From retro classics to magical mysteries! These new books will get kids excited about reading

Sharing a book with a child is special - whether it’s giggling at funny pictures or watching them gain confidence as they tackle a more advanced chapter novel. But, we don’t always have the time to sit down and engage in the way we would want to…

Putting aside 15 minutes a day to enjoy a personalised children's book (opens in new tab) together could become something the whole family look forward to. Set up a cosy area so everyone feels relaxed, and if you have older children who want to read alone, encourage them to set up a book nook they can retreat to. It could just be a corner of their bedroom or a space under the stairs – all you need is a little imagination.

Children are spoilt for choice with the plethora of books available at this time. From retro classics to magical mysteries and historical fantasies, we’ve chosen a selection of new books your kids will be eager to get their hands on. And, in these house-bound times, maybe we should all take note of what Dr Seus has to say on the matter:‘

The more things that you read, the more things you will know The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go’

Incredible You by Rhys Brisenden - illustrated by Nathan Reed

Looking for a little positivity? You’ll find it in abundance amongst the pages of this beautifully illustrated picture book.

For anyone who ever wished they were someone else or something else, this book teaches children that actually there are some amazing reasons to just be you.

Energy oozes from the colourful pages – and look out for that little pigeon who appears on every page. You’ll have a lot of fun searching!

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Mog The Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

Grandparents and parents everywhere will remember this loveable cat with fond memories from their own childhood - because this year Mog is celebrating fifty years. The forgetful feline is quite often getting into scrapes, getting in the way of her owners and being generally quite funny - entertaining generations of kids.

Whether your child is a lover of cats, or just brilliantly told and illustrated stories - this 50th anniversary edition will make a great addition to their book collection.

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The Magic Bubbles by Isabel Otter - illustrated by Phung Nguyen Quang

For a truly immersive experience for your child, meet Oliver – whose bubbles are magic. Taking him on amazing journeys we are led through colourful pages exploring the power of creativity and imagination. With die-cut and extraordinary illustrations, this is a stunning picture book your child will treasure forever.

When the bubbles suddenly lose their power, Oliver realises that the power may have been inside him all along. This magical book is the ideal antidote to today’s worrying times – for children and adults!

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Gloria’s Big Problem by Sarah Stiles Bright, Illustrated by Mike Deas

If ever there was a time when kid’s anxiety might be heightened, it’s now, so what better book to help children with their worries than this clever little story about a girl called Gloria.

Gloria worries about everything, which can get in the way of what she loves to do – and that’s sing and dance. Her anxieties means she’ll never show anyone for fear of being laughed at. Until one day she decides to do it anyway.

When she finally plucks up the courage to try out for a theatre production, might she realise that being brave doesn’t mean having no fear, but overcoming the fears we have? An important lesson for children everywhere…

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I’m Sticking With You by Smriti Halls & Steve Small

Whether it’s with your Mum, Dad, brother, sister or friend – relationships can be a funny thing. Those people are there to see you through the good times and the bad, but just sometimes we can find them, well… a little overbearing.

Never has a book been more timely as we find ourselves in lockdown, spending a lot more time with our loved ones. As this wonderful book demonstrates – if we realise the strength of a relationship and overcome adversities we are stronger and better together.

The ultimate feel-good book for this moment in time.

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Museum Kittens: The Midnight Visitor by Holly Webb, Illustrated by Sarah Lodge

Holly Webb’s early-reading chapter books are a big hit with kids, not least because the characters are just so cute.

In her recent book we meet Tasha the tabby cat who meets a little black cat on the museum’s steps. She wants to show him everything, but the other cats are not so sure about the new arrival. Tasha takes him on a rat hunt in the museum, which my end in disaster when they find themselves in the dinosaur gallery.

First in a new series about the museum kittens inspired by tales of real-life museum cats

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The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson - illustrated by Rob Biddulph

One of the most anticipated children’s debuts of 2020, this loveable new hero, Freddie, is setting off on an adventure with his best pals, Ben and Charlie.

When his grandmother dies and he learns his biological father may still be alive, he finds himself on a mission, which takes him across rolling Welsh landscapes via onion-eating competitions, exploding pears and lots of sheep.

This wonderful story of friendship deals with sensitive subjects, but is also extremely funny. Fans of David Walliams will love this!

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The Princess Rules by Philippa Gregory - illustrated by Chris Chatterton

Who better placed to write a book about princesses than the queen of historical fiction herself, Philippa Gregory – the author of the much-loved Tudor series including The Other Boleyn Girl.

Princess Florizella acted as she thought she should – playing by the Princess Rules. But, the princess rules are boring, and she’d much rather be riding her horse, Jellybean and having adventures.

Starting out life as stories for her children, Philippa Gregory has now re-imagined them for her grandchildren. With three separate stories, this rebellious little princess is sure to win the historical author a legion of young followers too.

