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Awesome books for Autumn

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As we wave goodbye to another lovely summer, we’re all focusing on getting back into the routine of school – or perhaps starting school or nursery for the first time. Here are some great books to get you in the zone, and some others that are just perfect for curling up with when the weather gets chilly and the evenings draw in.

Scroll down to find books for ages 5-8, 8-12 and 12+

Click here for more great books lists and our If You Love recommendations 

0-5

 

Button & Popper by Oili Tanninen, published by Thames & Hudson

Twin brothers Button & Popper are part of a big family of pixies who live happily in an apple tree. But when autumn comes and the tree becomes a cold and wet place to live, Button and Popper trek into the city find their family a new home.

Luck strikes when, through a most fortunate mix-up at the market, the pixies meet Professor Pilli and find themselves looking after his house while he is away at the South Pole.

 

Dracula Spectacular by Lucy Rowland and Ben Mantle, published by Macmillan Children’s Books

It’s tough being a vampire when you’re more giggles and glitter than beastly and bitter. But will Dracula Boy dare to follow his heart and live life in technicolour? 

Full of spooks and sparkles, Dracula Spectacular is a heart-warming story about learning to be brave, kind and above all, proud to be yourself.  

A sensational new picture book, written in bouncy rhyme by Lucy Rowland and illustrated with wit and warmth by Ben Mantle, the creative duo behind Little Red Reading Hood.

 

My Nursery in 100 Words by Sophie Beer and QED Publishing, published by words & pictures

Lunchboxteachersharingcrayonsswingblocksgold starsmiling… introduce your little ones to the words they’ll encounter when they start nursery.

My Nursery in 100 Words introduces a range of different scenes and objects, from getting dressed and eating breakfast with the family to different activities at nursery – including playtime, circle time and arts and crafts – and then home time. Interspersed with labels for practical objects are more abstract terms such as happykindness and family, teaching children about emotions and mindfulness as well as educational vocabulary.

 

Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, published by Simon & Schuster

Izabelle Gizmo just loves to invent, but her inventions never seem to work the way she wants them to. And that makes her really CROSS! When she finds a crow with a broken wing she just has to help. But will she be able to put her frustrations to one side and help her new friend to fly again?

 

Be More Bernard by Simon Philip and illustrated by Kate Hindley, published by Simon & Schuster

Bernard has decided that he’s not going to be like all the other bunnies any more. He’s not going to twitch his nose and prick his ears. And while others might dream of carrots, Bernard’s dreams are altogether more…disco!

He starts small, but when he finally gets to groove with grace and jive with joy at Bertie and Brenda’s Bunny Ball, Bernard shows the world that being yourself is the very best thing a bunny can be.

 

Look I’m a Maths Wizard, published by DK

A perfect introduction to maths before heading into school, this playful preschool maths book will unleash your child’s curiosity as they play their way through 20 amazing maths projects.

Look I’m a Maths Wizardis full of activities to show young readers just how much fun maths can be, helping them to discover how maths is in the world all around us and that they already have the tools they need to be magical maths wizards: an inquisitive mind, unlimited imagination, and super senses.

Each step-by-step activity is hands-on and practical to encourage budding mathematicians to use their senses as they explore essential early years maths topics. They will discover the magic of numbers with number bugs, investigate addition by creating a hungry adding robot, learn about subtraction by playing skittles, and even craft 3D shape aliens. Every fun project features a mixture of bright photography and charming illustrations that support the easy-to-follow activity instructions. These brilliantly hands-on activities support Early Years and Key Stage One maths curriculums taught in schools.

 

5-8

 

The Truth Pixie Goes to School, written by Matt Haig and illustrated by Chris Mould, published by Canongate

An uplifting, illustrated story about beating back-to- school nerves. The Truth Pixie Goes to School is Matt Haig’s brand-new book for little pixies everywhere aged 5 and over. Going back-to-school can be a scary time but The Truth Pixie is here to help children feel more themselves in their new school uniform. With delightful illustrations by Chris Mould, The Truth Pixie Goes to School should be in every backpack this year.

New school. New friends. Same old pixie. In this heartwarming adventure the Truth Pixie and her human friend go to school, face a bully and learn the importance of friendship and being yourself.

Win 1 of 5 sets of The Truth Pixie and The Truth Pixie Goes to School, plus an exclusive badge!

