue-in-cheek writing and Miguel Tanco’s unique and funny illustrations bring these great dogs to life and will have readers giggling from start to finish. With gatefolds that show the real story behind the characters and a surprise twist at the end, Great Dog is a winner for kids and parents alike!

Ocean Emporium, by Susie Brooks, illustrated by Dawn Cooper, published by Egmont

If you loved David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, get ready to dive into this treasure trove of sea creatures and immerse yourself in a wondrous underwater world.

A secret, watery world covers the greater part of our planet and some of Earth’s most incredible animals live here. In this book, you can travel under the waves to discover an extraordinary variety of creatures. Your journey will take you from dolphins leaping in sunlit waters and colourful angelfish swimming in the shallow seas around coral reefs, to giant octopuses and mysterious anglerfish that live in the dark abyssal world of the deepest oceans.

Wizarding for Beginners, by Elys Dolan, published by Oxford University Press

Best friends Dave and Albrecht are going undercover. They must disguise themselves as wizards to enter the notoriously secretive Wizarding Guild, in order to free their friends and stop the most evil wizard of them all – Terrence. Luckily, they have the perfect book to help them on their quest, the amazing, the brilliant, Wizarding for Beginners!

Outside Discovering Animals by Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Ines Teixeira do Rosario, illustrated by Bernardo P. Carvalho published by Lincoln Children’s Books

An up-sized, edited-down paperback edition of the original Bologna Regazzi award-winning Outside.

Where does this footprint come from?
Who has nibbled this pinecone?
What is this worm up to?

Whether you live in the country or the city, nature is still all around you, so what are we waiting for? It’s time to jump off the couch and discover the animals that live on your doorstep.

Created in collaboration with a team of experts, this comprehensive guide includes suggestions for activities and many illustrations to help the whole family get started, leave the house, and go out to discover – or simply admire – the amazing world that exists outside.

Enter our competition to win a copy (closes 23rd July 2018)

Also publishing, Outside Exploring Nature

The Travel Activity Book, published by DK

A treasure-trove of travel activities, this fun-filled book is guaranteed to keep kids entertained for hours – whether on a long, boring car journey or waiting in a queue at the airport. This fabulous sticker and write-and-draw-in activity book is packed with cool games for kids to do on holiday while learning facts about the places they might visit.

Look Inside Nature, published by Usborne

Discover the magical world of nature in this information book for young children, with over 80 flaps to lift. There are woods, rivers and ponds to explore, and animals to discover under the ground, hiding in trees and rustling in the bushes. There’s information on how plants grow, habitats and nature spotting and links to websites to find out more.

Enter our competition to win a copy (closes on 31st July)

Fearless Mirabelle, by Katie Haworth, published by Templar Publishing

Mirabelle and Meg Moffat are twins and their mum and dad are famous circus acrobats. Mirabelle is fearless. She promises to be the most topsy-turvy, upside down acrobat of all. Meg does not. In fact, Meg is afraid of heights.

Is Mirabelle afraid of anything? With her new grand show opening, Meg might be about to find out.

My Little Pony Magical Story Collection by My Little Pony

Join Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash in three magical adventures!

Includes: Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, Pinkie Pie and the Rockin’ Pony Party, and Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare

Ten Minutes to Bed: Little Unicorn, by Rhiannon Fielding, illustrated by Chris Chatterton, published by Ladybird

Written specifically for bedtime, this story is full of magic, sparkle and rainbows… and one naughty little unicorn! Weaving a journey from lively beginning to gentle end, the ten minute countdown to bed is at the heart of this enchanting story. But will Twinkle get to bed on time? This beautifully illustrated picture book is the perfect length for sending little ones off to sleep.

#WorldBookDay