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Slime by David Walliams - illustrated by Tony Ross

There’s always a buzz around a new David Walliams book, and this is no exception. Let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t love slime!

In his latest book we visit the island of Mulch – home to some pretty horrible grown-ups. They run the local park, the school – even the toy shop. And the island is owned by the worst of them all – Aunt Greta Greed.

There’s only one thing for it. Meet Ned – a boy with slimepower who is about to take his revenge…

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101 Things For Kids to do screen-free by Dawn Isaac

With perfect timing comes this book packed with ideas to get kids off their screens and engaging in other activities.

From making delicious microwave mug cakes to creating outdoor games and setting up a mini golf course, Dawn Isaac has you covered. So, put down your phones kids, and get creative.

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Mark Anchovy: Pizza Detective by William Goldsmith

If your child is a budding detective, they’re going to devour this.

When Collin Kingsley aka Mark Anchovy signs himself up for a detective company with Princess Skewer he doesn't know what trouble he’s let himself in for. With a famous art portrait missing, he sets about solving the mystery. This is a whole different life for Mark Anchovy, going from a pizza delivery boy to super sleuth.

A brilliant plot twist, this book will keep your kids thoroughly entertained, and possible asking for pizza for dinner.

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The Pear Affair by Judith Eagle

When Nell’s parents are given the opportunity to go to Paris, Nell surprises them by begging to go too – for this might be where she finds her beloved au pair, Pear.

With the help of bellboy, Xavier, can Nell save Pear as well as solve a mystery that might involve the whole of Paris? As he introduces her to the world of tunnels underneath the city, and the world above, they take in many enchanting scenes along the way – along with a delightful patisserie or two.

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Alison’s Adventures: Your passport to the world by Alison Teal

Hailed as the female Indiana Jones, this wonderful book charts the adventures of Alison Teal – an explorer who has visited the most remote corners of the earth.

This gorgeous book is full of first-account experiences at iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal through to far-flung places like the Lost Island of the Fire Walkers.

Talking about her conservation efforts in the Maldvives, this book is sure to inspire any young activist or adventurer. Packed with her own photos and a fun, easy-to-read style, this is one for parents and kids to really enjoy together.

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Lost by Ele Fountain

Lola had everything - a loving family, friends and a home. But that all changes when one day her Dad doesn’t return home. They wait day after day, but when the landlord starts demanding money they don’t have, Lola and her brother pack their backpacks and hit the streets.

Now, Lola must find a new way to survive – and she will do everything in her power to make sure that happens in this heartwarming tale about the bonds that tie siblings, friends and compassion.

Beautifully told, Ele Fountain shines a light on some important issues but in a sensitive manner. It’s a gorgeous read.

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Viper’s Daughter by Michelle Paver

The seventh book in Paver’s award-winning series, Viper’s Daughter can be read as a standalone novel – although we’re sure your teen will want to read the whole series as soon as they've turned the past page.

This immersive book transports you back into the stone-age world of Torak, Renn and Wolf, who have been living happily in the forest. Happily that is, until Renn realises Torak is in danger – and she’s the threat.

When Renn disappears, Torak and Wolf brave the Far North to find her.

With a gripping plot and endless twists, this is sure to enthral and entertain any bored child.

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Splinters of Scarlet

Marit doesn’t like to use magic too often – it always seems to come at a price. But, when Eve, a fellow orphan is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestrgarrd, Marit will do anything to stay by her side.

Finding herself in a glittering new life in Copenhagen it is revealed that Marit may have another motive for being there. It was while her father was working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines that her father died – and she wants answers. But those answers may come at a price.

A compelling fantasy sure to thrill fans of historical fiction with a touch of magic.

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Zoe is a features writer and books editor for Woman&Home. Over the last fifteen years she has worked on magazine titles including Marie Claire, Now, LOOK, Woman’s Weekly and Junior.

She loves to travel and is a self-confessed luxury hotel junkie following a honeymoon stay in Ravello on the glamorous Amalfi Coast, which she claims spoilt her forever. Having also visited Lake Como, Puglia, Tuscany (where she got married), Venice and Rome on more than one occasion, it’s no surprise that she hopes to live in Italy one day.

Travelling with family is important to Zoe, appreciating the time she spends on holiday with her husband and two daughters. Although she loves Italy, it’s Greece that’s become their family holiday place. With an intoxicating mix of beautiful beaches, warm weather and chic hotels catered to families, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Her most memorable trips would have to be South Africa and Canada for their vast, wild and dramatic landscapes, New York for that ‘film set’ feeling and swimming with pigs in The Bahamas.

The Norway Fjordes and Vancouver are firmly on her travel wish list, but she is just as fascinated by Europe’s cities and could spend most of her life on short breaks - although her beach-loving husband may have something to say about that.

Always looking for that escape from the norm, a source of inspiration and relaxation away from a hectic home and work life, Zoe is most likely to be found googling ‘out-of-this-world hotels’ and then working out how to get there…