 

Rabbit and Bear: A Bite in the Night, written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field, published by Hodder Children’s Books

Rabbit is surprised: some of the trees in the valley seem to be flying south for the winter. His friend Bear is sure that trees can’t fly. Then there’s a loud CRUNCH! from Very Near By. It sounds like the world’s largest rabbit, eating the world’s largest carrot.

There’s a new creature in Rabbit and Bear’s valley, and he’s trying to Change Everything.

From novelist and playwright Julian Gough, and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field, this is a tale of friendship, progress, and all kinds of getting muddy.

 

My Very Important Encyclopedia, published by DK

Time to head back to school – so brush up on your knowledge of animals, things, dinosaurs and the whole world ready for the new school year! Our friends at DK have an amazing book bundle up for grabs that will help you with this.

In My Very Important World discover where the coldest place on Earth is, how many languages there are, why you sometimes feel scared, and much, much more!  On one page read about the body and brain, then on another learn about languages, sporting events, or the environment. You can marvel at wonders of the Earth such as fiery volcanoes, sprawling cities, or a place called “The Rainbow Mountains” – amazing! Plus, if that’s not enough brush up on your knowledge of all your favourite things, animals, and even dinosaurs in the other books in the series!

Win My Very Important Encyclopedia bundle

 

The Misadventures of Frederickby Ben Manley and Emma Chichester Clark, published Two Hoots 

A poetic and playful tale about the joys of going outside and having adventures – beautifully illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, creator of Plumdog.

In a mansion surrounded by lakes and forests, Frederick is very bored. He leads the most sheltered life imaginable: and when Emily invites him to play outside he has no choice but to refuse – what if he hurts himself? Much better to stay safely indoors. But Emily is not one to take no for an answer.

A series of brilliantly funny and evocative letters between Frederick and Emily form the frame of this unique story which weaves together the colourful, adventurous world of Emily with Frederick’s drab life of boredom and safety.

 

8-12

 

Dog Diaries: Curse of the Mystery Mutt, written by James Patterson and Steven Butler, illustrated by Richard Watson, published by Young Arrow/Penguin Random House

In the fourth book in the hilarious Dog Diaries series, it’s Halloween and Junior sets out to uncover the identity of a mystery mutt who is terrorising the town

Something terrible is going on, my person-pal! Something so DREADFUL, it’s enough to curl your tail with TERROR (if you have one, of course)…

A spine-jangling HOWLING has been heard in the middle of the night, favorite toys have been STOLEN, trash bags have been SHREDDED and all the best pee-spots have been RE- SCENTED!

It must have something to do with the NIGHT OF THE HOWLY WIENER, which is only days away… Can I find the evil mastermind who is TERRIER-izing our town?!

 

Guardians of Magic, by Chris Riddell published by Macmillan Children’s Books

In Guardians of Magic the award-winning, 2015-2017 UK Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell weaves together a stunningly illustrated magical quest in which three ordinary children, with extraordinary gifts, come together to defeat the enemies who threaten the mysterious cloud horses. This is the first title in The Cloud Horse Chronicles series.

The Kingdom of Thrynne is a place where fairy tales don’t behave, and magic can be found in unexpected places. But magic brings danger to Zam, Phoebe and Bathsheba, because it is forbidden. 

Now, the future of magic itself is under threat from powerful enemies: those who fear it and, worse, those who want to use it for their own ends. 

What can three ordinary children do to protect it?

 

The Time of Green Magic, by Hilary McKay published by Macmillan Children’s Books

From acclaimed author and Costa winner Hilary McKay comes The Time of Green Magic: a beautiful, spell-binding novel about family, magic, an old house and a mysterious visitor. . .

Abi and her two step-brothers, Max and Louis, find that strange things happen when they are alone in their eerie, ivy-covered new house.

Abi, reading alone, finds herself tumbling deep into books, while Louis summons a startling guest through his bedroom window. Even Max has started to see shapes in the shadows . . .

Their busy parents see none of it – but Louis’ secret visitor is growing too alarming to keep secret, and he finds he cannot manage without Max and Abi’s help.

Can they find out where the mysterious creature has come from – and how to get it back there?

 

Check Mates by Stewart Foster

​Felix is struggling at school. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling him to try harder, but no one seems to understand just how hard he finds it. When Mum suggests Felix spends time with his grandfather, Felix can’t think of anything worse. Granddad hasn’t been the same since Grandma died. Plus he’s always trying to teach Felix boring chess. But sometimes the best lessons come in the most unexpected of places, and Granddad soon shows Felix that there’s everything to play for.

 

Top Marks For Murder by Robin Stevens, published by Penguin

Daisy and Hazel are finally back at Deepdean, and the school is preparing for a most exciting event: the fiftieth Anniversary. Plans are in full swing. But all is not well, for in the detectives’ long absence, Deepdean has changed. Daisy has lost her crown to a fascinating new girl – and many of the Detective Society’s old allies are now their sworn enemies.

Then the girls witness a shocking incident in the woods close by – a crime they’re sure is linked to the Anniversary. As parents descend upon Deepdean, decades-old grudges, rivalries and secrets begin to surface, and soon Deepdean’s future is at stake. Can the girls solve the case – and save their home? 

 

The Wonders of Nature, published by DK

Perfect for discovering autumn nature – and beyond! – this beautiful compendium of amazing rocks and minerals, microscopic life, plants, and animals will captivate children with over 100 remarkable items from the natural world, from orchids to opals and lichens to lizards. Each plant, animal, and rock is shown both photographically and illustrated, and children will love poring over the detailed close-up images.

The storybook descriptions let you discover the myths and legends surrounding both organisms and gemstones, as well as key facts about their natural history. Find out how the prowling jaguar uses spots to avoid being spotted, why a sticky sundew means big trouble for insects, and what on Earth a radiolarian is. This beautiful treasury lets you find the things that interest you and uncover new favourites along the way. With reference pages packed with information you’ll go away knowing something you didn’t before, and you’ll return time and again. A perfect for kids to explore by themselves or for bedtime stories!

 

12+

 

Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell, published by Macmillan Children’s Books 

A smart and swoony Rainbow Rowell romance in full colour graphic novel form. Beloved writer Rainbow Rowell and Eisner Award–winning artist Faith Erin Hicks have teamed up to create Pumpkinheads, a tender and hilarious story about two irresistible teens discovering what it means to leave behind a place – and a person – with no regrets.

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world (not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is). They say goodbye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different – Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last goodbye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if instead of moping they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

 

Dead Popular by Sue Wallman, published by Scholastic

A new chilling read from the author of Lying About Last Summer.

The reigning queen bee, Kate, knows that you don’t become the most powerful girl at school by playing nice. But when other students start revealing long-held secrets anonymously, she realizes someone is playing a much more dangerous game – and they know too much about Kate’s past. If she doesn’t figure out who’s behind this, her final year at Pankhurst could be exactly that: her final year.

 

Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain & Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Frances Castle, published by Walker Books 

Rich and strange, these eerie and magical folktales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation, and are gathered together in a definitive new collection from the master storyteller and winner of the Carnegie Medal, Kevin Crossley-Holland. Dark and funny, lyrical and earthy, these fifty stories are part of an important and enduring historical tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Described by Neil Gaiman as the “master”, Crossley-Holland’s unforgettable retellings will capture the imagination of readers young and old alike.

[For ages 14+ as contains adult themes]

 

The Maths Book, published by DK

A perfect book for older maths fans, looking to learn more about the history behind their favourite school subject. This vibrant book explores the world’s most famous and important mathematical ideas, theorems, and movements, and the great minds behind them.

Take a journey through the intriguing story of numbers, patterns, and shapes in order to better understand the complex world we live in. Charting the development of maths around the world from Babylon to Bletchley Park, The Maths Book explores and explains more than 85 of the most complex and fascinating mathematical subjects. This diverse and inclusive account of mathematics will have something for everybody. It examines the maths behind world economies, secret spies, and modern technology such as computers, the internet, and AI. But it also traces the history of maths, from the mathematical ideas and inventions of the ancient world such as the first number systems, magic squares, and the Chinese abacus, through the discovery of zero and Fermat’s last theorem, to the rise of group theory in the 19th century.

Continuing the “Big Ideas” series’ trademark combination of authoritative, clear text and bold graphics, The Maths Bookuses an innovative visual approach to make the subject accessible to everyone, casual readers and students alike.

 

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